BUYING GUIDE: Mercedes /8 Stricht-Acht 200-280 E (W114 / W115)

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The Mercedes / 8 (“Stricht-Acht”) celebrates its 50th anniversary: time to reveal what are the known susceptibilities of the robust tech hidden under the classic Paul Braq designed sheet metal.

The / 8 is the first series from Mercedes sold in more than one million copies. Presented on January 9, 1968, the middle-class sedan replaced the tail fin (W110). Initially, four- and six-cylinder versions were supposed to be more differentiated, but that did not happen – what remained are the different series abbreviations: W114 are the six-cylinder cars and thus all coupes too, while the simpler equipped four-cylinder and the five-cylinder diesel (240D 3.0) are called W 115.

Dash eight with new diagonal swing axle
Its nickname derives from the year of publication: 1968, hence dash eight. In some aspects, the modern-designed car was even superior to the more expensive S-Class (W108): While the expensive models with the “S” logo still had a swing rear axle, Mercedes has designed for the dash-eight a trailing arm rear axle, called diplomatically “diagonal swing axle” in order not to put the larger series in the technical offside.

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Brand core: safe and comfortable
The driving stability has been significantly improved with the new axle. The front wheels carry double wishbones. Both axles are connected to the body via subframe with soft rubber bearings, which ensures quiet and comfortable driving. The dash-eight was also safe, because it had on all four wheels disc brakes and had to prove in 26 accident tests that it can protect his occupants – the requirements of the US standard – at 30 miles per hour and 100 percent coverage against the wall.

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Engines from 55 to 185 hp
One reason for the success of the Dash Eight is its diversity: this may seem modest today, but sedan, coupe and versions with extended wheelbase already result in three body variants. In addition, there is an enormous range of engines with which the character of the sedan could go from contemplative to frenzy: the 200D diesel was comfortable with 55 hp, while the top 185 hp 280E reaches 200 km / h. Who wants to buy a dash-eight today, may no longer be subject to the economic constraints of first-time buyers. Theoretically, that would expand the selection – after all, 1.9 million were built – if it were not for the rust and other calamities that reduced the stock. But there are enough left over: The dash-eight is one of the most popular vintage car.

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Body check
Like its predecessor, the Heckflosse, also the /8 is not a rust free. Copies until August 1971 and those of the second series from August 1973 are considered particularly endangered. Basically: If the stroke is already outwardly strongly affected by rust, on the jacking, the fender screw edges, the door bottoms and the rear wheel arches – stay away. So mats up, longitudinal beams and inner skirts check. Do the stroke test: pour a glass of water into the ventilation slots in the front, it has to go through. Another tip: Remove the rear seat to check the rear axle.

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Technical checks
The engines, including the power-line petrol engine, are robust endurance runners – whether four- or six-cylinder. Only the long-stroke four-cylinder M 115 in the 220 is not quite as popular, leaning to higher oil consumption. The four-cylinder M 180 in the Type 230 displeases by its high fuel consumption, as the M 114 six-cylinder in the 250 is overall more harmonious. Both engines are powered via two Zenith 35/40 INAT Register carburetors with mixture whose synchronization is not easy. Even the Stromberg flat-gas carburetors of the four-cylinder have their pitfalls. The automatic transmissions with fluid coupling sometimes cause problems with age.

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Prices for a Mercedes Strichacht start at just under 4,000 euros for moderately kept copies and range up to about 12,000 euros for well-preserved sedans. The coupes are clearly above it – perfect copies crack the 20,000 euro mark. At its introduction in 1968 (Mercedes-Benz 230) the /8 costed 13,150 Marks.

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Spare Parts
As always for Mercedes-Benz no problem. Ordered today, delivered tomorrow. This applies to all engine parts, most body parts and repair sheets and many equipment parts. Some interior parts can be out of stock, because the variety of fabric and material variants exceeds any reasonable storage. There is no shortage of scrapped vehicles – every complete restoration wants to be well considered.