RHD Mercedes CLK-GTRs sold

RHD Mercedes CLK-GTR Roadster. Sold at auction for £616,000

RHD Mercedes CLK-GTR Roadster. Sold at auction for £616,000RM Auctions London sale last night sold the RHD Mercedes CLK-GTRs, a 1950 Aston Martin DB2 and a 1969 Mercedes 600 Pullman Landaulet.Last month we reported that R.M. Auctions were going to auction the only two right hand drive versions of the mighty Mercedes CLK-GTR. The only coupe and the only roadster ever made were put under the hammer last night in London and sold above estimate.

The CLK-GTR Coupe fetched £522,500 and the Roadster fetched £616,000 (prices include buyers premium). Which seems like a great deal of money for a couple of decade-old Mercedes, and is above the estimate set by RM. But actually, the price is a bit on the low side.

The problem with these two cars is that they were right hand drive. But they’re the only RHD ones made, I hear you cry. True enough, being RHD makes them unique but it also makes them less valuable. They could only really sell to a UK buyer, one from Hong Kong or maybe Singapore. Import duty in other RHD markets such as Australia, South Africa and India would – in some cases – have doubled the cost of the cars, making them not the most attracative buy.

It’s bad enough in the UK where imported cars have to pay VAT (15%) and in some cases (depending on history) a 10% import duty. But in countries like India the import duty can be over 100%. A comparable LHD CLK-GTR would command around £800,00 + tax, so these RHD cars were actually something of a snip.

Although these two cars were originally built for the Sultan of Brunei they were not, as had been reported, being sold by him. They were bought some time ago by a Singapore businessman from the Sultan and it was that businessman who put them in the auction after failing to sell them privately.

But it was a successful night for RM with 87% of the lots selling. Another highlight was the sale of 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Team Car ‘VMF 64’ with Le Mans and Mille Miglia provenance which went for £550,000 – a new record. And the Mercedes 600 Pullman Landaulet we reported on a few weeks ago went for five times its estimate – fethcing a pretty remarkable £308,000.