The 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR is hitting the auction floor again, and this time the 90s supercar is expected to draw an insane amount. The CLK GTR is famous for its days racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Mercedes renamed it to the CLK LM shortly after. That’s essentially what makes it so popular, rare, exceptional…and whatever else you want to call it.
How many Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR vehicles are there?
As first reported by Jalopnik, there were only 26 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR vehicles produced. Twenty of those were coupes, and six were roadsters, which means this is one of the more rare cars ever created. Depending on who you ask, this number varies a bit.
The 1998 CLK GTR is heading for auction from Gooding & Company out of Pebble Beach. The company estimates the vehicle will bring in anywhere from $8,500,000 to $10,000,000. This is the ninth Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR out of only 25 (one less than previously noted). It has 896 miles (1,442 km) on the odometer.
The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR has a 6.9L V12 and has all of the original records and accessories. It offers four-wheel ventilated ceramic composite brakes and independent wishbone suspension on both the front and the rear. The CLK GTR has a numbered battery charger, a few original tools, and wooden blocks to rest the car on.
This is the fifth sale of this particular 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
The last time this Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR sold, it sold for $4,515,000 in 2018. RM Sotheby’s sold the vehicle in California with the same mileage. The buyer held onto this vehicle for three years without putting a single mile on it. Tragic. This sale was the fourth buyer for the car. It is pretty much guaranteed to sell for a fifth time.
While most people will never see the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR in person, it did gain popularity from video games like Need for Speed. This certainly isn’t a vehicle you would see on the streets, which is what makes it so noteworthy. While there are a few variations of these vehicles, most cars didn’t make it to the U.S. and were not street legal. These would be strictly for racing or stored in a private collection somewhere.
The 911 GT1 Straßenversion (Strassenversion)
A similar vehicle story is the Porsche 911 GT1 Straßenversion or Strassenversion (street version). Porsche designed the 911 GT1 for racing, but regulations required a street-legal version. Thus, the 911 GT1 Strassenversion was born. The GT1 was first released in 1996 and came equipped with a 3.2 L water-cooled, flat-six, twin-turbo engine. It participated in 135 races and won 47 of those races. Like the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, there were only 25 vehicles produced.
When this Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR goes up for sale, it will likely disappear for another few years. This vehicle was imported to the U.S. back in 2017 under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “show or display” exemption. This means the car was deemed to have “historical or technological significance.” It is a costly process and could impact the sale of the vehicle in the future.