MB 198 – W198

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

The 300 SL’s main body was steel, with aluminum hood, doors and trunk lid. It could also be ordered at a much higher cost with an all-aluminium outer skin saving 80 kg (180 lb); just 29 were made.

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
Type Chassis Engine Years # Built
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
Type Chassis Engine Years # Built
Coupe Production 198.040 198.980 1954-57 1,371
Coupe Aluminum 198.043 198.980 1955-56 29
W198 300SL Roadster
Type Chassis Engine Years # Built
Roadster 198.042 198.980 1957-61 below
Roadster 198.042 198.982 1962-64 1,858

Mercedes Benz W198 Service and Repair Manuals

Jump To: Select Your MB W100 Manual > Manual Collection | Owners Manual | EngineChassis and Body | Climate Control | Electrical | Maintenance | Transmission | W198 300SL Supplements and Articles |

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W198 English Language Service Manual Collection
Service and Repair Manual’s on DVD
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Download English Language Manuals: MB 198 Manual Collection

Manual Covers 1954-1964 Models, – 74.4mb
W198 300SL Gullwing and 300SL Roadster
300SL Workshop Manuals; Engine, Transmission, Parts Catalog, Electrical, Chassis, Body, Heat/AC

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Download English Language Manuals: MB W198 Owners Manuals

MB W198 300SL Gullwing O.M. 14.3mb, 62 pages, .pdf
MB W198 300SL Roadster O.M. 15.4mb, 69 pages, .pdf
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Download English Manuals: MB W198 Electrical Diagram

MB W198 300SL Gullwing E.D. 14.3mb, .pdf
MB W198 300SL Roadster E.D. 15.4mb, .pdf
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FREE – MB W198 300SL Supplements and Articles