Tag Archives: 1920s

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.

Oldtimey Thursday

OK, there’s no such thing as ‘Oldtimey Thursday’, except perhaps at Shady Oaks nursing home where every day is oldtimey. But today is a Thursday and we do have some oldtimey vehicles!

TLCB Elves of course, do not like oldtimey winga-dinga vehicles one bit. They’re slow, they don’t have racing stripes, and they look silly. But the Elves don’t write these posts, we do (they can’t write at all really. We tried giving them a box of crayons once but they ate them), and on occasion we do quite like oldtimey winga-dinga vehicles.

These excellent oldtimey examples all come from Łukasz Libuszewski of Flickr, and are (from top to bottom); a Ford Model T in convertible and pick-up variants, a lovely 1920s postal truck, and a Cadillac V16.

Each is built and presented beautifully and there’s more to see of these, plus lots more brick-built oldtimers, at Łukasz photostream. Click the link above to make the trip. Winga-dinga…

My Other Other Car’s a Fiat…

The Fiat 500 has been a runaway success across Europe. Over two million have been sold to date, despite the design remaining virtually unchanged in fourteen years of production.

Fiat, unused to building a car that people actually like, subsequently decided that literally everything they make should be a 500[something]. This has unfortunately led to hideous monstrosities like thiswhich have been about as successful as storming the U.S. Capitol building in the hope of overturning a legitimate election.

However unlike Fiat, LEGO’s ace 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set is proving not only a hit, but also one that can be used to create a range of other vehicles that don’t just look like a regular 500 has died at sea and washed up on a beach months later.

Cases in point are these two brilliant B-Models, each built only from the parts found within the 10271 Fiat 500 set, and each managing to successfully create something new and excellent from the recycled parts.

First up (above) is monstermatou‘s marvellous 1920s Citroen 5HP Trefle, which captures the real car so well you’d be hard pushed to know it’s an alternate (which explains why monstermatou very nearly won TLCB Lock-Down B-Model Competition with one of his past builds). Building instructions are available and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.

Today’s second 10271 alternate comes from a past official LEGO set designer no less, the incredibly talented Nathanael Kuipers, who has turned the little classic Fiat into a 1950s pick-up truck.

Cleverly using the Fiat’s interior pieces to make up for the shortfall in available bodywork bricks, Nathanael’s B-Model includes opening doors, hood and tailgate, and building instructions are available too.

Click the link above to check out more of Nathanael’s B-Model at his photostream, and if you own a 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set, perhaps see what you can create from it! You’ll easily do a better job than Fiat have managed with the real thing…

Book a Service

The lovely vintage workshop scene was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today, and whilst it doesn’t feature any racing stripes it does use no less than sixteen LEGO train track switch pieces throughout the build. See if you can spot them with a trained eye* hidden in Mrs. Miller’s library van and the garage surrounding it courtesy of Jonas Kramm. Click the link to switch* over to Flickr.

*Hah!

Race to the Bottom

The early days of flight were perilous ones. Aeronautical understanding was limited and building materials more so, meaning things that operated a long way from the ground were made out of bits of wood and chickenwire. However by the late 1920s mankind’s incredible rate of progress (no doubt helped by the otherwise totally pointless First World War) had made flying relatively safe and normal. Except in one area; Speed.

Like racing cars of the era, racing planes were fantastically dangerous, pushing the limits of physics and effectively working by trail and error, when error often meant death. This is one example from the time, the bonkers Savoia-Marchetti S.65 racing seaplane, designed for the 1929 Schneider Trophy race. With two 1,050bhp V12 engines mounted fore and aft of the pilot, the S.65 proved so unstable it didn’t get airborne at all and the Italian team behind it returned to Italy for more development.

On Lake Garda in 1930 the trails continued, and on the forth attempt the seaplane took to the air in a glorious rush of wind and noise. Whereupon it stalled, crashed into the water, and sunk to the bottom taking its young pilot with it. Thankfully although recovered the S.65 did not attempt to fly again, but a failure though it was it did look rather wonderful, as does Henrik Jensen‘s marvellous mini-figure scale recreation, pictured here in a neat diorama depicting the plane before its fateful flight attempt.

There’s more to see of Henrik’s excellent Savoia-Marchetti S.65 at his photostream – head to Lake Garda in 1930 via the link in the text above, but maybe watch from a distance.

5920 Redux

One of LEGO’s weirder themes, Dino Island (basically Jurassic Park meets Indiana Jones without paying the licensing) did feature some rather nice vintage vehicles. 5920 was one of them, and TLCB favourite Chris Elliott has rebuilt it in his trademark style; with beautiful attention to detail and gorgeous presentation. Suggested by a reader, there’s more to see of Chris’s 5920 Redux on Flickr – take a look via the link above.

Pug

We think that’s what a small bulldog is, right? Except pugs are bordering on inhumane. Anyhow, this small bulldog is not a pug, rather a miniature version of the ancient Lanz Bulldog tractor, as built by Flickr’s de-marco. He’s made instructions available and you find them and more great Town scale builds at his photostream – click the link to take a look.

History Repeating*

The world is currently balanced on a pinhead, with the slightest nudge in any direction sending the global economy into the greatest depression since the, er… Great Depression.

Beginning in 1929 and lasting right up until Germany started getting a bit ‘handsy’ in Europe**, it was the most severe recession the world has ever known. Vehicle sales tumbled – particularly from luxury marques – but there were still cars sold during the period, like this marvellous Austin 12 Burnham.

Like the current trend for SUVs, late ’20s cars were boxy, with high ground clearance and imposing radiator grilles – although this was more for functionality than today’s pointless need for ‘assertive, confident, aggressive’ styling or whatever the marketing types label monstrosities like this as.

This excellent recreation of the Austin 12 comes from Flickr’s 1saac W., who has replicated the 1929 tourer rather well. There’s more of 1saac’s model to see at his photostream – click the link above to take a look, whilst we ponder the worrying circularity of history…

*Today’s glorious title song.

**Thanks to a rise in nationalism, populism, and a desire to ‘make countries great again’. Good thing the world will never repeat that mistake…

Christmas Coal

We end today’s publications with this, a rather lovey looking vintage ‘convoi exceptionnel’ consisting of a six-axle truck, a low-loader trailer, and a fantastic mining excavator, on its way to supply coal to keep families warm over winter. Built by FiliusRucilo of Flickr each vehicle is wonderfully made and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link in the text above.

Pole Position

This rather lovely looking automobile is the CWS T-1, the first serially-produced car to be manufactured in Poland. The T-1 was a clever piece of design too, with the entire car using only a single bolt size meaning just one was tool was needed to take it apart completely.

Unfortunately the T-1 had a relatively short life as CWS were swallowed up by the Polish state in 1930, who then signed deal with FIAT. FIAT didn’t like competition much and requested that production of the T-1 cease, and the Polish state agreed, giving FIAT a monopoly that eventually led to such abominations at this and this. Oh well.

This mini-figure scale recreation of the long-forgotten Polish pioneer comes from Mateusz Waldowski of Flickr and there’s more to see of his excellent CWS T-1 at his photostream. Take a look via the link above.

Blow Me

Mixing Technic, Model Team, and a little bit of spray paint, this gorgeous Bentley 4.5 litre ‘Blower’ was found by one of our Elves on Eurobricks today. Built by newcomer BC Lego it includes working ‘worm gear’ steering, an opening bonnet under which lives a brick-built replica of the 4-cylinder supercharged engine, and one of the most detailed chassis we’ve seen in some time. See more at the Eurobricks forum via the link above where you can find a link to the full gallery and build details.

They See Me Rollin’

The Rolls-Royce Phantom isn’t just for new money. In fact it’s been around almost as long as the brand itself, with this example being the Phantom II, launched way back in 1929.

The Phantom II came powered by a 7.7 litre straight-six mated to a four-speed gearbox, with semi-elliptical spring suspension and servo-assisted brakes. At the time Rolls-Royce only made the chassis and running gear for their cars, with the customer choosing a body from one of several ‘coachbuilders’, including Park Ward, Mulliner, Hooper and others. We don’t know which bodywork this example by Flickr’s Lennart C (aka Everblack) is wearing, but it looks lovely whatever it is.

There’s more to see of Lennart’s beautiful Rolls-Royce Phantom II at his photostream – click the link above to see how they rolled in the 1930s.

A Great Vintage

This gorgeous vintage racer was found on Flickr today, and not only is it a vintage vehicle itself, it uses some vintage LEGO parts too. The wonderful engine that you can see in these images an inline 4-cylinder built from LEGO’s original 2×2 square pistons that required a brick-built engine block. Newcomer Joe Maruschak has done a stellar job making use of these old parts, even including push-rod operated valves and a Power Functions motor to bring the engine to life. Head to Joe’s ‘Old Race Car’ album on Flickr to see all the photos and a video of the engine in action, and if you’d like to see what a real vintage 4-cylinder engine looks (and sounds) like then click this rather awesome link and turn your sound up!

Flying the Eastern Front

Lego Vintage Aircraft

This delightful scene of calm in the midst of a Great War era conflict comes from Tino Poutianen of Flickr, who has created a lovely generic Allied fighter with its two dashing crew casually catching up on news from home whilst a pig steals some lunch.

Sadly we doubt they or the pig will be around this time next year. The early years of wartime flight were terrifically dangerous, and pigs are, well… really tasty. For now all is well though, and happily it’s this scene that’s been preserved in brick by Tino. See more at the link.

Right Said Fred

Lego Ford Model T Pick-Up

“Right” said Fred, “Both of us together,
One each end and steady as we go.”
Tried to shift it, couldn’t even lift it
We was getting nowhere
And so we had a cuppa tea

“Right” said Fred, “Give a shout for Charlie.”
Up comes Charlie from the floor below.
After strainin’, heavin’ and complainin’
We was getting nowhere
And so we had a cuppa tea.

“All right” said Fred, “Have to take the feet off
To get them feet off wouldn’t take a mo.”
Took its feet off, even took the seat off
Should have got us somewhere but no!
So Fred said, “Let’s have another cuppa tea.”
And we said, “right-o”.

The mini-figures in Pixel Junkie‘s picture look like they’re about to feature in a classic comedy song, and that’s never going to end well. Still, their Ford Model T pick-up truck looks rather lovely and at least we’ve managed not to mistakenly reference the other Right Said Fred.

Dammit.

See more at the link.