Tag Archives: 1930s

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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Voodoo Psychosis

Lego Ford Model A Hot Rod Voodoo Psychosis

Pastel green is normally a colour reserved for beach huts and handbags, but gosh can it look good on a car! The car in question is a ’31 Ford Model A hot rod, inspired by a real vehicle built by custom-car legend Larry ‘Voodoo’ Grobe. Redfern1950s is the builder behind this brilliant Model Team version, and you can see more of both it and the real hot rod that inspired it by clicking here.

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Blue Comet

Lego Blue Comet Steam Train

Operating from the late 1920s until the early 1940s in New Jersey, the Blue Comet pulled carriages between New York and Atlantic City, taking just three hours to complete the journey (including a ferry crossing to Manhattan Island), and able to reach speeds of over 100mph. This magnificent recreation of one of America’s most beautiful locomotives comes from Flickr’s Cale Leiphart who has faithfully recreated not just the locomotive, but the tender and carriages too. An extensive gallery of superb images is available to view at Cale’s photostream – click the link above to buy your ticket.

Lego Blue Comet Locomotive

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Class A

Lego Ford Model A

This gloriously sinister scene comes from Pixel Junkie of Flickr, whose Ford Model A convertible and muted grey street gives us the shivers. Of course the driver could be on his way to pick up his girlfriend from work and take her for ice cream, but it’s more interesting to imagine something much darker…

Whatever is going on there’s more to see at Pixel’s photostream via the link above, where there are some lovely details to be found including the use of spears and daggers as metalwork plus a beautifully simple yet instantly recognisable postbox.

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Lego Ford Model B Hot Rod

This lovely hot rodded ’32 Ford Model-B ‘3 window’ coupe appeared on Flickr over the weekend, built by previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott. Featuring some very cunning parts orientation there’s more to see at Jonathan’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

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Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton – Picture Special

Lego Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton

This astonishing creation comes from one of our very favourite builders, TLCB Master MOCer and published author Dennis Glaasker aka BricksonWheels. It’s a 1935 Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton, one of the most expensive and luxurious cars ever made.

Lego Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton

With a supercharged 6.8litre straight-eight engine producing 320bhp (a huge figure for 1935) the SJ Phaeton cost around thirty times that of a regular car, and today commands a price well into the millions. Driven by movie stars and the social elite, just 36 Duesenberg SJs were made before the Great Depression and the Second World War put an end to the production of super-luxurious vehicles.

Lego Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton

Dennis Glaasker’s incredible Lego recreation of the 1935 SJ Duel Cowl Phaeton is a near-prefect replica of the original car, and contains over 5,000 pieces, many of which have been professionally chromed, and 5,200 pieces in both open and closed roof configurations.

Lego 1935 Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton

A host of brilliant images are available to view via Dennis’ Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton Flickr album, plus you can read more about the build at the Eurobricks discussion forum and you can read our interview with builder as part of the Master MOCers Series by clicking here.

Lego 1935 Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton

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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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Jap Rod

Lego 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe Takehito Yamato

Japan’s product design may not have a reputation for originality, but the Japanese can take almost anything pioneered by another part of the world and make it better. See the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Nissan GT-R, and pretty much every electronic device ever invented.

We can probably add hot rods to that list now too, thanks to this gorgeous 1932 ‘Takehito Yamato’ Ford Deuce Coupe. This Lego recreation of the real-world car comes from Master MOCer and previous bloggee Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74, and he’s replicated the original vehicle superbly in Lego form, even building a beautiful period-correct workshop in which to house it.

There’s more to see of the Takehito Yamato at Norton74’s photostream – click the link above to head over to somewhere inbetween America and Japan.

Lego 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe Takehito Yamato

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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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Art Lego

Lego 1939 Delahaye 136

France probably lays claim to our least favourite car in the looks department. The first generation Peugeot 308 was built at the very lowest point of French automobile design, being both painfully dull and yet somehow also managing to resemble a deep-sea fish that’s washed up on the shore.

Thankfully those dark days have passed as the French have re-discovered some of their joy de vivre, so we’re holding out hope that French car design can come full circle, and give us something like this again.

The fantastically luxurious 1939 Delahaye 136 was an utterly gorgeous machine, and probably took the art deco school of design further than any other car has ever managed. Sadly production was cut short by Hitler being a dick, and unfortunately post-war France then had no place for a vehicle manufacturer as opulent as Delahaye, with the brand quietly slipping away in the 1950s.

We remember when French design ruled the roads thanks to previous bloggee Lino Martins, who has recreated the Delayhaye 136’s incredible art deco shape beautifully in standard LEGO bricks. There’s more of his spellbinding creation to see at his photostream – click the link above to visit France circa 1939.

Lego Delahaye 136

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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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Chicken Coop

Lego Hot Rod

We’re not really sure why this ’34 Ford Coupe hot rod is called the Chicken Coupe, but we do know that we love it. TLCB regular _Tiler is the builder, and as always it’s both beautifully built and photographed. See more at the link.

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