Man-ic Monday

From the world’s biggest land vehicle to one of the littlest, and the official World Record holder for the smallest road-legal production car ever made.

The Peel P50 was built for just a few years in the early 1960s, capitalising on the demand for small cheap cars that could be driven on a motorcycle license. A few companies made a great success from this need, albeit not for ever, Peel… didn’t.

Ingenious though the P50 was, a car with 28mph top speed designed for city use, but coming from the Isle of Man (a small mostly rural island off the coast of England with no cities) had (very) limited appeal, and just fifty units were produced.

Around half survive today, and they’re worth a ridiculous amount of money, with one recently fetching $176,000 at auction.

Cue John Carpenter of Eurobricks, who has built one that’s far more attainable, and it’s not even that much smaller than the real thing!

There’s working steering, suspension front and rear, an authentic single-cylinder engine driven by the rear wheel, an opening and locking door, and even a working handbrake.

There’s lots more to see of John’s Peel P50 at the Eurobricks forum, including build details and a video of the working functions in action. Head to the Isle of Man c1964 via the link above! (Just be prepared for the villagers to point and laugh.)

Towering Inferno

This is the NASA ‘Launch Umbilical Tower’, designed to send the world’s most powerful machine – the Saturn V rocket – into space, and carried by the world’s heaviest land vehicle.

LEGO’s enormous 92176 NASA Saturn V set has allowed space fans to conduct their own bedroom-based lunar missions, but the ‘blast-off’ bit (in this writer’s opinion, the coolest bit) requires a few additional accessories not supplied by LEGO…

Fortunately Janotechnic of Eurobricks – here making his TLCB debut – has the answer, not only building this incredible 1:110 scale Technic Nasa Crawler and Launch Umbilical Tower, but doing so from three official LEGO Technic sets; the 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator, the 42082 Rough Terrain Crane, and the 42098 Car Transporter.

That expansive parts supply has enabled Jano to equip his B-B-B-Model with a huge array of motorised functions, including drive and steering, crane rotation, retractable support swing-arms, and even a working lift within the tower!

It’s an incredible creation and one that (in simplified form below) you can build for yourself, as building instructions are available. There’s more of Jano’s amazing NASA Crawler and Tower to see – including a video of the model’s motorised and mechanical functions – at the Eurobricks forum. Click the link above and prepare to blast-off!

Contain This

Most of what’s around you (unless you’re reading this on your phone in a field) got to where it is via a shipping container. They might just be big metal boxes, but the entire global economy hinges on their transportation (cue headlines when said transportation stops). This Detroit Diesel-powered Skoda Xena is pulling two such monuments to global capitalism, which Martin Nespor has recreated brilliantly in brick form. A neat three-axle trailer with lifting axles and an extending rear overhand follows the Skoda, which itself features Power Functions and SBrick bluetooth remote control. Excellent custom decals complete the build and there’s more to see at Martin’s ‘Container Semi-Trailer’ album on Flickr; click here to take a look.

Modular Building

LEGO’s brilliant line-up of modular buildings have been a roaring success, but they’re not really TLCB fodder. This awesome Neo-Classic Space ‘T-ATV’ by Flickr’s SweStar is though, and it’s ‘modular building’ too. Sort of.

A superb tracked chassis can carry an assortment of spacey things atop it, including a cabin that doubles as a spaceship, a pair of containers for important spacey-looking devices, and there’s even a mini-figure jet-suit arrangement concealed in the back!

Each module can stand alone as a thoroughly good build, and add them all together and you have a model with such great playability that this TLCB Writer could happily spend an entire afternoon swooshing and tracking and doing other suitably spacey stuff with it.

Whilst he does that you can see more of SweStar’s brilliant build at his ‘T-ATV’ album on Flickr – click the link above for more modular building.

My Other Tracked Vehicle is an Excavator

We’re not sure that this title really works as a bumper sticker, but as this snow groomer by Dyens Creations doesn’t have a bumper it’s moot anyway. Dyen’s creation is indeed constructed from another tracked vehicle though, being built entirely from the parts found within the Technic 42121 Heavy Duty Excavator set. There’s an adjustable elevating blade, a rotating and extending crane, and an attachable ice grinding thingumy too. Building instructions are available and there’s more of Dyen’s snow groomer B-Model to see on Flickr, at Eurobricks, and via the video below.

YouTube Video

Easter Bunny

We often find it easy to forget the story of Easter (which is usually about a rabbit laying chocolate eggs or something), so here at The Lego Car Blog we’re publishing a mechanised bunny rabbit exo-suit. We’re not sure what that achieves. Anyway, there’s more to see of Simon Liu‘s ‘Bunnies Rise Up!’ on Flickr via the second link, or click the first for an alternative easter story featuring a rigged trial, murder, and with a major twist at the ending.

Panzer III

Designed by Daimler-Benz, this the Panzer III Sd.Kfz 141, the German military’s primary medium battle tank built to take on the formidable Soviet T-34 during the Second World War. It was powered by a 300bhp Maybach V12 giving it a top speed of just over 20mph, which wasn’t fast (but then it did weigh around twenty-two tons), and it was armed with either a 37mm, 50mm, or 75mm gun, depending on specification.

Around 5,700 Panzer IIIs were built between 1939 and 1943, seeing service in Poland, the Soviet Union, France, North Africa, the Netherlands, and Italy – amongst other theatres of war. This superb Lego version of the Sd.Kfz 141 comes from previous bloggee Rebla, who has recreated the design brilliantly, including a rotating turret, elevating cannon, and a crew of custom mini-figures.

Rebla has presented his model beautifully too, and there’s more to see at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump to all the imagery.

Mini Mechanics

The creations we feature here at The Lego Car Blog can – at times – become a bit ‘aesthetics over everything’. That’s entirely our fault, as we want images that look cool on a screen and that our readers want to share, but building with Lego is about much more than just that.

This Technic mini mobile crane by SaperPL is an example, as whilst it does look rather nice, its real beauty is in the proper mechanical engineering packed inside.

Despite its small size, SaperPL’s crane includes working steering on three axles, with the forth non-steered axle driving a little piston engine under the cab, extending stabiliser legs, and a crane boom that can rotate 360 degrees, elevate, extend and winch, all via hand-powered knobs and cogs.

It’s exactly what Technic should be about and it’s well worth your click, particularly as SaperPL has made free building instructions available, which earns him a hundred TLCB points.

There’s more to see at Eurobricks via the link above, plus you can watch all of the excellent mechanical features in action via the splendid video below.

YouTube Video

Black Horse

There are two wonderful exceptionsbut most non-red Ferraris are owned by horrible ‘influencer’ types, whose personalities are so vacuous the most interesting thing about them is the wrap on their car. Which usually looks ghastly.

Not so here though, as K MP‘s lightly modified Ferrari 458 Italia looks mega in black and gold, wearing a brick-built Vorsteiner bodykit which in real life looks pretty decent too.

Suggested by a reader there’s more to see of K MP’s Speed Champions Vortsteiner 458 on Flickr via the link, and if we’ve offended any influencer types reading this who’ve wrapped their car, sorry – but it probably does look ghastly.

Caseload

This is a fully remote controlled Case QuadTrac 620, built by mktechniccreations, and it’s really very good at squashing Elves. It’s also one heck of a build, with no less than six Power Functions motors, two BuWizz bluetooth batteries, and a pneumatic system with on-board compressors. And that’s before we get to the Elmer HaulMaster 2000 trailer.

Back to the Case, where two L Motors drive the fully suspended tracks, whilst a Servo articulates the pivot steering (the rear section of which can also oscillate independently from the front to keep the vehicle level on uneven ground).

Two M Motors power the on-board pneumatic compressors/switches, a third drives the rear PTO, there’s a suspended cab, swing-out ladder (that automatically pivots out of the way of the tracks when the tractor articulates), a rotating driver’s seat, and pneumatically operated hitches.

The Elmer HaulMaster trailer features a few trick of its own too, with the Case’s PTO driving the conveyor belt and auger worm-gear, pneumatically operated auger boom extension, and pneumatically deployed support legs.

It’s an unfathomably complex and wonderfully engineered build, and there’s lots more to see of mktechniccreations’ incredible creation at the Eurobricks forum via the link above, where complete technical details, further imagery, and a link to building instructions can be found.

You can also see all the amazing working functions of both the Case Quadtrac 620 and Elmer HaulMaster 2000 in action via the video below; click play to take a look at one of the best models of 2021 so far.

YouTube Video

Hummers Suck

Categories of people that like Hummer; Under nines. TLCB Elves. Conspiracy-theorising, ‘FREEDOM!’-yelling neanderthals. Middle-eastern oil sheiks. Idiots.

This is a Hummer H2, and we absolutely love it! Not the real car of course, which is total garbage, but this thoroughly excellent fully remote controlled Technic recreation by Eurobricks’ damjan97PL.

The real Hummer H2 was neither capable nor sophisticated, but damjan97’s version is certainly both. Two XL Motors power the 4×4 drivetrain which includes three differentials, independent front and live-axle rear suspension, and Servo steering (which is also linked to the steering wheel).

A working V8 engine resides under the opening hood, all four doors open and lock, the seats adjust via geared racks, and there’s an SBrick programable brick mounted in the cabin providing bluetooth remote control.

It’s as excellent as the real Hummer H2 is terrible and there’s much more to see of damjan97PL’s incredible creation at the Eurobricks forum at the link above, or via the extensive image gallery available on Bricksafe.

Click the links above to join under nines, TLCB Elves, conspiracy-theorising ‘FREEDOM!’-yelling neanderthals, middle-eastern oil sheiks, and this TLCB Writer (an idiot) in taking a look!

Not a Carrrrgh!

Aarrrgh, this be a fine vessel. She be a twenty-four gun barque, plain to the eye yet a beauty where it counts, from her Harrrry Potter wand rigging to her 12-pounderrr cannons. She be captained by Sebeus I and you can request to join her crew on Flickrrrr.

Three is the Magic Number

Britain has a long tradition of making crap cars. This is widely considered to be one of them.

The Reliant Robin has been the butt of jokes in TLCB’s home nation for years. Cheap, slow, and missing something that is taken for granted with almost every other car (a fourth wheel), it was derided for decades.

However, the humble Robin (and its Rialto and Regal forbears) was actually phenomenally successful. The second most mass-produced fibreglass car in history, the Robin’s success came from its ability to exploit loopholes, as with Germany and France’s microcar classes and Japan’s kei cars.

Three wheels meant the Robin could be driven on a motorcycle license, drivers paid less tax, and the oil crisis of the 1970s caused sales to rocket. It was this success that led to the derision, as there were actually loads of British three-wheeled microcars but no-ones heard of any of the others.

This brilliant Technic recreation of everyone’s (least)favourite British car comes from previous bloggee Danifill, who has not only replicated the Robin’s inline 4-cylinder engine, the steered and suspended centre wheel, and the live rear axle, he’s also equipped his Robin with a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery and three (appropriately) Power Functions motors.

An XL Motor drives the rear wheels, a Servo powers the steering (which also turns the steering wheel), whilst a Medium motor controls a two-speed gearbox. There are also opening doors with functioning locks, an opening hood and tailgate, plus working head and taillights too.

It’s a great build of a crap but somewhat unfairly derided car and there’s more to see of Danifill’s ’90s Reliant Robin at the Eurobricks forum, where there’s also a video in which you can watch all three wheels in action.

Avoiding Rocks

Not all race-winning Mercedes racing cars are silver. This is the famous ‘Red Mercedes’, the 1924 winner of the immense ‘Targa Florio’ road race across Italy, rumoured to be painted red to stop nationalistic fans throwing rocks at it, in case it was an Alfa Romeo.

Powered by a supercharged two-litre four cylinder engine, the ‘Red Mercedes’ began Mercedes-Benz’s journey with forced-induction racing cars that culminated in the amazing SSK in the early 1930s.

This utterly beautiful Technic replica of Mercedes’ 1924 race winner comes from Nikolaus Lowe, who has equipped it with a working four-cylinder engine (with a functioning hand-crank), period-correct leaf spring suspension, steering, and a two-speed gearbox.

Nikolaus has photographed and presented his creation superbly and there’s more to see of this stunning build at his ‘Mercedes Targa Florio 1924’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to take a closer look.

Bye Bye Boeing

After over 50 years of service, Boeing’s mighty 747 is starting to be retired from fleets around the world. The 747 first entered service with the now defunct Pan Am airline in 1970, after they commissioned Boeing to build a plane 2.5 times larger than their existing airliners.

The aim was to reduce expenses by a third per passenger to bring long-distance air travel to the masses, and the 747 fulfilled its brief so well that over 1,500 have been produced to date, with the design single-handedly defining the ‘jumbo jet’ era.

747 production finally ceases next year, as the industry has moved away from ‘jumbo’ aircraft in favour of smaller more fuel efficient airliners, with two-engined planes now capable of flying just as far as their ageing four-engined counterparts.

Anything that reduces air travel pollution is a good thing, but we’ll miss the old ‘jumbo’. Flickr’s saabfan2013 will too by the looks of it, and has created this neat brick-built homage to the 747 in double-decker configuration and Iberia livery.

There are more images of saabfan’s excellent Iberia Boeing 747 to see on Flickr, where you can also find a link to the model on LEGO Ideas should you want the opportunity to place the iconic Jumbo Jet on your desk too. Click the link above to take off.