Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz (1970s-1980s Mercedes SL pictured)

Germany has been unified for more than a quarter century now, but there are still relics of the divide. One such holdout is in every new German car sold today.

If you own a German-made car, go check out the VIN and you’ll notice it starts with ‘W.’

That’s the country code for Germany. Or rather, it was the country code for West Germany and it has stuck around through reunification.

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Now, if you happen to be holding on to a Trabant, Wartburg, or if you’re the kind of badass who camps out in a Robur (did those get VINs?), you’ll see that you have the East German code will start with anything from SN all the way through ST.

Take that, communism.

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(Hat tip to Murilee Martin for bringing this back into my brain!)


Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.