With the World Cup upon us it’s only fitting that the master himself, Pele, is our featured driver this time around.
Here he is looking very dapper in his big-collared silk shirt in front of his Mercedes W115 back in 1970, which if my memory serves me right was quite a good year for the Brazilian superstar.
He’s clearly pleased with his new Mercedes-Benz, a car that cost a whopping £2,400 when it launched.
The Mercedes-Benz W114 and W115 models were a series of coupes and sedans introduced in 1968 and manufactured through 1976. They were distinguished in the marketplace by nameplates designating their engines.
There was a strong family resemblance to the S-class, but these were shorter and lighter cars, though being on the same wheelbase as the S-class means they have excellent interior space.
W114 models featured six-cylinder engines and were marketed as the 230, 250, and 280, while W115 models, like the one in our photo, featured four-cylinder engines and were marketed as the 200, 220, 230, and 240.
All were styled by Paul Bracq, featuring a three-box design.
Beginning in 1968, Mercedes marketed their model range as New Generation Models, giving their ID plates the designation ‘/8’ (due to their 1968 Launch year). Because they were the only truly new cars of the so-called ‘New Generation’ and because of the ‘/8’ or ‘slash eight’ designation, W114 and W115 models ultimately received the German nickname Strich Acht, loosely translated into the English Stroke Eight.
Like its saloon variant this car also boasted advanced technological innovations. 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.
Other innovations in the W114/W115 models include a center console (a first in a Mercedes sedan), ribbed taillights in 1974. All coupe models used the 6-cylinder engine (and thus were W114s) and were designated with a “C” in the model name.
Which was all very snazzy. After all, when you’re the world’s best footballer its important to drive a car that reflects that very fact…