Micropost: 1997-2003 Mercedes CLK Cabriolet

Today I am throwing stones at the CLK cabriolet.

1997 Mercedes Benz CLK
1997 Mercedes Benz CLK

The part I want you to notice is not the front-end treatment which is intended to make one think of the E-class saloon (W210, for anoraks) which was on sale from 1995 to 2003, about eight years too long. Look at the A-post’s brutal truncation. A nicer but perhaps more costly way would have been to run the A-pillar into the header rail as per, for example, the Mazda MX-5, shown below. I sometimes think that Mercedes do things which aren’t so pleasing and imagine it’s okay because nobody will be looking so critically at their output.

2008 Mazda MX-5: wikipedia.org
2008 Mazda MX-5: wikipedia.org

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

5 thoughts on “Micropost: 1997-2003 Mercedes CLK Cabriolet”

  1. An odd solution, no doubt to grant commonality of appearance with the coupé, but with the effect of making it look like a tin snip convertible. There is a strange black fillet panel at the top of the windscreen too. Nothing wrong with any of it per se, but lacking in finesse.

  2. Why did the first generation CLK get the saloon grille? It was obviously aimed at ‘a younger, more style-orientated clientele’ than the C124, which is the closest thing to a predecessor of this rubbish Merc (even if I fail to spot any similarities – basic grille designs apart).

    The base of the A-pillar is horrendous too, as were perceived quality, silhouette and cabin design. I simply refuse to believe that Bruno Sacco had much say in the creation of this turd.

  3. While we’re throwing stones, is there any reason at all why the grille doesn’t form the shutline against the bumper, as per Mercs of old? I’m sure it has to do with the dreaded duo, ‘cutting’ and ‘cost’. I have always felt that ‘dual’ shutline is awful.

    I realise this is the equivalent of critiquing the deckchair fabric on the Titanic, but still, I felt it needed pointing out.

    1. I don’t know how much saving was involved, but I remember German car magazines celebrating the ‘Plakettengrill’ (plaque grille) as being the epitome of up-to-dateness, compared with Mercedes’ former massive chrome surrounds. It was the time when brightwork was facing extinction.

  4. I’m not usually sensitive to such matters, but the gaping seam at the A pillar / cant rail junction on the hardtop CLK offended me far more.

    Despite this solecism, I had a notion for one when they were new; they had an incongruous Capri look which appealed. Seeing their rapid attrition, and the rotten-ness of the survivors, I’m glad I never took it further.

    Not one of Sebaldsbrück’s prouder moments…

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