The late-90’s monstrosity that was the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR is now recognised as an almost comical introduction to the era of the modern supercar. Its eccentric body kit and pronounced wheel arches are now not only unique in their design, but also in their availability. The Merc in question is only the ninth road-going version of the 1998 GT Championship winning car to be built out of a production life that was capped at just 25 examples.
A product of the upper echelon of FIA GT racing design, the CLK GTR was Mercedes’ formidable contestant during the tug-of-war between Germany’s top three automotive rivals – the McLaren F1 (BMW), the 911 GT1 (Porsche) and of course the aforementioned AMG.
This particular example has been listed by RM Sotheby’s for their huge upcoming auction at a starting price of $5.7 million Aussie dollars.
Everything about the CLK GTR is original and factory fitted, including the paintwork, body kit and engine. The paddle-equipped six-speed sequential gearbox adopted from the racing GT1 model still sucks power from a weaponised pandora’s box in the form of a menacing 6.9-liter V12.
Its original owner was a German by the name of Hermann Eschemann, followed by a private collector in Hong Kong and then onwards to its current owner in the United States.
The GTR is an icon of Mercedes-AMG’s motoring legacy. Its swept bodywork might be polarizing for some, especially those who don’t share a love for Mercedes-AMG in the first place, though one can’t deny its contribution to the evolution of the ‘supercar’ as we know it.
Photos by Patrick Ernzen.