Tag Archives: 1930s

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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Ingenius ’32

Lego '32 Ford Pick-Up Hot Rod

We keep saying it, but you really don’t need a billion bricks to build something brilliant. Case in point; this stunning ’32 Ford Pick-Up hot rod by Flickr’s 1saac W. Inspired by TLCB favourite _Tyler, 1saac has used droid arms, pneumatic hoses, sideways bricks, upside-down bricks, and even a few normal-side up bricks to create his beautiful hot rod. Take a closer look at 1saac’s photostream via the link above.

Lego '32 Ford Pick-Up Hot Rod

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Stuka

Lego Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka"

It’s been a bit of a Military Monday here at The Lego Car Blog, with three war-themed creations none of which are cars. Oh well, here’s the third, a Junkers Ju-87 ‘Stuka’ fighter, and it’s marvellous. Built by aircraft-building legend Dornbi of Flickr, it’s a superbly accurate recreation of one of Nazi Germany’s earliest fighters of the Second World War, made all the more impressive by some cunning brick-built camouflage. There’s much more to see of the ‘Stuka’ at Dornbi’s photostream – click the link above for all the pictures – and to counteract today’s glorification of war, here’s a super secret link.

Lego Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka"

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Hunting Tigers

Lego Rolls Royce Armoured Car

Are you the type of discerning gentleman who requires a vehicle for hunting tigers in Africa, plundering antiquities in the Middle East, or just keeping the peasants at bay? The Rolls Royce Condor is the vehicle for you!

Based on our exquisite limousine chassis, the Condor adds 4″ armour-plating, custom strengthened bumpers, and a 360-degree rotating gun turret equipped with a Browning .50 caliber machine gun. That’s a lot of tigers!

Direct all enquires to Joshua Brooks at certified Rolls Royce Distributor JBIronworks to arrange a viewing.

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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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Old Grey

Lego Vintage Truck

The vintage truck vibe continues here at TLCB with this, another wonderful build by the prolific de-marco of Flickr. Creating some of the finest Town scale vehicles around, de-marco has a huge back-catelgue of creations, many of which include free instructions so you can build them for yourself. There’s more to see of this one and de-marco’s past models at his photostream – click the link above to check them out.

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Play Your Cars Right*

Lego Hot Rods

No sooner had we posted something as the antithesis of hot rods than we’re back with, er… two hot rods.

Built by regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott both are wonderfully clean Speed-Champions-esque designs representing two different takes on the hot rod genre. In green on the left is a seriously low chopped ’29 ‘Tudor’, whilst in red on the right is a ’31 Ford 5-Window ‘highboy’.

Both capture their respective styles beautifully and feature a wealth of neat detailing. There’s more to see of each build at Jonathan’s photostream via the link above, where you can decide if you want to go Higher or Lower.

*If you can get the tenuous 1980s British Television-related link award yourself ten TLCB Points!

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Knucklehead

Lego 1936 Harley Davidson 'Knucklehead' Motorcycle

This TLCB staff writer is not allowed a motorcycle. Well he could have one, but then he would no longer have a wife or a mother that would talk to him. Best make do with this then, and that’s OK because it might just be the single most beautiful motorcycle he’s ever seen.

Lego 1936 Harley Davidson 'Knucklehead' Motorcycle

Built by TLCB favourite Henrik Jensen it’s a near-perfect replica of a 1936 Harley Davidson ‘Knucklehead’, and it’s beyond gorgeous. Such perfection comes at a slight cost though, as a few parts have been (look away now purists) spray painted and chromed…

Lego 1936 Harley Davidson 'Knucklehead' Motorcycle

Still, you can’t argue with the result, which is surely one of the finest Lego motorbikes on the ‘net. There’s much more to see, including a description of how the model was built, at both MOCpages and Flickr. Take a closer look via the links. Just don’t tell this writer’s Mum.

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Rock Blunts Scissors

Lego Indiana Jones Tank

And tanks apparently. There was a point in time where tanks and horses fought side-by-side (and against one another) on the battlefield. At first it was definitely better to be on the horse, but so quick was the pace of development that just a few short years later the tank – and the various other machinery designed for us to kill one another more efficiently – had all but eradicated the horse from use in war. Which is good news for horses.

However that didn’t stop Indiana Jones who, in ‘The Last Crusade’ (which sadly proved not be thanks to the dreadful 2008 return), used his hoofed companion to shove a rock down the barrel of a tank cannon.

In reality this would probably just mean you got killed by both a rock and a tank shell, but hey – this is the movies! This glorious recreation of the famous scene from 1989’s ‘Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade’ comes from Flickr’s Joshua Brooks aka JBIronworks who has recreated both the Nazi tank and the scene’s dynamism brilliantly in Lego form.

There’s more to see of mini-figure Indiana Jones’s rock-based sabotage on Flickr via the link above, and in case you want to see the real one doing just the same click here to watch the original scene on YouTube.

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Bee Gees

Lego GEE BEE Aircraft

Sorry, we mean Gee Bees. An important distinction that avoids you having to hear this. Founded in 1925, the Granville Brothers Aircraft company built just twenty-four aircraft until their bankruptcy eight years later, but they left one hell of mark. In the ground mostly, with a trail of fire behind it, but we’ll come on to that in a bit…

Designed primarily as sports cars for the sky, Granville Brothers’ aircraft excelled at air racing in the ’20s and ’30s, winning multiple trophy races and speed records. Known as ‘Gee Bees’ the outrageous designs looked like caricatures, with absurdly short fuselages, tiny control surfaces, and hot-rod-esque engines.

The superb Lego recreations of two of Granville Brothers’ designs pictured here come from Volker Brodkorb of Flickr, and whilst they may look like exaggerated cartoons, their real-life counterparts really did look like this. Well, until they inevitably crashed of course…

The Gee Bee Model Z Super Sportster (above) was constructed in just five weeks in 1931, with the smallest possible airframe built around the largest possible engine. The Model Z’s enormous Pratt & Witney supercharged ‘Wasp’ radial engine gave it well over 500bhp, powering it to victory in every race it entered, despite it being ‘tricky’ to fly. Later that year Granville Brothers re-engineered the Model Z with an even bigger 750bhp Wasp Senior engine in at attempt at the Landplane Speed Record, when tragically a wing failure sent the aircraft spinning into the ground in a ball of flame, killing air-racer Lowell Bayles.

The next year Granville Brothers Aircraft built a successor to the destroyed Model Z, the R-1 Super Sportster (below). With a 25ft wingspan but just 17ft long, the R-1 was if anything even more dangerous to fly than the Model Z. Nevertheless the R-1 took victory in the Thompson Trophy in 1932 and the Landplane Speed Record the same year, before its inevitable fatal crash in 1933. Granville Brothers Aircraft re-built the wreck whereupon it crashed almost immediately.

Of the twenty-four aircraft built by Granville Brothers almost every single one was destroyed in a crash, with almost a dozen fatalities. By the mid-’30s the effects of the Great Depression – and a reputation as killers – meant that orders for new Super Sportster aircraft dried up, and the Granville Brothers Aircraft company filed for bankruptcy in 1934.

A few replica Gee Bees have been constructed since, however the Granville family have only shared the original designs with museums under the promise that the recreated aircraft will never be flown. Which is probably a good thing. Even so, we’ll stick with these fantastic and non-lethal Lego replicas. There’s more to see of each, plus Volker’s other planes, by clicking here.

Lego GEE BEE Aircraft

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Deutschland Duel

Lego Technic Großer Mercedes 770

Iiiin the red corner, representing West Germany, driven by Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring and Pope Pius XI, and powered through the 1930s by eight cylinders and a supercharger, it’s the Großer Mercedes 770!

Aaaand in the beige corner, representing East Germany, driven by peasants, and powered through the 1950s… and 60s… and 70s… and 80s… and 90s… by two cylinders and hope, it’s the Trabant Combi!

Two very different yet very German cars today, represented by two very different but very excellent Lego creations.

Above we have the Großer Mercedes 770, built by Aleh of Eurobricks in Technic form and absolutely packed with amazing technology. Aleh’s recreation of one of Mercedes-Benz’s most opulent vehicles includes Power Functions drive and steering, an inline-8 engine hooked up to a three-speed+R gearbox, working all-wheel mechanical brakes powered by a Medium motor, all-wheel suspension, LED lights, and SBrick bluetooth control.

At the other end of the automotive scale we have this wonderfully replicated Model Team style Trabant Combi, resplendent in an authentic hearing-aid beige and built by fellow TLCB debutant Dan Falussy. With opening doors, hood and hatchback plus folding seats, Dan’s homage to the world’s finest cotton car (yes really) is about as well equipped as the real thing, and very probably better built.

There’s more to see of each model on Eurobricks (as well as Flickr in the Trabant’s case) via the links above. Take a look and choose your winner!

Lego Trabant

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Midnight Rumble

Lego Art Deco Cruiser

There isn’t an Elf in sight here at The Lego Car Blog Towers. Our mythical workers are easily spooked, and to be fair to them, we don’t think we’ve ever seen a car that looks as evil as this one*. Built by previous bloggee Redfern1950s this ‘Art Deco Cruiser’ looks absolutely terrifying, with a V8 up front for running you down and a tommy-gun in the trunk for when it catches you. There’s more to see at Redfern’s photostream – take a look via the link above whilst we try to coax the Elves out of hiding. Or we might just enjoy the peace.

Lego Art Deco Cruiser

*Apart from this of course.

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Technic Snail

Lego Technic Citroen 2CV

The Citroen 2CV, affectionately (and unaffectionately) known as ‘ the tin snail’ owing to its looks and glacial speed, is one one of the world’s most important cars. Yes, you did read that right.

Designed in the 1930s, Citroen’s Car-for-the-People was intended for France’s numerous rural workers who were largely still dependent upon the horse for transportation. Reliable, fuel efficient, easy to maintain, and above all cheap, the 2CV was engineered to mobilise an entire population class. And then Hitler decided to be ‘a bit of a dick’.

The German invasion and the subsequent commandeering of French factories to build stuff for blowing up the British meant production for the innovative and much-needed 2CV never started. Fearful of the Nazi’s stealing the design, Citroen hid their 2CV prototypes across France in the hope they would remain undetected (some of which are still being unearthed today).

Lego Technic Citroen 2CV

The Allied victory in 1945 left behind a ruined France, but thankfully for Citroen an undetected cache of 2CV prototypes. Three years later, and a decade after the car was first engineered, the 2CV finally reached production.

As much as Europe’s poor workers needed cheap reliable transportation before World War 2, they really needed it afterwards, and the little Citroen was a huge success. Half the price of Germany’s ‘People’s Car’ – the Volkswagen Beetle, the 2CV sold almost 4 million units in a production run that spanned five decades and nine different countries.

When Citroen 2CV production finally ceased in 1990 the car had become a bit of a joke, but for much of its life the 2CV was the most important car in Europe, and is surely one of the greatest car designs ever created.

Lego Technic Citroen 2CV

This fitting tribute to one of France’s icons of motoring comes from previous bloggee and Technic building legend Nico71 who has recreated the simplicity of Citroen’s engineering beautifully. The 2CV’s legendary leading and trailing arm suspension (designed so a peasant could carry eggs unbroken across a ploughed field) has been faithfully reproduced in Lego form, plus there’s working steering and the doors, hood and trunk all open.

There’s lots more of Nico71’s brilliant Technic 2cv to see via Brickshelf, plus you watch a video of the model on YouTube by clicking here.

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Gas Flow

Lego Airflow Gas Tanker

Large, old, and full of a flammable liquid. Nope, it’s not your Mom, but this absolutely wonderful art deco gas tanker from Flickr’s Redfern1950s. Based on a real Dodge Airflow used by Texaco in the 1930s, Redfern’s beautiful model captures the spirit of the original brilliantly in Lego form.

Lego Dodge Airflow Petrol Tanker

With opening doors, hood, side hatches plus a variety of pumping paraphernalia there’s loads to see at Redfern’s photostream. Head over to Flickr via the link above for the full gallery of top-quality imagery.

Lego Dodge Airflow Petrol Tanker

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Unterseeboot | Picture Special

Lego U-Boat VIIc

Britain in the Second World War was under siege. V1 flying bombs dropped out of the skies, the Luftwaffe bombed cities relentlessly, and a deadly terror lurked unseen under the waves offshore…

Lego U-Boat Submarine

Germany’s U-Boat, shorthand for Unterseeboot (which literally meant ‘under sea boat’ – the allies were definitely better at naming things) was a stroke of genius. Able to destroy a military ship (plus a few civilian ones too…) almost undetected, it must have been a terrifying time to navigate the cold waters of Northern Europe.

Lego U-Boat VIIc

Awfully effective though the U-Boat was, it’s not often we see one in Lego form. Discovered by one of our Elves today, this superb mini-figure recreation of U-Boat VIIc comes from Luis Peña of Flickr. Beautifully constructed inside and out Luis’ model features a wonderfully detailed interior underneath the cleverly sculpted hull, including a submariner using a torpedo for weights training, the captain manning the periscope, and a fully stocked galley complete with rat (aka tomorrow’s dinner).

Lego U-Boat VIIc

It’s a stunning build and we highly recommend visiting Luis’ photostream to see the complete gallery of images. Get ready to dive via the link to Flickr in the text above.

Lego U-Boat VIIc

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