Tag Archives: 1920s

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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The Bird & The Rat

Lego Aircraft Rat Rod

Soundling a bit like a British pub or a Simpsons episode, Sydag’s latest build pairs an F8F-2 Bearcat with a ’28 Ford pick-up rat rod, making the pilot/driver probably the coolest mini-figure in the world. See more on Flickr.

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Bentley 4½ Litre ‘Blower’ | Picture Special

Lego Bentley 4.5 Litre Blower

This incredible creation is the latest work of previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Dennis Glaasker aka Brickonwheels. It’s a 1930 Bentley 4½ Litre ‘Blower’ as raced by Sir Henry Birkin in the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hour race, recreated by Dennis in astonishing detail in 1:8th scale from LEGO’s beautifully appropriate new dark green pieces.

Following Bentley’s victories in 1928 and ’29 at Le Mans the rival German teams brought supercharging to their race cars, instantly relegating the previous naturally aspirated Bentleys to mid-pack. Bentley answered with a new 6½ Litre design, however Birkin believed adding a supercharger to the existing 4½ Litre car was a better solution. With independent funding from wealthy (and eccentric) friends, the the result was the 4½ Litre ‘Blower’, which Birkin took to Le Mans to race against the official 6½ Litre works cars.

Lego Bentley 4.5 Litre Blower

W. O. Bentley famously did not approve of Sir Henry Birkin’s supercharger modification, despite selling 55 cars to be modified so that the design could be raced. It was Bentley Motors themselves that took another win as, whilst fast, Birkin’s creation proved unreliable in the gruelling 24 hour race, retiring after 138 laps.

W. O. Bentley folded his works motorsport programme that year after four back-to-back Le Mans victories, claiming there was nothing more the company could learn from the race. A year later Bentley Motors went into administration. The Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression that followed saw demand for luxury cars plummet and Bentley – unable to keep up their mortgage payments – were forced into liquidation.

Lego Bentley 4.5 Litre Blower

Sir Henry Birkin returned to Le Mans the next year, winning in an Alfa Romeo with fellow British driver Earl Howe, a feat upon which Mussolini personally congratulated him by telegram for his ‘win for Italy’.

Meanwhile Bentley Motors was put up for sale, with the ‘British Central Equitable Trust’ winning the bid to buy the company for £125,000 in 1931. The Trust proved to be a front for none other than arch rivals Rolls Royce, and the companies merged that year. W. O. Bentley himself was retained under contract, but unhappy at Rolls Royce he left for Lagonda in 1935, despite apparently stating that Bentley had made their best car under Rolls Royce ownership.

Sadly Sir Henry Birkin’s story proved more tragic. Reaching down to pick up a cigarette lighter during a pit-stop at the 1933 Tripoli Grand Prix (only in the 1930s!), Birkin badly burnt himself on the exhaust pipe of his Maserati 8C. The wound turned septic and he died a month later, aged just 36.

Lego Bentley 4.5 Litre Blower

Dennis Glaasker’s breathtaking Bentley 4½ Litre ‘Blower’ as raced by Sir Henry Birkin is a fitting tribute to both one of motorsports most unusual cars and to the gentleman that raced it. A beautifully detailed engine, chassis, fuel tank, interior and drivetrain are present, and custom decals, chromed pieces, and even a rubber sheet to cover the rear seats add to the model’s phenomenal realism.

Full details of Dennis’ stunning creation can be found at the Eurobricks Forum, whilst the complete gallery of spectacular imagery is available to view on Flickr. You can also read our interview with the builder himself as part of the Master MOCers Series to find out how his incredible creations like this are made. Take look via the links above.

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Monaco 1929

Lego Monaco 1929

Monaco might be thoroughly unsuited to modern Formula 1 cars, with F1 bosses only keeping today’s slow procession on the calendar for nostalgia, but there was a time when the winding street circuit was the greatest place to race on earth.

Flickr’s Pixeljunkie takes us right back to the very first Grand Prix race held in the principality with this wonderful scene depicting the 1929 event. Navigating the Station Hairpin (as it was then known) are several superb vintage racing cars, including Pixel’s previously featured Bugatti Type 37A, whilst a series of bystanders take a very 1920s approach to Health & Safety. Join the race at Pixeljunkie’s photostream.

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Land of the Free

Lego Bugatti Type 37A

Today, the day of American Independence, we remember what makes America great. It’s not its military, it’s not a flag, it’s not building walls, and it’s not all this stuff.

What makes America great is – in this writer’s mind – the greatness of all the countries that have built it. The British, the Irish, the French, the Dutch, the Italians, the Russians, and later the countless arrivals from Africa, Asia, Central America and the Middle East.

The same can be said for the greatest cars in history, products not just of their designer, but of a multitude of nations. Today we feature two, that without contributions from beyond their country of origin, would have been mere footnotes in automotive history.

First up (above); Bugatti, who were founded by an Italian living France, and are now owned by the Germans. The gorgeous model pictured above is a Type 37A from 1928, when the French Bugatti factory built the world’s finest racing cars thanks to Italian design, and there’s more to see courtesy of Pixeljunkie on Flickr.

Second (below); Volkswagen, who were rescued from the ashes of the Second World War by the British Army. In the 1950s the company expanded into Brasil, and have since built over 20 million vehicles there, starting with this – the Type 1 – in 1958, which became the best selling vehicle there for 24 years. The excellent homage to the Type 1 pictured below was suggested to us by a reader and comes courtesy of Ben of Flickr, who has built three variants of Volkswagen’s ever popular Transporter.

Both of today’s vehicles, and countless more besides, have flourished thanks to the welcoming arms of nations found far from their origins. We believe America is great because it has allowed greatness to live within it, regardless of where that greatness may have come from. Happy Independence Day.

Lego VW Type 1 Camper, Bus, Pick-Up

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It’s a Snip!

Lego Rope Bridge

Indiana Jo… er, we mean ‘Johnny Thunder’ finally found the Treasure of Marco Polo (a box containing a stamp collection, a broken toastie maker and some Victorian pornography, since you ask) after the daring airborne race against Sam Sinister that featured here last week, and he’s now on the long road home with his bounty.

But what’s this! Sam seems to have caught up with our intrepid explorers and is deploying his much-feared office scissors to halt their escape! Will Johnny and his pals make it across the rickety bridge in time? Will Sam run carrying scissors? Find out courtesy of Travis Brickle by clicking here!

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