Noble unveiled the M500 as its entry-level supercar at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, and we caught sight of the prototype at the recent London Motor Show. We couldn’t help but spot the rear lights, which are ‘borrowed’ from a more mundane model. Here, we reveal the vehicle in question and a host of other cars that share the same rear lights.
Citroen C4 SpaceTourer
That’s right, the Noble M500 shares its rear light clusters with the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer. See, your dad is cool after all, kids.
Creating a bespoke rear light cluster for the XJ220 would have been too expensive, so Jaguar opted for an off-the-shelf solution. The Vauxhall Cavalier was the preferred option, but as the units weren’t available, Jaguar turned to another mainstream manufacturer.
Ultimately, the rear lights from the Rover 200 were the only ones that fitted. What’s remarkable is how much ‘at home’ the rear lights look on the back of the XJ220.
Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens went to extreme lengths to fine tune the McLaren F1 to within a millimetre of perfection, but a few things had to be outsourced. The front lights, for example, were taken from the Lotus Elan, because they were the thinnest units available at the time. As for the rear lights…
The McLaren F1’s rear lights were also used on the Dutch-built Bova Futura coach. If you follow the words and videos of the ever-excellent Henry Catchpole, you’ll know that TVR had previously used the units on its own sports cars.
In order to create the 21 – a kind of more practical version of the iconic Seven – Caterham raided a few parts bins. Suzuki Cappuccino indicators and Rover 200 door mirrors are just two examples.
The Mk1 Ford Mondeo hatchback provided the rear lights for the Caterham 21. We’ll return to the Mk1 Mondeo again later.
Ford GT40 MkI
The Ford GT40 is perhaps the best-known American supercar, but the original cars share their rear lights with a humble French saloon car.
The pretty Simca 1000 mobilised a nation of young families, with 1.5 million cars produced over a period close to a decade. It also donated its rear lights to the original Ford GT40.
Aston Martin DB7
The DB7 is the car that saved the company, which means Aston Martin owes a debt of gratitude to the late Walter Hayes, the former CEO. More than 25 years after its introduction, the Ian Callum-penned styling remains a delight, but while evidence of Ford and Jaguar can be found everywhere, the rear end features a dash of Japanese flavour.
That’s right: the DB7 rear lights were first used on the Mazda 323F, with Aston Martin adding a plastic cowling to alter the shape. It’s like the FedEx arrow – once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it.
Turn your smartphone upside down and the TVR Griffith rear lights might look more familiar.
That’s because they’re from the Mk3 Vauxhall Cavalier. For the run-out Griffith 500SE, the rear lights were replaced with round LED clusters.
Lotus used the upside trick for the rear light clusters on the Excel, with the same units used on the Esprit, albeit the ‘right’ way up.
In both cases, the rear lights were taken from the Rover SD1, also known as the ‘British Ferrari Daytona’.
Thanks to its appearance in The Spy Who Loved Me, the Lotus Esprit S1 is one of the most instantly recognisable cars in the world. Its transaxle gearbox came from Citroen, the steering rack sourced from Triumph, while the rear lights were shipped over from Italy.
Here they are on the Fiat X1/9. A case of Giugiaro acknowledging the work of Marcello Gandini, perhaps?
We suspect these rear lights will be familiar to most people, especially if they travelled on Britain’s motorways during the late 80s and early 90s.
The units were first used on the Vauxhall/Opel Senator B, which was a favourite of the nation’s traffic cops. Incidentally, the rear lights on the Bristol Britannia were from the Bedford CF van.
Carol Vorderman has won Rear of the Year on two separate occasions, but she’s got nothing on the back end of the Morgan Aeromax. Highlights include the offset number plate, the split window and the super-stylish rear lights.
The lights were the most stylish part of the Lancia Thesis, and they made a seamless transition to the back of the Morgan.
The M12 was the car that put Noble on the map. The company turned to Ford for help, most notably for its Duratec V6 engines, but also for its rear lights.
The rear light clusters were first seen on the Mk1 Ford Mondeo saloon.
If the rear lights on the Zenos E10 look familiar…
Alfa Romeo MiTo
It’s because they are also used on the Alfa Romeo MiTo.
Might we suggest that these rear lights aren’t totally at home on the back of the Lister Storm?
They look far more comfortable on the delightfully understated Audi 80.
Here’s another example of a German exchange trip. Recognise the rear lights on the MVS Venturi?
E21 BMW 3 Series
They’re from the E21 BMW 3 Series.
Mk1 Ford Cortina
The ‘ban the bomb’ rear lights are arguably one of the most iconic designs of all time, but they were used beyond the Ford Cortina.
TVR Griffith 400/Lola Mk6 GT
Here they are being used to good effect on the TVR Griffith 400, but you’ll also find them on the back of a Lola Mk6 GT.
No surprises for guessing the source of the rear lights on the Panther Solo.
They’re from the Ford Sierra. The same clusters were also used on the Ford RS200.
TVR also turned to Ford for help when it required rear clusters for the Cerbera.
Ford Fiesta Mk3
Here are the rear lights in their natural habitat: on the back of a Mk3 Ford Fiesta.
A bit of a clever one this, because although the rear light clusters are quite familiar, Invicta rotated them 90 degrees to create a letter ‘I’.
Volkswagen Passat B5.5
They were taken from the handsome Volkswagen Passat B5.5.
And finally, do you recognise the rear lights on the Callaway C12? If not, prepare to be, er… illuminated.
They were first used on the Vauxhall Tigra, a small coupe famous for being not quite as good as the Ford Puma.