Once in a while we’re guilty of hunting seemingly common cars for their rare options. It might be a full package we’re after like the IWC Ingenieur Edition CLS55 or it could be cooled seats in a W210 E55. In this case the hunt led us to this extraordinarily normal, yet clean 1999 ML430 listed in Las Vegas. It can be found here on CarGurus for $4,800.
These ML430’s were wonderfully simplistic in the 90’s and in many ways the answer to Land Rover’s Discovery. With hi/low range 4WD, a command-like seating position for the driver, and stadium seating in the rear it was poised to sit alongside the best luxury 4x4’s. One option these cars were offered with that nothing else compared to was option (417) from Mercedes; The Lamella or “Skyview” moonroof. A $2,500 option for the ML at the time (the equivalent of 4k today), this was an unpopular option to see in dealers at the time. Over the years, option 417 has become even more rare due to rarity and cost of replacement parts for the roof coupled with the depreciation of the first generation ML (W163). Unfortunately the selling dealer decided not to highlight the roof in the photos so we found a few examples floating around this forums. Thanks to the other Skyview enthusiasts for sharing.
This ML430 however, seems to be a bargain. Showing only 116k miles on the clock under three owners, the normal wear points seem to be remarkably nice. The paint shines well and no dings, dents, or scuffs are visible. The typically-yellow headlight lenses are clean and look as though the car’s been garaged most of its life. Even the interior shows minimal wear.
These ML430’s had ample power to move from freeway to trail and back home with ease. Factory options were abundant from Mercedes and the dealer. The very lucky hunters will find them with OEM brush guards, rear tire carriers, auxiliary lighting, and even the rare Lamella Skyview roof option. Happy hunting.