Author Topic: Proof Of Vehicle Assembly Completion Date  (Read 4567 times)

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
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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
280sl - 1971 - Auto - Limited Slip Diff.

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?
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

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
RHD 280 in DB906 with cognac leather

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.

JamesL

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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
RHD 280 in DB906 with cognac leather

MikeSimon

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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?
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

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
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 #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
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

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
W128 220SE
W121 190SL
G-class

MikeSimon

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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.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

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

280SL 1970 automatic 180G Silver
W128 220SE
W121 190SL
G-class

49er

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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

lowpad

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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

MikeSimon

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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
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner