In 1998, Mercedes-Benz built the CLK LM to take on the FIA GT Championship in the premier GT1 class, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It dominated the series, though it failed to finish at Le Mans due to reliability issues.
Just four examples are thought to have been built in total, and now one of them is up for sale.
According to its listing on Piston Heads, the striking race car is available via London-based dealership JM Performance and was used purely as a test vehicle during its motorsports career. After that career ended, the car was sold into private hands, initially to a customer in Japan. It’s been with its current owner in the U.K. since 2017. It isn’t clear when it was converted for road car use.
Road-legal 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK LM race car – Photo credit: Piston Heads
The CLK LM is the successor to the much more widely known Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR built a year prior. While that car required 25 road-going homologation specials to be built, the CLK LM needed just one.
That sole CLK LM homologation is currently in private hands and may eventually turn up for sale one day. Until that happens, anyone with a desire for a road-legal CLK LM can purchase this car from JM Performance. No price is mentioned in the listing.
For the CLK LM, Mercedes swapped out the CLK GTR’s V-12 engine in favor of a V-8 deemed to be better able to last racing around the clock at Le Mans. The mid-mounted engine is a 5.0-liter unit rated at close to 600 hp. It’s paired with a 6-speed sequential transmission and spins the rear wheels only.
With the next season of the GT Championship adopting a prototype class for its premier class, Mercedes ended the CLK LM program, replacing it with the CLR prototype. That car had a disastrous outing at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans, with aerodynamic issues causing multiple high-speed flips.