Len Sokoloff / February 5, 2006
Decal 1 is a peel and stick vinyl and did not appear until late in 1960 and was positioned so that it could be read from the spark plug side of the engine.
Decals 2 and 3 are water soluble like the originals. These three decals go on the valve cover. Complete documentation of decals 2 and 3 is not available, but it seems reasonable that these two decals would go on the valve cover where they could be read from the oil dipstick side of the engine.
Decals 4, 5, 6 and 7 are also water soluble as were the originals.
Decal 4 goes on the body of the jack and instructs you to return the pin that moves the jack up and down to the end position so it will fit correctly in the trunk. The literal translation is "After use, return to the end position."
Decal 5 goes on the steel brake fluid can. If you have the plastic brake fluid reservoir, then you do not need this decal. The reservoir was changed to the plastic reservoir during 1958.
Decals 6 and 7 go on the top of the voltage regulator. You only need one of these. Decal 6 is dated 4/54 and was used until it was replaced by Decal 7 dated July, 1959.
Decals 8, 9 and 10 are also water soluble and go on the radiator. Decal 8 or 9 go on the top of the radiator in the pre-stamped rectangle on the right side. The "cover" mentioned on the decals refer to the radiator cap. Original caps were stamped with either a "100" or an "80." The "100" means 1.0 atmosphere or 14.7 psi. The "80" means 0.8 atmosphere or 11.8 psi. The early cars used the "80" cap and depending on what references you use, it was replaced by the "100" cap in 1956, 1957 or 1958. Read the pressure on your cap and use the appropriate decal. You will only need one of them. Decal 10 also goes on the top of the radiator in the pre-stamped rectangle on the left side.
Decal 11 is not a water soluble decal but an adhesive backed vinyl decal. For left hand drive cars it goes on the lower right inside corner of the windshield so that it can be read from the inside. This decal tells you what temperature the cooling system should be protected to with antifreeze.
Decals 12 and 13 are water soluble decals. Decal 12 goes on the high beam flasher solenoid on the firewall if your car has one. Many US versions did not have this option. Decal 13 goes on the turn signal flasher, also located on the firewall. If you have two round cylindrical solenoids on the firewall, the bigger on is the high beam flasher. If you only have one solenoid on the firewall, it is for the turn signals.
Decal 14 is a peel and stick decal and goes on the coil.
Decal 15 is a peel and stick vinyl decal that goes on the driver's side heater box. It warns you to use the correct Beru resistor spark plugs for clear radio reception.
Decal 16 is a peel and stick decal for vehicles with serviceable air filters that were supposed to be cleaned and oiled every 3800 miles. It goes on the top center of the air filter unit. Some vehicles that had serviceable air filters had a permanent plate welded to the air filter that had this same information. Many cars use replaceable paper filters. Neither of these last two air filter set-ups need this decal.
The water soluble decals are sometimes very delicate and not always durable. That is why you do not see many original ones left on the cars. Sometimes the decals will flake off. Other times they stick like glue and have to be sanded off. Certainly one should have a clean, grease free surface before trying to attach a decal. The self stick vinyl decals are much more durable, but not original.
Decals are available at $8.00 US each including shipping to US addresses. For orders being sent outside the US, an additional $5.00 fee for postage and handling will be required. Ask about an MBCA member discount. Part of the proceeds from the sale of these decals will help support the Mercedes-Benz Ponton website: www.mbzponton.org
To order decals, contact: Len Sokoloff / firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Will Samples of S&S Imports for providing much of the information about these decals. Thanks also goes to Bruce Adams, of 190SL Services. Bruce wrote a book for the International 190SL Group, which includes an article written by Will Samples detailing the history and placement of these decals. The book, Mercedes-Benz 190SL 1953-1963 Restoration and Ownership and is a wonderful resource for anyone owning a Mercedes-Benz of that era. The book can be found on the International 190SL Group web page.