Of course, when carmakers do get it right, the results tend to be memorable. Typically (though not always) this occurs when they resolve to throw even more money, power and components at a road car already jam-packed with all three. Mercedes-AMG has made this kind of endeavour a speciality, and did not miss the opportunity in 2003 when Bernd Schneider romped to his third DTM championship in a CLK. Another manufacturer might have been content with already building the CLK55 AMG, a 362hp coupe in its own right - but not Affalterbach.
It hardly stopped there either. Inside the rear seats were deleted and the fronts replaced with one-piece carbon-fibre affairs complete with six-point harnesses. Outside those are 20-inch wheels at the back, clad in 285-section tyres and mounted to a rear suspension that had to be made over not just with new springs and dampers, but different linkages, hub carriers, bushes and a reinforced driveshaft, too. There was a mechanical limited-slip differential as well - all rather handy when AMG had opted to force an additional - and characteristically unhinged - 220hp through the axle. To put its 582hp output into its proper context, the contemporaneous 996 version of the 911 GT2 produced only 483hp.
Fused to the remarkably robust old 5G-Tronic torque-converter, the DTM would crack 62mph in sub 4 seconds and could be trusted to nudge up to 200mph - which, despite weighing 1742kg, made it technically faster than Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale. It was considerably less common, too. Only 100 coupes were built, and only 40 of those were made available in right-hand drive. Unsurprisingly, very lightly used examples have been attaining value pretty much ever since, although admittedly not at the near vertical rate of some rivals. This being PH, there is a choice of cars in the classifieds at the moment, but Showpiece of the Week goes to the Obsidian Black car at Romans with just 7,233 mile on the clock. Yours for £275,000.
SPECIFICATION - CLK DTM AMG
Engine: 5,439cc, V8 supercharged
Transmission: 5-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 582@6,100rpm
Torque (lb ft): 590@3,500rpm
MPG: 20.6 (combined)
First registered: 2005
Recorded mileage: 7,233
Price new: c.£180,000
Yours for: £275,000
See the original advert here.