Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

93Flareside

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So, my dad finally found a cottage truck for hauling firewood, tools and whatnot around the countryside. He's been looking at various things during recent years to keep his 3er wagon from getting too beat up, as he's quite particular about car condition. But for less than a road legal Lada Niva, he now has bought ...

A Mercedes-Benz ML!

qyEX5Ix.jpg


I didn't even know you could get them as manual, but there was a '99 ML230 5spd for sale at a used car dealer nearby. It's been imported from Germany already in 2005, gone through a handful of owners and some service history and bills followed, including a clutch/gearbox rebuild receipt from a specialist. There's traditional moderate rust in the edges of wheelarches and the suspension components, but the sunroof surround and the doors etc are OK and it looks well kept.

eEzMvnY.jpg


I think it's amusing that it's the smallest engine, a 148-hp straight-four, but the car has been specced like a dealer did it as it has a custard coloured leather interior combined with dark wood decor and factory bull bar and side steps and all. Dad says it drives surprisingly well, doesn't whine or creak and goes straight (though I expect slowly), and the gearbox feels on point. I also presume the 4x4 works. It doesn't need anything other than a new set of summer tires and some cosmetic work done on the southern side of the gulf when travel opens up again. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up and just how much fuel it uses.

VIN data:

189 (Black Opal)
200A LEATHER
205A LEATHER MUSHROOM
221 LEFT FRONT SEAT, ELECTRICALLY ADJUSTABLE
222 RIGHT FRONT SEAT, ELECTRICALLY ADJUSTABLE
249 AUTOMATICALLY DIPPING INSIDE REAR VIEW MIRROR
259 RADIO PREMIUM WITH BOSE SOUND SYSTEM (head unit is a Becker TrafficStar 1DIN navi)
280 LEATHER STEERING WHEEL AND LEATHER GEAR SHIFT KNOB
414 ELECTRIC TILT/SLIDE SUNROOF IN GLASS VERSION
580 AIR CONDITIONER
661 TYRES 255/65 R 16 WITH LIGHT METAL WHEELS
723 BAGGAGE COMPARTMENT COVERING
731 WOOD TRIM BURRED WALNUT ROOT
809 AEJ 06/1/M/X
841 FRONT PROTECTION BAR
846 SCUFF PLATE IN ALU-APPEARANCE WITH RUBBER STUDS
873 SEAT HEATER FOR LEFT AND RIGHT FRONT SEATS
988 REG. DOC. AND COC CERTIFICATE WITH EC TYPE LABEL
E03 UNIVERSAL RUBBER MATS (SET) ANTHRACITE
E15 DOOR SILL PANELS STAINLESS STEEL
U40 No code designation available
U50 No code designation available
U61 LUXURY PACKAGE

Order number 0 9 250 10943 (Destination: Branch Duisburg)
Delivery date 12 01 1999

Fun fact: Prices for the M-class started at 357000 FIM in 1999, or 81 500 eur in today's money. An ML320 would have cost a lot more at 466000 or 106k and change, but I bet the kit with which the ML230 was ordered would have cost a pretty penny too.
When does the Jurassic Park sequel begin filming?
 

Perc

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I didn’t even know you could get these with a four-cylinder. They’re all either diesels or the 320 V6 here. It’ll probably make a nice cottage truck.
 

Matt2000

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It's the only ML I like, M-B keeping it real in 1999. Seems like a great example but I hope the wet patch on the passenger mat is from someone's boots and not a coolant leak. Bumpers could probably do with help from a heat gun to bring them back if that was desired.

I need to look up how this compared to the Td5 Disco 2 of the same year, it has more power as you'd expect from a petrol but nowhere near as much torque. Interiors are really comparable, what was M-B build quality like at this time.
 

public

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Oh yeah, I think that's just water from shoes. Dealership photos show dry rubber mats (and car's 500km away for me to check). The bumpers are also probably satin finished but I'm not sure if just a buffing would help them. I'm moderately cautious and not getting my hopes up too much about the condition or abilities of the ML, so every positive aspect is a total win - including that nothing comparable is available as cheaply.

I found a TG mag comparison from '98 and they preferred the ML320 to the Discovery 2 then. But that's probably not the case today...
 

public

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I didn’t even know you could get these with a four-cylinder. They’re all either diesels or the 320 V6 here. It’ll probably make a nice cottage truck.

Yeah, if it was any fancier version I'd probably recommend running far away. The diesel versions would also probably get a huge tax bill compared to the measly few thousand km this'll do yearly.
 

public

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The amazing thing is that the Pirelli Scorpion summer tires that followed the car, on original wheels, were baked in the summer of 2001. They will most likely be binned very soon in favour of a fresh set of Nordmans. I'm partial to suggesting Geolanders or BF Goodrich KO2:s, but SUV grade Nordmans have been fine at least on the XC70, decent and quiet.
 

Perc

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I've been looking at Michelin Crossclimates for my next summer tire purchase.
 

Perc

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Wow, it would be really interesting to see how those 20 year old tyres perform.
My grandmother had a Volvo 440, one of the very last ones made. They bought it nearly new and it was still on the original tires with 44.000km on the clock many years later. I remember once when I was tasked with getting it inspected for her. I took it out for a bit of a spanking to get the brakes looking all shiny again, and accidentally locked up all four. No ABS. A change of underpants later, I demanded she put new tires on it.
 

captain_70s

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So, my dad finally found a cottage truck for hauling firewood, tools and whatnot around the countryside. He's been looking at various things during recent years to keep his 3er wagon from getting too beat up, as he's quite particular about car condition. But for less than a road legal Lada Niva, he now has bought ...

A Mercedes-Benz ML!
A friend of mine bought a ML270 of those for some comically low amount like £300 or something a year or two ago.

IMG_20191026_151802.jpg.d7ccfe454bdd81700001c19f927cb7ae.jpg

IMG_20191024_080339.jpg.6806bea94266f5c06988bb63c90a9462.jpg


It drove well enough and was mechanically reliable, seemed to have heavy duty springs on the back for towing or something. It also felt very cheap and flung together though, with numerous electrical issues. I can't imagine shelling out the sort of money they cost for one when new.

He sold it after somebody stole the catalytic converter one night while it was parked up.
 

Matt2000

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A friend of mine bought a ML270 of those for some comically low amount like £300 or something a year or two ago.
Funnily enough I'm going through the Smith & Sniff podcast back catalogue and Jonny was talking about how all M-classes he sees are rustbuckets just after @public revealed his dad's car, I think this is what he was talking about. Not their best work. He should've bought a Disco 2, which is much heavier and that's probably why the ML fared better in tests when new.
 

Perc

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I'm sure I've posted the Swedish TV clip before where they go to the new Alabama factory and test the new ML. Dueling Banjos playing in the background throughout the entire segment. :LOL:
 

public

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Oh yeah, I don't think those tires have been driven on in a while. The ML Cruiser probably had another set of better summers on fancier wheels and these were hauled out of storage when it came the time to sell the car.
 

RdKetchup

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Just checked the first page of the news section, 16 out of 20 threads are about electric vehicles. Sign of the times I guess.
 

Quiky

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Just checked the first page of the news section, 16 out of 20 threads are about electric vehicles. Sign of the times I guess.
"It was a subtle and quiet approach..."
 

93Flareside

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$_20.jpg


$_2013136.jpg


I want it. Especially in the top end 2.0L Diesel gives 240HP and 369lb. ft. or a gasoline with 276HP and 350 lb. ft. Both are all wheel drive, but THOSE SEATS, they extend the front bit and the whole seat is not fecking leather, oh and you get a DSG.

2015+ VW Passat wagon by the way.
 
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Matt2000

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Wot no manual?! I guess they didn't offer a manual with that engine, which is odd. Auto trader here says only 369 lbs/ft. :think:

Half-leather would always be my choice given the chance though, it's something Tesla really need to start offering I think. I really liked the half leather seats I put in Keely, so much so I kept the material when I scrapped her.
 

93Flareside

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Wot no manual?! I guess they didn't offer a manual with that engine, which is odd. Auto trader here says only 369 lbs/ft. :think:

Half-leather would always be my choice given the chance though, it's something Tesla really need to start offering I think. I really liked the half leather seats I put in Keely, so much so I kept the material when I scrapped her.

You're right, I was reading the Newton Meters.
 
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