After our 09 C63 AMG sold, we began the search for the next car that would occupy a spot in our garage.
With so many cars available in the $60-$75k range, there is where we set our sights.
What about trying the E92 BMW M3 we initially wanted?
How about the absurdly quick Nissan GT-R?
Would we even like the refined cruiser Maserati GranTurismo?
How about a 997 Porsche 911 Turbo?
All those cars crossed our mind until we came across an unassuming ad on 6SpeedOnline for a 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series.
The ad was quite horrible honestly with bad pictures and lack of details, but what got our attention was the already attractive asking price of $70,000 and only 10,000 miles.
So with that limited information, we decided to find out more, especially considering the car was local to us too.
The CLK63 AMG Black Series
Not many people know about the CLK63 AMG Black Series as it was just the second “Black Series” edition car produced by Mercedes.
With only 350 sold in the US, the chances of you seeing one on the road is rare. In fact, you would have a better chance of seeing a Bugatti Veyron than a CLK63 AMG Black Series.
It was offered new only in 2008 with an asking price of $130,000.
The “Black Series” editions are nothing more than Mercedes attempt at making a ‘track focused’ road-going sports car, and targeted track-oriented cars like the Porsche GT3 or Turbo, and to some extent the E92 BMW M3.
It’s a really simply formula that calls for more power, lighter weight (decrease of 100 lbs), strengthened chassis, and tuning for handling.
But what set apart the CLK63 AMG Black Series from the rest (and even other Mercedes) are the looks. Never have we seen before a Mercedes with a factory widebody kit (with heavy styling cues from DTM racing), and an interior and exterior filled with carbon fiber.
While the looks were quite menacing, it was subtle enough to only be recognized and respected by other car enthusiasts.
Just like our 09 C63 AMG, the CLK63 AMG Black Series has the same M156 6.2L V8 engine but tuned to 500HP and mated to the same 7 speed transmission.
While based on the CLK63 AMG coupe with 4 seats, the Black Series removes the rear seats making it a true 2 seater.
Checking Out the Car
With somewhat unsure expectations we set out to check out this CLK63 AMG in-person. Much to our surprised, it was actually in fantastic condition.
We mean concours or collector car quality. Not a single dent, scratch, blemish ANYWHERE on this car.
If you told us this car was fresh off the show room floor without looking at the mileage we would’ve believed you.
Even the seats were pristine too because the seller installed seat covers from day 1.
We did our usual visual inspection inside and out, and then embarked on a test drive to see how the car behaves.
Even though this car is low mileage, it is important to take note on how the engine, engine mounts, bushings, transmission, and tires feel, as dry rotting and lack of fluids circulating can cause issues.
We felt comfortable with the car and the seller and decided to move forward with a pre-purchase inspection to get an expert opinion.
We had our friends at European Auto Source to do the pre-purchase inspection for us as they were close to the seller and knowledgable with Mercedes.
As you can expect, a car with 10,000 miles in pristine condition shouldn’t raise any red flags, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The report came back and the car passed with flying colors.
However there is one thing to remember…
The M156 V8 engine in the C63 and other AMGs of that generation (prior to 2011) are all prone to the headbolt issue.
This CLK63 AMG Black Series had no warranty as it had expired. But our research did not show any records of CLK63 AMG owners experience headbolt failure.
This is not to say that it wouldn’t happen, but we knew going into this that it was a possibility.
Regardless we decided to move forward and not let the ‘unknowns’ stop us.
Closing The Deal
With all signs looking good, we came back around to the seller to begin the negotiation process.
With a perfect PPI report there wasn’t enough leverage.
However, we did notice the car had been for sale for a short time period which indicates a willingness to sell.
As we said earlier, the the car was already offered at an aggressive price of $70,000, so we didn’t want to kill the deal by low-balling.
Low-balling is a waste of time for yourself and the seller as they won’t take you seriously.
It’s always better to make educated offers, or offers with background and context to justify WHY you think your offer is fair.
Long story short, we settled for $66,000 and now was off to the races to secure financing.
We went with Pentagon Federal Credit Union again and secured a 60 mo loan at 2.99% with $0 down.
All-in we were at $69,300 ($66,000 sale price and ~5% tax of $3,300)
When it comes to a car like the CLK63 AMG Black Series, it’s often better to leave these cars in its purist form.
Meaning that enthusiasts and collectors buy these cars and usually modifications of any sort will actually de-value your car for the next buyer.
The car looks greats, sounds good, and literally doesn’t need anything except an owner to put a couple thousand miles on it, and that’s what we plan to do.
We’re not sure how long we will hold onto this car, but it will serve as our daily drive and have the duty of doing 100+ miles daily in our commute.
When it comes down to value and how it will hold up during our ownership, you’ll just have to stay tuned to see!