2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320 Jurassic Park Replica

Last month I did a quick history lesson on the W163 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class and how it came to be made in America. One of the most interesting pieces of the ML story also involved another aspect Americans love: wildly fictional movies. If you are looking at this car, you probably know what I’m talking about. Somehow, Mercedes got in contact with Universal Pictures during the filming of The Lost World: Jurassic Park about using the then pre-production ML in the film. Somewhat ironically, while Ford Explorers had replaced Toyota Land Cruisers used in the Jurassic Park novel, in Lost World it would be the Explorer now being replaced. Somehow, a deal came together and suddenly you were watching a couple of ML320s with a bunch of added on armor roam around a fictional world full of dinosaurs. One of the stars of the film, Jeff Goldblum, was given a free ML320 as part of the deal and the craziest part is that he actually used the ML as his daily driver for over 15 years. He must not be into cars that much.

Unlike other vehicles from the Jurassic Park franchise, the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Explorer, you would never see someone hack up a ML320 to replicate the version from the movie. Probably that’s because it wasn’t very smart to totally destroy a luxury SUV just to pay tribute to a film that was considered a letdown compared to the original. Fortunately, prices of first-generation MLs have hit play money type levels and someone in California took the plunge into full movie mode. Now it is up for sale and ready to be passed on to the next person who constantly wants to be stopped to answer questions about it in the grocery store parking lot.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320 Jurassic Park Replica on eBay

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1997 Porsche Boxster with 8,900 miles

A few weeks I took a look at one of the most jarring Porsche interiors I have run across with a 1999 911 up for sale in San Diego. It wasn’t so much that the Jade Green was all that ugly, but rather the Burl Wood that was plastered everywhere clashed so much with the Jade and the rest of the interior. Add in the fact that the car is automatic, has 166,000 miles and isn’t priced all that well, you can probably guess what it is still for sale. Most of you in the comments seemed to agree with my thoughts on that 996 as well judging by the reaction that it got. Although one commenter (Thanks JonnyA) passed along another late ’90s Porsche with a green interior that still has loads of green leather, but isn’t nearly as gaudy or off-putting. This 1997 Boxster up for sale outside of Dallas features Nephrite Green leather and even better, has just 8,900 miles. Is this a better option if you still want an inexpensive Porsche with a wild interior?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche Boxster at True Car

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2019 Porsche 911 Carrera T

A few weeks ago I looked at the Porsche GT3 Touring that was partially launched by Porsche to curb the crazy prices of the 911R on the secondary market. It helped a little, but what really happened is that GT3 Touring prices are still selling for over MSRP and even if they still were in production, your local Porsche dealer wouldn’t give you an allocation unless you were a preferred customer. What a ”preferred customer” is varies dealer by dealer, but basically you get into that club by buying a 918 when they were new or spending lots of money at a dealer by buying lot cars, spending on service, showing up at events and generally being a good customer without raising any stink. If all that failed and you still are looking to get your kicks from something just a little more special, Porsche came up with the 911 Carrera T.

The “T” designation was certainly nothing new, having been launched as a base 6-cylinder model back in the 1960s. The new Carrera T moved more upscale, slotting between the base Carerra and the Carerra S as the lightweight purist option and is basically a mash-up of parts from most of the 911 range. It uses the 370-hp twin-turbocharged flat-six from the base Carerra, adaptive suspension from the GTS, a lowered suspension, thinner glass for the rear window and rear side windows borrowed from the GT3/GT2RS, sport exhaust and the 7-speed manual with PDK as an option. You can load up this car with some other fancy options like those nice $5,200 sport seats, carbon ceramic brakes and rear-wheel steering, but most buyers are signing up for this car because of its slightly-less weight and reasonable price tag compared the rest of the 911 range. The Carrera T is as raw as you are going to get in a 991 without spending at least $175,000 for a GT3 and the good news is, you can actually buy one for sticker.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera T on eBay

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2009 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Estate

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, depending on how you look at it, Mercedes-Benz has only graced the United States market with one AMG estate car. Thankfully, it was more than one generation starting with the S211 E-Class and continuing with the S212 and now up to the current S213. Of course, we got AMGs in every SUV, including a R-Class for whatever reason, but when it comes to regular estate cars, the E-Class was it. No C-Class estates, no CLA shooting brakes and certainly no CLS shooting brakes either. Even with the multiple generations of E wagon AMGs, good luck finding one for a reasonable price as even the most desolate ones still bring close to $30,000.

Today, I came across a really nice W204 C63 AMG Estate up for sale at one of my favorite dealers in Europe that is as clean as all the other cars I feature from them. This 2009 painted in Palladium Silver Metallic has all the right lines and curves to keep that aggressive AMG stance and have future classic written all over it. I just wish they brought them stateside.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Estate at Auto Leitner

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1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE with 60 miles

It seems like every so often a car pops up that somehow has completely fallen off everyone’s radar – including the owner. Usually it is some story about how they were bought for a business but shut down suddenly and everything was left as-is, or how an owner bought the car and suddenly passed leaving the car sit while the family had other things to deal with. Sometimes you might hear about how someone bought a car and stashed it away thinking it’ll be worth big money sometime in the future. As a result, most of these cars have but a few thousand miles – maybe somewhere in the hundreds – but I can’t recall seeing too many cars with this few miles.

This 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE up for sale in Poland has just 98 kilometers on the odometer. For those who live their lives in miles, that is roughly 60. That’s it. How did this happen? I don’t know. The seller says that this car was originally sold in Sweden where it sat in a barn for the past 30 years before somehow ending up in Poland. It has never been washed and everything is included from when it left the dealer’s lot. Problem is, this C124 isn’t exactly a time capsule as you might have noticed by the photo. On second thought, it maybe is a time capsule, only one of those that wasn’t sealed correctly and when they dig it up to open it, everything inside is ruined from water damage. Yes, that’s more like it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE on eBay

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2004 Mercedes-Benz ML500

A few weeks ago I dug into the first generation Mercedes-Benz ML and explained while it was a hit when it came to sales, the actual nuts and bolts of the vehicle were less than impressive. A lot of you chimed in the comments section and shared your experiences with them and I can’t say I was all that surprised at what I saw. Naturally, as the years went on and Mercedes gave a face lift to the old Alabama trash can, things got a little better. Mercedes pretty much had to as every other luxury automaker was going full swing into the SUV market including Lexus with its RX300 in 1999, BMW with its X5 in 2000 and Porsche coming in heavy with the Cayenne in 2004. Suddenly the fight for all those upper-middle class dollars got really intense to see who could out do each other and still have to fend off the old guard upscale SUVs from Land Rover and the Toyota/Lexus Land Cruiser/LX.

As the years went on, Mercedes somehow had the space to add not one, not two, but three V8s under the hood of the W163. The M113 4.2, 5.0 and 5.4 liters were all borrowed from other Mercedes cars in the lineup, with the 5.4 coming from AMG. Today’s ML up for sale in San Diego I wanted to look at features the 5.0 liter badged at the ML500. Naturally, there are a bunch of these ML500s out there for sale and I didn’t want to pick any average one because they aren’t all that interesting and you can probably guess the condition they are in. This one however has just 57,000 miles and features the rare Designo interior option that I always love checking out. But much like the very low mile and clean ML320 from weeks ago, are you willing to pay the above average price for it just because it is clean?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz ML500 on eBay

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Jade Roller: 1999 Porsche 911

I love crazy interiors. Give me a crazy interior, even an ugly interior, over a sea of beige and tan any day. I’d rather look at some color than a vast display of nothingness and take the heat online as well as in real life. Today’s a car, a 1999 Porsche 911 up for bid in San Diego, has one of the craziest, and probably ugliest, interiors I’ve seen in some time. This first-year 996 has the standard Arctic Silver exterior but inside, Jade Green and faux Burl Wood as far as the eye can see. It’s garish, it’s gaudy, it doesn’t match anything and even worse, there is a strange-looking slot with a knob sticking straight up where the normally 6-speed manual transmission should be. Yes, that means this car is also an automatic. So this is a first-year automatic 996, with a 166,000 miles and an interior that even the Porsche factory was probably shaking their heads at. Is this possibly the least-desirable 911 … ever?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Porsche 911 on eBay

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Sportline

If you want to get into the Mercedes-Benz W124 world but don’t want to pay the big prices that the 500E/E500 commands, there are a few other options if you need that little extra bit over a standard offerings. Mercedes did just that with the Sportline option on the coupes, sedans and even the estate cars, and it gave you a more that just some cool little badges. While you didn’t get a horsepower bump, you did get a bunch of revised suspension components, wider wheels and tires, a quicker ratio steering box and a smaller steering wheel. Worth it? Probably so. Visually, you can’t really tell a Sportline car from a regular W124 outside of those little badges, so when hunting for these cars you do really need to have a keen eye when searching through the mass of W124s for sale at any time. Thankfully, people are starting to recognize these cars are more desirable to some and thus listing them as Sportline cars, like today’s car – a 1993 300CE with just 39,000 miles. Problem is, this dealer outside of Chicago is asking a ton of money for the honor of that badge. How much? Well, you’re well into 500E asks here:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Sportline on eBay

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2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

Now that I’ve exhausted all of the nice Mercedes-Benz R129s currently on the market, I wanted to wander over to the R230 to see how things are going with the first SL with a folding hard top. The R230 was a giant leap forward in terms of styling and technology compared to the R129 as now the normally boxy and square roadster suddenly didn’t have a flat edge on the entire car. It was what needed to be done to keep the car relevant in the new millennium with the legacy buyers coming back as well as capture the hearts of all the new money buyers that wanted a sleek roadster that didn’t feel like an old man or woman’s car that was driven to the country club on a Sunday morning to play golf. It is tough to stay that Mercedes didn’t succeed in that as even now that the R230 is 17 years-old, it still doesn’t look or feel that age. Sure, some of the tech is dated, but getting in of these cars doesn’t scream ”this car can legally buy cigarettes next year” old.

Of course, with the introduction of the SL500 and V12 SL600 in the R230, Mercedes stepped up their game in the US market by giving customers the SL55 AMG that was a hit as soon as they landed on dealer lots. A 0-60 time in 4.4 seconds thanks to 493 horsepower and 520 lb⋅ft of torque, the SL55 wore the crowd of the fastest automatic transmission car in the world for a short time before the big brother SLR came on to the scene in 2003. The SL55 continued to be the model of choice over the more expensive V12 SL600 until it was replaced by the SL63 in 2008. The SL65 AMG joined the lineup in 2005 with its twin-turbocharged V12 making an insane 604 horsepower and 738 lb⋅ft of torque, but also carried a price tag starting at $185,000. Needless to say, the SL55 remained the best bang for the buck at a still very expensive $115,000, but was a bargain compared to competitors Ferrari 360 and Aston Martin’s DB7 Volante in terms of both purchase price and cost of running. Today, the SL55 sits in that no man’s land of not old enough to be considered a classic and not modern enough to be considered by people who want to be impressed by a bunch of tech. Add in the fact that the running costs can scare some people off, a Corvette seems like a much better buy for the convertible crowd who take Sunday cruises to the Daily Queen. What does that mean for prices on these beasts? Very good things if you are willing to commit to owning one. At least this example up for sale in North Carolina proves that.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG on eBay

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2017 Mercedes-AMG GT

One of the things that always intrigues me is how one set of cars, usually a specific model or family of models, hits an arbitrary point in its depreciation and just sort of stays around that number as long as there aren’t any extraordinary circumstances around a specific car like accident history or a super high amount of miles. That was a really long sentence, but stay with me here. What I always like to look is how cars end up being the price that they are on the used market. The overwhelming majority of cars I feature here don’t really follow the rules of normal depreciation because they are often super niche models or cars that are so old that they are actually on their back up in terms of value. Other times this happens if the car is really limited production and just doesn’t register on the radar of 99% of the general car buying public. Today’s car, a Mercedes-AMG GT, falls into that category.

The AMG GT, along with the GT S, GT R, GT C and up coming GT 4-Door Coupe, aren’t built on a normal pedestrian production model and then shipped to AMG for them to do their thing with. The C190 was built to be an AMG car since day one and might be on track to have their values stay relativity stable if history repeats itself from the other cars that were exclusively born as AMGs. The only real example we have of this is the SLS AMG that seems to have settled around $150,000 for the Gullwing version and $125,000 for the Roadster. The prices only go up from there once you talk about ultra-low mileage examples and the endless number of special editions they made of them. Mercedes doesn’t have a replacement planned for it and calling this car, the C190, a successor of it is a stretch at best. So what do we make of AMG GT prices as they sit right now? Time to buy or still more room for a drop?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT on eBay

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