Really a Race Car but Legal on Streets

A 1999 Mercedes Benz CLK GTR race car is set to go up for auction. The expected asking price is said to be $1.1 million. This is a limited production vehicle. Only 25 of the street legal versions were ever built. The only reason that even that low number were manufactured was because of some rule changes that went into effect on the race circuit which required vehicles be offered for sale to the public in order to be eligible to compete

The car is in mint condition and has only been driven 1300 miles. The engine is a V-12 which produces 700 horsepower. The GTR was built by Mercedes AMG., a division of Mercedes Benz set up to race in the FIA GT Championship Series in 1997. These cars were upgraded the following year to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The project was cancelled in 1999

Company Obligated to Deliver 25 Cars

Even though the project was finished, Mercedes still had to offer the public 25 cars. The original vehicle built in 1997 was retained by the company. The 25 cars were built at the Afferbach factory by AMG from the start of 1998 until the middle of 1999. They varied only a little from the race cars. All but one had left hand drive. The one with right hand drive was a special order from Sultan Hassanial Bolkiah of Brunei

Little consideration was given to driver comfort or refinements because Mercedes wanted to give customers a real race car. This also represented an attempt to keep the price somewhat within reason. Air conditioning was offered along with a leather interior. Small storage lockers were also inserted beneath the upward swinging doors. For driver safety, traction controls were added

The rear wing of this model differs from the true race model. It has a hoop pattern integrated wing rather than the race wing. It contains the same four headlamps, front grille, and instrumentation of a Mercedes CLK

Reengineered for more Power and Speed

Imor Engineering worked on the engine to give this variant extra horsepower. Displacement was expanded from 6 to 6.9 liters. The race models had to use air restriction devices to meet eligibility standards, but these were removed for the street models. As a result, the engines are actually more powerful than the ones used in racing

According to Mercedes, this car will go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) in 3.8 seconds. The top speed is 320 km/h or 199 mph

The CLK GTR is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive production car ever built. The list price was $1,547,620

Minor variations in the grille distinguish several of the units. Roll bars were added to some for protection. A pair were also built with an even larger 7.3 liter engine. 20 of the cars were coupes, and 6 were roadsters. Considering their high initial cost, an auction price of $1.1 million does not sound so unreasonable.