Weekly Treasure: 2003 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG

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New 500 horsepower luxury coupes like this don't exist anymore.

There was a time when big luxury coupes were worth the investment from automakers. They were still considered somewhat niche, but a sufficient number of buyers kept coming back. Today, the segment is nearly dead with only a few survivors remaining. Among them is the BMW 8 Series. Ironically, that vehicle is a partial response to the now-discontinued S-Class Coupe and Convertible and its AMG variants. But the segment was strong enough at one point that Mercedes felt it necessary to give the S-Class coupe its own separate model line, called the CL-Class.

First launched in 1996, the CL differs from the SL-Class because it was a hardtop coupe alternative to the Mercedes S-Class Sedan. No convertible version was offered.

Craigslist
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Craigslist

A total of three CL generations were built until 2014 and AMG managed to get its hands on all three. Earlier versions are a bit harder to come by today since production was typically limited; AMG had not yet become the mainstream high-performance division it is today. One of those rare AMG-fettled CLs is the 2003 CL55 AMG. Beginning in 2000, Mercedes offered the CL 55 AMG F1 Limited Edition powered by a 5.4-liter V8 rated at 355 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. Although that output is not impressive by today's luxury standards, Mercedes discovered there was sufficient interest despite only building 55 examples.

And so an upgraded CL55 AMG arrived in 2002, only this time a supercharger was bolted to the V8 for a new total of 493 hp and 516 lb-ft. Zero to 60 mph dropped from 6 seconds to 4.8 seconds.

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Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist

Production figures still weren't at mainstream levels but in 2003, for example, 200 units were exported to the US. And now one of them is currently up for grabs on Craigslist Los Angeles.

The seller claims they've owned this black on black example for eight years and it has a total of 207,500 miles. That's not exactly a low number but the M113 V8's engine is known for its durability - as long as it's properly maintained. The example in question boasts staggered-width 22-inch wheels, tinted windows, and a few other minor modifications. The engine, however, is stock. The seller is firm on the $14,500 cash-only price but that's still pretty decent considering this thing has 500 hp on tap and was born in Affalterbach.

Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist
Source Credits: Craigslist

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