2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR. RKM Auctions

RKM Auctions puts a 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster under the hammer in Abu Dhabi.

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This is the monstrous 604hp, ultra-rare Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR Roadster represents a legendary racing car adapted for the road. And it could be yours when it goes up for auction in Abu Dhabi next month.

The Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR Roadster was built in 2002 as part of a homologation programme for the phenomenally successful race car. With a 6.9-litre V12 developing 604hp (596bhp), it’s one of only six convertible versions ever made and will hit 100kph from standstill in 3.8 seconds before rocketing on to 320kph. On November 2, it’s part of a monster car auction event at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, hosted by American auction house RKM.

Alongside the Porsche 956/962 and the Sauber C9, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR remains one of the most desirable sports cars ever to turn a wheel in anger. Debuting in 1997 in the newly launched FIA GT Championship (the FIA having taken over the reigns from the preceding BPR Global GT Series), it wasn’t long before the über aerodynamic CLK GTR began showing Porsche, BMW – running a McLaren F1 GTR – and even motorsport giants Panoz just what it was capable of.

In just two years of loyal service for the three-pointed star, the CLK GTR wracked up 17 wins from 22 races, both the driver’s and the team’s championships in 1997 and 1998, and boasted amongst its driver line-up 2013 Nürburgring 24 Hours winner Bernd Schneider, Formula 1 race winner (and soon-to-be Porsche driver) Mark Webber, F1 safety car driver Bernd Mayländer, and even one Ralf Schumacher. Tails were left firmly between legs in Munich and Stuttgart.

As part of the homologation regulations, Mercedes were obliged to produce at least 25 examples of the CLK GTR for the road. In the end, Mercedes, performance arm AMG and its specialist group HWA (an abbreviation of AMG founder Hans-Werner Aufrecht) rolled 26 models off the production line. Of these, the final six were produced sans roof, making the 2002 example above – chassis #003 – one of the rarest super cars in the world. Unsurprisingly, the road-going CLK GTR was both a monster and a petrolhead magnet.

With a list price of just over $1.5 million, the CLK GTR was at one stage, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most expensive production car in the world.

For further details and lot numbers, check out the RKLMCCA homepage. For potential lot winning bids, consult your bank manager.

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