Plenty of people have tried to rebuild modern supercars, but there’s nothing else quite like the Lamborghini Murcielago which Mat Armstrong is trying to fix. It’s honestly a really bad idea to buy such an expensive V12 supercar in bad condition. The project is proving to be quite expensive and challenging. But at the same time, Mat keeps finding cheap parts from other manufacturers, stuff that honestly nobody else talked about before.
Supercar manufacturers used to be known for borrowing parts from bigger car companies, especially in the 80s and 90s. They don’t have the money or production numbers to justify fabricating everything from scratch. There are some famous examples of this. The Lamborghini Diablo (facelift), which came before the Murcielago, borrowed the amazing slanted/aerodynamic headlights from the Nissan 300ZX. The taillights are called Hella 4169, 125mm round things that are shared with tractors… the Pagani Zonda and a Saleen supercar.
So, you’d think the Lamborghini Murcielago has a bunch of Audi or Volkswagen parts, right? After all, Audi AG bought Lamborghini in September 1998 for $110 million, and the new V12 supercar came out in 2001. But that’s not really the case because the model was already in late development by the time the Germans arrived.
Actually, the Murcielago has parts from Italian car companies which may technically be considered rivals. For example, the stalks which are located behind the steering wheel were taken from the older Diablo, but they could also be found in older Alfa Romeo models from the 1990s, such as the Spider. And the power window motors are shared with Ferrari, specifically the F355 and 360. The 360 also shared the Murcielago’s air conditioning blower motor, which is made by Spal.
Ford Turn Lights
However, my favorite Mat Armstrong video is when he reveals that the Lamborghini Murcielago turn signal lights are made by Ford. What the heck, they look so angular and Lambo-like, right? Well, it turns out they came off the first Ford Focus hatchback. They’ll even work on the Reventon, which is a $1.5 million super-rare exotic.
The part is called 410953081, and Lamborghini wants about $250 to buy one new. However, Mat Armstrong put a piece of tape over it to reveal a Ford logo. The part is $5 from a scrapped Ford or $20 if you want it brand new.
I believe the whole electrical system is supported by a Bosch alternator, 021903025C, the same one used by the T4 Volkswagen vans and also the early Ford Galaxy vans. And yes, there are more VW parts, such as the 4E0407625 wheel bearings, which are shared with big Audis and the VW Phaeton.
Mat also discovered that the broken ashtray in the Lamborghini he bought has the same part number as the rear passenger ashtray in the Audi A8. So it goes from costing a ridiculous $600 to replace to around $30.
Volvo Throttle Body, MG Air Con
Now, fixing the Lamborghini Murcielago is turning out to be a nightmare for Mat, and the V12 engine rebuild is the main reason. However, at least the throttle body is cheap. The supercar maker wants about $2,000 to have one replaced. However, opening the cover reveals it’s actually from a Volvo V70. He found one for sale at about $200 on eBay.
Mat’s latest discovery is the air conditioning control unit in the Murcielago is exactly the same as a Rover/MG 45. So the part goes from costing $1,800 with Lamborghini to around $30. Of course, the radio can be replaced too. Like nearly all cars in that era, it comes with a 2-inch tall system that can easily be replaced. Some people have even found a way to put in a “double DIN” system which is twice as tall and has a navigation screen.