This ID guide / buyers guide has been written for those looking for detailed information about the Mercedes R107 560SL. The 560SL represents the highest specification SL roadster available in the R107 range, and was sold in the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia from 1986 through to 1989.
The 560SL usually demands a price premium over many other R107 roadsters (with a few exceptions), and given that the car is based on the same body, it is important to know what to look for in order to ensure you end up with a genuine car at the right price. To assist with this, we have drawn up this guide, which provides detailed information about the R107 560SL, including external features, interior features, paint colours, chassis number information, engine number information, and finally the mechanical features which should be present.
Period of manufacture:
1986 - 1989
Please note, this guide has been written based on a variety of online sources and enthusiast input. You should not rely on this guide to make any purchasing decision and we make no representation that all information is accurate. You should always seek independent professional advice when looking to purchase a unique car. If you have additional information, photographs or corrections you believe need to be made to this page, please contact us by clicking the button at the top of this page, or comment below.
The 560SL had the following external features, which may vary depending on the year of the car and the market in which it was sold, as explained below. These external features provide a good starting point for identification of a genuine car.
The following is a summary of the interior features which should be present on a 560SL, noting of course that different markets came with certain features as options only. Note, vehicle options on the 560SL are detailed in the next section of this guide.
The following is a list of several common options on the 560SL:
A full list of option codes applicable to the 560SL (and all Mercedes models) can be found at this link:
The colours listed in the attached chart (in the images) were all available on the 560SL from 1986 through to 1989. If you believe there are any colours missing, or any corrections that need to be made, please contact us or comment below. We have given a small sample of the colours available on the 560SL in the attached images.
Location of paint code:
Code numbers for a particular car can be found in the original delivery book and on the cars data plate.
The embossed data plate is located on the front crossmember under the bonnet, directly in front of the radiator. This plate contains the 3 digit paint code. The paint code can be found at the bottom left of the plate. See images attached for a better description of the location of the plate and the code.
The chassis number format and location will depend on the market in which the car was sold. For all 560SL’s, however, the model type will also be listed on the car’s data card / plate, shown as C107-048. See images labelled “data card”. The code on the data card / plate is not the vehicles VIN. The VIN for the 560SL is outlined below.
1. U.S. and Canadian 560SL’s:
U.S. / Canadian cars had a chassis number beginning with the prefix WDBBA48D, followed by a 9 character unique VIN.
On US / Canadian spec cars, the VIN appeared in the following locations:
2. Australian and Japanese 560SL's:
The Australian and Japanese cars had a chassis number beginning with the prefix WDB107048, followed by an 8 character unique VIN.
The 560SL had the M117 engine, which is identifiable by the engine prefix beginning 117967, followed by 8 digits unique to that particular unit.
Engine number location:
The engine number is located at the rear of the engine block, at the left hand side (right where the block joins the transmission bell-housing). Another tip to find it is looking directly down from where the windscreen washer head sits on the hood. You will likely need some degreaser and a flashlight to see it clearly. The attached images provide a guide as to what / where you should be looking.
Unfortunately, unless you have early documentation with the car confirming the original factory engine number, there is no way to check on the spot that the engine from a 560SL has not been replaced / is the original engine. Mercedes Benz may however be able to assist with such an enquiry, if you provide the chassis number.
The 560SL had the following standard mechanical features:
The following sources, among input from many enthusiasts, have contributed to the creation of this page. If you have any further information you believe can be added, please let us know by contacting us or commenting below.