The Mercedes /8 cult car in Sindelfingen: Back to the source

A motorcade driving through a production plant is a very special event. And if the motorcade consists only of vehicles from a certain production series, it’s sure to be the brainchild of a group of fans. The MB /8 Club Deutschland is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary /8 model.

The cars in question have been freshly polished and are now lined up in neat rows. Only their design reveals that they are getting on in years. In fact, they are golden agers: Thanks to their owners’ tender loving care, the /8 (speak: Stroke 8) cars are fit, good-looking, and very well maintained. At the MB /8 Club Deutschland, our appreciation of the legendary W114 and W115 series has always been strong. On the occasion of our treasures’ 50th birthday, we brought them back to the place where they once rolled off the assembly line: Hall 36 of the Sindelfingen plant.

For a genuine fan, these two items are essential: a bobblehead dachshund and the obligatory toilet-paper roll with a crocheted cover

For a genuine fan, these two items are essential: a bobblehead dachshund and the obligatory toilet-paper roll with a crocheted cover

January 1968, the Sindelfingen Stadthalle (event center): Mercedes-Benz presented a new vehicle series that was soon christened the “/8” after the year of its birth. This never became an official name, and it was never used in any official brochure. However, it quickly became popular in colloquial speech, and today it’s used by car collectors and fans all over the world to refer to this production series. Many collectors and fans showed up to celebrate the 50th birthday of the /8.

This /8 has a starfish on board. In this heat, driving to a lake is definitely not a bad idea

This /8 has a starfish on board. In this heat, driving to a lake is definitely not a bad idea

July 2018: The Customer Center in Sindelfingen: More than 80 well-tended /8 models gleamed in the sunshine. Over 200 proud owners and their companions had driven here in their cars from six different countries. They were looking forward to an anniversary weekend featuring group tours and lots of opportunities to engage in intense shoptalk.

Stroke 8s are visiting their great-great-great-great-great-grandchilden

The highlight for the guests, and for us as well, was definitely the motorcade through the plant to Hall 36, where the current E-Class cars are being assembled today. Along the way, we encountered additional fans:  The people who were on the plant grounds on this Friday afternoon burst into applause or called out encouraging words as the motorcade went by.

The next item on the agenda was — naturally — a tour of the E-Class production line. Together with our colleagues Marcus Lutz and Walter Burkhardt, who is a still-active retiree, we led the visitors through the hall. Even though at first glance the current E-Class no longer has much in common with its predecessors from 1968, it’s clear that the passion and high quality that characterize the participants’ “darlings” have been passed down to their successor models of today.

The exclusive parking lot for our series on the Museum’s hill

The exclusive parking lot for our series on the Museum’s hill

We’re very happy about the support we’ve received from many units of the plant. Without this support we could not have made this birthday celebration an unforgettable event for the entire club and its guests. Our sincere thanks also go to the teams from the Customer Center and the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

Martin Kämmerling works in the Car Development unit. He is a founding member of the club, where he is responsible for the archive and for the group of club members that meets regularly in Stuttgart. Rolf Knappert works at the Quality Management Center and is also the Chairman of the MB /8 Club Deutschland.