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This Is the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster That Sold for $10 Million, It's a Garage Queen

This is the exact interpretation of a collectors' car. It is rare, it is exclusive, and it has not been driven much. This is the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster that sold for over $10 million.
Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR sold for over $10 million 18 photos
Photo: RM Sotheby's
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The open-top Mercedes-Benz GLK GTR Roadster was built as a homologation special. It was a street-legal variant of the race car that dominated the late 1990s in the FIA GT Championships and won two consecutive Drivers' and Constructors' Championships. So, it comes with quite a reputation.

Back in the 1990s, the FIA GT Championship was all about large-displacement cars that required minimum homologation of only 25 examples. Their build would be terribly close to what the prototype racers that ran in the 24 Hours of Le Mans proved to be.

In 1997, the CLK GTR won six of the 11 racing events and had 13 total podium finishes across the season, leaving the Porsche 911 GT1 and the McLaren F1 GTR in a cloud of dust.

The motorsport division of Mercedes-Benz has always been in the spotlight, stringing out trophies and titles. They must have been born under a lucky three-pointed star. The timeline of the motor racing division lists tags such as the W196 Formula One racer, the "Silver Arrows," the 300 SLRs, and continues with the eight-time consecutive Drivers' Championship winners, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team.

Mercedes\-Benz CLK GTR sold for over \$10 million
Photo: RM Sotheby's
Mercedes had moved fast forward with the CLK GTR. The development program progressed with the speed of light. The car was built on an aluminum honeycomb frame around a monocoque architecture, sporting carbon-fiber body panels.

It is powered by the AMG Almighty 6.9-liter V12, an evolution of Mercedes’ 6.0-liter V12 that the carmaker had previously used in the S-Class and in the SL. The power unit received titanium connecting rods and was retuned for an increased compression of 12.0:1.

The new specification took that engine to 592 horsepower (600 PS) and 572 pound-feet (775 Nm) of torque, all managed by a six-speed sequential transaxle. These figures and the lightweight construction allowed it to flash from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 kph) in 3.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 205 mph (330 kph).

Front and rear double-wishbone suspension with pull-rod coil springs, adjustable shock absorbers, and six-piston brakes with huge carbon-composite rotors were on the menu.

Mercedes\-Benz CLK GTR sold for over \$10 million
Photo: RM Sotheby's
The street-legal version of the CLK GTR was unveiled at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show. Two prototypes were built, followed by a limited production run of only 20 cars. Mercedes originally planned to build a single roadster. But demand was high, and so they eventually made five more cars after the CLK GTR coupe production had concluded.

The roadster, without a roof and with a massive air intake, needed modifications. The mirrors were relocated to the doors, roll-hoops were integrated behind the seats, while HWA and AMG came up with a new front grille and rear wing.

And we have one of them right here. It is the third of only six such examples ever built. In terms of mechanics, the racer and the street version are almost identical. But it came with extra oomph (622 horsepower), had anti-lock brake system, air conditioning, a sound system, and customers could choose one of the three upholstery options available.

This Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster is indeed a garage queen. At the time of cataloguing, it had only covered 170 kilometers (105.6 miles). Chassis number 000034, it is finished in silver paint over a black and grey leather interior.

Mercedes\-Benz CLK GTR sold for over \$10 million
Photo: RM Sotheby's
The car was imported to the United States and federalized to comply with the United States emissions standards, as shown by a J.K. Technologies decal. By August 2011, it belonged to a collector in Wisconsin. At the moment, the odometer only displayed 25 kilometers (15.5 miles).

The collector sold the Benz to a sportscar dealer in Arkansas in March 2013. The dealer commissioned two Mercedes-Benz technicians and flew them from SPS Automotive Performance in Willsbach, Germany, to the United States to conduct a proper service on the vehicle. By that time, it had covered 108 kilometers (67 miles).

Another dealer bought it shortly after the service procedure, so the car ended up in North Carolina. That is where it remained until April 2015, when it was sold to the consignor, a collector based in the United Kingdom.

It comes with a set of fitted luggage and owner’s manuals. It has not been driven since 2018. After five years of static display, it surely needs service prior to road use.

Mercedes\-Benz CLK GTR sold for over \$10 million
Photo: RM Sotheby's
The car is in the United States under a ‘show or display’ exception, and this is how it will be re-registered with the US Department of Transportation. It cannot be purchased by a dealership, and the next owner has to get approval from the NHTSA prior to title changing hands. They will not be allowed to drive more than 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers) per year until the car is less than 25 years old.

The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR was sold during an auction in Las Vegas. Someone paid $10,235,000 to take it home. And probably just enjoy looking at it. Who would dare ruin the reputation of this garage queen?
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