Tag Archives: 1920s

In the Bank

Lego Brooklands 1935

It’s time for some history here at TLCB, because we are – at heart – complete nerds.

The world’s first purpose-built racetrack (or what’s left of it) lies not far from TLCB Towers. The Brooklands race circuit opened in 1907, built partly for manufacturers of the newly emerging auto-industry to test their cars, and partly because driving really quickly is bloody good fun.

Measuring just under 3 miles long the Brooklands track was built from uncoated concrete banking, which in places reached 30ft high, and was simply unimaginably steep, far steeper than any modern banked circuit. With no safety barrier at the top and cars routinely getting airborne over the bumpy concrete the spectacle was incredible, and crowds topped a quarter of a million in the circuit’s hay-day.

The outbreak of the First World War saw Brooklands requisitioned by the War Office, as the site also included an aerodrome, becoming the UK’s largest aircraft manufacturing centre by 1918. The end of the war saw motor racing return the the track, alongside the continuation of aircraft manufacturing, but when Hitler decided that Germany hadn’t quite finished with Europe yet motor racing at the track ceased for good.

During the Second World War the Brooklands site became the hub of Hawker fighter and Wellington bomber manufacturing, amongst other aircraft, and the track’s survival as a piece of British heritage sadly, but necessarily, came second to the war effort. Trees were planted on the track to disguise it from German bombers, and whole sections ripped up to expand the runways.

By the end of the war the track was in a poor state, and the site was sold to Vickers-Armstrong to continue operations as an aircraft factory, at one time laying claim to being the largest aircraft hanger in the world. However as the UK’s aircraft manufacturing industry declined the Brooklands site was gradually sold off, becoming a business park, a supermarket, and the Mercedes-Benz World driving instruction track.

Today not much of the original circuit remains, but what does is managed by the Brooklands Museum, who are endeavouring to preserve possibly the most important motor racing, aeronautical and war-time manufacturing site in the world. A recent heritage grant aims to return both the aero-buildings and the famous Finishing Straight to their former glory, and a section of the incredible concrete banking is still standing. You can even take a car on it if you’re feeling brave.

If you’re in the UK and you get the chance to visit the Brooklands Museum we highly recommend it, but for our readers further afield you can get an idea of the insanity of the vintage racing that once took place there courtesy of this lovely scene recreating Brooklands circa-1935 by Flickr’s Redfern. There’s more to see of his 1930s Maserati, its racing counterpart, and his wonderfully recreated Brooklands banking his photostream. Click the link above to step back in time.

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Not Rod

Lego Ford Model A Tudor

Ford’s Model T is undoubtedly the most remarkable car in history. The world’s first mass-produced car, constructed using the world’s first production line*, built in at least 12 countries, and with production spanning eighteen years, the Model T was at one point more popular than all the other cars on sale worldwide put together.

With a 50% global market share, Henry Ford had a quite a daunting task to replace it, so – to use a phrase of the time (probably) – he dilly-dallied for ages, allowing competitors to catch-up and erode his company’s position.

Finally, at the end of 1927, the Model T’s replacement was ready. The new Model A was a huge jump over the old T, with twice the power, a 50% higher top speed, and – more importantly – conventional driver controls.

The Model A went on sale in December 1927, and just over a year later a million had been sold. 6 months after that the figure passed two million, and by the time production ceased in 1932 almost 5 million Model As had been produced across nine different body styles.

This version is one of the most common, the ‘Tudor’ sedan, recreated wonderfully in mini-figure scale by TLCB favourite _Tiler.

Unusually, _Tiler hasn’t hod-rodded his Model A, leaving it instead as Henry Ford intended. A staple of the hod rodding scene, due its popularity and readily available parts supply, the Model A probably exists in greater numbers today as a hot rod than it does in its production form.

However there’s something very cool about seeing an original un-modded A, and you can check out more of _Tyler’s, along with his collection of hot rods, via the link above.

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Blow Job

Lego Blower Bentley

LegoGallifrey‘s ‘blower’ Bentley is not a new build, but it is superb, and it’s been recently updated to include even more period realism, plus – and most importantly – it allows us to post a smutty title.

Built between 1927 and 1931, the Bentley 4½ litre was designed to take on the European performance cars of the time, and with a supercharger fitted (or ‘blower’ as it was known), power jumped by over 100bhp to 240, allowing Bentley to set several speed records, including a recorded 138mph at Brooklands.

Only 55 of the 720 Bentley 4½ litres built received a supercharger and they command truly astronomical prices today, so if you want one LegoGallifrey’s version is probably as close as you’ll get. Head over to Flickr via the link above to take a closer look.

Lego Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Blower

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A Single Shade of Grey

Lego Ford Hot Rod

We are never ever going to read the cancer on literature that is 50 Shades of Grey. However, we do quite like grey LEGO bricks, and over the years LEGO have probably released 50 shades of the stuff. This can make it tempting to use multiple shades in creations, however, unless you’re building a castle wall it can look a bit messy.

Not so here, where previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott has kept it simple with just a single shade, and his ’29 Ford Pick-Up hot rod looks wonderfully clean as a result. Photographed beautifully in his Red Room of Pain, Jon’s build features opening doors, a dropping tailgate, and a fully detailed engine and interior, and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link above.

Lego Ford Hot Rod

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Bulldog

Lego Lanz Bulldog

This weird agricultural oddity is a Lanz Bulldog tractor. 220,000 of these were built in Germany from the early 1920s up until 1960, making it one of the most popular European tractors of all time. Many Germans still use the word ‘bulldog’ as a generic name for tractors today.

The Bulldog’s popularity was down to its incredibly crude single cylinder hot bulb engine. Yup, just one cylinder, which came in a capacity of up to 10 litres, but which could run on just about anything – crucial in war-torn and then recovering (and then war-torn again) Europe.

This Town-style recreation of the vintage tractor comes from previous bloggee Peter Schmid on Flickr, and you can see more of his Lanz Bulldog build at his photostream by clicking here.

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Today’s Programme is Brought to You by the Letters ‘T’ and ‘U’

Lego Ford Model T

Some wise words from Sesame Street, which has been playing on the old TV in the Elves’ cage room to help them learn to spell. A human hand hidden inside some fuzzy felt with eyes stuck on top is clearly an effective learning aid, as following Elmo’s alphabetical directive the Elves have returned with two letter-based finds today!

Our ‘T’ creation (above) comes from Flickr’s Jonas Obermaier, a neat 1920s Ford Model T pick-up in mini-figure scale. Mini-figures who are up to no-good we think, as any 1920s vehicle near a ‘Keep Out’ sign usually spells trouble. Find out what they’re up to at the link above.

Today’s ‘U’ creation (below) was also found on Flickr, and comes from Joshua Brooks. It too is mini-figure scale, and it’s apparently a UT-60D U-Wing fighter from one of the many Star Wars battles in which some plucky pilots try to thwart a giant evil space station. It could therefore be from literally any Star Wars story as far as we know, so for a fuller back-story (and to check out what is a really lovely creation) click the link above or wait for it to appear on a blog that’s nerdier than this one.

Lego UT-60D U-Wing Star Wars

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Smooth Saturday

Lego FIAT Grand Prix Racer

Going smooth requires a fair bit more effort than staying au-natural, but it’s definitely worth it. These two old-timey vehicles from Pixel Junkie and RGB900 show how to do it. There’s more to see of Pixel’s vintage Fiat and RGB’s Morgan inspired 3-wheeler on Flickr – click the links above to get waxed.

Lego Morgan EV3

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Mr. T

Lego Ford Model T

Long before jibba-jabba was quit and fools were pitied, Mr. T was rather different. Here he is doffing his cap to a lady on the sidewalk while taking his splendid new automobile out for a drive. Flickr’s _Tyler is the builder of this neat Model T scene and there’s more to see here.

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The Right Profile

profile-01

Red has produced a monster-sized vintage racing car. Loosely based on a 1932 Alfa Romeo, this car has the aerodynamic streamlining that was all the fashion at the time smooth built in bricks. It also features working steering and an engine that uses so many ray-guns as greebles that it could almost be part of sci-fi SHIPtember.

Red has included multiple views in his uploads but we really liked the straight profile shots, which are an unusual way to present a MOC. Click this link to Flickr to more views and under the bonnet or click this link to hear the song that we stole today’s title from. Meanwhile, here’s the left profile:

profile-02

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Truck ‘n Tram

Lego Vintage Truck Tram

This beautiful vintage tram and truck pairing was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr. Both models are the work of Dario Minisini and they’re part of a much larger and brilliantly built town scene. There’s more to see of both creations and the extensive diorama in which they feature at the link above.

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Soapbox

Lego Soapbox Racer

This utterly wonderful contraption comes from the brilliant Vince Toulouse of Flickr, and it looks like one of the most dangerous machines that this blog has ever posted, and it’s glorious! The bastard offspring of a soapbox gravity go-kart and a 1920s Grand Prix racer, Vince’s latest work is delightfully unhinged, and it makes use of some of LEGO’s odder parts superbly – including some long-forgotten wheels from Technic’s darker days.

There’s more to see of this beautiful creation at Vince’s photostream – step inside the Salvador Dali painting that is his mind at the link above.

Lego Concept Racer

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Blow Me

Lego Bentley Blower 3/8 Litre 1924

If you added up the entire value of all the vehicles in The Lego Car Blog’s carpark, it still wouldn’t equal one of these. Or even half of one. In truth, we do own a lot of crap, but we are Car People so there’s some good stuff knocking around too (guesses in the comments!). Anyway, this gorgeous green creation is of course an inter-war ‘Blower’ Bentley, and just like the real car it’s absolutely magnificent.

LegoGallifrey is the builder and you can doff your cap/salute/[insert other cultural and chronologically appropriate response] his brilliant mini-figure scale build via the link above.

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Unicorn’s Secret

Lego Bellanca CH-300 Tintin Aircraft

This superb 1920s float plane comes from previous bloggee Henrik Jensen, and it’s got to be our favourite aircraft of the year so far. Star of ‘The Adventures of Tintin – The Unicorn’s Secret’ it’s a Bellanca CH-300 and it’s absolutely wonderful. There’s lots more to see on both Flickr and MOCpages, including some neat build details and information on the real aircraft.

Lego Tintin Seaplane

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High Roller

Lego Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

This beautiful creation is the latest work of vehicle building legend, TLCB Master MOCer, and all-round excellent human being Firas Abu-Jaber. It is of course a Rolls Royce, in this case their spectacular 1926 Silver Ghost Springfield ‘Playboy’ Roadster, and it’s been built for LUGNut’s 100th Challenge. Firas has recreated the vintage Roller down to the last detail, including a stunning interior, fold-out ‘dickie’ seat, and an external rear-mounted luggage trunk. There’s a huge range of excellent images available on both MOCpages and Flickr – click the links to see all the details.

Lego Vintage Rolls Royce Playboy Roadster

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Socialist Snowmobile

Lego Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Snowmobile

Communist revolutionary, ‘Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Union’, and Ming the Merciless inspiration Vladimir Lenin is one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, pioneering the development of communism and the Marxist socialist state.

Decreeing that all resources should be under common ownership – thereby removing the need for money, reliance on social class, and inequality – Lenin was driven around in a 1915 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, modified by Adolphe Degrease in 1922 to run on tracks, whilst 6 million people died of starvation during the Povolzhye famine. Yay communism!

Nevertheless, Lenin’s Silver Ghost was a very cool vehicle, and today it resides in Russia’s Gorky museum. If that’s a bit far to travel, previous bloggee Karwik has the answer, with his gorgeous Town-scale version of the unique vintage Roller. Click the link above to make the jump to Flickr.

Lego Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Lenin

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