Date registered: Sep 2010
Vehicle: 1999 ML 430
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
New member introduction: Alaska ML 430
In a sad circumstance that my wife would prefer I not relate, my beloved '99 Chrysler 300M was murdered. The insurance bought a '99 ML 430 that is her daily driver in Anchorage. I'm still in Juneau selling a house and boat: try that in this market; the Alaska economy is OK and houses are selling but a boat is worth what some unemployed, bankrupt, and foreclosed on guy in CA will sell his for plus four or five thousand for the shipping to Alaska.
Anyway, I finally got to meet the ML 430. It was an AZ lease that came to Anchorage and was bought by an MB mechanic, so it is in pretty good shape for its age. Other than a little Safeway Rash, it is beautiful comsmetically with a lot of accessories such as the grill guard, running boards, s/s grills, etc. It seems mechanically sound and an MB mechanic gave it a superficially clean bill of health. It has the peel-back top, can't remember what MB calls it, but it doesn't work; not much use for one in Alaska anyway, so maybe I'll get it fixed down South sometime.
I've never had an SUV, always a performance sedan or sports car guy as daily drivers. Had pickups and 4wd for haulers and toys, but never for daily use. The 430 is definitely in between. It has the comfort and performance of a perfomance sedan, but it rides and handles like a truck, a good truck, but a truck nonetheless. Compared to a good sedan, it is tippy and twitchy, but some of that is probably worn shocks and cheap tires, so that is something I can alleviate.
So, now I've moved from the five pointed star to the three pointed star; guess I've finally arrived. Anyway, I drove it a hundred miles or so and enjoyed it; Helluva bunch of torque. First time I kicked it to pass somebody on a two lane, it almost scared me, and I'm not unaccustomed to fast cars; the mid-range torque is IMPRESSIVE.
I understand that the butcher's bill for keeping it maintained will be steep, but I got into it pretty favorably and can afford to maintain it. And, since I got into it pretty favorably, I can afford to dump it if I decide I don't want to afford it anymore. After all, I own a big, twin-engined boat, so I know what throwing money away feels like.