Lot 102

Sotheby's Sealed – Autumn Series

2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG


United States | California, California



Chassis No.
US Title
  • One of just 100 coupé variants of Mercedes-Benz’ legendary road-going Touring Car
  • Built by Mercedes-Benz racing department HWA AG and first delivered to Germany
  • One of very few examples federalized for US road use
  • Specified in Brilliant Silver Metallic over Anthracite leather
  • Odometer reads just 4,596 kilometres at the time of cataloging
Addendum: This vehicle is in the U.S. under a “show or display” exemption. It is imperative that any transfer of ownership be approved by NHTSA prior to the title changing hands. The seller will work with the buyer to ensure all limitations are understood and that compliance with the current “show or display” requirements are met. Buyers should be aware that the vehicle is limited to use of no more than 2,500 miles per year and must be made available for inspection by NHTSA until the vehicle is not less than 25 years old. Please note the title for this lot is in transit. A 4-6 week delay is expected.

Built to celebrate Bernd Schneider's Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters championship win in 2003, the Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG offered customers an experience as close as one could get to a championship winning DTM car - but certified for road use. Overseen by AMG, construction of the 100 coupé and 80 cabriolet examples was charged to HWA AG, the firm responsible for Schneider’s all-conquering 2003 racer. The differences between the CLK DTM and CLK55 AMG were far more than just skin deep.

At its heart lay a 5.4-litre supercharged V-8 producing 582 horsepower, which was mated to Mercedes-Benz’s Speedshift 5G-Tronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Its performance credentials were highly impressive, with a 0-62 mph time of just four seconds and a top speed of 200 mph. Renowned for its brutal power delivery, a surfeit of torque meant that smoking the rear tires under hard acceleration was a regular occurrence well into third gear, making for a truly hair-raising driving experience.

The cabin reflects the model’s competition heritage, with the rear seats of the production C209 thrown out to make space for two front bucket seats fitted with four-point harnesses. The focused and purposeful interior features a squared-off steering wheel inspired by the track variant, bare carbon fiber door panels, and a rear brace behind the bucket seats to aid in chassis stiffness. Toggle switches, placed in what would be the ash tray on a standard CLK, control the traction control, stability control, and transmission settings, allowing the driver to unleash the DTM’s full potential with the flick of a switch. The front fenders, bumpers, and rear fender flares are all made of carbon fiber and other custom touches by HWA AG can be found throughout the car.

This particular CLK DTM AMG was finished in the quintessential color combination of Brilliant Silver over Anthracite, and was specified for its home market of Germany. Constructed in 2005, the car was bought from Auto Leitner in the Netherlands by the previous owner, who set about importing and federalizing the car in the United States through the Show and Display exemption, utilizing G&K Automotive Services in Santa Ana, California to do so. After its federalization, the car accrued minimal mileage. Presenting beautifully throughout, at the time of cataloguing the odometer read just 4,596 kilometers. A recent drive by an RM Sotheby’s specialist found the car to be aggressively thrilling to drive with incredible performance far out shadowing expectations.

A vanishingly rare sight in Europe, let alone the United States, the CLK DTM AMG is surely one of the most compelling road-going racers of the 21st century. Bristling with competition technology and built by the very firm that delivered Bernd Schneider his third championship victory, this remarkable piece of Mercedes history is perhaps the ideal stablemate to an SLR McLaren or CLK GTR, and will surely remain highly sought after in years to come.

Sotheby’s Sealed is a novel online auction platform offering some of the world’s most significant cars to a global audience. The proprietary system has been used to sell Juan Fangio’s personal Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, the fabled white Ferrari Enzo, McLaren F1 chassis no. 059, and now this CLK DTM AMG.