You will no doubt be aware that Formula One is in Las Vegas this week, with the city holding its first Grand Prix in four decades on Saturday night. But before all that, there’s just about time for a massive automotive auction.
Held in Las Vegas this Friday, 17 November, the RM Sotheby’s auction includes 39 lots ranging from an ex-Lewis Hamilton, race-winning F1 car (guided to $10 million to $15 million), and a LaFerrari Apart (around $5 million) to a McLaren Elva with the most eye-catching paintwork I think I’ve ever seen (a bargain at around $2 million).
But, while an ex-Hamilton racer is special, it’ll likely share the auction results podium with two other cars built by Mercedes.
The first is a 1999 CLK GTR Coupe. The seventh of just 20 produced, this is a homologation special built for street use so that Mercedes could enter the FIA GT1 race series, which it went on to win twice. Describes by Sotheby’s as “one of the finest and best-engineered racing sports cars ever created,” the car has covered 4,300 miles from new and has recently racked up over $70,000 of servicing bills from classic car specialist DK Engineering.
As well as being a one-of-20, it is also one of only three examples to feature a tartan gabardine interior inspired by the 1955 Mille Miglia-winning Mercedes 300 SLR of Sir Stirling Moss. The CLK GTR carries a guide price of $8 million to $9 million.
Should it sell, the lucky buyer of lot number 19 might want to stick around and double-down, as lot 38 is another CLK GTR – and this time it’s the even rarer Roadster. Built in 2002, this is the third example of just six ever made. Powered by AMG’s 6.9-liter V12 engine, the open-topped convertible has covered just 105 miles from new and comes with a set of fitted luggage.
Mercedes initially built a single Roadster during the Coupe production run, but it proved so popular among enthusiasts that five more were produced, using spare CLK GTR chassis once Coupe production had ended. The extremely rare car carries a guide price of $10,500,000 to $13 million.
Sotheby’s says of the car, “Any CLK GTR Roadster coming to market is momentous. In the case of this particular example, it is even more so, given its well-documented history and extremely low mileage. For supercar completists, marque connoisseurs, or racecar aficionados seeking a singular automotive representing the reaffirmation of Mercedes-Benz’s sportscar racing mastery nearly 100 years after its first successes, there is no better road-going model than the CLK GTR Roadster.”
Has someone flown into Vegas this week with plans to buy the matching pair? It’s an enticing thought, but one that is likely to demand between $18 million and $22 million (plus fees, of course).