The ORG - 100% FREE advice!

Main Menu

W116 Datacard and Body Plate info

Started by Type17, 18 January 2012, 02:17 PM


Seeing as I had already done a bit of work on MB Datacards in another thread, I thought that I would investigate a bit more, and also compare the details on the Datacard with the Body Plate in front of the radiator.
I used various pages on the web, and known details from my own car, to confirm as much as I could, but some details are still unknown, and I'm not 100% sure of a few others, so if you see something that you think isn't right, or have more detail to add, post away and I'll edit as required.

The notes below should be read in conjunction with the pic below. I have labelled the un-numbered items with red letters. The list follows across the card from top left to bottom right, and not necessarily in numerical order.

A. Schicht Nr. - Shift No. - the factory shift during which the car was made. (Useful for tracing which team of workers built each car, etc)

B. SE - ?? - (My guess: Production line no.?)

C. Prod.-Nr. - Production No. - first digit is year (1976 in this case), followed by a number-count (of all MBs made that year?)

5. Aufb.-Nr. - Body No. - the number-count for that country in that year.

6. Fahfgestell Nr. - Chassis No. (NB: not a VIN - the 17-digit VIN format wasn't introduced until 1980 in the USA, and 1983 in the rest of the world)
   •   Sequence as follows:
   •   116 - Model Code
   •   0 - Fuel type - 0 = Petrol, 1 = Diesel
   •   28 = Model, as per field 4 below
   •   2 - Steering Type and place of manufacture, 1 = German-made LHD, 2 = German-made RHD, 5 = CKD kit LHD, 6 = CKD kit RHD
   •   2 - Transmission Type, 0 = Manual, 1 = Semi-Auto, 2 = Automatic
   •   NNNNNN - Serial Number, counting the number of that model designation (eg: 280SE) made to date.

D. Auftrags-Nr. - Order No. - First digit indicates year that the car was ordered (not necessarily the year of manufacture), the next three digits indicate the country code (eg: 537, above, indicates a UK-market car, all country codes are listed below), and the remaining digits are the sequential number for that country.

7. Lack - Paint Code - UT means upper coat, OT means lower coat (only used where a car is two-tone, or has a different colour hard-top).

8. Ausst. - Upholstery - First digit indicated material type, 0 = Cloth, 1 = MBTex, 2 = Leather, last two digits indicate colour.

40-68. Option codes, first two (printed) digits refer to the option type, the last (typed) one refers to the option actually installed in the vehicle. The option denoted by the code changed as the years went by - this website ( gives an indication of the different options under each code during different periods.

E. Wenig Gewünscht - Rarely Ordered (Options)

F. Hinweis - Comments (some codes are in the form of a comment, eg: 994 = Stationary car for use on exhibition)

G. Datacard Number - Three cards come with each car, 1 contains the Key numbers, 2 has a hole in that position to keep the key number private, and 3 is pink, and is stapled into the service book (also has the hole/no key number).

9. Motor Nr. - Engine No.
   •   Sequence as follows:
   •   116 = Engine type (not related to Model Code, the fact that they are both 116 is a coincidence on 350SE's).
   •   985 - Engine variant - in this case, a euro-spec with K-Jet fuel system. The centre digit (8 here) means fuel injection, carburettors are indicated by a 2, 4 or 5, depending on the type.
   •   2 - Steering type, 1 = LHD, 2 = RHD (some engine brackets/ancillaries may vary depending on this)
   •   2 - Transmission type, 0 = Manual, 1 = Semi-Auto, 2 = Automatic (some engine parts such as throttle linkage will vary depending on this)
   •   NNNNNN - serial number, counting the number of that engine variant made.

11 - Getriebe Nr. - Gearbox No.

4. - Typ - Type - Model Designation, eg: 350SE.

13. - Scheinwerfer - Headlight Make, Bosch in this case

24. Hauptschlüssel alle Schlösser - Master key: all locks - number of the square keys (2 x supplied originally)

25. Nubenschlüssel Lenkung, Turen und Tank - Key: Steering, Doors, Fuel - Number of the (oval) valet key - doesn't open glovebox or boot/trunk (1 x supplied originally)

19. Bereifung 5 fach Fabrikat - Tyres, 5, Maker's Name - eg: Michelin, Phoenix, etc

26. Übernahmetag - Aquisition Date (Purchase date - usually only used in the home {German} market)

27. Zulassungsdatum - Date of Registration (usually only used in the home {German} market)

28. Ölmarke - Oil Brand

H. Fahrzeug-Daten - Vehicle Data - m = (??)

2. Bitte bei Ersatzteilbestellung Fahrgestell-Nr. (Pos. 6) und Motor-Nr. (Pos 9) angeben - "Please specify chassis number (item 6) and engine number (item 9) when ordering parts."

3. Achtung! Diese Karte nicht im Fahrzung, sondern in der Brieftasche aufbewahren - "Warning! Do not leave this card in the vehicle, but keep it in your wallet.: (Only on datacard no. 1, due to the key codes on it)

Body Plate

3C - 3 - (??), C = manufacturing plant (A,B,C,D,E = Sindelfingen, F,G,H,T = Bremen, but all German 116's were built in Sindelfingen)

6226406 - Production number, details as per item C on the Datacard

32 - ??

116028 22 - As per first sections of chassis number on Datacard

00275 - Body Number (275th RHD 350SE for 1976)

5 - Continent code (5 = Europe)

861 - Paint code (in this case, 861 = Silver Green)

H - Paint Manufacturer  - G = Glasurit, H = Herberts

M - Metallic Paint (blank = non-metallic paint)

(second dash after M) - no sunroof (0 = factory sunroof)

Remaining 3-digit codes - Option codes, which typically includes/omits some extra ones from those on the Datacard.
'76 350SE in Silver-Green


This is getting very esoteric!  The numbers on my plate are:

4095601       45
116032 22  00 300  5
861 H                       MO
436 467 584 592 600 622

The datacard has the date 22 April1974and it was  first registered 1 August 1974.  If I have got it right your theory would have it as week 45? That would put it in November and that can't be the case can it? Perhaps I am misreading it - any way full marks for making a start it needs doing.
1974 450SE silver green/bamboo velour/green vinyl roof


Hmm, if your car is a '74 model year (first digit of production no. is a 4, so it's not a '73 that was registered very late), then it doesn't seem that those numbers are week number/weekday after all.

Also, unless your car is two-tone (not a 116 option, I presume) then the theory about the end of the third line is also false - I'll edit the details in a while.
'76 350SE in Silver-Green


Nice one T17, I can add a couple of things.

On the datacard, the auftrags nummer (your letter D) is the order numer as you say, the first digit is the last number of the year in which the car was ordered, which is not necessarily the year it was built,

the next 3 digits show the country code, so on yours 537 is Great Britain, with manuals in English. The rest of the numbers in that field are the sequential number for that country for that year.

On the radiator plate, the 00275 is the sequential number of that model for that year, so yours is the 275th RHD 450se? for that year.

The single digit 5 is the continent code, you need the full 3 figures in the auftragsnummer to identify the actual country, there is a full list of country codes I will try to find.

I have no info on the single M, we all seem to have one, metallic paint or not, sometimes there is an O after it that also makes no known sense.





1979 450SE "Mrs White"
2022 Touareg-R 3.0TSi Hybrid


I was always under the impression 625 in the option list was Australia, this doesn't agree with the above table.

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Amen!


Are all the options on the plate/datacard always fitted? Some on mine don't seem to tally with the car.
1974 450SE silver green/bamboo velour/green vinyl roof


I've updated the first post with the details provided since (thanks, marku, Ken & Gavin).

I'll update more of it if more info is posted.

@marku, what discrepancies are you finding? - are they things that a previous owner could have removed/altered?
'76 350SE in Silver-Green


Quote from: koan on 20 January 2012, 07:31 AM
I was always under the impression 625 in the option list was Australia, this doesn't agree with the above table.


I think there are two slightly different things here, 625 in the options list is 'version for Australia', which as far as I know incorporates a number of things by default, such as heat treated glass all around.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I'm guessing that MB didn't have a separate version for every country so maybe other countries around here also got option 625 by default, similar climate etc. Perhaps

also it was used when the purchaser picked up their car from the factory, obviously a European car would not normally get option 625. The country code is kind of a separate thing.

I think.


Is it not interesting how many of the country destination codes were for the DDR (Communist East Germany at that time).
I wonder how many of Honecker and his henchmen bought a 116?


Things missing are re options 592 and 881. There is no heated rear window and it would seem never has been as there is no switch for it either. The other is curtains in rear. Although these could have been taken out at any time there is no evidence of any fitting. A peculiarity is 236, special lighting wiring for Norway and Sweden. The car has the asymetric headlamps for LH traffic, option 613, and I assume that the special wiring must be to have the lights on when driving in those countries but again there is nothing to switch this on or at least nothing I have found.

As I said the datacard has the date 22 April 1974, I suppose that this was the order date as it was registered 1 August which would have been the year letter change

As far as decoding the datacard/plate would not the classic centre have any info? Have heard that they can be quite helpful.
1974 450SE silver green/bamboo velour/green vinyl roof


613, is the standard headlight for RHD cars - the German-language term used for RHD is Linksfahren, which translates as "Left-Hand Traffic".

Not sure why you would have wiring for Norway/Sweden on a car with RHD lights (and steering) though? - that wiring might be for Daytime Running Lights - do your lights come on with the engine?

Again, no HRW is a bit strange for a car (presumably) destined for the UK market - actually, with that in mind, are you sure your car is a UK-market model? - the order number (item D) should start 4 537...
'76 350SE in Silver-Green


Here's mine. 1979 300SD.

Like I said, it is smashed and chipped up. So I did a rubbing.

As best as I can decipher...

     3  6B  9516188  61
116120  12  02515  7
          623H               O
518  531  588  592  639
xxx  410  14x   467  499

     3  6B  9516188  61

3 - ?
6B - ?
9516188 - Produced in 1979, the 516,188th car made that year. ??
61 - ??

116120  12  02515  7

116 - Chassis model number.
120 - 1: Diesel, 20 - Model designation (300SD)
12 - 1: Left-hand drive; 2: Automatic transmission
02515 - Serial number: the 2,515th 300SD made that year.
7 - Country code (USA)

623 - Paint color "White Ivory"
H- Paint manufacturer (Herberts)
O -?

518  531  588  592  639

xxx  410  14x   467  499

1979 300SD
Color: 623H "Light Ivory"
1979 300SD
Color: 861H "Silver Green Metallic"
1977 280 E
Color: 606G "Maple Yellow"


Quote from: marku on 20 January 2012, 01:41 PM
Are all the options on the plate/datacard always fitted? Some on mine don't seem to tally with the car.

It seems reasonably common that the options on the datacard don't exactly tally with what's on the car. Who can say why, maybe even German auto workers make mistakes. Did you say your car has

option code 881 Mark? Could mean either curtains in the rear or rear headrests left and right. To add to the confusion, the meaning of option codes changed over the years while the option numbers

remained the same. This is explained further on this site here under information, could be useful.   




Yes the order no starts 4 537 and an apology I have misread the first line of the plate which ends in 4C. I have both 881 'curtains in rear' and 431 'rear headrests' surely they cannot have had such an arbitrary approach to this - sort of defeats the object. I would have thought that options were customer choices. Is there a standard model that would have no options listed other than those for particular countries? As far as 'special wiring etc' goes the lights do not come on with the ignition and I have yet find anything that would initiate it maybe a subsequent owner had it disconnected. I used to have it working on our current MB but switched it off as it got through too many bulbs. Perhaps they previously had a Volvo! 

Obviously I think this subject really needs investigating and may be a few datacards/plates being posted might help by comparison. If it tends to be as vague as you say it could seriously drive you mad finding out. Shouldn't there be a definitive guide somewhere - how about a volunteer to tackle the Classic Centre?
1974 450SE silver green/bamboo velour/green vinyl roof