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Old 05-10-2004, 12:45 PM
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1980 450sl vin info

I recently purchased a 1980 450sl, vin WDB10704412065054, engine block #117 985 12 056745 Is that a euro vin? The car has US bumpers and all smog equipment. I believe its a US federal car but not sure. Is there a difference in horsepower between california car and 50state car? Any info would be appreciated.

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Old 05-11-2004, 02:51 AM
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The VIN is a "Euro" VIN. See the thread on "euro headlights" for elaboration. The car, if first registered in California, would have received a lot of modifications to meet state standards, to the point the car is probably identical to a US market model. In addition, it would have had a catalytic converter added to meet US specs. 1980 was not a good year for horsepower in general on the 450. It started out with over 200 in the early 70s, and was down to about 160 in 1980 on pretty much all the models due to pollution and energy criisis restraints. On the plus side, it is proabably the most reliable V8 Mercedes ever produced, and the 1980 model was a very mature version of one of their very best engine designs ever. There are also a lot of middle-aged Mercedes mechanics who know and love the car, and will make it go faster for you if you want to spend the money.

You can purchase the parts to restore ithe exterior to the original Euro look from these web sites:

http://www.kkmfg.com/107cat.php
for the bumpers

http://www.************************
for the Euro style headlights.

Kirk Vining
1983 280 SL Euro 97K and mint
1984 Porsche 944
1977 280E Gone but never, never forgotten
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Old 05-11-2004, 10:13 PM
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One can not assume that a Euro car has been modified to meet U.S. EPA requirements. Until 1987 there was a "one time exemption" from EPA requirements (not DOT), i.e. each U.S. citizen could bring one car into the U.S. without bringing it into compliance with EPA emission requirements. So serious importers brought in a car for their uncles, grandmothers, neighbors, etc. Cars that came in under this exemption would not have an air pump and should still have the higher original Euro HP.
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:36 PM
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That's informative, thanks, I'm going to go look under the hood of my 83 280SL and see if there is a smog pump down there. Would that have even been true in California?
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:49 PM
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Thanks for the replys. Kirk, how can you tell its a euro vin? The engine looks stock but I can tell that it has more than the 160 horsepower its rated at. The interior dash also has a small knob that i read is for adjusting the headlights. Is that one of the euro features? Anyone have any more info to share? Thanks. Alex
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Old 05-12-2004, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by triggeraa
Thanks for the replys. Kirk, how can you tell its a euro vin? The engine looks stock but I can tell that it has more than the 160 horsepower its rated at. The interior dash also has a small knob that i read is for adjusting the headlights. Is that one of the euro features? Anyone have any more info to share? Thanks. Alex
This takes forever to load, you might want to down load it first, but it is a Colorado Div of Motor Vehilce newsletter with an article on Euro VINS, and tells you how to spot one that has been illegallly imported:

http://www.mv.state.co.us/dlr/dlrpdf/1201wheel.pdf

Yes, the switch allows you to adjust the headlights. There is a vacuum motor in the headlight housing that contols them, becareful you don't disconnect the hose when changing headlights. As far as I know only Euros have that feature.
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Old 05-13-2004, 12:08 AM
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Good info! Thanks

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