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Launched in 2000, the second-generation Mercedes-Benz CL-Class coupe (C215) is based upon the W220 S-Class chassis, offering wonderful comfort in everyday driving but an engaging and thrilling drive when the situation arises.

The CL55 AMG is powered by a 5.4-litre V8 engine putting out 355bhp to the rear wheels, via an automatic transmission. Able to sprint from 0-62mph in 6 seconds flat, the performance of this executive coupé was something of a mystery to the uninitiated, thanks to the largely understated looks and very subtle AMG-specific additions to the bodywork.

With only 2,217 examples of the naturally aspirated V8-powered CL55 being produced before the switch to a supercharged unit in 2002, these early CL55s are relatively rare, with production numbers of the later model being nearly double that of these early cars. A total of 2,217 pre-2002 cars were produced, versus a total of 4,163 post-2002 supercharged models built.

In addition to its impressive power output and performance, the CL-Class also added numerous comfort and safety features, several of which represented the first time Mercedes-Benz, or indeed any manufacturer, had implemented such systems on a production car. Highlights of these systems include Distronic Cruise Control (an ancestor of today’s Adaptive Cruise Control) adjustable speed limiters, keyless start, a self-opening and closing trunk, and bi-xenon headlights.

The Vehicle

First registered on 17 March 2001, this CL55 AMG has formed part of the vendor’s small personal car collection, which includes several other executive, high-class vehicles. Used sparingly throughout its current ownership, the vendor is putting it up for sale due to lack of time to make the most of the wonderful V8 power plant and due to other, more waterborne, priorities.

From the factory, this is a well-specced vehicle, benefitting from the above mentioned features along with the extended Nappa leather interior, which includes the rear shelf, dashboard and door cards. The vehicle has also been fitted with a battery isolator switch which can be seen in the photographs below, in order to avoid draining the battery when the vehicle is parked up for long periods of time.

On the Outside

The exterior of this high-performance ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ is in good shape for its age, showing only a few minor marks around the body which are seen in the photographs below. The bonnet and rear bumper have both been resprayed during the vendor’s ownership, with the invoice amounting to £600 during March 2021.

Under the front bumper there are numerous scuffs from the vehicle catching kerbs, though we saw nothing beyond the sort of wear that would be commensurate for a vehicle of this age during our inspection. The front grille area has a few marks on it, though again this is to be expected from a 20-year-old car. All four wheels are in great shape, with only minor scuffing present which is nigh-on invisible from a distance.

Part of the appeal of these high-end Mercedes’ is the double-glazed windows, which cut down external noise significantly. On this example, both front windows are beginning to de-laminate on the outside edge, with the passenger side being particularly affected, though this had no impact on the impressively calm and quiet experience inside the cabin.

The boot is usually operated on a popper system from within the vehicle or off the keys, and closed by a button within the boot lid. Unfortunately, this system does not appear to be working which requires the boot to be opened manually with the key in the lock. When closed, the offside rear corner of the boot needs a little persuasion, due to what appears to be a tight joint. A photo of this issue is available in the gallery below.

On the Inside

Inside, it clear that this CL55 is from the time where Mercedes-Benz were well known for over-engineering their cars, as evidenced by the heavy doors, high-quality interior fit and finish and sumptuous Nappa leather. As previously mentioned, this example benefits from the extended Nappa leather package, which presents in generally excellent condition throughout the cabin, with only the usual age-related wear to the front seat bolsters being noticeable.

The door cards show a few minor scuffs to the lower sections, while the high-traffic areas such as the door handles and switchgear are beginning to show signs of wear-and-tear. The sill plates, too, are beginning to exhibit a few marks, but this is commensurate with the age of the car.

The on-board radio and satellite navigation system appears to all be working correctly, though the CD for the navigation system is not present. The sunroof is in perfect working condition, and the mechanism shows no sign of heavy wear.

The vendor notes that the cruise control and tire pressure systems are not working correctly, with the latter being due to replacement with standard valves following a previous failure. In addition to this, the servicing notification appears on the dashboard upon startup, though this is due to the car having been barely used in the last two years, making the service overdue on a time rather than mileage basis.


Inside the voluminous engine bay, the 5.4-litre V8 looks to be in wonderful visual condition, with no signs of leaks or seeping. The vendor confirmed this by parking the car on their in-laws driveway for a number of months, who are fastidious about the presentation of their house and warned of dire consequences should this M-B spill oil on their driveway. Good news - there were no drips, and the vendor lived to see another day!

During our inspection, we didn’t notice any concerning signs underneath the vehicle, with everything looking to be solid and exhibiting only a minor surface ‘bloom’ of corrosion which is expected of a vehicle that is 20 years old. The most recent MOT test on 02 March 2021 resulted in a first-time pass, with only two advisories for both front lower shock absorber assemblies having slightly worn ball joints.

During our short journey in the vehicle, the car was happy to start, idle smoothly and drove well. The gearbox was silky-smooth, and there were no noticeable bumps, clunks or other untoward noises. The tyres are all in good condition with plenty of tread, and other than the aforementioned TPMS and servicing interval warnings, there are no warning lights on the dashboard. Viewers should note that in the video the seat back position warning comes up on the dashboard, however this is due to the passenger seat back not being upright at the time, rather than a connection issue.

History Highlights

The history file supplied with the vehicle isn’t the most extensive, but gives a good history of the vehicle in current ownership. All the original Mercedes-Benz supplied literature, handbooks and manuals are present and in excellent condition, along with a fully stamped service history. There is a large gap in the servicing record, which is due to the low mileage accumulated between services, though we’d always suggest servicing a vehicle regularly regardless of the mileage.

In addition to the official Mercedes-Benz paperwork and handbooks, there are a number of past MOT certificates, along with invoices for sundry items and the paintwork that was carried out to the bonnet and rear bumper. The V5 is also present, and shows two owners prior to the vendor.

What We Think

Presenting in great condition throughout, this CL 55 benefits from low ownership and sensible mileage with limited use in recent years; This 2001 Mercedes-Benz CL 55 AMG offers a fantastic opportunity to obtain a true modern classic blending style, comfort and performance in one wonderfully pillar-less package.

We estimate that this high-performance executive coupe will fetch in the region of £7,500-£9,500 so if you’re interested, be sure to keep an eye out for when the auction goes live and get your bids in early!

This vehicle is not with us at The Market’s HQ, which means we have had to rely on the owner’s description of it, in conjunction with the photographs you see here, to compile the listing. With this in mind, we would encourage potential bidders to contact the owner themselves and arrange to view the car in person, or to arrange a dedicated video call in which they can view the car virtually and ask questions.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: Shipton Under Wychwood, Oxfordshire
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 74250
  • Chassis Number: WDB2153732A016052
  • Engine: 5.4
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Colour: Tanzanite Blue
  • Interior: Light Grey Leather

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