I’m not going to lie: I’ve been staring at this replica of the famed Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR for about 20 minutes now, unsure how to even begin writing about it. I could pick it apart in excruciating detail, but the more I study it, the closer I come to the conclusion that such an exercise would be pointless.
This CLK GTR tribute, discovered outside a Dollar Tree in Miami and shared to Twitter over the weekend by user @s2kmarc, is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. The objective here — to recreate a beloved idol of ’90s motorsport — is an undertaking so arduous that it was destined to fail, no matter how well-planned the project was, or how tireless the attention to detail. And yet, this brave soul chose to go forward anyway, out of love. You have to respect that.
We don’t know for sure what vehicle is really under this homologation special silhouette, but the consensus seems to be that the car began life as a W210 E-Class. (Indeed, the A-pillar looks pretty similar.) Perhaps an actual CLK would have made for a more appropriate starting point, though the CLK GTR shares so little with the road car it’s named after, the choice of donor vehicle is almost irrelevant.
The CLK GTR’s most memorable cues are visible throughout, from the car’s multiple side intakes to its unique rear wing, even down to the latches that keep its removable panels in place. There’s even a roof scoop!
From the side, it’s clear to see the wheelbase has been lengthened, again displaying an impressive degree of dedication. And given that this is probably an E-Class we’re looking at, it appears there may also be some room for a couple of passengers in the back, so long as you can slide those front seats forward far enough. You’d be hard-pressed to fit four people into a real CLK GTR, considering there’s normally a 6.9-liter V12 in the way. Score one for the replica in the practicality column, then.
Mercedes built 26 roadgoing CLK GTR examples, with the final six being roadsters. One chassis was being sold for $2.7 million back in 2017. Neither you nor I will ever own one. But rather than accept that harsh reality, this person actually went ahead, took matters into their own hands and did something about it. I don’t know about you, but I feel inspired.