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Old 11-22-2002, 08:12 PM
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Location: Leominster, MA
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Model ID - Newby!!

I have worked on and restored several older (60s vintage) Mercedes. I have just acquired a 1980 380 SEL (VIN WDB 12603212004776). If I understand correctly, the first 6 numerals denote chassis ID. However, I cannot find anywhere of the 126.032 being sold in the US prior to 1984. How can I determine whether this is an import/grey market vehicle?

Second part of Question... I have access to a 1984 380 SEL (VIN WDBCA32A7EA060200). I assume that this is a chassis 126.033 but is there any way to tell from the VIN? I want to purchase this vehicle for parts.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.



Last edited by lhearold; 11-22-2002 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 11-22-2002, 08:27 PM
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Location: Walnut,CA,USA
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126032 should be 380SE , WDBCA32A7EA060200 is 1984 380SE USA Engine number 116963-12047629 Trans mumber 722310-02487111

VIN WDB 12603212004776 should be a grey market vehicle.
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Old 11-22-2002, 08:36 PM
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Thanks for the info. Are the parts interchangeale from one to the other? I believe the SEL has the longer chassis but most of the mechanical should be pretty much the same I would think. Counting for the fact that one is US spec and the other is not.

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Old 11-22-2002, 09:27 PM
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Location: California
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WDB: "W" for West Germany, "DB" for Daimler Benz.

Next letter, "C" in your case, indicates chassis. A is 123, B is 107, C is 126, D is 201, E is 124, and so on.

Next letter, "A" in your cause, indicates gas or diesel. A is gas, B is diesel.

The next two letters indicate the chassis code. 33 is the 380SEL I believe.

Last edited by speedy300Dturbo; 11-22-2002 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 11-22-2002, 09:37 PM
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If 032 is for the 380SE is there any reason why a car would be labeled and titled as an SEL?
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Old 11-22-2002, 09:48 PM
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Location: Vernon, CT
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Any Mercedes prior to U.S. model year 1981 would have a vin number starting with the chassis number. If your vin is indeed starting wiht a 126 then it is a grey market car. The W126 chassis was introduced to Germany in 1979 as a 1980 model. InGermany there model year starts in the Summer. Also, I have a full line broucher for Mercede from 1980, and there was no U.S. model 380. There was the 280 and the 450.
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