Author Topic: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date  (Read 4545 times)

Tyler S.

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Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« on: February 20, 2020, 17:20:14 »
Not sure if this topic has been discussed before but if the steering wheel is original you can determine the exact date the car rolled off the assembly line. Under the steering wheel pad on the steering wheel itself is a DD/MM/YY date stamp. Double checking the production statistics this date falls within the correct timeframe for my vin range. In my case 23rd day of July, 1967.  See photo below. 
Tyler
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 20:33:01 by Tyler S. »
1968 (67) 250sl. 4 speed manual. DB180 Silver
2019 E450 Wagon. Majestic Blue
1936 Ford PU Flathead V8. Creme on tan interior.
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doitwright

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Re: Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2020, 17:40:56 »
Something new to learn every day. I will look at my steering wheel as soon as I get home.
Frank Koronkiewicz
Willowbrook, Illinois

1970 280SL Originally Light Ivory - Now Anthracite Gray Metallic

Rolf-Dieter

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2020, 20:03:55 »
Hi Tyler,

I’m not sure if that is correct, it might also be that when this particular part was manufactured it was stamped by the Machinist or Inspector as a work order item. Only someone that worked at the factory will know for sure.

I concur that it is close to the car completion date, my thinking here is that there is properly no sufficient time to use a low stress stamp on the final assembly line.

Further I say this since from personal experience when I worked at Carman Gia as a student in Osnabrück Germany (1956)we unloaded the undercarriage from rail road cars into the parking lot and the steering assembly was in place.

BTW. It was great fun sitting on a wooden box and being pushed down the ramp to park the lower section (less, seats, etc etc), into the parking lot for final assembly operation of the car).   

Dieter
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 20:14:38 by Rolf-Dieter »
Dieter

Mercedes-Benz 1969 Pagoda 280 SL Auto. Exterior Blue, Interior Blue Leather
Mercedes-Benz 2011 SL 63 AMG Roadster, Exterior Sliver Metallic, Interior Black Leather
I consider myself fortunate to have something New and something Old to enjoy

MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2020, 20:34:07 »
Rolf-Dieter; just curious - what car did Karmann produce in 1956? That place has an amazing history of some great cars made.
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Rolf-Dieter

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2020, 20:50:17 »
Hi Mike,

When I worked there the model in production was the LowLight.

Dieter
Dieter

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Mercedes-Benz 2011 SL 63 AMG Roadster, Exterior Sliver Metallic, Interior Black Leather
I consider myself fortunate to have something New and something Old to enjoy

Tyler S.

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2020, 20:55:34 »
Deiter, Anything is certainly possible but the way in which the stamp was done is interesting. They were stamped with a hand punch and it looks as if they were struck twice and in haste.  I had also read on another forum that this is how the 600’s line production date is established. It’s definitely not the date of the steering wheel being manufactured as that would put its manufacture within 2 weeks of the production range. There is another 250sl close by that is within 100 digits of my vin. Ill take a look at that one sometime.
Here is a better shot.
1968 (67) 250sl. 4 speed manual. DB180 Silver
2019 E450 Wagon. Majestic Blue
1936 Ford PU Flathead V8. Creme on tan interior.
1989 Volkswagen T3 Westfailia Campmobile. Dove Grey (blue)

neelyrc

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2020, 03:23:06 »
Tyler, do you have a copy of your data card from the Classic Center with a date stamp? It would be interesting to see if the stamped date on the steering wheel coincides with the date on the data card.
Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
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Tyler S.

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2020, 04:35:01 »
No date stamp on my data card. It seems that it was mostly Euro models that got that stamp and it was used for date of first registration.
1968 (67) 250sl. 4 speed manual. DB180 Silver
2019 E450 Wagon. Majestic Blue
1936 Ford PU Flathead V8. Creme on tan interior.
1989 Volkswagen T3 Westfailia Campmobile. Dove Grey (blue)

49er

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2020, 16:37:56 »
 There wasn't a date stamp on my card either. I will have to pull the padded cover see if there is a July '68 date on mine. There is a date on the brake booster of "19. 6. 8." (19 June 1968) to indicate the boosters were made weeks ahead of the production of the vehicles.

John
1969 280SL 113044 10 003820
Un Restored, All Original, including the paint
Original Owner, Purchased September 18, 1968
4 speed manual, PS. 76707 miles
6775 miles since awoken from her 20+ yr "nap" in 2010

Benz Dr.

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2020, 18:22:23 »
I had an early 230SL here a couple of years ago. I believe the production date was Dec 13 1963 and the VIN was something like 001039. I rebuilt the engine and the serial number on it was 00083 which seemed rather odd to me. Then I remembered that the first 700 cars were all standard trans so then it started to make sense. This was an auto trans car and clearly the factory had a number of engines made up ahead of time and only used them when ordered. Clearly a 1963 automatic trans 230SL is a rare car.
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MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2020, 21:21:20 »
Hi Mike,

When I worked there the model in production was the LowLight.

Dieter

What in the world was that? Forgive my ignorance, never heard of that model!
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
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neelyrc

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2020, 03:58:44 »
No date stamp on my data card. It seems that it was mostly Euro models that got that stamp and it was used for date of first registration.
Is your data card one supplied by the Classic Center?  All the data cards I have seen that were supplied by the Classic Center included a date stamp.  My original card has no stamp.  I obtained a copy of my data card from the Classic Center when they were still being supplied gratis.  It includes the date stamp.

Both cards included here.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 04:21:27 by neelyrc »
Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Italy
2004 Toyota HiLux D4D Pickup
2008 BMW 330xd Futura Coupe' (E92)

114015

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2020, 04:22:45 »
Quote
What in the world was that? Forgive my ignorance, never heard of that model!

Mike,
I think the "Typ 34", the ordinary "Karmann Ghia" or perhaps the "Typ 14" (Großer Karmann).

What else would it have been in those years?

 ;)
Achim
Achim
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Garry

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2020, 04:59:01 »
I think the Low Light Dieter is referring to was a Vw Bay Window Kombi of 1968 to 1972. It had it’s front indicators lights down low on the front where in 1973 onwards they were higher up in the fresh air intake.
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Rolf-Dieter

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2020, 06:18:10 »
Mike,

Check this out ...

——-> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLAh535V0MI

Dieter
Dieter

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Mercedes-Benz 2011 SL 63 AMG Roadster, Exterior Sliver Metallic, Interior Black Leather
I consider myself fortunate to have something New and something Old to enjoy

Tyler S.

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2020, 14:03:49 »
Ralph, Yes my copy of my data card came from the classic center. No date stamp on it. From what I have read this was mostly a European item to delineate date of first registration. Looks like your car has a 707 European Delivery Program/ Tourist code so that would make sense that it has a date stamp as it was first registered in Europe, albeit briefly.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 14:17:03 by Tyler S. »
1968 (67) 250sl. 4 speed manual. DB180 Silver
2019 E450 Wagon. Majestic Blue
1936 Ford PU Flathead V8. Creme on tan interior.
1989 Volkswagen T3 Westfailia Campmobile. Dove Grey (blue)

MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2020, 23:18:01 »
There are two fields on the card for  the date stamp. One says "Übernahmetag" which loosely translates to "transfer date" and the other is "Zulassungsdatum" which means "registration date".
I think it has to do with the procedure of the transfer to the customer. My card has a stamp in "Zulassungsdatum" which is the same date as shown in the original title as date of first registration.
The Übernahmetag field is blank. As both fields were stamped by the dealer or Niederlassung, I assume it has to do with how the car was transferred. An Übernahmetag stamp would appear if the car was handed to the customer without being registered by the MB dealer or Niederlassung. A "Tourist" - or European delivery - car could thus have a "Übernahmetag" stamp. This cars usually had a German "customs plate". this is/was an oval license plate, indicating the car was destined for export out of Germany. Once they are/were issued, you would not be able to get a German registration unless you would "re-import" the vehicle.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
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Parchment Leather
Power Steering
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Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
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ejboyd5

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2020, 00:12:19 »
It is my definite understanding and experience that Mercedes-Benz used the steering hub stamping to record the departure date from the production line for every W 108 and W 109 chassis vehicle.  I do not know if this practice carried over to the Pagoda and will not speculate aside from noting that all these vehicles were being built at approximately the same time.

Tyler S.

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2020, 04:37:03 »
Quote
  I do not know if this practice carried over to the Pagoda and will not speculate aside from noting that all these vehicles were being built at approximately the same time.

Even the 600 was built on the same line. Looks to be some 108’s on the far left lane.

Edit: Second photo of the same line taken at a later date.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 18:38:15 by Tyler S. »
1968 (67) 250sl. 4 speed manual. DB180 Silver
2019 E450 Wagon. Majestic Blue
1936 Ford PU Flathead V8. Creme on tan interior.
1989 Volkswagen T3 Westfailia Campmobile. Dove Grey (blue)

neelyrc

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2020, 15:21:06 »
......An Übernahmetag stamp would appear if the car was handed to the customer without being registered by the MB dealer or Niederlassung. A "Tourist" - or European delivery - car could thus have a "Übernahmetag" stamp. This cars usually had a German "customs plate". this is/was an oval license plate, indicating the car was destined for export out of Germany.......

Mike,
Thanks for this explanation.  My car was a “Tourist” delivery at the factory on 12 February, 1969.  The data cards that came with the car do not have a “Übernahmetag" stamp.  However, I obtained a data card from the Classic Center in 2017 and the card they supplied does have a 24.Feb.1969 date stamp. I was expecting that the date would match the actual delivery date of the car but it did not.

Today I went back and pulled out the Customs registration book.  The date stamped on the cover of the book reads “11.Feb.1969”, the day prior to the delivery date of the car.  The fold out data page of the book is date stamped “24.Feb.1969” which matches the date on the Classic Center supplied Data card.  I do not know the significance of the February 24 date.  The bottom line on the data page (18) indicates the Custom  license plate number.  This original plate is mounted on my front bumper.

Some members here have assumed that the date stamped data card obtained from the Classic Center would document the production date of their car.  The foregoing indicates that for my car this date is close but not the actual date.  Next step, check the steering column date stamp!

Thanks again for helping  provide some clarity, Mike.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 15:26:34 by neelyrc »
Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Italy
2004 Toyota HiLux D4D Pickup
2008 BMW 330xd Futura Coupe' (E92)

MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2020, 21:38:09 »
Ralph:
Having no personal experience with the Euro or Tourist delivery program, I can only speculate.
The date of February 11 is the date of the International Registration Certificate. this should be the same date the oval customs plate was issued.
The date of February 24 is on a stamp from the Customs office in Weil-Otterbach.
Two possible scenarios:
1 - February 24 is date of actual export . This is unlikely, you would have had only 13 days two weeks to use the car in Germany?
2- It took 13 days for the customs office to process the paperwork.

Neither date has anything to do when the car was actually produced. Even on my card, for the car delivered in Germany to a German customer, the date is not a production date.

If you remember when you took possession of the car and when you turned it back in to have it shipped, you would have a little more info on the whole thing.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

neelyrc

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2020, 04:10:09 »
Thanks Mike,
For completeness, I took delivery on February 12, 1969, as indicated in my last post. I exported the car from Germany the same day by driving it to Lugano, Switzerland, with the registration in hand.  The postdated stamping of February 24 will remain a mystery. 
Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Italy
2004 Toyota HiLux D4D Pickup
2008 BMW 330xd Futura Coupe' (E92)

MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2020, 13:22:02 »
Ralph:

Did you physically receive the document with the February 24 stamp on February 12? How could that happen? Or did they send it to you?
The date February 24 should be the date the customs office in Weil-Otterbach processed the paperwork
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

neelyrc

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2020, 02:59:25 »
Mike,

I had the registration book in hand, otherwise I could not have driven the car from the factory and especially across the border to Switzerland.   

The only thing that came later was a letter from MB of NA sending me a $200 refund. The purchase order included a deposit to be refunded on proof of export from Germany.  As I recall, I received a receipt of some sort from the Customs Agent at the border which I sent in to claim the refund. 

Another document I have is attached (printed both sides). It has a date stamp of 4.Feb.1969.  I may be wrong but I have always assumed this was the receipt for the registration book.  This doesn’t however provide any clarification.

As I indicated it is a mystery!

Thanks again,



Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Italy
2004 Toyota HiLux D4D Pickup
2008 BMW 330xd Futura Coupe' (E92)

MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2020, 13:30:34 »
The first document (letter) is self explanatory. The two-sided document is the confirmation of the registration office that the fee has been paid and the plate has been assigned.
Indeed there is a mystery inasmuch as you had the registration book in your hands on February 12 and it carried a date stamp of February 24.
Unless - the date of February 24 is supposed to be expiration date of the customs plate and the car has to be exported no later than that date.
It could also be that the customs officer was suffering from a hangover from a "Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday" celebration, which is usually around that time :o ;D ;D
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2020, 19:14:13 »
Ralph: I did a little geography research. The customs office Weil-Otterbach is at the border crossing from Germany into Switzerland. Maybe the mystery thing is more of a memory thing. ;D
It looks to me that you crossed the border driving into Switzerland at that crossing on February 24. When you presented the registration book, customs stamped it.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

neelyrc

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2020, 04:40:55 »
Could definitely be a memory thing, Mike. :-[  After all it was only 51 years ago!

However, the delivery date in the purchase order and the transfer date on the Certificate of Origin (attached) both indicate February 12, 1969.  I was only in Sindelfingen/Stuttgartt for one night and collected the car the following day and departed for Lugano via the old Gotthard Pass rail tunnel, the northern end being at Goschenen, Switzerland.  Weil-Otterbach would appear to be to far to the west for this route however the best route then and now could be completely different.

I have a couple of other relevant documents in my files in Italy to check but I will not be able to access them for a couple of months yet.  By the way, Fat Tuesday was February 18 that year!

Again, Thanks for all your efforts.

Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Italy
2004 Toyota HiLux D4D Pickup
2008 BMW 330xd Futura Coupe' (E92)

MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2020, 12:57:57 »
Ralph : You have me curious myself. I will investigate this a little further and will contact the customs office in Weil-Otterbach with the help of some friends to find put what the nature of the stamp is.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

49er

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2020, 20:13:52 »
Hi Ralph, I have been looking at your over seas delivery order with interest. I have compared it with mine and other then a considerable difference in the MSRP :) I noticed there was not a separate charge for power steering. On my car it was option 422 for $200. Also you were hit with a $5 charge for anti freeze! ;D   BTW, I did the reverse of your journey in '65 driving from Lugano over the Gothard pass and on to Grindlewald in my VW. Sure did love those hairpin turns. Drove through the tunnel a few years ago and not nearly as much fun.

John
1969 280SL 113044 10 003820
Un Restored, All Original, including the paint
Original Owner, Purchased September 18, 1968
4 speed manual, PS. 76707 miles
6775 miles since awoken from her 20+ yr "nap" in 2010

MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2020, 00:25:30 »
The first line, above the option list, states a price of $5890.- for the car "incl U.S. equipment". This may have included the power steering option for Ralph's car.
Anti-freeze filling was not standard in Germany back then and that's why it may have been listed as an additional cost item.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

neelyrc

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2020, 03:25:12 »
John and Mike, my car doesn’t have power steering.  You will see on the data card posted above that there is a “ - “ in block 42 of the data card. 

When I went through the Gotthard rail tunnel in my car in 1969, it was on a shuttle train.  I have not driven through the road tunnel (opened about 1980 I think) nor have I driven the road over the pass which I can imagine would be a fun and exciting drive.  I gather that construction is to start this year on a further road tunnel. 


Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Italy
2004 Toyota HiLux D4D Pickup
2008 BMW 330xd Futura Coupe' (E92)

MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2020, 18:28:52 »
Since I moved to the Unites States, I have been over  the Alps from Germany to Italy more times than during the 36 years I lived over there. I try to avoid Switzerland, because of their Police's bad reputation to set speeding traps for Tourists and then charging them a fortune in fines. I usually take a more eastern route over the Brenner pass Europa bridge or even the Großglockner or the Tauern tunnel. I remember in 1974 taking my 914-6 over the pass and it died on me in the thin air. Not a fun experience, having a car stalling on you going up in a hairpin.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

Desertpagoda

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2020, 00:41:40 »
FYI, a "low light" ghia was a Karman Ghia car built from 55 thru 59. The headlights were mounted lower than later Ghias and there were air intake grilles located in-board of the headlights
kb

Tyler S.

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #33 on: October 05, 2020, 22:11:26 »
Ok, So has anyone pulled their steering wheel hub cover and compared it to the VIN range and production statistics in the wiki? I’m still curious.
1968 (67) 250sl. 4 speed manual. DB180 Silver
2019 E450 Wagon. Majestic Blue
1936 Ford PU Flathead V8. Creme on tan interior.
1989 Volkswagen T3 Westfailia Campmobile. Dove Grey (blue)

Rolf-Dieter

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2020, 18:22:21 »
FYI, a "low light" ghia was a Karman Ghia car built from 55 thru 59. The headlights were mounted lower than later Ghias and there were air intake grilles located in-board of the headlights

Thanks for confirming this kb, when I worked there part-time in the fall of 1956 at age 19 as a student I asked my Foreman what model is this and he said "Low Light" (I dont know if he was right or not), that is all I remember. I dont think or recall that the car had a specific model description.

Dieter
Dieter

Mercedes-Benz 1969 Pagoda 280 SL Auto. Exterior Blue, Interior Blue Leather
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kampala

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2021, 18:21:19 »
Tyler,

I think you are onto something with the stamped date on the steering.   I just looked at my 250 steering stamp.

The stamp is 25 09 67   

Any other dated parts I find on the car are much earlier.   

My car was delivered to the owners  in first weeks of 1968 in USA.   Our tech manual suggests that production of my car would have probably been first week of October based on vin 04442.


Oz
250sl - later - manual
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MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2021, 13:04:57 »
This picture shows a small steering wheel logo, which, if I am not mistaken, was the logo the steering wheel manufacturer, Petri, used on their products. Wouldn't the stamp be the date applied by the steering wheel manufacturer?
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JamesL

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2021, 16:30:56 »
By VIN my car is about the first week of Oct ‘69 according to the Tech Manual. Assuming an average production run per day, I get the 2nd Oct
My steering column is stamped 25 69 09, which is a week earlier.
James L
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kampala

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2021, 17:11:55 »
The point is that other parts on the car with date are typically months prior to the production complete date except for the steering - which seems to be within a week of the presumed complete of production date.  If this pattern is consistent over several years then it suggests that that Tyler has a point that the steering date stamp may well be connected to final production date. 

For those who want to check their date - It’s easy to check and requires no tools.  Just pull the padded part off with your fingers and you will see the date.  If your steering is original it would be nice to know the date vs your presumed production date or vin. 
Oz
250sl - later - manual
280sl - 1971 - Auto - Limited Slip Diff.

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2021, 17:46:51 »
Not necessarily the easiest thing to spot but very clearly done by hand (in my case to the right of the logo and with the yy dd mm format
James L
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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2021, 20:21:08 »
Can someone like Tom Hanson, who is being mentioned all the time here as a source, answer that question?
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Tyler S.

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2021, 17:19:12 »
It could also be stated that a production date listed in documents could be a week later than actual production completion (rolled off the line). The cars were tested and some of the option codes on the data cards were performed after the vehicle was completed. Such as delivery prep and shipping prep codes.
1968 (67) 250sl. 4 speed manual. DB180 Silver
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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2021, 20:56:08 »
On my card the "delivery date" is the same as the official German title issue date by the "Zulassungsstelle" (registration office). I always wondered about that. It almost seems that the date on the data card was stamped by the dealer.
Here is a timeline:
- The car rolls off the assembly line
- Shake down, final inspection        Day X

- Transport from Stuttgart to Frankfurt   Day x+1

- Car title issue/registration by dealer   Day x+2

With a date of December 16 on my data card AND on the title, this would make a complete production date of December 14.
According to the Tech Manual dates, my car is November production.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
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col320ce

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2021, 11:40:46 »
I can't see one on my 230sl... Do we think this happened on all pagodas?
All the photos are all close ups and I'm not 100‰ sure I'm looking in the correct place.
Col

1964 230SL
1965 250SE coupe
1993 320CE Sportline

Pawel66

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2021, 13:24:25 »
On my card the "delivery date" is the same as the official German title issue date by the "Zulassungsstelle" (registration office). I always wondered about that. It almost seems that the date on the data card was stamped by the dealer.
Here is a timeline:
- The car rolls off the assembly line
- Shake down, final inspection        Day X

- Transport from Stuttgart to Frankfurt   Day x+1

- Car title issue/registration by dealer   Day x+2

With a date of December 16 on my data card AND on the title, this would make a complete production date of December 14.
According to the Tech Manual dates, my car is November production.

Mike, I would be very surprised it worked that way - one day for each stage of this operation. The car, I am pretty sure, would stand one here, two days, there, then there was Sunday or St. Nicholas day.... I think there might have been standards, but they were providing several days from stage to stage. I would not be surprised it added up to 2 weeks.
Pawel

280SL 1970 automatic 180G Silver
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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2021, 14:38:20 »
Pawel: I totally agree. My estimate was for the "best scenario". Which is unlikely the real world.
If I look at my car, it supposedly (according to the Tech Manual data) was produced in November 1970. Title issue (delivery to Mrs Szlang) was on December 16, 1970.
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Pawel66

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2021, 16:25:07 »
I would say it is a good match - these dates.
Pawel

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2021, 18:24:08 »
 I finally ventured out into my cold garage and pulled the Pad to find the Date of 23 6 68 stamped. A date of 19 6 68 is still barely visible on the brake booster. The VIN suggests the 1st week in July '68 as the date the car officially entered the books. It took 2 months to get to the dock in Long Beach CA, and other week to get to my driveway :D

John
1969 280SL 113044 10 003820
Un Restored, All Original, including the paint
Original Owner, Purchased September 18, 1968
4 speed manual, PS. 76707 miles
6775 miles since awoken from her 20+ yr "nap" in 2010

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #48 on: February 09, 2021, 21:11:45 »
To add a bit to the KG discussion, here is a picture of an early, so-called "lowlight" model.  These are today among the most prized versions of these lovely hand-built cars. They bore an astonishing (too astonishing, actually) resemblance to Virgil Exner's Chrysler D'Elegance show car, which was built at Ghia. 
1966 230SL (6/66 build)
French export
4-speed manual
158 Exterior / 040 Hardtop

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #49 on: February 10, 2021, 13:14:36 »
Very much like today, where most designers at different car manufacturers all went to the same school, the Italian designers and "body manufacturers" had very typical styling elements during certain periods, that they used on different models. One example that always hit home for me was my first car, a 1961 Fiat 1500S OSCA. It was penned by Pininfarina who also designed the Peugeot 404 Cabriolet. the two look eerily similar.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2021, 13:19:27 by MikeSimon »
1970/71 280SL Automatic
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66andBlue

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #50 on: February 10, 2021, 19:13:50 »
Deiter, Anything is certainly possible but the way in which the stamp was done is interesting. They were stamped with a hand punch and it looks as if they were struck twice and in haste.  I had also read on another forum that this is how the 600’s line production date is established. It’s definitely not the date of the steering wheel being manufactured as that would put its manufacture within 2 weeks of the production range. There is another 250sl close by that is within 100 digits of my vin. Ill take a look at that one sometime.
Here is a better shot.
Back to date stamps again. Next time you have access to the emergency switch look at the front, there will be a date stamp that is quite close to the production date.

Alfred
1964 230SL manual 4-speed 568H signal red
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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #51 on: February 10, 2021, 20:56:24 »
Many cast parts have a "casting clock" which gives year and month of the actual casting process. It can narrow down vehicle production date, although it is not that close, of course.
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66andBlue

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #52 on: February 10, 2021, 21:23:36 »
When is "close" close enough?
Do you play horseshoe, or throw hand grenades?  ;) 🤣
Alfred
1964 230SL manual 4-speed 568H signal red
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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #53 on: February 11, 2021, 01:40:24 »
As we narrow down when the 250 stopped and the 280 began.  My 280 is serial number 000176.   The number on the steering wheel is 23 12 67.  That was a Saturday. If the numbers in the Wiki are right, If the factory was running 6 days per week, and Christmas was a holiday, that would mean that there were 80 cars after mine produced in th 6 remaining work days that year.  No significance, just fun to know.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2021, 02:07:50 by Raymond »
Ray
'68 280SL 5-spd "California" Coupe

Pawel66

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #54 on: February 11, 2021, 07:36:29 »
What if you find out your car was produced on Monday? Or the first day after October Fest? Scary...
Pawel

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MikeSimon

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #55 on: February 11, 2021, 12:59:49 »
As we narrow down when the 250 stopped and the 280 began.  My 280 is serial number 000176.   The number on the steering wheel is 23 12 67.  That was a Saturday. If the numbers in the Wiki are right, If the factory was running 6 days per week, and Christmas was a holiday, that would mean that there were 80 cars after mine produced in th 6 remaining work days that year.  No significance, just fun to know.

Remember, in Germany there are TWO Christmas Days. The 25th AND the 26th of December. Both Holidays.
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JamesL

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #56 on: February 11, 2021, 14:20:03 »
A habit that happily continues.
James L
RHD 280 in DB906 with cognac leather

kampala

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #57 on: February 11, 2021, 15:36:13 »
As we narrow down when the 250 stopped and the 280 began.  My 280 is serial number 000176.   The number on the steering wheel is 23 12 67.

This adds more credence to Tyler's point - again we have a steering stamp date that coincides within days of presumed completion.

 
Oz
250sl - later - manual
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Mike Hughes

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #58 on: February 11, 2021, 17:13:54 »
... which leads one to consider that "just in time" logistics is not as recent a phenomenon in automobile assembly plant operations as manufacturers were touting around the turn of the millennium!
- Mike Hughes  -ô¿ô-
  1966 230SL Auto P/S
  Havana Brown (408)
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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #59 on: February 12, 2021, 13:45:11 »
Mike, I started working in 1978 and when I got involved in passenger car manufacturing in 1979, there was already "Just in Time".
We always had the discussion about some OEMs interpreting "JiT" as "I can get anything I want at any time I want"
It took a while until both sides, OEMs and suppliers, had solid systems in place that were doing good planning for JiT to work.
I remember that Mercedes had their seat plant in Bremerhaven on JiT for the production of the new 190. They were shipping the correct upholstery color to the car line as needed.
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Mike Hughes

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2021, 14:15:10 »
Quite true, Mike, and I remember that FoMoCo was talking about the benefits of JIT even when I began my automotive career in 1980.  It seemed like it took forever for it to bear fruit.  By the mid 2000s real life order-to-delivery time had been reduced from 10-12 weeks in the '80s to 3-4 weeks.  Back in 2005, when Taurus and Sable production came from both Chicago and Atlanta assembly plants, I factory ordered a Mercury Sable for a client, told her to expect it in about a month and received it from Atlanta nine days later!
- Mike Hughes  -ô¿ô-
  1966 230SL Auto P/S
  Havana Brown (408)
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FGN59

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Re: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date
« Reply #61 on: April 21, 2021, 15:19:05 »
A bit late to the party here, but as I recently took my car out of winter storage, I tried looking at the date stamped on the steering wheel: none... it appears that the center plate has been brushed or sanded, and the date, if there ever was one, is gone  >:(

Why would someone do that? Or is it because it could be a replacement? The steering wheel is in perfect condition, no cracks at all.
François

1969 280SL US specs, 4-speed manual, beige-grey (726H), parchment leather
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