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Retro

We can't believe we missed out on this '97 GT Championship-winning Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

Proper competition-spec Nineties Benz went up for auction. We missed our chance to offer twenty quid and a Twix

Published: 07 Mar 2024

In today’s digest of auction items that’ll cost you 12 arms, 12 legs and 12 lifetimes' worth of savings, RM Sotheby’s has just sold a Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR GT1 for an undisclosed fee. You know, that racing car which sounds like Godzilla after stepping on a Lego brick.

The pedigree of this particular example - chassis number 004 - is pretty strong, too. It claimed four victories, two podiums and five pole positions en route to the 1997 FIA GT Championship, which only makes it the most successful of the four competition grade CLK GTRs made. No biggie, right?

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That’s despite racing against some seriously strong competition in the likes of the McLaren F1 GTR and the Porsche 911 GT1. So what’s under the bonnet must be special, no? Very correct, and it’s a naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 mated to a six-speed sequential transmission to deliver around 612bhp to your right foot.

Alongside the brutal pace comes huge carbon composite brakes and double wishbone suspension, so we’d suggest sticking a set of Goodyear’s latest slicks on as opposed to your run-of-the-mill second-hand rubber. Despite the fact it’ll likely never see a patch of racetrack ever again. Yes, that makes us sad too.

Considering a pair of road-legal, non-competition CLK GTRs went up for auction at the tail-end of last year and sold for an eye-watering £15m, we expect this GT1 switched hands for a similar price. Perhaps the only thing more painful than parting with such an extortionate amount is stepping on two Lego bricks.

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