Tag Archives: 1920s

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Ferrari Before Ferrari

Lego Alfa Romeo P3

‘Scuderia Ferrari’ have been around longer than you might think…

Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929, Scuderia Ferrari were winning races decades before their own cars would wear the famous prancing horse shield. The young Italian began his career driving for Alfa Romeo in 1920, winning the Coppa Acerbo in 1924. By 1929 Enzo took a step back from racing himself to manage the Alfa Romeo team, which became known as Scuderia Ferrari and wore the crest of Enzo’s friend Count Francesco Baracca, a logo which has now become synonymous with Ferrari cars.

Enzo’s partnership with Alfa Romeo gave his team access to the best racing car of the era, the glorious eight-cylinder supercharged  P3, and they translated this into a string of victories. However by 1938 Alfa Romeo wanted to race under their own name, and an unhappy Enzo decided to leave to build his own cars. Mussolini had other ideas though, and racing was duly halted during the kerfuffle whilst Enzo’s factory was converted to build military tooling.

After the war ended Enzo Ferrari finally got the chance to build and race his own car under his own name, and… Alfa Romeo won absolutely everything – in 1950 Enzo’s Italian rivals won all eleven races. However in 1951 the unbelievable happened; the ex-driver-turned-manager beat his old team, winning the 1951 British Grand Prix and becoming the first team to break Alfa Romeo’s dominance in over a year.

Ferrari would compete in every Formula 1 Championship thereafter, making them the only team in the sport’s history to do so, whilst the once mighty Alfa Romeo exited Formula 1 just a year later.

This wonderful diorama containing one of Scuderia Ferrari’s first race-winning cars (even though it’s not actually a Ferrari) comes from previous bloggee and TLCB regular PixelJunkie, whose stunning recreation of the Alfa Romeo P3 – complete with Scuderia Ferrari crest – is one of the finest mini-figure scale vintage racing cars we’ve seen. There’s more to see of this Ferrari-before-Ferrari on Flickr at Pixel’s photostream – head back to the early 1930s via the link above.

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Cream Machine

Lego Vintage Racecar

Chris Elliott’s ‘1928 Nike Streamliner’ may be a fictional car of few pieces, but it makes for such a cool photo! Proving talent goes way further than unlimited pieces there’s more to see of Chris’ stunning imagery at his photostream – click here to check it out.

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Mr. T

Lego Ford Model T

In the hundred years since The Great War ended mankind has made all sorts of progress. Antibiotics, space travel, the television, Twitter, the cat pencil sharpener… it’s an amazing list, yet cars are still more or less the same as they were a century ago, and they’re still produced in largely the same way too.

This is the car that defined automobile production for the next 100 years, the phenomenally successful Ford Model T. Produced from 1908 to 1927, around fifteen million units of Henry Ford’s world-changing car were built, meaning that at one time over half of all the cars on the roads anywhere in the world were Model Ts. It’s likely we’ll never see such a dominant product – of any type, let alone a car – again.

This excellent Lego replica of very probably the most important machine ever made comes from previous bloggee Pixel Junkie who has recreated the Model T brilliantly in Lego form. See more at his photostream by clicking here.

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Royally Posh

Lego Bugatti Royale

Long before the Veyron, Chiron and Volkswagen ownership, Bugatti made some very posh cars. So posh in fact that the people who owned them didn’t drive the car themselves, and they didn’t even give their driver a roof, so that he would know his place.

This is one such car, the Bugatti Royale, of which just seven were produced. Powered by a 12.7litre straight-8 and measuring 21ft in length (significantly larger than even a modern-day Rolls Royce Phantom) the Royale was released just as the Great Depression hit, and it was a gigantic flop. Of the seven made only three were sold to paying customers, although to be fair to Ettore Bugatti he did apparently refuse to sell one to the King of Albania on account of his poor table manners.

This lovely Town-scale recreation of the Royale comes from ER0L of Flickr and there’s more to see at his photostream via think above. If your table manners are good enough.

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