Following the sale of Automobili Lamborghini SpA to the Audi division of the Volkswagen Group in 1998, with access to much-needed funding, the Sant’Agata marque could finally afford to tailor make its own bespoke componentry, without having rummage through another manufacturer’s parts bin.
This hand-to-mouth situation wasn’t unique to Lamborghini however in the 1960s and 70s, as most other Italian supercar marques also had to resort to digging deep for suitable and affordable mass produced non-mechanical parts, rightly choosing to prioritise their limited budgets on the sophisticated mechanical essentials instead.
For example, the De Tomaso Pantera used a Ford Capri steering wheel, as well as Alfa Romeo 2000 Berlina taillights, as did its Deauville and Lonchamp models. Its Miura-rivalling Mangusta also shared Fiat 850 Spider lamps with the Lamborghini. ISO and Maserati weren’t averse to frequently using various Fiat and Alfa Romeo parts too, especially in the rear light department.
Closer to home, prestigious British producers of exotica also used random Italian components, such as the early Jensen Interceptor with its Lancia Flavia Pininfarina coupe rear lights, and the Series 1 Lotus Esprit adopting Fiat X1/9 units.