Whole Lotta Loader

This spectacular creation is a Dressta 560E Extra front loader, and it comes from Bricksley of Flickr. Bricksley’s model looks the business from the outside, complete with incredible attention to detail, custom decals, and ingenious building techniques throughout, however it’s what’s underneath that is even more impressive.

Four Power Functions motors give Bricksley’s Dressta 560E a wealth of remote control functions including four wheel drive (with a turning cooling fan behind the rear grill), centrally articulated steering, and a huge lifting arm complete with a tipping bucket driven by a set of linear actuators.

There’s much more to see of Bricksley’s build at his Dressta 560E Flickr album, where you can also find a link to a video of the model in action, loading what we think are cornflakes no less. Click the link above to make the jump!

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Anglo-American

Despite a politically strained relationship at present, the United Kingdom and the Unites States of America can achieve great things when they work together. Here are two of the greatest, the magnificent Ford GT40 and AC Cobra.

Both cars were designed in the UK, but powered (and funded by) Ford USA, and both dominated racing in the 1960s. These two brilliant Speed Champions style models of the Gulf Racing GT40 and Cobra 289 are the work of previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott who has captured each car beautifully.

There’s more to see of each build at Jonathan’s photostream – click the links above to take a look at the complete image galleries for both cars.

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The Trouble with Tesla

Tesla. If there’s one car company you cannot criticise on the internet due to frankly fanatical supporters it’s Elon Musk’s electric automotive brand. Here goes…

Tesla were not actually founded by the creator of Paypal back in 2003, but Musk has pretty much led the company ever since, from it’s first car (the Lotus Elise based Roadster) to its position today as the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer. This is a simply astonishing achievement, particularly as it’s Tesla that have brought EVs to the mainstream, forcing the established car manufacturers to take EVs seriously. The raft of new EVs about to reach the market are in large part due to Tesla proving the business case.

They’ve also brought a sense of fun to the often staid motor industry, with models that literally spell ‘S3XY’, a drive mode named ‘Ludicrous’, whoopie cushion seats, and host of other mischievous features. Plus the Tesla Model 3 is the safest model ever tested by the Euro NCAP. And yet, would this TLCB writer buy one?…

Nope.

For all Tesla’s technical innovation and engineering brilliance the company’s primary function is to build cars, and they’re shockingly bad at it. Designs that use four times as many parts as they should (making repairs complicated, eye-wateringly expensive and slow), risible paint quality, panel gaps that  you could drive another car through, and chronic unreliability plague Tesla’s range. As the company tries desperately to meet demand (and to make money) the ‘finished’ cars are far from it, recreating the ownership experience of a 1970s British Leyland.

Whether Tesla can, or even wants to, sort these issues out is debatable. However what isn’t is that Mercedes-Benz, the Volkswagen Group, BMW, and many more besides wouldn’t be scrambling to go electric if it weren’t for Musk and what all started with an electrically-powered Elise. Which means when this writer is driving an EV he’ll be able to give a nod of thanks to Tesla, even though his car probably won’t actually be one.

Oh yeh, this neat digitally rendered Tesla Model 3 comes from Robson M of Flickr and there’s more to see at the link!

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Town Triple

It’s blue Smarties all round today as three Elves returned to TLCB Towers, each with a blue town-scale creation. It turns out all three are the work of the same builder, Flick’s de-marco, who is becoming a regular on these pages. Each has been constructed in LEGO’s classic ‘Town’ style (a favourite here at TLCB) and recreates a well known(?) real-world vehicle in mini-figure scale.

The first of de-marco’s build is perhaps the most true-to-life, a classic Dacia 1300 from a time when the Romanian brand was independent from Renault, but also simply built discontinued Renault products (and fairy badly at that…). It turns out that the Dacia 1300’s ugly blocky sloping shape is perfect for recreation from angular LEGO bricks and the result looks remarkably close to the real thing.

de-marco’s second Town vehicle is a classic Austin/Morris Mini in British police ‘panda car’ specification. LEGO’s ‘Maersk’ blue with white doors and a single blue light (using a piece from LEGO’s 9V lighting sets) works a treat, even if the car looks a little long for the famously small classic car.

Lastly de-marco has built something a little larger, in the form of this excellent Kamaz drop-side truck. As with all three creations the details are spot on, yet simple enough to fit into a Town scale build, and there’s more to see at de-marco’s photostream via the link. There are also video instructions available for each build – you can find a link to these under each image in de-marco’s photostream should you wish to jazz your own Town up with some iconic classics!

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Heroes in a Half Shell

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Heroes in a Half Shell
Turtle Power!

The lyricists of TMNT taking the ‘Batman’ approach to theme-writing there. We’d forgotten that LEGO released a TMNT line back in 2013, which is probably a good thing to be honest. Still, the availability of Turtle-mini-figures has helped Flickr’s Hobbestimus to create this radical LEGO recreation of the Party Bus, complete with Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael and a host of ninja-based weaponry. Head to the sewers via the link above!

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From an Idea to LEGO | Book Review

Here at The Lego Car Blog we’re definitely towards the more adult end of the Lego fan spectrum (not that you’d necessarily know that from our writing ability or professionalism…), however it’s worth remembering that LEGO is, first and foremost, a toy.

It’s therefore with great pleasure that today we can share with you a book aimed exactly at LEGO’s core audience, and on a topic that we’re surprised has taken so long to be published. From Lowey Bundy Sichol‘s ‘From an Idea to…’ series, this is ‘From an Idea to LEGO’.

Lowey’s ‘From an Idea to…’ series of books explore some of the world’s most famous companies, explaining to children aged 8-12 how they were created whilst teaching entrepreneurship and business along the way. They are in fact the only books in the world that provide biographical business studies to kids, which – in a world filled with ‘influencers’ teaching children little more than how to open boxes of free things – is a wonderful alternative.

‘From and Idea to LEGO’ runs to around 100 pages and is filled with lovely illustrations by C. S. Jennings, fun facts and pop-out text (more on that in a bit). Printed in black and white on non-glossy paper the book is typical of those aimed at children (and a price point) so don’t expect another glossy coffee table publication of the type we usually review, as that’s not the point of this book.

Lowey charts LEGO’s history from carpenter’s shop and the invention of the plastic brick, via near bankruptcy to its position today as the world’s largest toy maker. The language is easy to understand, yet still detailed enough to educate, and when a new piece of business terminology appears it’s printed in bold and accompanied by a small pop-out explaining what it means, examples being ‘Patent‘, ‘Brand Equity‘, ‘Profit‘, ‘Revenue‘ and so on.

It’s this aspect of ‘From an Idea to LEGO’ that we particularly like as, whilst it’s well written, the history of The LEGO Company has been detailed many times before. What hasn’t is the business acumen behind the story, particularly in a format that children can understand. Lowey’s explanations are well-judged, clear, and will undoubtedly help readers to join the dots between having an idea and turning it into a profitable business. Lowey’s ‘Lemonade Stand’ example in the book may be slightly cliche, but it communicates the basics brilliantly.

If you’d like your kids to begin their understanding entrepreneurship, and perhaps to fuel ambition beyond becoming a YouTuber, then the books  from ‘Lowey Bundy Sichol’s ‘From an Idea to…’ series are a wonderful way to start. That one of the four books published so far is about our favourite plastic bricks is a bonus!

Read more about the ‘From an Idea to…’ series here.

‘From an Idea to LEGO’ is available to pre-order now.

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Rallye Monte Carlo

Not only does Monaco hold the world’s most famous Formula 1 race (although these days often the world’s most boring too), it’s also the location for probably the world’s most famous rally, the Rallye Monte Carlo.

Held since 1911, when cars would set off from a variety of places across Europe to meet in Monaco, where they would be judged not just on speed but on ‘elegance’ and ‘passenger comfort’, the modern iteration of the race takes cars through the French Riviera and a variety of conditions, including treacherous snow-covered passes, in a series of timed stages.

In mid-’60s this meant one car became a giant killer, the humble Mini Cooper S. Mighty in the snow, the Mini won the event four times* back to back from 1964 to 1967, defeating cars with four times the power.

Taking the Mini from the 75894 Speed Champions set previewed here earlier in the year, Flickr’s Simon Pickard has modified it to Monte Carlo Rally specification and then created one of the most brilliantly life-like roads we’ve ever seen built from LEGO. Ingeniously placed plates create a glorious curve of ice, which a Mini Cooper S is pictured sliding around beautifully.

There’s more to see of Simon’s spectacular scene at his photostream, including an aerial shot showing the complete layout. Click the link above to visit the South of France in 1965.

*This really annoyed the French who, in 1966, disqualified any car that wasn’t a Citroen. Seriously, look it up! Thus we’re still giving the victory to the Mini, which actually won. And came second. And third.

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Octan Crush

Octan, LEGO’s fictional oil energy company, have ‘sponsored’ all sorts of things over the years. Formula 1 racing cars, power boats, aircraft, and now – thanks to brilliantly-named newcomer LegOH!, monster trucks too. This mini-figure looks like he’s going to have a great time at the wheel and you can join him at LegOH’s photostream. Click the link above to make the jump.

Rocket II

Following today’s earlier post the Elves were most unimpressed. Peaceful river trips are not really their bag after all. However giant chrome 1,000bhp Hemi-engined trikes very much are.

This ridiculous looking device is the ‘Rocket II’, a real supercharged trike built by Englishman Tim Cotterill (aka Frogman) so named because he designs little metal frogs (…we suppose someone has to?)

Built in the the U.S and fitted with a drag racing motor Tim’s trike is very possibly the most dangerous vehicle we’ve ever posted (apart from this one of course). This spectacular Technic recreation of the Rocket II comes from previous bloggee ianying616 of Flickr, who has captured the insanity of the real vehicle perfectly in Lego form.

A huge gallery of images is available to view via the link above, plus you can watch a video of when Jay Leno met the owner (and the Rocket II) on YouTube by clicking here.

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Billy Goat’s Steam Boat

Fabuland, LEGO’s 1980s range of anthropomorphic animals (and frankly one of the weirder things the company has done) seems to have been hijacked of late, by builders intent on seeing the peaceful critters blow one another’s brains out (see here, here and here).

It’s refreshing therefore to see that there are still harmless, some would say pointless, gentle adventures underway in the Fabuland world, thanks to Pete Strege and his most excellent ‘Billy Goat’s Steam Boat’.

Of course The Lego Car Blog Elves are absolutely incensed by this lack of violence, and have left the office in disgust, so a side benefit is that we can now have harmless gentle adventures too. This TLCB Writer might even read a book.

There’s more to see of Pete’s lovely paddle steamer at his Flickr album by clicking here, and we’ll be back shortly with something far more Elven…

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Got Milk?

Arian Janssens does. A lot of it, thanks to this 1980s DAF FAB 2300 DHT tanker which also features a properly weird axle layout, with two at the front, both of which turn, and a single at the rear. Superb detailing is present throughout the build and there’s more to see of Arian’s milk tanker on Flickr by clicking here.

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Maximum Madness

These marvellous Lego recreations of the vehicles that starred in ‘Mad Max – Fury Road’ – some seen before here at The Lego Car Blog – have recently been re-imaged by their creator, Flickr’s Nicola Stocchi. Nicola’s models capture the insanity of the real cars brilliantly, and there are now instructions available for all four builds so you can create your own War Rig Convoy at home! Click the link above to become shiny and new.

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Your Own UAZ

We’re not quite sure why anyone would want a communist crap-box like a UAZ truck, but nevertheless this mini-figure scale model of one by Flickr’s de-marco is rather a lovely thing, and he’s made video building instructions available too so that you can build your own. Click the link to make the jump.

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Dream Garage

An empty garage… Have we finally been driven mad by TLCB Elves or our own meandering ramblings? Possibly, but even though there is barely a car in this post, its appearance here at The Lego Car Blog does make sense. We all have a dream garage, where many tools, exciting cars, and vintage memorabilia likely reside. This lucky mini-figure owns that fantasy garage for real, but that still doesn’t stop him dreaming…

There’s more to see of this beautifully shot workshop scene complete with everything a good dream garage should contain courtesy of Flickr’s AdNorrel – click the link to visit his photostream and and start dreaming…

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75895 Speed Champions Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 | Set Preview

It’s a new set day here at TLCB, as LEGO have revealed their latest officially-licensed entry into the Speed Champions line-up from old favourite Porsche; the most excellent looking 75895 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0.

If 75895 looks familiar that’s because it is, as LEGO have recycled the design from 2018’s 75888 set, but Porsche have been recycling the 911’s design for decades now so if anything that makes it more authentic.

Featuring 180 pieces including a new-if-slightly-douchbaggy-mini-figure (wearing luxury car-branded clothing is never OK), 75895 includes rubber tyres, a removable windshield to give access to the cockpit, bespoke ‘Porsche’ and ‘Turbo’ decals, and a set of cones which – this being a 1970s Porsche – you can run over as you career off the road in a snap-oversteer/turbo-lag induced moment.

The new Speed Champions 75895 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 set will cost around $15 when it reaches stores in August of 2019 and we like it very much. Thumbs up LEGO.

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