Built to be Driven: 2006 CLK DTM Cabriolet

There are certain cars we try to feature whenever and wherever they pop up for sale. Always hovering near the top of that list is the W209 CLK DTM. If the last one we found wasn’t your first choice in Fire Opal Red (590), or you’d just rather not worry about importing one of these 80 rare cabriolets from Europe or Dubai, you’re in luck because Bring a Trailer currently has one listed here under premium auction and it’s being sold out of Southport, NC. For those of you worried about regulations around having this car in the country, bid with confidence. The car was imported to the US in 2009 under a “show or display” exemption and was converted to meet US EPA standards by JK Technologies of Baltimore, Maryland.

If you’re unfamiliar with why these are so cool, let’s start with the basics. In the early 2000’s, Mercedes-Benz dominated the German Touring Car Championships or Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM). As a celebration and engineering flex, the masterminds at AMG created a homologated edition of the then-new W209 CLK. A total of 180 units of these cars were destined for market, 80 of which would be cabriolets. Although the CLK DTM was never offered for the North American market, it is still possible to title and register it here- We’ll get to that further along. While the better-known younger brother CLK63 Black Series was powered by the 6.2 litre M156, the CLK DTM borrowed it’s powerplant from the SL55 at the time. AMG waved a wand over the already-hot supercharged 5.4 litre engine and stuffed 582 horsepower into this W209. With forged pistons, new intake and exhaust, revised cam duration and more boost for the supercharger, it produces 572bhp at 6100rpm and 590 lb-ft at 3500rpm. The CLK DTM was then made lighter, wider, and stiffer to best resemble a true DTM race car for the road and weekend track use. If you haven’t run a data card lookup on a CLK DTM, we highly recommend doing so. Some very interesting options and features are solely listed for these, but one of the weirdest notes you’ll come across is under the “order location” heading which, for this particular car reads: AMG Direct Business.

This particular example shows 16k miles on the odometer and as the seller states, this one is not the undriven garage queen. Although the mileage isn’t high, most of these live with only a few thousand miles on the clock never to be driven more than a couple hundred miles per year. Combine the use with the fact that this example is much more accessible to our North American audience and we see this as a total win compared to newer more “mass-produced” options at this price point.

Finished in Bright Silver Metallic or Iridium Silver in some markets (775) over an Anthracite Leather and grey Alcantara interior, this car certainly looks as good as it drives. Aesthetically the CLK DTM boasts some serious design cues from the Affalterbach masterminds with wider wheel arches, optimized aero, and a more utilitarian interior. The gauge cluster manages to “simplify” it’s readout for the driver in about half the space typically allotted on Mercedes of this era. In combining the tach and speedo while leaving room for larger, more visible oil and coolant temp readouts, this is purely a feature most usable on the track or at high speeds. Climate and COMAND are positioned in the as normal but any auxiliary switchgear is hidden under a panel just ahead of the shifter. ESP, EDW, and even the retractable soft top are controlled with airplane toggle switches instead of those oversized plastic panels typically used in the W209’s. The seats, trim, and even the tiny shift knob are created with weight savings in mind to remind you this is a purpose-built beast.

We expect this car to sell in the area of $300k under this auction and hope it remains in the United States for years to come. Some purists will debate whether or not the car is worth the price given some of the use-marks, scuffs, and additions (lap timer, aftermarket head unit, etc) but to the driving minded enthusiast, these add to value and the buyers ability to enjoy this example. The seller, in addition to providing more than 100 fantastic photos, has included a start-up video here along with a video tour of the interior here. This is the closest many will get to seeing all the special details and appointments specific to the CLK DTM so enjoy the shots and moreover, enjoy the show that is the auction for this very special AMG.




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