As of August 1983 the US has its own 17 character long VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Unfortunately this VIN does not comply with the internationally used FIN (Fahrzug Identifikations Nr. or Fahrgestell Nr.) used by MB elsewhere. So all official papers in the US use this VIN. It can be decoded to an MB international FIN and you can read model year, safety restraint system and production plant form it. Here is even a program to decode it.
US VIN has some advatages over international FIN but also some disadvantages as the US simplifies matters. You can e.g. not distinguish between left and right hand steering or read manual or automatic gear box from it. Therefore you can read model year and safety restraint system form it.
US VIN decoding
I have programmed a small VIN decoder that provides for Mercedes-Benz R107 SL VINs (Vehicle Identification Number) a decoding to German FIN and tells you model year, safety restraint system and production plant:
And if you want to find out more about your car? Get your data card from either EPC program or get it printed from your Daimler garage.
Have fun with this article and the program
Your Dr-DJet (Volker)