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What were you doing when the Spice Girls were on the verge of calling it quits and Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term as President of the United States? Well, Mercedes-Benz were working on the mind-boggling CLK GTR and its topless brother - the CLK GTR Roadster. In total 35 examples of the breed were produced: 2 mules, 7 coupe racers, 20 road-legal coupes and 6 roadsters.

See the black 1999 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster in the photograph above? It belongs to a billionaire from The Netherlands and it's estimated to fetch as much as £1.8 million ($2.8 or €2.5 million at current exchange rates) at Bonhams’ Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale. The best thing about this CLK GTR Roadster? It’s pristine.

I remember when the CLK GTR was launched and I am not afraid to tell you this: a poster of the German bruiser animated my bedroom, even though I was sorry to see the Lamborghini Countach poster go. The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR’s shape, exhaust sound, the thrill of it all was out of this world for a young lad in the late 1990s.

A spin-off born out of Mercedes’ FIA GT1 motorsport ambitions, the two-seater on hand is probably the best-preserved CLK GTR in existence. Oh, did I mention that this is the only CLK GTR Roadster to be painted black? Furthermore, it so happens that this German exotica was never driven by its owner on the public roads and has a mere six kilometers (3.7 miles) on the odometer.

Performance-wise, this blast from the past is on par with many performance machines of today. The belly of the beast is a 6.9-liter naturally aspirated V12 engine that channels 612 horsepower (450 kW) and 775 Nm (572 lb-ft) of torque to the rear wheels.

The low weight of the carbon fiber used to make the chassis and body, along with the impressive output figures render this grandpa a thoroughbred supercar: 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.8 seconds.


 
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