2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK 430 Coupe


2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 in California junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsLuxury coupes were falling out of favor among well-heeled American car shoppers around the turn of the century, with luxury trucks gaining sales ground by the minute, but that didn’t stop Mercedes-Benz from releasing a sporty new C-Class-based two-door with a big V8 and big price tag, starting in the 1999 model year: The CLK 430. As so often happens with costly European luxury machinery, this one took a hard depreciation hit during its time on the road, and now it resides in a Northern California self-service yard.

2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 in California junkyard, decklid badge - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsList price on this car started at $49,100 (about $81,100 today), with the V6-powered CLK 320 coupe priced at $41,600. The convertible version of the CLK430 cost an impressive $55,600.

AMG versions of the CLK became available starting in the 2002 model year (yes, they show up in junkyards now), which must have motivated this car’s owner to drop $15.99 on a badge.

2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 in California junkyard, engine - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsEven without the AMG hardware, the CLK 430 was plenty powerful; this 4.3-liter V8 made 275 horsepower. That’s 15 fewer than the ’00 Lexus SC 400 got, but the Lexus weighed 300 pounds more than the Mercedes-Benz.

2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 in California junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsAt some point, probably not long before this car ended up here, the original Black Opal Metallic hood was replaced by this Brilliant Silver one. Perhaps that hood was purchased from this very yard.

2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 in California junkyard, RH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsHow long did the final owner drive the car in this condition? We cannot say.

2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 in California junkyard,decal - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsIn its younger days, this CLK was sold used under the factory Starmark program.

2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 in California junkyard, gauges - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsI’d need to power up the ECU and the gauge cluster to get the final odometer reading on this car. I’ve done so with an 8xAAA battery pack and test leads on a Subaru Forester, but I suspect that a Mercedes-Benz would resist my crude attempts to wake up the odometer.


Pretty much the same thing as a jetpack.

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