I'm not a pro, so I'll limit my reply to what I am fairly sure of, and let those in the know fill in the details. Things like bumpers and lights are the easiest way to tell euro vehicles apart fom North American ones. These difference are not merely cosmetic. DOT has regulations (such as 5mph bumpers in the seventies and those horrible lights). There are also mechanical differences. The best example of which is the 450SL from 71-80 ( I think). I don't believe this model was sold in europe - they had a 280 and 350 I think. The extra dispacement was necessary to get similar horsepower and performance and still meet US emmissions. I think the difference in newer cars are marginal, but they do exist.