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.

Number produced:
Total: 49,347

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. 

1. External Features - Mercedes R107 560SL

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.

  • 15-inch Mercedes alloy wheels (earlier cars had 14”).
  • Front plastic air dam / spoiler.
  • Black urethane door handles replaced the earlier chrome finished handles.
  • Fog lights were standard in all markets, mounted under the front bumper. These were closer together on U.S. spec cars, due to the parker lights in the larger U.S. front bumper.
  • "560 SL" badge on the left side of boot lid.
  • Aluminium bonnet.
  • Detachable hardtop.
  • U.S. market 560 SL models were sold with exposed, quad headlights, in place of the one-piece headlamp assemblies which were applied in other markets.
  • U.S. delivered cars were equipped with larger / extended rubberized bumpers with built in amber parker lenses. Other markets received the smaller European spec bumpers (see images showing the difference).
  • Australian 560 SL’s received the small black plastic boot lid spoiler as standard. This was an option in other markets.
  • U.S. spec cars had a trunk-mounted brake light. On 1986 - 87 cars, this is a large pod light mounted close to the passenger compartment. On 1987 - 88 cars, this was changed to a smaller unit at the rear top edge of the trunk, directly above the Mercedes badge.
2. Interior Features - Mercedes R107 560SL

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.

  • Leather seats were standard (the MB vinyl was not available on the 560SL). See the attached chart listing all available leather colours throughout the 1986-89 range, and associated codes. For the original interior colour of a car, you need to look at the data plate, where indicated on the attached image (3rd line down).
  • Optional driver's side airbag.
  • Burl wood interior trim accents.
  • Improved lateral seat support (better than pre-86 models).
  • Optional power passenger side mirror.
  • Optional rear seat.
  • Becker Grand Prix radio.
  • Velour carpet colour coded to match interior, with matching Mercedes floor mats.
  • 260kph speedometer in the Japanese / Australian spec cars, with U.S. spec cars receiving instruments in both miles per hour and kilometers per hour.
  • Full size spare wheel.
  • Temperature guage in central top dash between air vents.
  • Factory air-conditioning.
  • Electric windows.
3. Options and Codes - Mercedes R107 560SL

The following is a list of several common options on the 560SL:

  • 551 – anti-theft warning system.
  • 581 – automatic climate control. 
  • 262 – elimination of rear end spoiler.
  • 807 – Change of year of model, last figure shows new model year.
  • 442 – airbag in steering wheel.
  • 494 – California version.
  • 506 – outside rear view mirror, left and right, heated (electrically adjustable).
  • 519 – Becker radio Grand Prix electronic cassette.
  • 531 – automatic antenna.
  • 551 – anti-theft warning system.
  • 581 – automatic climate control.
  • 262 – elimination of rear end spoiler.
  • 807 – Change of year of model, last figure shows new model year.
  • 873 – Heated Front Seats.


A full list of option codes applicable to the 560SL (and all Mercedes models) can be found at this link:

4. Paint Colours / Codes - Mercedes R107 560SL

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. 

5. Chassis Number - Mercedes R107 560SL

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.

Example: WDBBA48D0GA041401

On US / Canadian spec cars, the VIN appeared in the following locations:

  • The VIN plate, riveted to the driver’s side door jamb / rear pillar (just below the lock mechanism – see images).
  • On the radiator support panel, the same chassis number will be stamped into the panel.
  • Stickers were placed on several metal panels from the 1987 year onwards, confirming the chassis number (additional theft prevention).


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.

Example: WDB1070482A042506

  • The chassis number will be embossed on the VIN plate, which is riveted to the radiator crossmember support panel, NOT on the door jamb. (See image labelled “Australian / Japanese”).
  • The same number appearing on the VIN plate should be stamped into the radiator support panel crossmember itself (See image labelled “Australian 560SL VIN”).
  • RHD markets did not have a VIN plate on the door jamb.
6. Engine Number - Mercedes R107 560SL

The 560SL had the M117 engine, which is identifiable by the engine prefix beginning 117967, followed by 8 digits unique to that particular unit.

Example: 11796712000497

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.

7. Mechanical Features - Mercedes R107 560SL

The 560SL had the following standard mechanical features:

  • Improved suspension derived from the W124 sedan.
  • The body itself is built with a modern paint system designed to improve rust protection.
  • M117967 V8 engine producing 227HP.
  • 4-speed automatic transmission (However, Several cars were also believed to be fitted with a three-speed automatic transmission).
  • Rear wheel drive.
  • ABS brakes.
  • Front wheels: (38.1cm x 17.8cm) / (15.0” x 7.0”).
  • Rear Wheels: (38.1cm x 17.8cm) / (15.0” x 7.0”).
  • Front brakes: 4 pot vented Discs with vacuum Assist, ABS.
  • Rear Brakes: 4 pot solid Discs with Vacuum Assist, ABS.
  • Limited-slip rear axle.
  • Dual exhaust.