Green Speed

If ever a Technic set could polarise opinion, it’s this one…


It is of course the new for 2015 42039 24 hours race car.

Some say it’s ugly, others say it doesn’t do enough, or what it does do is gimmicky, or there’s the sticker haters (can’t say I blame them..). Time to confuse the issue further with TLCB’s two pence worth…

I rather like it.

Let me explain, since the above four word review might not be what you came here for. First of all, to these eyes it looks nicer without stickers, and it’ll certainly look nicer than one with peeling stickers a few years down the line…

Lego Technic 24 Hours Race Car

The bright green and white panels work pretty well. Not flawlessly (there’s a few awkward gaps here and there) but the overall effect leaves you in no doubt about what it is. It was differently designed in the preliminary images (I won’t put one here because they’re all watermarked, but you’ve probably seen them) and most people seem to prefer the way it was in prototype form.

The main changes made before the production version concern the headlight design, wheelarches, cockpit design and the loss of the rear central fin. This last point is a bit of of a pity since it hurts the model’s authenticity but I actually agree with Lego’s decision about the other aspects. While the headlight design we got isn’t as sleek, it’s more realistic and actually looks better. This change was probably made to facilitate the installation of PF lights. The original, rounder, wheelarch pieces, while individually more attractive than what we were given, didn’t blend as well with the side profile and look too narrow from above. I’ll take the too-square wheel wells of the production version, just. I find the changes made to the cockpit and door design to be an improvement as well.

So there. That’s settled that. Now, time to see what this beauty (?) does…

It’s an enjoyable build, working from the single, large square-bound instruction book. Still no sign of another one for the B-model… At 1200 pieces or so, this set is on the large side for one without numbered bags but I encountered no problems finding anything in the large pile of bits. After a few hours I had an engaging toy to play with. It’s a lot like the old 8461 Williams from 2002 in that respect…


Anyone hoping for an all-singing-and-dancing Technic Supercar is in for a bit of a disappointment. 8880 this ain’t, but it does have a V8, working steering and suspension as well as opening gullwing doors and engine cover. These last two functions are controlled via the machine’s only gearbox using an unobtrusive black gear on the side. It is a bit gimmicky although the system works well. The new gearbox parts used here do make assembly more foolproof (no more putting free-wheeling gears on the wrong way round…) and operation feels slightly more positive than before. The difference is small, but noticeable. I’d still prefer the transmission to vary the speed of the engine relative to the wheels though…

…Mostly because the engine is (again!) very nearly silent. This is a race car! Give it some noise! It could do with a bit more detailing as well. While it’s nice to be able to raise the engine cover, there’s not a lot to see when you do.

Suspension works well, with about the right travel, stiffness and ride height. The design is fairly standard double wishbones all round. A pushrod set-up like that in the aforementioned Williams might have been nice, but what we get does it least work properly.

Steering is fine; again a fairly standard HOG system, but the hub parts used here do allow a decent amount of lock and it works smoothly and well. There’s nothing for me to complain about, then… apart from the completely vertical and unconnected in-cab wheel, perhaps.

Like many recent models, it’s designed to be easy to motorize, although in this case there’s not much point. It might be fun to watch the doors or engine cover whirr up once, but that’ll be it. The electrics are well hidden however, with plenty of space under the opening front panel for the battery box to hide in.

The B-model is a Paris-Dakar style rally raid truck, and it looks pretty good. The very low profile tyres that suit the main model perfectly do look odd on it though. Still, a fine effort. The Le Mans car is a fine effort too. Good looking, thoughtfully designed, fun to build, and something Lego Technic hasn’t done before in a colour that’s new to Technic and very attractive. We’re still waiting for that all-singing-and-dancing Technic Supercar, however.

In many ways, this is more like the old Racers line than a true Supercar, and if you can accept it on those terms and like the look of it, you’ll enjoy it.  8/10.

Buy the LEGO Technic 42039 24 Hours Race Car

8 thoughts on “Green Speed

  1. Sjakie ;-)

    What do you expect from an all-singing-and-dancing Technic Supercar? For me the 9398 was it, it looks cool and fun to play with. In this case a gearbox would not add anything to the model.

    1. twohorse602

      I think a gearbox would add to it – for me, Technic supercars are all about functions and authenticity. This might be because they always had one in the ’80s and ’90s so I’m prepared to accept that I’m showing my age here and younger people may have different priorities. And 9398 is a good model and great fun.

  2. bulldog07

    Do you know when exactly Lego is expected to release this one for sale? All I can find online is just “2015”. Husband is a huge racing fan and can’t wait to get his hands on this one. Hoping to surprise him for his birthday in April…

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