At the time of its introduction, Car and Driver opined that the CLK 55 was likely the quickest car Mercedes sold in the U.S.. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe example is probably not quite so quick since it’s the heavier convertible, but we’ll still need to decide if its price means it will quickly sell.
As Peter De Vries decried in his novel titled The Tents of Wickedness, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. We started off the week with a car that really represented another era—a 1984 Buick Regal T-Type turbo—and that model now being classified as an antique upset a number of you who are of an age that can recall when these were new, and hence might suffer similar ascription.
That was pretty much the only lament leveled at the car, and at $10,500 its price found majority favor too, coming in at a narrow 53 percent Nice Price win.
Let’s consider old folks for a hot minute. You know, the silver foxes, the sexy senior citizens, golden years celebrants, or whatever it is they are called these days. What kind of car do you think those old farts tend to drive?
Well, truth be told, oldsters are just like you and me (and full disclosure, I’m no spring chicken anymore myself) and they can drive whatever the hell they want.
Point-in-fact, back when Toyota learned that older Americans were their gravy train but worried that the demographic would not provide the long-term solution to profits they were seeking, they came out with Scion to attract younger buyers. Do you know what happened as a result? The older folks started buying Scions! They alarmingly also started inappropriately interjecting terms like “Dope Homie,” “Biotch,” and “Crunk” into their daily conversations, so Toyota did the right thing and killed Scion off.
That experiment may have failed, but it proved my point that age is not a significant metric in gauging an automobile’s appeal, outside of who can afford it. Take for example this 2002 Mercedes Benz CLK 55 AMG.
This is described in its ad as being “Grandpas car,” and not only does its seller claim that Grandpa ensured that the car was “well looked after,” it goes further to note that he did “all of the service himself.” That’s the kind of granddad you want, my friends, one who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty keeping a cool car on the road.
And this is a pretty cool car. Under the hood lies a 5429cc DOHC V8 that was hand-built by AMG. In the tight confines of the CLK’s engine bay, that romper-stomper mill pumps out 342 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of titty twist. That’s more power than the comparable BMW M3 of the time and gets the 3,845-pound CLK to sixty in a brisk five seconds. It’ll carry the car all the way up to an electronically-controlled top end of 155 miles per hour as well.
Backing up the big-boy engine is an AMG-massaged five-speed SPEEDSHIFT automatic. That’s standard fare here since nobody has time for rowing your own when there’s so much fun to be had just pressing the loud pedal.
The AMG improvements go beyond that drivetrain and include a fatter driveshaft, heavy-duty diff, and firmer suspension goodies. The wheel arches are filled with AMG alloys wearing undisclosed meats and those are surrounded by a deep rocker extension and AMG model-specific bumpers.
This all looks to be in pretty good shape too. The silver paint is offset by a black convertible top and an appreciably small amount of brightwork. A sizable crack in the front valance—likely the result of an encounter with a parking berm or aggressive entrance to a driveway apron—appears the only issue here, although that does seem to have made the whole front bumper a bit askew. Maybe Gramps was late to the Early Bird dinner somewhere?
The interior on the car doesn’t show the 125,000 miles the seller claims it’s done. The sport seats are awash in leather and the entire space is a bit of a coal pit enlivened only by some lovely wood and a surprisingly big screen for the infotainment system. Everything seems to be working and the ad says the car “runs and drives amazing and is astonishingly fast.” That’s probably why Grandpa fitted a radar detector to the windscreen.
The ad also notes a clear title although the pics show out of date registration so perhaps Grandpa hasn’t been keeping up with his DMV appointments during the COVID.
That aside, there’s a lot to like about this hot rod Benz. These are pretty solid cars and with the drop-top, they can be mobile tanning salons as well. Consider this car with its more capacious rear seats, in comparison to the similar age Porsche 911 we looked at last Friday. Now consider that this Mercedes is asking over ten thousand dollars less than did the Porsche.
That asking is $5,700, and it’s now time for you to let me know your thoughts on that price in comments and votes below.
What do you think, is this CLK 55 AMG worth that kind of do-re-mi? Or, is this a Grandpa’s Car with a price that got old fast?
H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!
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