Like its 2000's era brethren, the W220 sedan, the the C215 coupe is another oft under-appreciated MB that offers tremendous power, performance and well-aged MB styling.
Today's example would be a great value acquisition even without its incredible aftermarket modifications, as it started life as an already impressive face-lifted CL55 AMG. The 2005 CL55 AMG was powered by the fan-favorite M113K pushing 493 bhp and 516 ft-lbs of torque through the 5-speed gearbox to the rear wheels. Beautifully appointed and equipped with the unbeatable (yet troublesome) Active Body Control (ABC) suspension system, these big body coupes offer incredible performance and beautifully-aged styling at a fraction of their $120,000+ MSRP ($160,000+ in today's money).
In addition to its raw power and reliability, one of the benefits of the M113K platform is the ability to draw incredible performance numbers through modification at relatively inexpensive power-per-dollar numbers. Smaller diameter pulleys for the supercharger and various available ECU/TCU tunes can quickly (and cheaply) turn these already aggressive GT coupes into rivals for their big-brother, the twin-turbo V12-powered CL65.
Offered for sale on craigslist out of Portland, Oregon from Executive Autosport, this example shows what next-level tuning options from a reputable company can really do for one of these already amazing C215 AMG coupes.
According to the Carfax, which we've verified, this CL55 shows no accidents or damage reported, strong dealer service history and only two owners over the 89k miles this coupe has traveled since 2005. All of this would alone be enough to entice us to consider this CL55 at the asking price of $14,999, but there's much more to this coupe than meets the eye.
This example has been heavily modified by renowned tuning house Kleemann to really increase the beast in this amazing AMG. According to the dealer, this CL55 has been fitted by Kleemann with an upgraded supercharger pulley, upgraded injectors, upgraded long-tube headers, Kleemann ECU & transmission re-flash, and the upgraded Kleemann limited slip differential. By our calculations, that makes this a true Kleemann "Stage 3" car.
Additionally, this car wears the upgraded CL65 AMG wheels which, on their own, are an easy $3k upgrade. Just ask any C215 CL65 AMG owner seeking a replacement set...
The car appears to wear an aftermarket rear decklid spoiler (presumably Kleemann) and a set of smoked rear lenses. We could do without the smoked lenses (preferring the clean OEM look) and the oversized Kleemann badging always looks too big for our taste when applied to the rear of these 215s. We understand wanting to advertise the tens of thousands in mods under the hood and with that Kleemann had a slightly smaller font on their badging to match the AMG font size on the other side of rear fascia.
Although upgraded power numbers are not provided by the selling dealer, we're willing to bet this upgraded 55 will give any 65 a run for its money; and all on four less cylinders and no turbochargers to worry about.
If you've got the stomach to stay on top of maintenance and repairs (including the ABC) getting into the C215 market before the bump would be a wise investment for the coming years, as clean examples of these cars are already starting to appreciate on the open market.