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pizzachef 02-07-2007 04:42 PM

Euro Owners! Where's your VIN?
My wagon has a plate under the hood near the latch, so you can bend over and look right at it with the bonnet up. It has what I guess is a VIN number, and some vehicle weights and allowable loads. It has NO manufacture date, however. So I don't really know what year model this is...just what the registration tells me.

I'm asking because the insurance adjuster is trying to figure out a value and the VIN won't decode in his tells him its a 2001 model something else. So I'm going to fax him what papers I have on the car...EPA inspection papers and a few other things...but I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem? Is there another secret place that has the VIN and the manufacture date? Or a secret way to decode a euro VIN?

If not, I'm not really concerned yet...its all on the adjuster for now. Only if he comes back with a stupid value will I get upset and involved.

Icefire 02-07-2007 05:10 PM

My Euro 500 SEC, has the vin under the hood, there is also a vin on the firewall passengeside, There should be an import sticker on the door panel with year of manufacture, alteast there was with mine.

Icefire 02-07-2007 05:11 PM

Also run your vin with the russian site.

Don Martin 02-07-2007 05:12 PM

Vin Numbers for Euros
I have a 1984 500 SEC that was a grey market car. It came in through Long Island. These cars had made up vins. Mine has a plate riveted to the windshield post with a number embossed into the metal plate. This number too does not come up in any US computers including Dept of Motor Vehicles. Luckily, New York cars all have titles and I received a new title when I bought the car that says it is a 1984. That is sufficient for all of the things that I have had to do with the car. I would think your registration would do the same if you don't have a title.

stcbenz83 02-07-2007 05:23 PM

i had the same problem with my euro. that is within the computer system. MBUSA had to call over to Germany to have them transfer over my cars data to the us. I have no vin plate by the windshield on my euro. however i do on my US version 300D T. I dont know about made up vins though. I know many comp systems in the US do NOT have the Euro vins in them. if you are having problem, you should probably contact MBUSA and have them send your VIN number over to the US data base

winmutt 02-07-2007 05:31 PM

They are not " made up vins " the are the serial numbers for the car BEFORE VIN was adopted as a std. Europe did not adopt the standard until much later. Mine has home made plated on door pillar and on drivers speaker grill. If they dont start with WDB they will not work in any "system". WDB is a VIN, 123xxxxxx is a serial. Also yours may be a CKD car or some such.

pizzachef 02-07-2007 06:02 PM

Wow, the Russian club website had all the right info, except for some little things like the radio and power antenna and rear power windows. But it had the color right. I hope the adjuster/appraiser/whatever can use it.
Thanks for the tip.

JimSmith 02-07-2007 06:48 PM

European models of the vintage of your car were issued a VIN by the factory that conveyed purely the information the factory wanted. The US began to require additional data in VINs and a added some extra digits, I believe. I have a manual with the translation code in it from MB. I needed this information when my son was hit from behind in my 1986 190E 2.3-16 and the insurance company wanted to value it as a regular 190, and total it for a couple of bucks.

Grey market cars do not have "made up" VINs. They are the European ones and have to match the bill of sale that came with the car. Once the car is imported and accepted, one of the changes is there must be a name plate riveted to the driver's door post, with the name of the importer of record, and the VIN. There must also be a tag with the VIN engraved or punched in it that is attached to the front, driver's side "A" pillar that is visible and legible from outside the car. Often these were merely jammed into the crevice between the trim and the windshield and would fall out, but you should be able to find it unless it slipped into the vent and went down inside the heating system. I doubt very much there never was one, as it is a common check point at registrations.

Anyway, you should be able to have your local MB dealer "decode" this for you to pass along to the insurance company if you need it. Good luck, Jim

ForcedInduction 02-07-2007 11:39 PM

The euros I see in the junkyards often have a tag riveted in the front of the engine bay to the right of the radiator.

Parshman15 03-12-2007 01:17 PM

I know all about the up and up because I have a euro car. The badge on the left hand side of the dash is a substitute vin plate for us standard, its not made up its the real vin. The vin should be located in the door jam of the driver side and also under the hood near the radiator. It will not come up in US because its not a US vin you will have to contact germany to get more information about the car. You will have to supply them with proof of ownership of the car. The russian decoder works quite well for a german based car. Any other questions feel free to ask me.

Hit Man X 03-12-2007 01:23 PM

W126s have it in a few places. They also start with the chassis... WDB126...

Also, at times the driver door has the import sticker where and when it came to the US as well as who did the conversion.

pizzachef 03-13-2007 02:17 AM

Well, PennDOT had a time trying to force their computer to accept the VIN. They require a tracing of the VIN. Since the plate screwed to the driver's side post has the number etched into it, I had to rub a crayon on a piece of paper on the plate under the hood. On that plate, the WDB is printed, not stamped, so that didn't show up in the tracing. The knuckleheads at the DMV decided the only way to register my car is to put in EXACTLY what shows up in the tracing, meaning the VIN on my title is 3 digits short. Idiots...
Well, I've got my license plate and I'm happy...oh and the insurance gave me 2600 bucks. I still felt a little insulted, but it more than covered the damage.
Thanks for the help from everyone,

TwitchKitty 03-13-2007 10:37 AM

Most of the ones that I have seen have a plate inside the door jam with the VIN and original owner's name on it.

BTW, I have access to a Euro 123 gasser parts car if anyone wants anything special from it I may be able to help.

Parrot of Doom 03-13-2007 06:21 PM

The VIN on mine is on the engine bay, but also stamped onto a plate on the passenger side (UK) of the dashboard, visible through the the windscreen.

ewmROVER 03-13-2007 06:43 PM


Ha! that's funny (and interesting!)... I recently purchased a 1982 (?I think?!) euro 240td wagon, and upon running my VIN (VIN plate under hood by latch) at the insurance office here in Oregon, it also came up as a 2001. I had just bought the car and it had 300TD decals on the rear gate... the insurance company, although having trouble successfully finding it in their system, didn't seem to care much and just "bypassed" the incorrect VIN reading in their computer.

I should stop in one of these days and correct the profile as a 240TD rather than a 300TD.


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