The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W198) was the fastest production car of its day and the first model of the Mercedes SL-Class. It was introduced in 1954 as a 300 SL – 300 for its 3.0 liter engine displacement and SL for Sport Leicht (Sport Light), This two-seat coupé with distinctive gull-wing doors, was also offered later as an open roadster. It was introduced to the public at the 1954 New York Auto Show rather than the Frankfurt or Geneva. Jump to Manuals
Immediately successful and today iconic, the 300 SL stood alone with its distinctive doors, first-ever production fuel injection, and world’s fastest top speed. The original gull-wing coupé was available to the public from March 1955 to 1957, and the roadster from 1957 to 1963.
Mercedes Benz W198 300SL Workshop Repair Manuals
More than 80% of the Gullwings total production of approximately 1400 units were sold in the US.
The engine output of 215 hp (158 kW) provided a top speed of 250 km/h, depending on final drive ratio. As with the legendary racing sports car from the 1952 season, that made the 300 SL the fastest production car of its day. The vehicle featured consistent lightweight design throughout and a space-frame that supported the engine, transmission, and axles leaving no room for conventional doors.
The factory type designations for the Gull Wing were:
- 198.040XXYYYYY for the 300 SL Gull Wing with steel body shell
- 198.043XXYYYYY for the 300 SL Gull Wing with aluminum body shell
- 198.042XXYYYYY for the 300 SL Roadster Convertible body shell
- 198.980XXYYYYY and 198.982XXYYYYY for the 300 SL engine
The “XX” digits represent the year of manufacture in reversed order. The “YYYYY” digits represent sequential serial numbers assigned during the model year. Rarely, if ever, did the engine and chassis serial numbers coincide from the factory.
W198 Gullwing and Roadster Mercedes Benz vehicles were manufactured in
(1952*, 1953*) 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964
|Factory Racers/Prototypes: W194s W196s
|Coupe Racing Sports Car* 194S 300SL | 175hp||1952||10|
|Coupe Racing Prototype* 194.011 | M194 175hp||1953||1|
|Coupe Racing Sports Car* 196S 300SLR | 310hp||1955||9|
|W198 300SL Coupe|
|W198 300SL Roadster|
Mercedes Benz W198 Service and Repair Manuals
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