Tag Archives: 1950s

Eastern Exception

Lego Technic Tatra 603

Cars from behind the Iron Curtain were almost universally crap. Cars like this, this, this, and this for instance.

But there was one exception. A glorious, wonderful, magnificent oasis hidden in the vast automotive wastelands of Communist Europe. Tatra.

Now famed for their indestructible off-road trucks, Tatra used to produce cars too, and what cars they were. This is their incredible 603, powered by a 100bhp air-cooled V8 mounted in the rear, and with an amazing aerodynamic body that was extensively wind-tunnel tested way back in the 1950s.

This stunning Lego replica of the 603 is the work of Horcik Designs of Flickr, and it faithfully recreates the T2 version of Tatra’s masterpiece. Working steering, suspension, V8 engine, opening doors, hood and engine cover, and a six-seat interior are all included, but Horcik’s real party-price is surely that spectacular bodywork.

There’s a whole lot more of the Tatra 603 to see on Flickr – click here to see the full photo album at Horcik’s photostream.

Lego Technic Tatra 603

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Trump This

Lego MM1 Teracruzer Missile Carrier

Today is the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America, and here at The Lego Car Blog we’re commemorating this milestone event with something old, dangerous, and orange.

Built to scare the Soviets in the late 1950s this is a MM1 Teracruzer eight-wheel-drive missile carrier, complete with a Martin Mace nuclear missile, and despite its murderous (and completely futile) purpose, it’s a magnificent looking thing. It’s as if Thunderbirds were run by a maniacal doom-monger.

Anyhow, whilst we settle in for an afternoon of pointless pickering over the state of U.S. politics you can check out more of this absolutely brilliant mini-figure replica of the Teracruzer courtesy of Brian Williams of Flickr by clicking here, or alternatively you can watch something just as old, dangerous and orange at the inauguration ceremony…

Lego MM1 Teracruzer Missile Carrier

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Gas, Gas, Gas!

Lego Octan Gasser Hot Rods

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at the morning driving rain
But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas!
But it’s all right. I’m Jumpin’ Jack Flash
It’s a gas, gas, gas!

These three matching mini-figure scale Octan-sponsored ‘gasser’ drag racers come from Flickr’s Tim Henderson, and LEGO’s fictional oil company has never looked so cool! See more at the link above.

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C is for Christmas

Lego Nimbus Type C Motorcycle

We’re back, and we hope you’re all having a throughly excellent Christmas! We’re kicking off that slightly awkward period between Christmas and New Year with this, Henrik Jensen‘s gorgeous classic Nimbus Type C motorcycle.

Producing from 1919 until 1960, Nimbus were a successful Danish motorbike manufacturer, providing bikes to the military, civil and public markets. This beautiful 1950s Type C is one of the last Nimbuses made, and Henrik’s Model Team recreation is one of the finest Lego bikes we’ve found this year.

You can check out all the images of the Type C at Henrik’s photostream – click the link above to take a look.

Lego Nimbus Motorbike

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Cinquecento!

Lego Fiat 500

LEGO have been doing fantastically well out of their expansion into officially licensed automotive partnerships. Fans love the sets, as they get a real-world car to build, and it’s great publicity for car manufacturers too – a child playing with a LEGO version of their product today may buy one for real when they grow up!

MINI, Volkswagen, Ferrari, Volvo, Porsche, McLaren, and most recently Caterham have all seen one or more of their vehicles recreated in Danish plastic, and the collaboration of saabfan2013 and Gabriele Zannotti would like to add another iconic car to LEGO’s officially licensed line-up.

Lego FIAT 500

This is, of course, the wonderful original Fiat 500 (or Cinquecento in Italian) which saabfan and Gabriele have recreated beautifully in LEGO form. Featuring opening doors, bonnet and engine lid, as well as a detailed interior, this little Fiat looks the prefect companion to the already released MINI Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle Creator sets available to buy today.

If you like it as much as we do you can support the Fiat 500 on the LEGO Ideas platform, whereby your votes could turn this design into an official LEGO set! Add your vote by clicking here, and you can see more of the build at saabfan‘s Flickr photostream by clicking here.

Lego Fiat 500 F

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Emergency Evolution

Lego Fire Trucks

Like one of those T-shirts showing the evolution of man, Flickr’s Galaktek has been charting the evolution of the fire truck, from its beginnings as a motorised vehicle before the Great War until the mid-’60s (with more to come we hope), and our ingenious special effects department* has collated Galaktek’s three builds chronologically above.

From top to bottom; 1912 Mercedes-Benz Feuerwehr-Motorspritze, 1950s Mercedes-Benz L6600, and 1960s Seagrave open-cab tiller.

There’s lots more to see of each historic fire truck at Galaktek’s photostream – click the link above to dial 911 through time.

*Hah!

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My Other Car is a Porsche…

Lego Technic Porsche Super Tractor

…but so is this one. Like Lamborghini, Porsche started from very humble beginnings. This is their 1950s Super tractor and it’s been recreated beautifully by Flickr’s DB_Kit Fisto. There’s an accurate three-cylinder engine, a two-speed gearbox, working steering with positive caster angle, and a functioning rear power-take-off. There’s more to see at Kit’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

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Flatpack Hot Rod

Lego Saab 21R Aircraft

The Swedes; famous for their flatpack furniture, attractive blondes, and – as we can see here – their fighter aircraft. This is a 1950 Saab 21R, and it does look a bit like someone read the instructions upside-down when they opened the box to assemble it. Fear not though, it is supposed to look like that, and being one of the very earliest jet-powered aircraft the Saab’s twin-boom tail design was actually a common solution back in the late ’40s and early ’50s.

The Saab 21R was developed from the earlier piston-engined Saab 21 as an attack aircraft to help Sweden quickly catch up with the other airforces’ jet-engined counterparts. British jet maker de Havilland supplied their ‘Goblin II’ engine from the magnificent Vampire fighter, and Saab shoved it in the back of their 21 to jump them into the jet-age, making the 21R one of only two aircraft in history to be retro-fitted with a jet engine.

The 21R saw service for only six short years before it was replaced by the Saab 29 Tunnan, which was designed as a jet from the outset, and only around 60 were made. Nevertheless we quite like the 21R – shoving a much more powerful engine into something clearly never designed for it is the hot rodder’s way!

This brilliant Lego recreation of Saab’s ’50s airborne hot rod is the work of previous bloggee Stefan Johansson, and it’s a wonderfully intricate build. You can see more of it and Stefan’s other historic Saab aircraft at his Flickr photostream – click the link above to take off.

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Two for Tuesday

Lego VF-84 Jolly Rogers F-14A Tomcat

We round off a busy day here in TLCB Towers with two builds that aren’t cars at all. But they are excellent. Plus we quite like jet fighters because the average mental age in the office is about eleven. First up is TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg‘s newest version of his F-14A Tomcat, this time in VF-84 Jolly Rogers spec, and joining him is Stefan Johansson, who returns to this blog following his awesome Saab Viggen, this time with Saab’s mighty 32 Lansen fighter. If you’re eleven too you can see more of each build on Flickr via the links above.

Lego Saab 32 Lansen Fighter Aircraft

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Esso Service 1953 – Picture Special

Lego Esso Garage 1953 Norton74

This magnificent 1953 Esso service station is the work of previous bloggee Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74) and it’s probably as close to perfect as a Lego creation can possibly be.

Designed by Dutch architect Willem Dudock 112 of these beautiful structures were built across the Netherlands following World War 2 in order to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding road network. Dudock’s brief was to design a station that was cheap and simple to construct, and that minimised the raw material usage – a critical factor for a country rebuilding itself after years of conflict.

Lego Petrol Station Esso

Andrea’s incredible recreation of Dudock’s ingenious design is not light on raw material however, as every conceivable detail has been replicated perfectly in Lego form, from the beautiful art deco fuel pumps (attended by Andrea’s previously blogged Volkswagen Transporter) to the brilliantly detailed workshop tooling.

We highly recommend taking a trip Andrea’s wonderful Flickr Photostream where you can see more of the Netherlands in 1953, and we may also be seeing more of Andrea here at TLCB soon

Lego Esso Garage Dudock 1953

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MEDIC!!

Ambulance

“Medic!!”, is a cry that can often be heard screamed in Elvish across the TLCB executive editorial penthouse. Our research team enjoy every possible opportunity to smush each other into the deep shag carpet. Well, we assume that’s what they’re shouting. To be honest we’re a monoglot lot and haven’t a clue what they’re saying. We tend to conduct negotiations with our crew in terms of the carrot and stick (Mr. Airhorn and Smarties).

If Elvish paramedics were to respond to the call, they’d do well to turn up something like this vintage VW Splitscreen Barndoor Ambulance from redfern1950s on Flickr. Included in its description are details of how these vehicles differed from the minibuses from which they were converted. Redfern’s photostream is well worth a visit. It also contains fire engine, pick-up and hearse versions of this classic vehicle, plus his interpretation of Colin Furze’s hoverbike.

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Put a Tiger in Your Tank

Lego VW Transporter Esso

This gorgeous replica of Volkswagen’s classic T1 Transporter comes from TLCB favourite and previous bloggee Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74. The latest version in his line of classic Volkwagens, Andrea’s newest build depicts the iconic van in an unusual 1950s canvas pick-up specification, and it looks absolutely wonderful. Complete with an Esso oil barrel load and some superb exterior decals it’s one of the most realistic models that we’ve found this year. We highly recommend further viewing via Andrea’s Flickr photostream – put a tiger in your tank at the link above.

Lego VW Type 2 Transporter

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Grease Lightnin’

Lego Grease Lightnin' Ford

Well this car is systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic
Why, it could be Greased Lightnin’!
We’ll get some overhead lifters and some four barrel quads, oh yeah
Keep talkin’, whoah keep talkin’!
Fuel injection cut off and chrome plated rods, oh yeah
I’ll get her ready, I need to get her ready!
With a four-speed on the floor, they’ll be waitin’ at the door
You know that ain’t sh*t when we’ll be gettin’ lots of tit
Greased Lightnin’

Sorry about that. It’s all Ralph Savelsberg‘s fault. You can see more of his Grease Ford Deluxe on Flickr.

Lego Ford Deluxe Grease

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Go Wildcats!

Lego Buick Wildcat II

This gorgeous Model Team recreation of Buick’s stunning 1954 Wildcat II concept car was discovered by one of our Elves on MOCpages. Built by Beni Henzen it has one of the most beautiful interiors we’ve seen in a Lego car, plus opening hood, trunk and doors. It also enabled us to Google images of the Kentucky Wildcats cheerleading squad for ‘research’ purposes, so we’re pretty happy here in the office. Click the link above to see more of Beni’s Wildcat, or join us on Google to see Kentucky’s finest…

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Megamog

Lego Technic Mercedes-Benz Unimog 401 RC

At the opposite end of the scale from today’s other post is this; an absolutely monstrous Mercedes-Benz Unimog 401. Somewhat simpler on the outside than its modern U400 descendant, the 401 was just as ridiculously hardcore underneath, but is also very probably the slowest vehicle that this site has ever featured, and we’re even including this.

Lego Mercedes Unimog

Tamás Juhász aka Mbmc is the builder and he’s built one hell of a machine. Underneath the simple green bodywork is a full RC drivetrain complete with a remotely operated 2-speed gearbox and some of the toughest looking suspension we’ve ever seen. There’s also a beautifully recreated working 4-cylinder engine, power take-offs front and rear and opening doors and hood.

There’s lots more to see, including images of the incredible chassis, on several of the key creation-sharing platforms; albums and build details on Flickr, Brickshelf and Eurobricks can be reached via the links.

Lego Technic Remote Control Unimog 401

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