I recently purchased a grey market 500SL (in live in the US). I am
uncertain of the year of the car. I believe it to be an '82 but I'm
not 100% sure. VIN is WDB10704612000845. Tenth digit is a 1. Can
anyone decode this VIN for me? Any additional information you can
provide other than the year would be greatly appreciated as well.
That website shows the selling dealer and the options from the data card.
But it said the same thing I said in answering the original question. You cannot
determine the year
from that chassis number. THAT was his question.
But the VIN lookup gives much more information than what could be
encoded in the VIN number. So the fact that it's not available has to do
with the data in the database rather than the digit codes in the number.
Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...
and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope....
And I might add, good luck with the car!
The real 500SL was never imported into the US because there is not enough room
under it to put the
correct size cat convertor on it to clean it up to pass Calif emissions for 7
years/70K miles. All
the grey market ones that got in just required a cat on it, so the importers put
little ones on that
would fit; like from Pintos. They overheated, got red hot, and the cars caught
on fire. Hey, they
were legal as far as the EPA was concerned.... just not safe. Close to 90% of
the grey 500SL's
burned to the ground. NOT BS!
You already have the VIN decoded thanks to Karl's reply.
Here's the rest of what you are looking for:
500 SL 107.046.12.000817 was built on June 22, 1981
500 SL 107.046.12.000873 was built on July 10, 1981
Your car was built between June 22 and July 10, 1981, so it seems to be
a 1981 model.
In the parts of the US where inspection is nominal or
nonexistent-which is surprisingly much if you live outside California
or the Northeast-one simply punches or removes the cat, fixing the
problem. Grey market cars cheap CAN be excellent buys if you can pull
some shenanigans like this. Worst case scenario: gut the fuel, engine
management and ignition systems and put in a LPG tank, hang an Impco
mixer off the air metering and figure out a way to run aftermarket
distributorless ignition off the stock cam and crank sensors.
Also undersized cats will fail but you would have to come up with some
definite statitistics proven with DMV and insurance or fire service
documentation for me to believe overheating cats cause a huge number of
catastrophic vehicle fires. Charring the carpet, maybe. Total burndowns
are almost invariably a fuel leak issue, or in rare cases an electrical
short, in modern cars with electric fuel pumps and no shutoffs as on
race cars and aircraft.
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