The way to the H number plate.

A classic car number plate can be issued to cars if they were registered at least 30 years ago. In addition, they must “contribute to the preservation of the motor vehicle cultural heritage” – i.e. they must be largely in their original condition or have been restored to the highest standard. This status is confirmed by a classic car certificate in accordance with § 23 StVZO (German Road Traffic Act) from a motor vehicle testing organisation. With the certificate, the application for an H number plate for the classic can be submitted to the licensing agency.

Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC, luxury coupé of the 140 series (production period 1992 to 1998).

Automotive fascination: Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “417” (W 198) with H number plate at the Mille Miglia in 2019.

H number plate 2022.

In the coming year, a whole range of fascinating young classics from Mercedes-Benz will be allowed to be licensed with the H number plate for the first time. These are series and types that first came onto the market in 1992:

  • Mercedes-Benz SEC Coupés of the 140 series
  • Mercedes-Benz Cabriolets of the 124 series
  • Mercedes-Benz 600 SL of the 129 series
  • Special models rosso, azzurro and verde of the 201 series
  • Mercedes-Benz G-Class of the 461 series
  • Unimog series 408 and 418

Many owners of these Mercedes-Benz classics have been waiting for their beloved classic to get the coveted number plate in 2022. For them, it is “H” as in “Happy New Year”.

SEC Coupés: highly exclusive two-door cars of model series 140.

The stage is set for the luxurious, sporty top-of-the-line models in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car range in 1992: the SEC luxury coupés of the 140 series made their debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January 1992. Initially, there are the 600 SEC (V12 engine, 290 kW/394 PS) and 500 SEC (V8 engine, 235 kW/320 PS) models. They are technically closely related to the corresponding S-Class Saloons. Their design and the extensive standard equipment underline the independence of the highly exclusive, two-door touring cars.

Elegant top-of-the-line models: the SEC Coupés of the 140 series are at the top of the Mercedes-Benz model range in 1992. 

Open to the beauty of driving in a four-seater convertible: in the summer of 1992, the Mercedes-Benz 300 CE-24 Cabriolet was launched.

Renaissance of the fascination of four-seater convertibles.

The fascination of open-top driving in a four-seater convertible has a varied history in the brand history of Mercedes-Benz. With the 124 series convertibles, this tradition celebrated a magnificent renaissance in the summer of 1992 after a 20-year hiatus. The Mercedes-Benz 300 CE-24 Cabriolet is the first model to be launched to market. The open-top four-seater with fabric top is stylistically closely related to the coupés of the 124 series in particular. Technically, however, Mercedes-Benz has optimised the convertible (A 124) further still, completely redesigning around 1,000 parts. In particular, the body is stiffened to make the open-top vehicle as comfortable and safe as the other members of the model series family.

V12 debut in the SL tradition.

The first Mercedes-Benz SL with a twelve-cylinder engine makes its debut in October 1992. 600 SL is the name of this 290 kW (394 PS) top-of-the-line model of the 129 series. In addition to top-level driving performance, the V12 sports car offers an opulent level of standard equipment. This includes an adaptive damping system with level control on the front and rear axles, cruise control, headlight cleaning system, automatic climate control, leather upholstery and heated seats. 

On the exterior, only the model plate and two discreet “V12” emblems on the front wheel arches reveal which exclusive model is in front of the eyes of the beholder.

Blue beauty: the 190 E 2.3 Avantgarde azzurro in metallic blue is considered “the powerhouse” among the three special models in 1992. Among other things, it comes with bucket-style sports seats, a Sportline suspension with 23 millimetres of lowering, light-alloy wheels with wide tyres, a sports steering wheel and black carbon-fibre trim in the centre console.

Likeable three colours in the compact class.

Rosso, azzurro and verde: this is the name of the three rare Avantgarde special models of the successful Mercedes-Benz compact class of the 201 series with special pearl-effect paint finishes and striking interior design, which make their debut in March 1992. They are developed by Mercedes-Benz designers from an international team. With sporty individualisations and attractive equipment details, the special models confidently underline how successfully the brand has established itself with the 201 series among a young audience. In 1992, the Avantgarde special models were limited to a total of 4,600 vehicles and have long since become classics with a special flair.

All-wheel-drive icons.

The brand with the three-pointed star launched two legendary off-road all-rounders in 1992: the G-Class stand-alone 461 series now aggregates the variants for professional applications. Station wagons (short and long), panel vans and pick-ups (long wheelbase) as well as chassis are available. The Unimog family was expanded by no less than two model series 30 years ago. With a newly developed cab, the 408 and 418 series also set visual accents.

The “Funmog” study based on the Unimog U 90 of the 408 series as an all-terrain leisure vehicle shows that the “Universal-Motor-Gerät” has long had many fans beyond the professional users.

Have fun: the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 90 as a “Funmog” all-terrain leisure vehicle.

For pros: the Mercedes-Benz G-Class for customers from the municipal sector, rescue organisations, construction, forestry and for other professional operations was launched to market from 1992 as the 461 series.

Anniversary for the H number plate.

In 2022, there is reason to celebrate not only for classic cars that were first registered at least 30 years ago and have a classic car certificate: the H number plate itself also has a birthday.

This is because this acknowledgement of historic vehicles as technical cultural heritage was introduced in July 1997, 25 years ago.