Date registered: Jan 2008
Location: Greater Binghamton, NY, USA
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Vintage Starting Serial Numbers?
I've searched through the many VIN decoding threads and spent a long time with my good friend Google looking for vintage decoders. At this point I'm convinced there isn't one outside that the general public can access, especially for 1970-1980 vehicles.
I've decided I want to write one.
Certainly if you want a detailed options list, going to the Mercedes website is really your best option. But if you want to see how honest the description of a car is on eBay or Craigslist or whatever, that's not especially efficient. I feel like getting just year/make/model/body style shouldn't be that difficult.
I have the chassis and model decoding pretty much handled, that part is straightforward and fairly well published. The tough part is obtaining where the demarcation points are for different model years. Krause Publications' Standard Catalog of Imported Cars has some information, but it's very incomplete. What I've gotten from it seems to provide a reasonable decode for 1972-1974 vehicles, but that's not especially useful to a wider audience.
I've looked at the Mercedes-Benz Production Models Book 1946-1975 and the production figures it gives appear to run the calendar year (ie, Jan 1-Dec 31). This doesn't sync with the Standard Catalog book, which I assume reckons by actual model year (Aug 1-Jul 31 or somesuch, I imagine).
Does anyone have information about what serial numbers marked the start of each (North American) model year for each Mercedes model? Or at least know of where those numbers might be found? If I can put together a decoder I'll happily share the link when it's up!