THE MATERIAL WORLD / only pounds 634,500, car included

This is the most sought-after wing mirror in the world. It is made by Citroen, and is available from Citroen dealers for pounds 72.55. They cannot sell you a car to go with it, because the model for which it was made, the CX, went out of producti on in 1989. But you can buy a car with these wing mirrors: they are fitted to the McLaren F1 supercar, which costs pounds 634,500. If you want something cheaper, you'll find them on the Jaguar XJ220, the Aston Martin Vantage, the Lotus Esprit, the AC Ace , and the TVR Griffith and Chimaera.

What does everyone see in this mirror? It looks good, and it's cheap. International legislation makes an item like this surprisingly expensive to engineer, so makers of low-volume cars prefer to hunt around the parts warehouses of the big manufacturers and buy their bits instead. To giveyou an idea of how expensive minor parts can be: tooling up to manufacture the rear lights of the Aston Martin Vantage - simple, circular things - cost the firm pounds 100,000. Aston wanted to use Chevrolet Corvette lamps for the Vantage, but Chevroletwoul dn't let them, perhaps because Aston is owned by its arch rival, Ford.

Some cars are greater than their parts Next to the steering wheel of a brand-new, pounds 175,000 Lamborghini Diablo SE is a Morris Marina indicator stalk. And this is not the only thing the 200mph coupe shares with the sad old Morris: there's the windscreen-wiper stalk, too. Such plagiarism i s not new to Lamborghini, which robbed the Austin Maxi of its indicator stalk for its Miura model in 1966. The Morris Marina exterior door handle also used to be a very popular item: it appeared on the early Lotus Esprit and the Triumph TR7, and canstil l be found on the Range Rover four-door and the Land Rover Discovery.

The Citroen Marina with a Lotus badge Lotus makes most of its Esprit model, but not the wing mirrors, tail lights (from the Rover SD1), door handles inside (Vauxhall Cavalier on late models, Morris 1100 on early ones) and out (Vauxhall Cavalier on late models, Morris Marina on early ones), c ontrol stalks (Morris Marina) and rear lamps (Toyota Celica). For all these items, as well as mechanical components, it's cheaper to buy off the shelf. Some parts, like the Citroen CX wing mirror, pop up everywhere. Aston Martin's DB7 has some more obscure items, including rear lamps come from the Mazda 323 Model F and switches from the Jaguar XJ6 and Ford Scorpio. TVR uses Fiesta tail lights for its Ch imaera, and Cavalier rear lamps - fitted upside down - for the Griffith.

Nice air vent, shame about the car Years ago, Austin hijacked the Jaguar XJ6 air vents for a facelift of its misbegotten Allegro. So desperate were the copy writers to find something positive to say about the Allegro that they alluded to this tenuous Jaguar connection in advertisements fo r the car.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

    £17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test