The Mercedes-Benz W114
(and similar W115
) "Stroke-8" midsize cars
were produced from 1968 through to 1976. The W114 chassis used straight-6
engines and were sold under the "230", "250", and "280" model names. The W115 used straight-4
engines and were sold as the "200", "220", "230", and "240". The Stroke-8 models replaced the W110 Fintail
models beginning in 1968 and were replaced by the W123
series after 1976.
The Mercedes-Benz "stroke 8" was the upmarket executive mid-sized saloon model for Mercedes from 1968 through to 1975 (early 76). This class offered marvels of diesel technology such as the first 5-cylinder diesel engine in the world. This series hailed from an era before Mercedes-Benz became obsessed with outdoing BMW, Audi and others on performance and power, although the 280 would have outdone most other cars of the time. This car had a distinctive appeal owing to its beautiful, classic (modern for the time) design and the superb level of integrity and refinement offered. It was given a major facelift in 1973 - which included some exterior refinements such as a lower bonnet-line which meant a more imposing grill and lower placed headlamps, and no more old-fashioned quarter front windows and also two big rear view mirrors. In the interior inertia reel belts were introduced, a new-generation padded steering wheel was added with a modern 4-hole design and quite a few other minor changes took place. The "stroke 8" also offered exceedingly good handling and remarkable comfort not surprisingly as the front subframes and wishbones along with the rear suspension system were good enough to import into the R107 SL-Class Roadster of 1971.
A coupé variant of this model was introduced in 1969 with a 'C' designated after the model number. Where the saloon would just have '280E' written on the boot lid, the coupe would have '280CE'. Although the coupé was the same length as the saloon (from the A-pillar forward it was identical) the passenger compartment was 19 inches shorter, the roof was two inches lower and the boot was considerably longer. It also had a more elegant rear window reminiscent of the "pagoda SLs", chrome strips down each side of the roof and a pillarless design where all the windows could be wound completely away for "summer motoring".
Like its saloon variant this car also boasted advanced technological innovation. 1969 saw the introduction of the Bosch D-jetronic fully electronic fuel injection system into the 250CE. This was the first ever production Mercedes-Benz to use this system, although it was abandoned 2 years later in favour of a mechanical system.
The "stroke-8" name comes from the designation for the 1968 model year
cars - they were informally called "W114/8" and "W115/8" the first year. This name stuck in common usage even after the "W114/9" was introduced in 1969. Today, "stroke-8" refers to the entire generation of cars.
Innovations in the stroke-8 models include a center console (a first in a Mercedes sedan), and a revised rear axle. All coupe
models used the 6-cylinder engine (and thus were W114s) and were designated with a "C" in the model name.