We won’t say the Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR was a forgettable memento of 1990's supercar motoring, but it does tend to get overshadowed sometimes and we don’t really understand why. Both the street and race variants – the latter of which positively dominated the FIA GT Championship in the late 1990s with 17 wins in just 22 races – were phenomenal machines. It seems Mercedes might be aware of this oversight, because the automaker has released a short YouTube video reminding the world just how awesome this car was.
The video takes us back to 1997 and 1998, and features some rare footage of the car’s development process along with interviews and racing action. In an industry where such endeavors are typically years in the making, designers and engineers went from concept to final product in just 126 days. Such abbreviated timetables aren’t unheard of in motorsports – the original Ford GT40 went from paper to track in less than a year, but it took a couple years to get the winning combination dialed in.
Mercedes built the CLK GTR in the waning months of 1996 and the beginning of 1997, then won the GT1 championship that same year. And it’s not like the overall victory was a fluke, because the team then won every single race for the 1998 season.
The car only saw two seasons of racing before FIA cancelled the category, but that’s all it took to cement the legacy. Only 25 CLK GTR road cars were made to meet the minimum homologation requirements, so perhaps that – combined with the race car's brief reign in the FIA GT series – is why people sometimes forget about this amazing piece of supercar history.
In any case, thank you Mercedes-AMG for giving us this delectable reminder of why we should remember the CLK GTR.
Source: Mercedes-AMG via YouTube