They are legends: The Mercedes-Benz models in the 115 and 114 series. They were a clear departure from the Tailfin era with its uniform body design. The Sedan was sporty, elegant, modern and above all distinctive. The abbreviation "/8" in the in-house model designation initially only indicated the year of presentation - 1968. Later this became the affectionate "Stroke/8" nickname for the entire model series.
Debut with six sedan models
The four-cylinder models 200, 220, 200 D and 220 D in the 115 series became available first, as well as the six-cylinder models 230 and 250 (W 114). The 2.5-liter injection engine was initially reserved only for the Coupé model launched in October 1969. In 1972 the 280 and 280 E were added to the series as new top-of-the-line models. And 1974 saw the world premiere of the five-cylinder diesel engine in the 240 D 3.0.
A new-generation taxi
The winds of change were blowing strongly at the end of the sixties. So it was only logical that the appearance of the Stroke/8 developed at that time should break with many conventions. The taxi version had many new features.
Good handling characteristics thanks to the diagonal swing axle
One outstanding design feature was to be found beneath the trunk: the Stroke/8 models were equipped with a "diagonal swing axle". This made them the first Mercedes-Benz models in regular production to have a semi-trailing arm rear suspension. The new axle ensured better handling characteristics compared with the preceding series – without in any way compromising ride comfort.
The Marathon taxi
The Mercedes-Benz with the highest known mileage is a Greek model 240 D taxi built in 1976. Its owner has covered a total of 4.6 million kilometers in it. Examples such as this world-record taxi have given the Stroke/8 a reputation as an indestructible and reliable workhorse.
Departure of a classic
In January 1976 Mercedes-Benz presented the 123 series as the successor to the Stroke/8. Nonetheless, production of the 115/114 series continued until December 1976. One reason was the great demand for the Stroke/8. It was above all taxi operators who were ordering sedans from this beloved model series to carry their customers.
All in all, almost two million examples of both model series were produced between 1968 and 1976. This is almost the same as the total number of cars that Mercedes-Benz produced in all the other model series from the end of the Second World War to 1968.