Feast your eyes upon this RM42 million Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR

By topgear, 22 July 2021

This is less a news story about an extraordinarily rare Mercedes-Benz coming up for auction, and more a chance to just flat out gawp at an extraordinary Mercedes-Benz. It’s the CLK GTR Strassenversion, estimated to sell for many, many [cue Dr Evil voice] millions.

Born in 1997, it was a result of Mercedes and AMG – then a little more separate than they are today of course – pulling off nothing short of a miracle: to conceive and produce a fully-built racing car ready for the then-new FIA GT Championship in just 128 days. Heck, the original designs were hand-drawn, then honed through CAD, and finally as 1:5 scale 3D clay models.

The series’ requirements meant at least 25 road car versions of the racing car had to exist, so AMG and Merc set about barely sanitising the machine that – in 1997 – won six of 11 FIA GT rounds and took the championship. A road version of the machine that – in 1998 – won everything. Every. Single. Race.

This one’s number nine of 25 cars – 20 coupes and five roadsters – with a 6.9-litre V12 buried inside. That makes just over 600 horses and 780 torques, a 0-100kph time of 3.8s (which, today, can be achieved in a brand new Audi RS3 just FYI), and top speed of 344kph. Riotously fast by any standards, and – considering that enormous V12 soundtrack – riotously good fun on a private circuit, one suspects.

It’s hilarious NinetiesMerc inside, with a steering wheel and set of analogue dials that look like they’ve come straight from one of Munich’s fabled diesel E-Class taxicabs. The seats look serious, mind, as does the Alcantara and suede and carbon fibre adoring the dash.

This particular car has barely moved. Auctioneers Gooding & Co say it was sold new to a buyer in Germany in 1997, and then purchased by the current owner in 2018. The clock shows just 1,442km, and the sale includes the car’s manuals, a carbon front undertray, a socket and wrench for the wheels, and even wooden blocks when using the hydraulic jacks.

Yes, the price is quite unfathomable – Gooding reckons anywhere between $8,000,000 (RM34m) and $10,000,000 (RM42m) – so we’re quite certain it’s unattainable for 99 per cent of us. And sure, multi-million dollar lumps of unobtanium seem to be ten a penny these days. But this car... if you could, you just would, right?


Photography: Gooding & Company/Josh Hway