Danny’s Value Play of the Month


Danny’s Value Play of The Month:  2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 Black Series


You forgot about the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 Black Series…But I didn’t.  I’ve been a fan all along.  2008 was the only year that Mercedes-Benz brought, what is in my opinion, the greatest “track inspired” Mercedes road car ever to the United States and it is also the year that my love affair with AMG cars was cemented for eternity.

The original AMG “Black Series” was based on the CLK chassis and featured a host of performance upgrades and a limited production run of 500, of which just 367 came to the US (per Car and Driver) making it more rare than a Porsche 918.  This magnificent car, was inspired by the track dominating CLK DTM and shared similar elements of carbon fiber and cooling vents which made for an aggressive and functional, yet still somewhat subtle appearance.  These Aero Dynamic enhancements are what gives the 2008 CLK63 Black Series its incredible road presence.  You simply need to see one of these cars in person to truly appreciate it.  It is low, wide and loud, like all great cars should be!

Power comes from the famous Mercedes-Benz AMG 6.2L V8 making 507 and 465 lb. ft. of torque.  Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 7 speed G Tronic Automatic with paddle shifters which is also the most commonly criticized element of the car.  Having owned and driven one of these cars for over a year and for several thousand miles, I can tell you that the transmission feels durable, well-built and simple.  It is not a super-fast-shifting dual clutch like a modern Ferrari F1 system, but it is a useful tool and it seems to always be in the right gear.  In manual mode there is plenty of ability to override the system and shift the car yourself.  This is not a down fall of the car in my opinion and it is in fact far superior to many of the other semi-automatic touch-shift style trannies of the period.  In summary:  This is a gearbox that you can live.


Now for value:

In 2008, Mercedes-Benz priced the CLK63 Black Series at $138,000.  There were basically no options other than color.  To my knowledge, the car was only offered in Obsidian Black, Iridium Silver, Imola Red and Glacier White.  Today, you can purchase a nice pre-owned example for under $75,000 (and as low as $50,000).  To me the CLK63 AMG Black Series is arguably one of the best cars to acquire at that price point.  Not only is it fun to drive with everyday usability, it doubles as a wicked weekend or track car.  In addition to the great looks, phenomenal engine and low production numbers, the CLK63 BS seems to have it’s own unique charm.  All the systems in the car seem to work well.  Like a lot of German cars, it gives you the sensation that it is well build and purposeful.  The styling, materials and ergonomics of the interior seem current and relevant, as if they have stood the test of time.

With the depreciation curve fully hit, the only direction for these cars to go is up. Find the right one based on mileage and service history and it may be worth holding on to. Silver and black are easier to find but white and red fetch hefty premiums. There’s a reason Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson bought one for himself after driving it.