It’s Amazing How Well the Mercedes CLK Black Series Still Stands Out After 14 Years

I kind of love when car pictures end up candidly including people hanging out.

The Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series, or at least the idea of it, is appreciated by every car fan I’ve talked to about it. The concept is such a cool execution of “aggressive elaboration on a sport-luxury vehicle.” Not everything looks good with fender bulges and big wheels bolted to it, but this car’s done right. It’s also pretty rare. So, seeing one in person, let alone two is a treat. Incredibly, there was a black one plus this white one at this month’s Cars and Coffee Los Angeles Meet yesterday.

  • Car: Mercedes-Benz 220SE (it looks like a W111) and a Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series
  • Location: Griffith Park, Los Angeles (@carsandcoffeelosangeles)
  • Photog: Andrew Collins (@andrewatlarge)
  • Camera: Canon PowerShot G7X MKIII

The deal with CLK63 Black is that it’s an absolute beast. This was not just a hard-partying luxury car like most V8 AMGs, it was an extreme performance vehicle that rivaled the mighty Porsche 911 GT3 according to MotorWeek. 4.1 seconds to 60, 12 seconds to a quarter-mile, and an exhaust note that can shake your bones. Sadly I couldn’t find any YouTube clips that really do the car’s song justice, so if you know of a good one drop it in the comments.

Otherwise, the car famously impressed Top Gear‘s Jeremy Clarkson enough for him to buy one (though he eventually sold it) and more recently Doug DeMuro straight-up called it “the best AMG car.” Check out his video if you’re looking for a little tour:

Matt Farah also seemed pretty impressed when he took a spin in a CLK Black for The Smoking Tire:

If you’re fired up to buy one now, bring the bucks because it doesn’t look like it’s happening for less than six figures these days. Oh well, they’re still fun to admire in pictures and at shows.

Speaking of which, I ended up spending something like 10 hours at car meets this weekend. No regrets; the All Makes Welcome joint in Long Beach and C&C LA were both a good time. It’s great to finally meet people I have chatted with on Twitter and Insta, which seems to end up happening every time I roll up to one of these parking lot social events.

The Griffith Park parking lot show in particular has grown dramatically since the last time I came through one (pre-COVID). I rolled in just a few minutes after the official start and the parking lot was packed, mostly with Mercedes-Benzes. Turns out Merc was the theme, so they were on the scene in force.

This pictured I grabbed here was one of my favorites of the day because I love a good old car/new car dichotomy, even though the CLK is hardly “new” anymore (in fact that coupe would be about a decade old) but it looks like a spaceship next to the clean and dignified 1960s sedan. When I took this shot, the sun was blasting me in the face so I couldn’t see the camera’s viewfinder. I brought shades, but alas, they were a pair of dumb gas-station cheapos I’d gotten semi-ironically and they were so dark they might as well have been made of solid opaque plastic.

All this to say: I didn’t even realize there were humans in the shot too until I opened it up on my computer. I know, I know, you’d think I would have noticed in person while taking the picture. But there was so much to look at my eyes were darting around like I was a golden retriever at a tennis match. The people do add a good layer of depth to the shot, though. With them there, it’s a scene, not just a picture.

Andrew P. Collins
Andrew P. Collins

Andrew’s the Editor-In-Chief of Car Bibles and an experienced writer, amateur mechanic, and off-road expedition guide with just a little racing experience. He’s particularly fond of tuner cars and old trucks. Contact the author here.