Step into the world of automotive legends with the road-legal Mercedes-Benz CLK LM – a masterpiece that once dominated the GT1 racing scene. Known for its ferocity on the racetrack, this rare gem has been skillfully transformed into a road-legal beast, presenting a unique opportunity for auto enthusiasts to own a piece of motorsport history.
Let’s delve into the fascinating story behind this marvel and explore the exciting details of its availability in the market.
The Birth of a Racing Champion
In the late 1990s, Mercedes-Benz unleashed the mighty CLK GTR, a V12-engined homologation special that conquered the GT1 racing circuit from the start. However, there was a lesser-known sibling, the CLK LM, which stole the spotlight with its impressive performance on the long straights of La Sarthe, Le Mans.
Boasting a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre M119 V8 engine, the CLK LM prioritized reliability without compromising its track-dominating capabilities. Only two CLK LM “Strassenversions” were ever built, and one of them is now up for grabs in the automotive market.
A Historical Journey
The story of this particular CLK LM is nothing short of extraordinary according to Pistonheads. Having competed in the 1998 Le Mans as the pole-sitting number 35 car, it shared the FIA GT series victory that year but faced unfortunate engine failure at Le Mans.
In the hands of a private collector in Japan, this treasure found its way to Europe in 2013 before being acquired by a passionate collector in the UK in 2017.
Restoration and Transformation
The present owner dedicated significant time and resources to breathe new life into this iconic racing machine. Sporting & Historic Car Engineers in Banbury performed a meticulous restoration, including the installation of a new fuel tank and pumps, suspension refresh, and resurfacing of the carbon racing discs.
The endeavor to make it road legal has been successful, evident from the rear number plate holder and raised suspension.
The Allure of the Race Track
Though its livery has been stripped, the CLK LM’s racing pedigree is unmistakable with its prominent rear wing, reminiscent of its GTR road car cousin. The interior is raw and unapologetically race-oriented, with cables, carbon boxes, and stickered switches embodying the true spirit of Le Mans.
However, no luxury features can be found here. This car is virtually a pure driver’s machine in its current form.
The Price Tag
As for the price, this extraordinary rarity commands a figure that matches its exceptional heritage. While auction data is scarce, a standard CLK GTR road car once sold for over $4.5 million (approximately £3.5 million) at Pebble Beach in 2018.
Given the CLK LM’s unique rarity and its road-legal status, prospective buyers should expect to dig much deeper into their pockets. Right now, the car is being advertised on a POA basis, so one has to put up an enticing price to even get the attention of the owner.
Check out some of the photos of the Mercedes-Benz CLK LM in the gallery below: