2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320 Jurassic Park Replica

Update 3/3/19: Sold for an impressive $20,300!

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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1999 Mercedes-Benz ML320

”Conceived in Germany, Born in America.” That was one of the tag lines used for the Mercedes-Benz W163 ML-Class when it was riding the new wave of luxury SUVs that roamed the earth back in the late 90s. Thanks to a $250 million subsidy package from the state of Alabama, the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) production plant had the honor of producing the W163 starting in February of 1997 with sales beginning later that year in September. How were they received? Well, in addition to being nicknamed the ”Bama-Benz”, you also had less flattering names like ”The Alabama trash can.” Truth be told, the majority of the people who bought these new could care less about things like quality and reliability because they all looked and acted like the mother from the movie American Beauty. The fit and finish were just average and the interiors would make the designers of Mercedes-Benz interiors in the 60s and 70s sob tears into their Weihenstephaners. Nevertheless, Mercedes sold a boat load of these things because the grille star was big enough to be seen from your neighbor’s house across the street.

Today, the first-generation ML chugs along with battle scars and so much rust you think it was intentional, like when the few in the Volkswagen crowd started doing it for scene points. No one actually seeks out and wants to buy a W163 now, especially the early ones with the two-toned body cladding, given how cheap other used luxury SUVs have become over the years. Although today I ran across a survivor that seemed spared from all the upper-middle class abuse a luxury SUV can take and actually is quite endearing in a strange sort of way. This 1999 ML320 up for sale  outside of Philadelphia has just 68,000 miles and isn’t a destroyed wasteland when you open the doors. Thing is, does anyone actually want to pay for this?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Mercedes-Benz ML320 on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz ML500 with 325,000 miles

Last week I looked at the cleanest 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG that I’ve seen and the comments on it were a mixed bag. We actually had a few owners of ML55s chime in and report their experiences with them. There were no ”Alabama trashcan” comments, but we were awfully close. I thought that would be the end of me looking at the W163s for a while outside of something really crazy and it turns out something crazy did pop up. This 2002 ML500 in California comes with an impressive 325,000 miles and looks like it has about a third of that. Chalk it up to some loving owners and the California climate for keeping this thing looking as nice as it does but maybe it is time to give the W163 some credit. Just a little?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML500 on AutoTrader

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2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG

What is made in Alabama, seats seven, has 536 horsepower, weighs 5,800 pounds and does 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds? The Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG, of course! When little Cooper is late for soccer practice and Katilyn late for cheerleading, supermom Debbie can throw them in the GL63 AMG and cruise to an electronically-limited 155 mph to make up time all while hauling a living room set from the Pottery Barn in the rear. This is a monster of a machine that can basically do everything and then some. Does that mean everyone bought them? No. Mercedes said just two percent of GL buyers opted for the GL63 and I’m sure that had a lot to do with the $121,000 price tag. Now that these X166s are a few years old and therefore heavily depreciated, does it make sense to scoop one up? Lets find out.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG on eBay

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2003 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG

Last week I took a look at the all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G500. It was entirely new with just a few parts carried over from the W463 G-Wagen and the response from everyone here was lukewarm at best. I understand, it does look a little odd and it surely lost some of its brute looks in the front end while the interior was nothing but a bunch of screens and futuristic HVAC vents. Despite it’s best effort, we all knew the W463 wasn’t going to last forever but thanks to its production run that literally lasted generations, there are plenty of them out there on the used market. Today, I wanted to look at one of my favorite G-Wagens, the G55 AMG. Thanks to its prior owners and ideal climate where it resides, this one might be one of the cleanest 15-year old Gs I’ve come across.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG on eBay

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 300GD

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Today we have a Geländewagen that covers a lot of ground, and not just in the typical all-terrain beast way. Sure, it can do all the badass stuff, but it’s looking unique and clean with a low-mileage diesel and an amazing interior. Seriously, plaid AND jump seats?! It all looks pristine and the price reflects it. If red is your color and you want to have a little of the GWagen panache without the overwrought AMG details, this is a great choice.

Click for details: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300GD on eBay

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1972 Pinzgauer 712M

On a recent bike trip, my girlfriend and I had some long climbs up the foothills of the Bay Area on tree-lined, one-lane switchbacks. On one particularly gorgeous but hidden stretch, she yelled “look at the cool Unimog down there!” Thankful as I am that my partner knows what a Mog is, it was actually a fascinating Pinzgauer 4×4 that looked like it was prepared to be an RV for the zombie apocalypse. While that particular model looked prepared to keep people out, today’s 6×6 model looks like it wants to let anyone and anything crawl in while it dominates terrain. With heated seats, a huge truck bed, and one of the most stout external rollcages I’ve seen, I’m not sure what it’s for other than what the dudes are doing in the photo – but just riding in it looks pretty fun.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Pinzgauer 712M on eBay

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 240GD

$_57 (6)

Do you get jealous of the brightly-colored Land Rover Defenders romping around the streets, looking all tough? Well, today we have a Geländewagen that looks ready for safari, enough so that it will probably be regularly mistaken for its British counterpart. With just 40k miles and a great diesel/manual combo, it’s a very nice off-road package. Bidding is hot on the no-reserve auction for this orange beast that will never be taken for a road-going G55 or G63.

Click for details: 1986 Mercedes-Benz G240GD on eBay

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2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Even after eight years of being on sale, I still have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that Porsche sells a four-door, off-road vehicle. True, years ago the company built a diesel tractor, but for myself and others, the 911 will still be the quintessential Porsche. Still, the Cayenne is a perfectly capable vehicle in its own right. If I was going to own one, however, it would be this one, the GTS. Powered by a 4.8 liter, 405 horsepower V8, this beast was available with a 6-speed manual transmission, as we see in our feature car for sale in Arizona.

2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS on AutoTrader

This 2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS AWD, 6 Speed Manual is perfect in every sense of the word. VERY RARE approximately 1 in 25 OEM versions of the Cayenne GTS were produced in the rare manual gearbox format. If you desire the functionality of a sport SUV with the exhilaration of personally commanding the delivery its 4.8L 405 hp and 369 ft-lbs. to the pavement through the famous Porsche 6-speed manual gearbox, this is your new vehicle. It has been meticulously cared for by the original owner. This Cayenne is gorgeous. All Porsche service by Porsche dealership. All GTS standard features plus much, much more.

Interior Feature Installed Options: Leather package (black) Full leather inside including dash and all doors, with full Alcantara headliner and Alcantara seat inserts ($3,170 factory option),PCM (Porsche Communication Management) w/ Navigation ($3,300 factory option),Bose Premium Surround System, 12 speaker ($1,690 factory option),XM Satellite Radio ($750 factory option),Blue-Tooth Interface ($1,431 dealer option),I-Pod Interface ($708 dealer option),Heated Front Seats ($690 factory option),Lighting Package/Memory Keys and Seats ($610 factory option),Moonroof ($1,190 factory option).Exterior Features Installed Options: Bi-Xeon Headlamps with washers ($1,560 factory option),Trailer Hitch ($630 factory option),Enlarged Rear Spoiler (STD, similar to Turbo),Full Turbo Fascia Kit (STD, similar to Turbo).Other Notables: tags current through April 2013 (Arizona), new Michelin Latitude Sport 295/35 R21 on Porsche GTS specific rims (also, perfect).

Bottom line, this vehicle is even better in person than in pictures or on paper. It will not last. Priced to sell at $53,950. You could pay $12,000 to $14,000 more for the same vehicle (if they had it) at the Porsche dealership for a “certified” pre-owned version, but my service records exceed the “certified” standards so why pay more? This GTS sells itself. Serious inquiries from qualified purchasers only.

Even though so few were made, I can’t help but think a Porsche like this might be a bit of a hard sell. Many hardcore Porsche enthusiasts don’t take too kindly to the Cayenne and those in the market for a luxury SUV wouldn’t want the manual transmission. Porsche has announced the second generation Cayenne GTS will not be available with a manual transmission, as only 3% of GTS buyers from the previous generation opted for three pedals. If you want an SUV but are looking for exclusivity, this truck might be the best option this side of a Lamborghini LM002.

-Paul

1984 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

I know, I know, this isn’t German SUVs For Sale Blog, but this was too cool to not post. Short for Geländewagen (German for cross-country vehicle), the G-class was developed as a military vehicle, and served as the vehicle of choice for dozens of governments, and even Pope John Paul II. The G-wagen is recognizable by its boxy styling, which has remained essentially unchanged in its 30 year tenure. Featuring full frame construction, a torque monster 2.8L I6, low range gearbox, and three fully locking differentials, it makes for one of the most capable off road vehicles ever.

The G-wagen was eventually offered to the civilian market in 1979 and was offered in three models, the four cylinder 230G, the six cylinder 280GE, the four cylinder diesel 240GD, and the five cylinder diesel 300GD.  All of the power plants were based on the offerings from the W123 line. They were available in three different body styles; a two door open model, five door, and three door like this 280GE for sale in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

1984 Mercedes-Benz 280GE on eBay

1981 Mercedes-Benz 280 GE

New Brakes
New Shocks
New Muffler
New Fuel Lines
New Brake Lines
New Battery
New Tires
New Mirrors

Reconditioned Original BBS Wheels
Aftermarket CD Player and Speakers
Refinished Exterior
Original Interior 4 Speed Manual Transmission No A/C

This is my personal 280 GE that I bought in February 2007. All of the paint work was done professionally at my shop Autobahn Collision. My wife wants to remodel our house so my truck has to go. Speedometer is not currently working. Feel free to message me with any additional questions you may have.

VIN: WDB46023217008913

While admittedly most of us here are not SUV fans, there are certain trucks we bend the rules for; classic Land Rover Defenders, G-Wagens and the Lamborghini LM002 just to name a few. This G-wagen is exactly as it should be, not a status symbol like the newer trucks, but an off roader like it was intended to be. The condition of this truck is cleaner than you’d expect from a 27 year old truck, with newer paint, and many other new parts, this SUV has been well cared for.

Average retail on these at about $12,000, with high retail around $17,000. Taking into account the maintenance work, new paint, and the rarity of these trucks, I could see this G-wagen going in the $14,500 range. No matter how you feel about SUVs, this truck is cool and is definitely a great alternative to a modern SUV. Besides, if it’s good enough for the Pope, it’s good enough for me.

-Brian