It must be love when men start using pet names. For admirers of the “Stroke/8” the devotion began in 1968, the year of its market launch. The penchant would last an unusually long time, sometimes virtually an entire lifetime, as models of the W 114/W 115 series with the famous “/8” in their name were known above all for one particular trait: their indestructible reliability.
This endearing characteristic was proven in the most spectacular fashion by Gregorios Sachinidis, a taxi driver from Thessaloniki. Over the years he covered 4.6 million kilometers in his 240 D from the “Stroke/8” series – equivalent to driving around the earth nearly 115 times.
To this day you can still see the occasional “Stroke/8” gracing the roads. For many enthusiasts its hallmark design is the ultimate in style, elegance and class – even though the spectrum of admirers was always surprisingly heterogeneous: the population of rural regions in the South of Germany was just as enthusiastic as Hamburg’s squatting fraternity.
With all these emotions flying around it can be all too easy to forget that this vehicle also had plenty to offer from a technical point of view – the diagonal swing axle, for instance, and the foot-operated parking brake, which superseded the pistol-grip handbrake.