Tag Archives: 1950s

Universally Speaking*

This 1950s East German oddity is not a tractor. It is, apparently, a RS09 ‘universal carrier’, and we’ve deliberately chosen an image that hides just how weird it is. Powered by a two cylinder diesel engine that made about one bhp, the RS09 was produced from the mid-’50s until the mid-’70s, and could be attached to any number of Communistical mechanised items.

Built by Jundis, this smart Technic recreation of the RS09 features a straightforward digging bucket in place of some of the weirder attachments, and also includes a working two-cylinder piston engine with power-take-offs, a mechanically raising/lowering drawbar linkage, and an oscillating front axle with steering.

There’s more to see of this Radschlepper 09 Universal Carrier on Eurobricks, where you can see further imagery including a photo of the decidedly strange real thing, and where Jundis assures us some of the weirder attachments are soon to follow. Click here to check it out.

*Today’s title song

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Metropolitan Revolution

Cities can be wonderfully diverse places, where different cultures, races, and even languages mix together to create a greater whole. The automotive industry is rather similar, although these days certain quarters see this as some kind of evil globalisation, rather than countries making what they’re best at to, again, create a greater whole.

However back in the 1950s sharing production between countries wasn’t really a thing yet, until Nash came along with their design for a new sort of car (in the U.S. at least), railing against ‘bigger is better’ by making something… smaller. Their revolutionary mindset continued to production, which wouldn’t have been profitable in the U.S.

Instead Nash turned to Austin/Rover in England, who were selected to produce the car on behalf of Nash and fitted it with their own B-Series engine. The car became the ‘Metropolitan’ upon it’s return to the U.S where, in yet more revolutionary thinking, it became the first post-war American car marketed specifically to women.

The Nash Metropolitan received mixed reviews from an American motoring press rather unwilling to try anything that wasn’t sixteen feet long, but these proved to be rather different when people bought the Metropolitan and actually used it, whereupon it surpassed expectations.

It wouldn’t be until the oil crisis of the 1970s that America really took small cars seriously though, and marketing to women was probably further behind that even, yet Nash and Austin’s collaboration had proved the concept some two decades earlier.

Fast forward to today and we seem to be in some sort of ‘Tenet’ style inversion, as ’50s style ‘bigger is better’ and ‘not foreign’ are climbing America’s agenda once again. We’ll stick with the little ’50s Nash Metropolitan though, a revolution ahead, and now perhaps behind, the times…

Oh yeah, Lego… This beautiful little 4-wide recreation of the Metropolitan comes from previous bloggee 1saac W., and there’s more to see at his photostream. Click the link to join the revolution.

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Miniature Toothpaste

This is a Renault Floride, named after – we assume – a toothpaste, and built only from the parts found within the LEGO 10242 Mini Cooper set. Flickr’s monstermatou is the builder behind it, who first came to our attention via his brilliant Lock-Down B-Model Competition entries, one of which came this close (holds fingers microscopically close together) to taking a prize position.

Following his other superb B-Model builds, monster’s Floride alternate beautifully replicates Renault’s 1 litre convertible built between ’58-’68, and you can take a look at all of the images at his photostream – click here to clean your teeth.

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Büssing

You may have noticed that, despite the title, there are no windows along the side of today’s vehicle. That’s because this is not a bus, rather a Büssing 8000 flatbed truck, a brand we hadn’t heard of until today. However Büssing were one of Germany (and therefore Europe)’s largest truck makers, and to an extent they still are, following their takeover by MAN in 1971.

Founded in 1903, Büssing began building tractors and omnibuses, before producing innovative underfloor-engined trucks which are now the mainstream layout in Europe. Surviving two World Wars, and a dark concentration camp slave labour chapter in their history, Büssing later produced designs and parts for MAN before they were fully acquired, and their logo can still be seen on MAN products today.

We have Nikolaus Löwe (aka Mr_Kleinstein) to thank for our schooling today, and his splendid Town-scale classic Büssing 8000 flatbed-canvas covered truck. Not only does Nikolaus’ model look rather lovely, it somewhat unbelievably fits a full Power Functions remote control drivetrain inside, echoing the innovation of the real Büssing truck company and their clever underfloor-engined designs.

A cunningly concealed LEGO mini-motor powers the rear wheels whilst a micro-motor steers the fronts, and you can find out how Nikolaus has done it at on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump to all the imagery at Nikolaus’ photostream.

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Let’s Get Ready to Ramble!


This is a Nash Rambler Palm Beach, a concept car from 1956 styled by Pininfarina that sadly never made production but that unusually still exists today.

This beautiful Model Team recreation of the Palm Beach comes from Tim Inman of Flickr, who had replicated the stunning ‘50s lines superbly in Lego form, complete with a realistic straight-6 under the hood and an accurately detailed interior behind the opening doors.

There’s more to see of Tim’s Nash Rambler concept at his photostream; click the link above to head to an American motorshow c1956.


*Today’s travesty of a title song. It reached #1 in TLCB’s home nation. The same country that brought the world The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Queen, and Oasis. We’re not sure what happened in ‘94.

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Hippocampus Helicopter

The seahorse is a funny little animal. Delicate looking but with bony armour, they swim upright, have no scales, and the female gives birth to eggs which the male then carries before giving birth live young. That’s shared parenthood right there. It’s also not like a horse in any way, but most things in the sea seem to be named after things on land that they aren’t really like.

Cue the Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse, which isn’t really like either the sea or land based versions of it’s namesake either. But it is quite a cool device, being one of the last piston-engined helicopters in use in the U.S Navy, operating from the mid-’50s to the 1970s. This one, built by [Maks] of Flickr, is in a rather fetching (and highly visible) orange due to its use in the arctic, and has been quite wonderfully recreated.

Finding the orange parts needed to construct this model must have been tricky as it’s a rather rare colour, and you can see the excellent fruits of [Maks]’s efforts at his photostream. Swim over to Flickr in an upright fashion via the link above.

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Express Gass

Talking of big boring boxes, here’s a Chevrolet Express Conversion Van. No amount of tinted windows and stickers down the sides could make us want to ride in this hateful pile of American misery, but Ralph has made his (excellent) Miniland recreation of the Chevy Express rather more exciting by the addition of a tow hitch, meaning his beige box of bricks can tow an altogether more interesting Chevy…

Hooked up to the Express is a trailer carrying this magnificent ’57 Bel Air ‘gasser’, complete with a supercharger poking through the hood and a flame paint job, both of which have got the Elves very animated. A cast of unique-looking characters is on hand to make sure she’s runnin’ right and there’s more to see of the Bel Air gasser (and the Express van we suppose) at Ralph’s photostream – click here to make the jump!

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It’s a Gas!

The police are distracted, the roads empty, and the hot rodders of Willow Springs are about to race for cash! Betting agents, ‘shady looking bikers’, and a wonderful rural gas station filled with details add a suitably illegal atmosphere to the proceedings of Faber Madragore‘s ‘Street Racers’ Haunt’ diorama.

Built for Model Expo Italy, which was cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Faber’s brilliant scene finds a second life online. There’s loads more to see on Flickr where you can head to take in all the details – grab some cash, click the link above, and place your bet!

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More Kicks on Route 66

Dornbi’s ace vehicular Americana appeared here earlier in the month, and he’s now published the complete diorama in which his classic metal features. A collaboration with another builder, Dornbi’s brilliant ’40s and ’50s vehicles pass a charming rural desert gas station, complete with pumps, workshop and store, driving of course on the superb brick-built Route 66 itself. There’s more to see of this wonderful build on Flickr – click here to drive Route 66 for yourself!

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Get your Kicks on Route 66*

It’s a bumper haul for an Elf today, with no less than five creations brought back to TLCB Towers. All come from Dornbi, who has – from left to right – created a Ford ’40 Coupe, Mercury Eight, Hudson Hornet, Ford F-100, and Mercury Eight convertible brilliantly in mini-figure(ish) scale. The collection forms part of Dornbi’s ‘Route 66’ diorama and there’s more to see of it and the cars shown here via the link to Flickr above.

*Today’s absolutely marvellous title song.

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Pedal Power

This is a 1950s Murray Torpedo Roadmaster, a pedal car based on the Buick design of the late ’40s-early ’50s, and it might be the vehicle that we want in real life more than anything else we’ve ever featured on this website. Although we’re probably a bit fat to get in one these days.

This utterly beautiful replica of the Torpedo Roadmaster comes from Jacob Sadovich, who has built and presented his brick-built recreation of the 1950s pedal car to absolute perfection. Custom chrome, working steering, and an accurate working pedal mechanism feature, and you can jump inside for a go at Jacob’s ‘Pedal Car’ album. Unless you’re a bit fat these days…

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Bygone Times

Ah the age of steam, when no-on had to worry about catching a deadly virus named after a beer, and idiots vomiting ‘advice’ on social media in the name of clicks were just idiots vomiting advice down the pub that could be quietly ignored. There was polio, consumption and no National Health Service though, so on balance today is probably a better time to be alive, however romantic the past may look.

This particular piece of romantic looking past is a Thompson Class L1 steam locomotive, produced between 1948 and 1950 and run – in this case – by the London North East Railway.

Built by Britishbricks it’s a breathtaking replica of one of the ninety-nine Class L1s constructed, with custom valve gear and beautiful decal work too. A convoy of superb trucks follows and there’s more to see of the complete train at Britishbricks’ Album on Flickr. Head to a romanic looking past via link above. Toot toot!

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Classic Hit & Run

The Elves have been relatively peaceful of late. By which we mean none of the creations that they’ve found have been fast enough to smush one-another into the office carpet. That ended today.

This is Lachlan Cameron (aka Lox Lego)’s spectacular Ford F100 hot rod, built as a commissioned piece and featuring full remote control drive, a V8 engine, opening doors and deck-lid, and with some of the most inventive custom decals we’ve seen yet (check out the stitching on the seats!).

The Elf at the controls couldn’t care less about the seat stitching though, because Lachlan’s creation can be driven by XL or Buggy motors and – in this case – is powered by a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery delivering up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own unit.

With all-wheel-drive Lachlan’s creation put that power down very effectively in the halls of TLCB Towers, as the Elf at the controls inevitably used its find to wreak havoc upon its Elven colleagues. Due to the F100’s ground scraping ride height however, no Elves were technically smushed, instead being catapulted over the bonnet, so our smush-free streak is kinda still going. We still have some tidying up to do though.

Whilst we get on with that you can check out more of Lachlan’s stunning F100 hot rod at the Eurobricks forum and at his 70+ photo Flickr album which shows the Ford in a variety of wheel and tyre combinations. Lachlan has also made instructions available via the links above should you wish to build his design for yourself, plus you can check out his interview here at The Lego Car Blog as the newest addition to the Master MOCers series by clicking these words.

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Nine Second Nailhead

Whilst it might look like the dreams of a TLCB Elf that’s been eating a glue stick all night, this specularly shiny creation by Flickr’s ianying616 is based upon a real vehicle. And what a real vehicle…

Built by drag racing legend Tommy Ivo in the late 1950s, the ‘Twin Buick’ dragster was the first gasoline powered dragster to run under nine seconds, recording an 8.69. Powered by two Buick ‘Nailhead’ V8s mounted side-by-side, the car was also the first to record speeds over 170, 175 and 180mph.

Tommy went on to build several other wild drag racers throughout the ’60s and 70’s whilst also sidelining as sit-com actor. Now in his 80s he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005, with his racers still appearing at shows around the world.

Ianying’s expertly presented recreation of Tommy’s ‘Twin Buick’ captures the insanity of the real car brilliantly and there is a huge gallery of further imagery to see on Flickr. Click the link above to head to the strip and buckle up for the most exciting nine seconds of your life*.

*Insert your own ‘Your Mom’ joke.

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Everyones’ First Car

We’re pretty sure that whatever you first car was, it probably came inside a box like this. This is Rolling Bricks‘ Matchbox 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, a wonderful homage to the famous toy maker’s 1980s vehicles (and packaging), recreated beautifully in Lego form.

Stacked red, yellow, white and blue plates replicate Matchbox’s iconic classic livery beautifully, and he’s even built the hole thingy that enabled the boxes to hang from those weird metal poles in the toy store, so you could slide them all out to find the one you wanted.

There’s much more to see of Rolling Bricks’ glorious Matchbox Chevy at his Flickr album, where you can also find building instructions should you wish to recreate the cars of your youth yourself. Click the link above to head to the toy store.

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