Championship-Winning 1997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT1 Gunning for Many Millions at Auction

1997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT1 13 photos
Photo: RM Sotheby's
1997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT11997 Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT1
Auctions are the perfect events to honor the important cars of the past and present, so we often bring before you machines that are impressive in one way or another. But even in this rich automotive world vehicles as impressive as the one we have here don't come to light very often.
What you're looking at is one of the most successful and rare Mercedes-AMG vehicles ever made. Completed back in 1997 just three months after the first sketches were drawn, the car went on to win one of the most important competitions of that year.

The official designation of the car is Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT1 and like its name says it was intended to take part in the FIA GT1 Championship. It is a series that is no longer around, having bit the dust in 2012, but for a brief period of time represented the best carmakers and drivers had to offer.

Mercedes created several versions of the CLK GTR for the competition, and the one featured here, despite being chassis 004, was the second example to be completed. It was campaigned in 1997, quite successfully, by drivers Bernd Schneider and Alexander Wurz.

Of the 11 rounds of that year's GT1 season, the car managed to snatch the win in four of them, and secured Schneider the title of Drivers' champion, and Mercedes-AMG the one of Constructors' champion.

The car is built around a chassis made of a carbon-fiber composite and aluminum in a honeycomb structure, over which a carbon-fiber body was installed. The car's engine, a mighty six-liter V12, acted as a stressed member.

The engine is an impressive piece of engineering itself. Running an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission, it was limited by the racing series' regulations to a power output of 600 horsepower and a top speed of 205 mph (330 kph). Yet, tests of the car show the unit could easily reach as much as 800 horsepower.

The Merc was not campaigned for long, and after it ended its career it entered the carmaker's own private collection, where it spent no less than 17 years, being taken out from time to time to be shown off at various events. It was eventually purchased in 2015 by a private individual, who now plans to sell it during an RM Sotheby's auction that will take place next week. The car still wears the number 11 livery and yellow mirrors it had on when it used to race.

The auction house doesn't give any estimates as to how much the Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR GT1 is expected to fetch, but if past experience with cars made by the German brand is any indication, the sky is the limit.

Just remember that the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 W04 race car sold last year for a staggering $18,815,000, and also the same year a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe became the most expensive car ever sold at auction, going for a literal fortune: €135,000,000 ($146 million).
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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