April 19, 2024

Wade Through Films

The Ultimate Driving Machines

Isuzu VehiCROSS and Mercedes R107 SL Share One Design Element

An Isuzu VehiCROSS and R107 Mercedes-Benz SL side-by-side.

Photo: Isuzu & Mercedes-Benz

If you put a R107 Mercedes-Benz SL and an Isuzu VehiCROSS next to each other, at first glance, you’ll likely find they have almost nothing in common. Sure, both cars have four wheels, lights and two doors, but other than that – there’s not much to grab at. It’s understandable that you’d come to that conclusion, but I’m here to tell you that you are DEAD WRONG.

The ribbed pattern on the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL.

Photo: dave_7 via Wikimedia Commons

For in fact, there is one thing that united the R107 SL and the VehiCROSS above all else: a weird ribbed pattern on the doors. On the VehiCROSS, the ribbing is super pronounced. It’s big and pretty much on the center of the door. In the SL, however, it’s a bit more subtle. The weird ribbing starts pretty much at the front bumper and continues all the way along the side of the car. I’d hazard a guess you probably didn’t even realize the R107 had that weird ribbed pattern stamped into the sheet metal along the bottom of the car. And it was there for years, almost 20!

The ribbing on the Isuzu VehiCROSS.

Photo: Isuzu

It may not be exactly the same type of design, but I really like to imagine that somewhere in mid-90s Japan, a designer took a look at the Mercedese R107 SL and realized its best feature – the weird ribbed pattern – needed to be incorporated into their newest design.

Yes, I know, these weird ribbed things are on more than just these two cars, like the third generation Mitsubishi Eclipse and the Pontiac Trans Sport. However, the R107 SL and VehiCROSS are far more diametrically opposed than any of those other cars, and yet remain united by one commonality: weird ribbing on the doors.