H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals

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21C0440 020 1 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals

Congratulations on your 25th birthday: The H license plate is celebrating its silver anniversary next year. Since the end of July 1997, it has been honoring the status of vehicles as a historical cultural asset. They can get it 30 years after their first registration, a classic car report is a prerequisite. In 2022, several Mercedes-Benz classics will be ready for the coveted H license plate for the first time: the sporty, luxurious SEC Coupés and the four-seater convertible from the 124 series, but also series of the legendary G-Class and the Unimog are among the candidates for the historical admission. They all premiered in 1992. There are also other types and special editions presented 30 years ago.

H mark 2022

Vintage car appraisal, classic H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals

Those who register their classic vehicles with the famous 2022 star are in good company: According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, 1 vehicles were registered in Germany as of January 2021, 660.520, and an expert report confirms their status as a technical cultural asset - that is an increase compared to January 1, 2020 by 11 percent. These vehicles include 584.509 passenger cars, which makes up 88,5 percent. In order to receive a classic car report, the vehicles must be in an authentic and technically good condition. Through the registration with a history license plate, the owners can enjoy a tax break.

Luxurious sportiness with an individual look: SEC coupés of the 140 series

In January 1992, the SEC top-class coupés of the 140 series premiered at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. They are the top models of the Mercedes-Benz passenger car range at the time. The C 140 was presented to the European public two months later at the Geneva Motor Show. First came the coupés with the types 500 SEC (V8 engine, 235 kW/ 320 PS) and 600 SEC (V12 engine, 290 kW/ 394 PS) on the market. An innovation of far-reaching importance for the development of active driving safety premiered three years later in the top model of the series, which has been operating as the S 1993 Coupé since June 600 after the introduction of a new type designation: the ESP electronic stability program® supports the driver by intervening in unstable driving situations with sensor-controlled braking. Today is ESP® a worldwide standard in automotive technology.

21C0440 003 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals
Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC, luxury class coupé of the 140 series (production period 1992 to 1998). Genre photo from the front left from 1992 (photo signature of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive: A92F1518)

The coupés are based on the S-Class of the 140 series, but differ in style from the sedans more clearly than is the case with the predecessor 126 series. In the brochure from 1993 it says about the appearance of the sporty, luxurious, two-door touring car: "By dispensing with everything superfluous and with clear, calm shapes, the S-Class Coupé proves that dynamism can also get by without superimposed sportiness." A total of 1998 coupés of the 26.022 series were produced as SEC (140 to 1992), S-Class Coupés (1993 to 1993) and CL-Class (1996 to 1996).

The fascination of open-top driving in the upper middle class: convertibles from the 124 series

In June 1992 the Mercedes-Benz 300 CE-24 Cabriolet of the 124 series had its market premiere. The open four-seater with a fabric top was presented as early as September 1991 at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main. The convertible is the fourth body variant of this generation of the upper middle class. Despite the close technical relationship to the sedan (W 124), T-model (S 124) and coupé (C 124), around 124 parts have been completely redesigned for the convertible (A 1.000). Many of them serve to stiffen the body in order to make the open four-seater as comfortable and safe as the other members of the series family.

21C0440 006 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals
Mercedes-Benz 300 CE-24 Cabriolet of the 124 series (production period 1992 to 1997). Exterior photo from the rear right with the convertible top closed from 1992 (photo signature of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive: A92F784)

The open four-seater is initially available as a Mercedes-Benz 300 CE-24 Cabriolet 162 kW (220 hp) strong 3,0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine. After the reorganization of the series and type designations and the simultaneous model update at Mercedes-Benz in the summer of 1993, there are four different types of the vehicle now trading as the E-Class Cabriolet: E 200 Cabriolet (100 kW/ 136 hp), E 220 Cabriolet (110 kW/ 150 hp), E 320 Cabriolet (162 kW/ 220 PS) and the top model, the E 36 AMG Cabriolet (200 kW/ 272 PS).

21C0440 004 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals
Mercedes-Benz 300 CE-24 Cabriolet of the 124 series (production period 1992 to 1997). Exterior photo from the front right with the convertible top open from 1991 (photo signature of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive: A91F1182)

The market launch of the 124 series convertibles is a milestone in the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Because before that there was no four-seater convertible in the model range of the Stuttgart brand for 20 years. The Mercedes-Benz 300 CE-24 Cabriolet continues a tradition for which the 1971 SE Cabriolet and 280 SE 280 Cabriolet of the W 3.5 series stood until 111. A total of 1997 convertibles of the 33.952 series were produced by 124.

The pros for the terrain: Mercedes-Benz G-model of the 461 series

21C0440 009 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals
Mercedes-Benz G-Class of the 461 series (production period 1992 to 2013). Contemporary genre photo of a towing vehicle in the construction industry. (Photo signature of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive: 1998DIG246)

After 13 highly successful years since the premiere of the G-model, Mercedes-Benz reorganized the series family of the legendary off-road vehicle in 1992: the variants with a clear focus on professional applications as commercial vehicles will in future be run as an independent series 461. This series designation already existed before, but for versions of the G-model with 24-volt on-board electrics, which are primarily aimed at the military. Now the all-wheel drive vehicles of the 461 series (from 1993 G-Class) focus on customers from the municipal sector, rescue organizations, construction, forestry and many other sectors. Types 290 GD are available (70 kW/ 95 PS) and 230 GE (90 kW/ 122 PS) as station wagons (short and long), panel vans and pick-ups (long wheelbase) and chassis.

Unimog series 408 and 418

21C0440 011 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals
Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 90 of the 408 series (production period 1992 to 2001). Study "Funmog" of an all-terrain recreational vehicle. Genre photo in front of a theater from 1994 (photo signature of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive: A94F217) 

The Mercedes-Benz Unimog with the 30 and 408 series received double growth 418 years ago. They premiered at the IAA Commercial Vehicles in May 1992, replaced various types of the 417 series and were the lightest Unimog series in the sales range from the start of production. The newly developed driver's cab, which is often ordered as a high-roof version with a viewing duct hood, is striking. This is more inclined in front of the driver's seat than on the right-hand side and thus offers an even better view of front attachments. The Unimog of the 408 series are with powers between 65 kW (88 hp) and 85 kW (116 hp) available, those of the 418 series with 75 kW (102 hp) to 103 kW (140 hp). A total of 1998 vehicles of the 1.223 series were produced by 418, and 2001 Unimog series 2.050 vehicles had rolled off the production line by 408. The “Funmog” study based on the Unimog U 1990 of the 90 series as an off-road recreational vehicle shows that the “universal motor device” had long since developed into an off-road icon in the 408s.

21C0440 012 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals
Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 140 of the 418 series (production period 1992 to 1998). Exterior shot from the right with the driver's cab tilted for better access to the engine and transmission from 1991 (photo signature of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive: A92F240) 

V12 premiere for the SL of the 129 series

In October, the 600 SL is the new top model in the SL sports car series 129. The 290 kW (394 hp) roadster is the first Mercedes-Benz SL with a twelve-cylinder engine. The V12 engine ensures brilliant driving performance with extremely smooth running and turbine-like power development. The sports car accelerates from standstill to 100 km / h in 6,1 seconds, and the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km / h.

21C0440 015 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals
Mercedes-Benz 600 SL of the R 129 series (production period 1992 to 2001). Studio shot from the left with hardtop from 1992 (photo signature of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive: D92F861)

The prestigious top model of the SL family is characterized by a range of standard equipment: These include, for example, the adaptive damping system with level control on the front and rear axles, cruise control, an automatically dimming interior mirror, headlight cleaning system, automatic climate control, leather upholstery and seat heating. The exterior of the 600 SL, on the other hand, is discreet: only the nameplate and two “V12” emblems behind the front wheel cutouts distinguish it from its sister models. A total of 11.089 twelve-cylinder sports cars from the 129 series were built by 2001.

Avant-garde rosso, azzurro and verde

21C0440 016 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals
Mercedes-Benz 190 E 1.8 Avantgarde rosso of the 201 series, special model from 1992. Studio photo from the rear right from 1992. (Photo signature of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive: D91F919)

In the successful compact class W 201, three avant-garde special models with pearl color special paintwork and distinctive interior design premiered in March 1992, which particularly appeal to young customers: The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 1.8 Avantgarde rosso awaits with metallic red paintwork and colorful, inspired by modern art Interior on.

21C0440 017 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals
Mercedes-Benz 190 D 2.5 Avantgarde verde of the 201 series, special model from 1992. Studio photo from the front left from 1992. (Photo signature of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive: D91F916)

The 190 D 2.5 Avantgarde verde combines metallic green paintwork with the green and black dotted fabric pattern “Anton” in the interior. Finally, the 190 E 2.3 Avantgarde azzurro is painted metallic blue and has quilted black leather seats in four different colors. It is presented in the 1992 brochure as “the power pack” of the special model series. In addition to the shell-shaped sports seats, the equipment includes a Sportline chassis with 23 millimeters lowering, light alloy rims with wide tires, sports steering wheel, black carbon fiber decor in the center console and numerous comfort features that were not taken for granted at the time. The special models are developed by an international team of Mercedes-Benz designers. They are limited to a total of 4.600 vehicles and self-confidently underline how successfully the brand has entered new groups of buyers with the 201 series. Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz + tuningblog.eu

21C0440 018 H license plate 2022: from luxurious sportiness to off-road professionals
Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3 Avantgarde azzurro of the 201 series, special model from 1992. Studio photo from the right from 1992. (Photo signature of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive: B92F4)

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