H for highly respected.

Welcome to the Club of Classics: vehicles can be assigned the coveted “H” number plate if they were first registered at least 30 years ago and are in good, original condition – the H plate is an expression of an owner's high esteem for a classic cultural asset.

The decisive factor for allocation of an H plate is not merely the age of the vehicle but also a history assessment. In January 2019, there were 536,515 classic cars throughout Germany that had successfully passed this test. The number one brand among those historical vehicles was Mercedes-Benz.

H certificated: Mercedes-Benz 230 SL rally car (W 113) with an H plate during the Hamburg-Berlin classic rally in 2019.

H certificated: Mercedes-Benz 230 SL rally car (W 113) with an H plate during the Hamburg-Berlin classic rally in 2019.

High performance sports car: the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II debuted in 1990. Photo of a Mercedes-Benz Classic car built for historic motorsport.

High performance sports car: the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II debuted in 1990. Photo of a Mercedes-Benz Classic car built for historic motorsport.

Very different types.

In 2020, five very different types of Mercedes-Benz, which premiered 30 years ago in 1990, will join this noble club:

  • Mercedes-Benz 190 E 1.8 (W 201)
  • Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II (W 201)
  • Mercedes-Benz 250 TD turbo diesel (model series 124)
  • Mercedes-Benz 200 CE (model series 124)
  • Mercedes-Benz 500 E (model series 124)

In the compact W 201 class, these are the 190 E 1.8 and its super-sport brother, the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. The 124 model series has now contributed the 200 CE coupé and the 250 TD turbo diesel estate. These vehicles were initially built in 1990 for export to Italy only. This quintet is now rounded off by the first cars in the legendary 500 E series, that powerful V8 saloon in the inconspicuous guise of the W 124 series, which came off the assembly line at the end of 1990.

A “new broom” in the compact class.

Mercedes-Benz has been celebrating success with the Baby Benz of the W 201 series since 1982. The 80 kW (109 PS) 190 E 1.8 was configured specifically for a young clientele. It had its premiere in April 1990 and replaced the 190 model series with a carburettor engine.

The brochure for this model said: “The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 1.8 is the new top-of-the-range offer in the 1.8-litre class. The car has been created to promote fun in driving, quality and the pure pleasure of economy and price.”

An early 1990s time machine: brand ambassador Klaus Ludwig and influencer Shareen Raudies in the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II at the Silvretta Classic Rallye Montafon 2019.

An early 1990s time machine: brand ambassador Klaus Ludwig and influencer Shareen Raudies in the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II at the Silvretta Classic Rallye Montafon 2019.

A relative of the legendary touring car.

The big brother of the 190 E 1.8 was the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. The top model in the W 201 series cruised onto the public stage as early as March 1990 at the Geneva Motor Show and immediately took everyone’s breath away. 

The 173 kW (235 PS) super sports car was evidently closely related to the Group A racing touring cars for the German Touring Car Championship. Mercedes-Benz only built a total of 500 of the “EVO II” – this was the minimum permitted batch size for type approval models in motorsports. 

Italian travel culture.

Thirty years ago, Mercedes-Benz launched the elegant 200 CE coupé in the 124 series especially for export to Italy. If one of these two-door cars is brought back to Germany from “bella Italia” today, it is eligible for an H plate as a classic motorcar. From June 1990, the 200 CE was built with a 2.0-litre injection engine for customers in Italy. Without a catalytic converter the drive assembly generated 90 kW (122 PS); with exhaust gas emission control it was 87 kW (118 PS). 

Luxury in the upper medium-size category: the coupés in the 124 series featured very elegant lines. From 1990, the 200 CE was produced for export to Italy.

Luxury in the upper medium-size category: the coupés in the 124 series featured very elegant lines. From 1990, the 200 CE was produced for export to Italy.

Lifestyle estate: the estate in the 124 series was ideal for leisure and family use. From 1990 on, the 250 TD turbo diesel was produced for export to Italy.

Lifestyle estate: the estate in the 124 series was ideal for leisure and family use. From 1990 on, the 250 TD turbo diesel was produced for export to Italy.

Stylish joie de vivre.

The 250 TD turbo diesel estate with enhanced efficiency was also produced exclusively for the Italian market from June 1990. Its prechamber diesel engine with turbocharging generated 93 kW (126 PS). The lifestyle estates in the 124 series continued the success of the estate, which had been launched in the 123 series. In addition to the coupé and estate, the highly successful 124 series also included the saloon (W 124), cabriolet (A 124) and other body styles. This was the first Mercedes-Benz series to bear the E-Class designation, which was introduced in 1993.

Fire and silk.

The Mercedes-Benz 500 E was a star of the Paris Motor Show in October 1990. However, this powerful top-of-the-range model in the W 124 series was only identifiable by connoisseurs. The 240 kW (326 PS) V8 saloon was very discreet on the outside.

Out on the road, however, this business saloon with the modern silhouette suddenly turned into a super sports car, thanks to the powerful 5.0-litre V8 engine with its high torque. 

Mercedes-Benz underlined the fascination of these two extremes in 1990 in the title of the vehicle brochure: it was entitled “Fire and silk”. The very first specimens of this top model came off the assembly line at the end of 1990. If they were registered in the same year, they can benefit from the H plate from 2020.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 12.12.2019.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

7 Angaben zu Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe der UN/ECE-Regelung Nr. 101 ermittelt. Die EG-Typgenehmigung und eine Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.