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The original trinity: Part one

3 years ago

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Henry Catchpole | Journalist


1 July 2021

A couple of months ago and thanks to DK Engineering, I had the chance to drive perhaps the three greatest supercars of the Nineties – McLaren F1, Porsche 911 GT1 and Mercedes CLK GTR, otherwise known as the original hypercars. On the same day, back-to-back, one after the other. Over the next three articles I’m going to try to put you as squarely into the driver’s seat of each one as I can, starting with the Mercedes…

The reason the Series 1 Elise has such high sills is it was originally designed without doors. The intention was you’d simply step over the side, as you do with the 340R. Ultimately, of course, doors were deemed desirable, but the prominently high sills remained. This makes roof-in-place ingress and egress rather interesting. Letterboxes, cat flaps and yoga classes spring to mind.

I mention this now because I suspect many, if not most of you will have seen an S1 Elise at some point, so will know what I’m talking about. Now picture a sill at least twice as wide and imagine you’re not allowed to open the door of the Elise, but have to climb through the window instead. That’s pretty much the proposition presented to you by a Mercedes CLK GTR – with its door wide open.

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