Tag Archives: 1950s

Exploding Chevy

Lego Chevrolet Bel Air

Ford may be best known for exploding cars (their crown of evil now claimed by Volkswagen), however today’s vehicular-explosion applies not to a ‘70s Ford Pinto but to a classic ’50s Chevrolet Bel Air. Not in the Ford ‘let’s-try-to-cover-up-that-one-of-our-cars-detonates-in-an-accident’ kind of way though, rather the very cool ‘let’s-see-what’s-inside’ kind.

This brilliant exploded Chevy comes from previous bloggee PixelJunkie of Flickr, whose lovely ’55 Bel Air has appeared here before as part of an excellent garage scene. Pixel’s clever explosion not only looks great, it also effectively displays the ingenious techniques used within the build, and there more to see at Pixel’s photostream by clicking here.

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The Prince of Bel Air*

Lego '55 Chevrolet Bel Air

Chevrolet, the unfortunate makers of this, this and this, used to be cool. Admittedly that was a long long time ago, but cool they were. Today’s creation comes from the peak of Chevrolet’s history, the glorious ’55 Bel Air.

This brilliant recreation of one of the finest cars ever to come out of America is the work of TLCB Master MOCer Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist and not only does it look gorgeous, Ralph’s classic Bel Air features opening doors, hood and trunk, with a detailed engine and interior too. There’s more to see at Ralph’s photostream – jump back in time to ’55 via the link above.

*Today’s title song. Of course. Rap along at home!

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Dirty Photo

Lego Workshop

Much has been written in the nerdier corners of the online Lego Community about keeping your Lego bricks in the best condition. Put them in the dishwasher. Use baking soda on yellowed white pieces. Keep them away from sunlight. Don’t open the box…

We’re don’t exactly share this school of thought here at The Lego Car Blog, preferring to, you know, use our bricks. Flickr’s PixelJunkie has gone one step further though, and deliberately dirtied his Danish plastic.* We can hear the incredulous tutting from the aforementioned nerds from here… Good.

The creation resulting from Pixel’s liberal application of grime is gloriously realistic, with a ’50s Chevrolet/Frazer-Nash-ish type vehicle suspended above its chassis during restoration inside a wonderfully real-looking workshop, complete with hoist, tools, pallets and lots of dirt!

Click the link above to put on your overalls and get dirty with PixelJunkie on Flickr.

*It might be digital dirt – we’re not sure – but our statement still stands. Get your bricks dirty; it’s more fun that way.

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Blue Wonder

Lego Mercedes-Benz Blue Wonder

Race transporters used to be much more interesting than a DAF with a huge box trailer on the back…

This is the Mercdes-Benz ‘Blue Wonder’, built in the mid-1950s to transport the team’s racing cars (plus a few customer cars too). Based on a lengthened Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing chassis, and powered by the same engine, the Blue Wonder was billed as the fastest transporter in the world.

Sadly the original vehicle was scrapped in ’67, although Mercedes have since built a replica, and so has previous bloggee pixeljunkie of Flickr, whose Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula 1 car appeared here earlier in the week and now resides on the deck of the truck.

There’s more to see of Pixel’s fantastic model at his photostream – click the link above to transport yourself back to 1955.

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Taxi!

Lego New York Taxi

This TLCB writer was not impressed by the Ford Crown Victoria taxi he experienced in New York. Bumpy, not actually that big inside, and probably getting around 8mpg, it seemed a bizarre choice for the congested and awful roads of NYC.

More recently most New York cabs are Toyota hybrids, which seem a far more sensible choice, but we’d still pick this over both the Crown Vic and an anonymous modern appliance.

Based on no one particular classic cab but taking design cues from all of them, Flickr’s Redfern1950s has created a stunning looking ’50s taxi complete with suicide doors, bench seating, and a huge trunk for some old-timey suitcases.

Stick your hand out and hope this picks you up rather than a ratty old Crown Vic via the link above.

Lego Classic Taxi

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Silver Arrow

Lego Mercedes-Benz W196

Mercedes-Benz have been the dominant team in Formula 1 since the introduction of the latest ultra-high-tech but also ultra-restrictive technical regulations. Jump back over sixty years and it was again Mercedes-Benz dominating the sport in time when – perhaps surprisingly – the technical regulations were also massively restrictive.

Limiting engines to just 2.5 litres naturally-aspirated or 0.75 (yes, under a litre!) supercharged, Mercedes-Benz decided to drop their supercharging for the ’54 season and built a 2.5 litre Straight-8 with a world-first direct injection for their new W196 racing car.

The resultant design took Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss to nine wins out of twelve race entries and back-to-back world championships. In 1955 the W196 won every single race bar Monaco.

The W196’s dominance was cut short however, when one of Mercedes-Benz’s 300 SLR endurance racers powered by the same engine crashed at the ’55 Le Mans 24 Hour race, cartwheeling through the crowd killing 84 and injuring another 180. It was the deadliest moment in sporting history, yet the race didn’t even stop. Mercedes-Benz pulled out of all motorsport activity, and didn’t return for another thirty-four years.

This gorgeous Lego recreation of the championship-winning Mercedes-Benz W196 from ’54-’55 comes from Flickr’s Pixel Junkie, part of a wider classic racing build featured here previously, and there’s more to see of his stunning silver model via the link above.

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Tracer

Lego Grumman E-1B Tracer

This may look like a propellor plane and the Starship Enterprise have had a horrendous accident, but it is in fact a Grumman E-1 Tracer early warning aircraft. One of the first carrier-based airborne detection planes the E-1 Tracer operated in the US Navy from 1958 to 1977, and if you think it looks strange here it looks even weirder with its wings folded for carrier storage.

This amazing recreation of the airborne oddity is the work of previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist) and there’s more to see of his superb E-1 on Flickr by clicking here.

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Vintage Garage

Lego Vintage Garage

After being rightly reprimanded for being drunk and disorderly in the Sky Bar last night we’re back on ground level with a bump. But despite the dim, grimy surroundings, this build is no less beautiful than the exquisite masterpiece featured earlier. Built by Flickr’s Pixeljunkie this glorious vintage garage is one of the most wonderfully immersive scenes we’ve ever published. With incredible attention to detail Pixel has captured every tiny component of a typical 1950s workshop, right down to some excellent custom 2×2 tiles on the walls. There’s much more to see of Pixel’s stunning vintage garage at his photostream via the link above, including a link to an oddly mesmerising video.

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Un Petit DS

Lego Technic Citroen DS

DS. The answer to the question ‘I’d like to buy a Citroen, but can I pay more money for one?’ which literally no-one has asked ever. Citroen’s modern reinvention of the DS nameplate, which is now a stand-alone brand, is – frankly – complete bollocks. But it wasn’t always like that.

This is the Citroen DS19, launched in the mid-1950s it looked like nothing else on earth, and it is very probably the car that was, and always will be, farthest ahead of its time.

With headlights that swivelled with the front wheels, disc brakes, a clutch-less automatic transmission, power steering, and incredible hydro-pneumatic self-levelling independent suspension, the DS19 was a technological marvel.

To build one in small-scale Technic therefore, is not an easy feat. However previous bloggee Anto of Eurobricks has done just that, and his little Technic DS looks as wonderfully, unfathomably, complicated as the real thing.

Squeezed inside the reasonable Technic approximation of the DS19’s remarkable shape is a fully functioning pneumatic suspension system, allowing Anto’s model to raise and lower itself as per the real car, plus of course, it can suspend the car from bumps in the usual way that suspension does.

In addition there’s also working steering which, like the real DS19, is linked to the swivelling headlights,  opening doors, hood and trunk-lid, and even a basic interior. How Anto has fitted all that inside we don’t know but you can try to figure it out for yourself via the Eurobricks discussion forum.

Click the link above to jump to the full gallery of images, build details, and a video of Anto’s Technic Citroen DS in action.

Lego Citroen DS

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Super Sabre

Lego North American F-100D Super Sabre

This is a North American F-100D Super Sabre, the U.S Air Force’s first fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight. Launched in 1954 it’s hard to believe that the Second World War had ended just 9 years earlier in which planes looked like this.

The F-100D pictured here replicates one of the 58 planes that were supplied to the Royal Danish Airforce as part of the Military Assistance Programme after Work War Two. Denmark operated the Super Sabre for 23 years before retiring the aircraft for more modern designs.

This beautifully built recreation of one of the Danish F-100D Super Sabres comes from previous bloggee Henrik Jensen and you can read more about his build and further details on the real aircraft at both Flickr and MOCpages.

Lego North American F-100D Super Sabre

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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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Sky Warrior

Lego US Navy A-3B Skywarrior

This amazing aircraft is a 1950s US Navy Douglas A-3B Skywarrior carrier-based nuclear bomber and its purpose was… well, chillingly obvious. Thankfully the Skywarrior’s nuclear bombs were never used in combat, as – perhaps worryingly – the US and the other nuclear-armed nations managed to shrink their nuclear bombs so that they no longer needed to be carried on bombers like the A-3B, but could fit on conventional fighter aircraft. Yay progress!

Such advancement saw the A-3Bs re-fitted as air-to-air refusing tankers to service those fighters, a role they fulfilled right up until the early 1990s, last seeing action in the first Gulf War of 1991.

This spectacular recreation of Douglas A-3B Skywarrior comes from plane building extraordinaire Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist who has recreated the historic bomber in glorious detail. With folding wing-tips for carrier storage, working landing gear, and an accompanying aircraft tug there’s lots more to see. Head over to Ralph’s photostream via the link above for all the images, plus you can read Ralph’s interview here at The Lego Car Blog as part of the Master MOCers Series by clicking here.

Lego US Navy A-3B Skywarrior

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Popsicle Express

Lego Classic Ice Cream Van

It is baking hot here at TLCB Towers. Whilst on the positive that means mini-skirts and hot pants (on the pedestrians outside you understand, thankfully not on TLCB staff), it also means the office has become a miserable sweat-box. Fortunately Sven Franic has the answer with this gorgeous 1950s ice cream van. Complete with a giant popsicle on the roof, a fully kitted interior, and a pair of deckchairs plus a sunshade at a jaunty angle, it looks the perfect place to cool down. You can do just that at Sven’s photostream – click the link above to get licking.

Lego Classic Ice Cream Van

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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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Seahorse

Lego USMC UH-34D Seahorse

The early marine biologists of the world were not inventive in the naming department. It seems many marine animals are simply named after a land animal, but with the word ‘sea’ added before, or ‘fish’ added after, even if there are no similarities whatsoever between the two. The humble seahorse is a case in point. With a mass of just a few ounces, no legs, and reproduction via eggs, the seahorse and regular horse are about as far apart on the animal spectrum as you can get. Lazy marine biologists, lazy…

Military engineers however, are far better at naming things. This is a Sikorsky H-34 Seahorse helicopter, and whilst the weird little fish doesn’t have rotor blades, it really does look quite a lot like the H-34. The Seahorse’s strange looks come from the huge 1,500bhp radial engine mounted in the nose, as back in the fifties most helicopters were not powered by the more compact turbine engines that are now fitted to almost all rotorary-wing aircraft.

This enormous power plant meant the cockpit needed to be raised above it in order for the pilots to see, giving the Sikorsky H-34 and the many variants that followed their unusual seahorsey shape.

This particular version of the Sikorsky H-34 is a UH-34D from 1962, deployed by the US Marines in the Vietnam War and recreated beautifully in Lego form in all of its weirdness by Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist). Ralph’s superb replica of the famous American helicopter includes a side opening door and some simply awesome detailing, enabled by the range of ingenious building techniques that Ralph is known for.

Head over to Flickr via the link above for all the photos, and you can read our interview with the builder as part of The Lego Car Blog’s Master MOCers series by clicking here.

Lego Sikorsky H-34 Seahorse

 

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