SOLD | 2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR on the track
To compete in the 1997 FIA GT Championship, Mercedes-Benz tasked Mercedes-AMG to design a car to win, and the CLK GTR was the result. With its mid-longitudinally mounted, 6.0-litre, naturally aspirated V12, the CLK GTR dominated, claiming victory at six of the 11 races, resulting in Mercedes-AMG winning the GT1 Championship and driver Bernd Schneider winning the GT1 Drivers’ Championship. The CLK GTR was competing against the world’s fastest cars and teams, including the BMW Motorsport-entered McLaren F1 GTR, Porsche-entered 911 GT1 Evo, Panoz GTR-1 and Lotus GT1. The 1997 FIA GT1 Championship was hugely competitive, but the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR was undoubtedly the car to beat!
For 1998, there was only one way to improve, and that was to win every race, which Mercedes-AMG did! The car, team and drivers dominated. No other competitor stood a chance. Mercedes-AMG scored 146 points, with the nearest competitor, Porsche AG, scoring a mere 49. Mercedes-Benz also decided to return to Le Mans for 1998, changing the engine from a 6.0-litre unit to 5.0 litres to ensure improved reliability for the 24-hour endurance race. The bodywork was also slightly adjusted to increase performance further. The cars debuted at the 1998 Le Mans, claiming pole position ahead of the Le Mans prototype class! For the remainder of the 1998 FIA GT Championship, Mercedes-Benz used the CLK LM and continued to dominate in the same fashion as the CLK GTR, finishing the season with 10 wins from 10 races!
As a result of Mercedes’ sheer dominance, there were few entries for the 1999 GT1 season, resulting in the category being cancelled. The absolute supremacy of Mercedes-Benz killed the category.
The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR on the road
To enable the CLK GTR to compete in the FIA GT Championship, regulations required Mercedes-Benz to produce 25 road-going versions of their race car. Each of these cars were built by AMG and their specialist group, HWA Engineering, at their Affalterbach factory in Germany between the winter of 1998 and summer of 1999. Let us not forget that, unlike the McLaren F1, the CLK GTR is a true homologation special, built firstly as a full-blown, uncompromised race car and then adapted for road use. Further proof of the competition-focussed approach to the CLK GTR is the pneumatic air-jack system fitted on the road cars, usually reserved for competition pit stops to raise the car to change the wheels.
The road cars differed only slightly from the race cars, because Mercedes-Benz wanted to offer the ultimate race car for the road. Fitted with a leather and Alcantara interior, the cars offered surprising levels of comfort, with functionality assured by two storage lockers underneath each door. The CD-player and radio even allowed the passengers to indulge in a little relaxing music, should the mood take them.
The six-speed sequential gearbox was operated manually by paddle-shifters behind the Alcantara-lined steering wheel, up on the right and down on the left. An anti-lock braking system was added for a little safety, along with twin air bags, and air-conditioning was offered as an option. The bodywork remained largely the same as the race car, with the main improvement being a more elegantly incorporated rear wing and front splitter. The cars were assembled in the AMG factory just outside Stuttgart, also known as the Sultan’s Room. Assembly of each car took four to six weeks, being built in batches of three by a team of four technicians per car.
For the road cars, the Mercedes-Benz V12 engine was enlarged from the 5,987 cc fitted to the race cars to 6,898 cc, with the competition air restrictor removed. Power was recorded as a staggering 612 bhp at 6,800 rpm, with a massive torque figure of 572 lb/ft at 5,250 rpm. At the time, Mercedes-Benz reported a 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) time of 3.8 seconds, although period reviews suggest the car was even faster, with a top speed of 344 km/h (214 mph).
This was not only the ultimate Mercedes-Benz, it was the ultimate supercar, with the Guinness Book of World Records recording the CLK GTR as the most expensive production car ever built at the time. In recent times, this, the ultimate modern road-going Mercedes-Benz, has received much attention, with many anticipating it to increase in value in a similar fashion to the less-rare McLaren F1.
This single-owner, low-mileage Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR
Mercedes-Benz produced only 20 CLK GTR Coupes, with this car being number 2. A copy of the original sales invoice accompanies this car, showing it was sold new in April 2000 to a Mr Bernhard Muller in Stuttgart, Germany. The invoice also documents the original sales price as €1,983,600. A brand-new McLaren F1 cost £635,000, less than half of a Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR!
The service book, which still accompanies this car, shows the AMG CLK-GTR Service Team completed their pre-delivery inspection on 4 August 2000. Mr Muller was clearly a fan of his latest acquisition, for when the car returned to HWA Engineering for a service in November 2001, it was already displaying 982 kilometres, with regular service stamps confirming the mileage increased to 2,536 km by the summer of 2005. Servicing records, which accompany this CLK GTR, are impressive, showing regular work carried out regardless of cost by both HWA Team AMG-Mercedes and SPS Automotive.
This CLK GTR has just been fully serviced by HWA Engineering in Germany, ensuring it is offered to the next owner in the best possible condition. This car is also still accompanied by its original owner’s manual, service booklet and leather pouch. Underneath each door is also a luggage compartment with its original first aid kit, warning triangle and tyre repair kit, all stored in their individual leather cases, numbered 02/25. The original metal carry case, containing the torque wrench, jack stands and numbered battery charger, still accompanies this Mercedes-Benz.
The CLK GTR was built to rival the McLaren F1 and Porsche 911 GT1, and that it did. The CLK GTR won not only the 1997 and 1998 FIA GT Teams’ Championships but also the Drivers’ Championships. Claiming 17 race victories, 17 pole positions and 14 fastest laps from only 22 races, the CLK GTR dominated! The opportunity to own one of the 20 coupes built is rare; however, to find a single-owner, low-mileage example such as this is an even more exciting prospect. When we consider this car also retains its original books and service records and is being offered fresh from a complete service by CLK GTR specialist HWA Engineering, this car really does offer the prospect of peace-of-mind motoring in one of the world’s most iconic homologation specials!
Price Upon Request
Price Upon Request