Tag Archives: 1950s

What’s in a Roundel?

This TLCB writer has learned something today; the Royal Australian Navy uses little red kangaroos in place of the red dot more usually found in the centre of the RAF roundel! Kangaroos!

Entering the rabbit hole he has now learned that South Africa’s insignia features an eagle, Trinidad and Tobago a hummingbird, Papua New Guinea the mythical phoenix, and Luxembourg an extravagant lion.

If we ever start a military campaign against The Brothers Brick perhaps we should outline an Elf for the centre of ours?

Following that somewhat tangental start to this post, the aircraft depicted here that features the kangaroo-in-a-circle markings is a Hawker Sea Fury, in this case flown by the Royal Australian Navy.

Based on the Hawker Tempest, the Sea Fury entered service at the end of the second world war and flew until the early ’60s, operating first a pure fighter and then as a fighter-bomber as its suitability for multi-role use became apparent.

This particular Sea Fury is a F.B.11 that operated with Squadron 724 from the H.M.A.S. Albatross, most notably serving in the Korean War, and it’s been recreated beautifully by John C. Lamarck, complete with folding wing-tips, retractable landing gear, an opening cockpit, and – of course – accurate Royal Australian Navy markings including kangaroo roundels.

There’s much more to see of John’s superb Hawker Sea Fury F.B.11 on Flickr – hop on over via the link above!

My Other Other Car’s a Fiat…

The Fiat 500 has been a runaway success across Europe. Over two million have been sold to date, despite the design remaining virtually unchanged in fourteen years of production.

Fiat, unused to building a car that people actually like, subsequently decided that literally everything they make should be a 500[something]. This has unfortunately led to hideous monstrosities like thiswhich have been about as successful as storming the U.S. Capitol building in the hope of overturning a legitimate election.

However unlike Fiat, LEGO’s ace 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set is proving not only a hit, but also one that can be used to create a range of other vehicles that don’t just look like a regular 500 has died at sea and washed up on a beach months later.

Cases in point are these two brilliant B-Models, each built only from the parts found within the 10271 Fiat 500 set, and each managing to successfully create something new and excellent from the recycled parts.

First up (above) is monstermatou‘s marvellous 1920s Citroen 5HP Trefle, which captures the real car so well you’d be hard pushed to know it’s an alternate (which explains why monstermatou very nearly won TLCB Lock-Down B-Model Competition with one of his past builds). Building instructions are available and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.

Today’s second 10271 alternate comes from a past official LEGO set designer no less, the incredibly talented Nathanael Kuipers, who has turned the little classic Fiat into a 1950s pick-up truck.

Cleverly using the Fiat’s interior pieces to make up for the shortfall in available bodywork bricks, Nathanael’s B-Model includes opening doors, hood and tailgate, and building instructions are available too.

Click the link above to check out more of Nathanael’s B-Model at his photostream, and if you own a 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set, perhaps see what you can create from it! You’ll easily do a better job than Fiat have managed with the real thing…

Cop Classic

Christmas is over, the decorations are down, and work begins tomorrow. Versteinert‘s previously featured classic station wagon, as driven by Santa himself, has now been repurposed as a police car, and represents this slightly depressing return to normality in Lego form.

Of course ‘return to normality’ is a relative term, as our emergency workers face probably the most difficult January in living memory, thanks to COVID-19’s decision to become even more transmissible. Yay.

So it’s Christmas hats off to our emergency service readers; you are the heroes we need right now, and there’s more to see of Versteinert’s ’50s police car at via the link above.

Driving Home for Christmas

No tenuous links to Christmas are needed for this post! Versteinert’s classic station wagon entitled ‘Ready for Christmas’ includes a (brilliant) Christmas tree, a boot full of presents, and Saint Nicholas himself at the wheel! Ingenious parts usage is in abundance and you can check out Santa’s station wagon in more detail at both Flickr and Eurobricks.

Gullwing

Is there anything cooler than doors that open skywards? Nope, and that makes the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ one of the coolest cars of all time. Powered by a three-litre straight six, the 300 SL was also the first car to feature fuel injection, boosting power by around 50% and making it the fastest production car in the world, with a top speed in excess of 160mph.

This spectacular recreation of the 300 SL is the work of Tobias Munzert, who has built it largely from the pieces found within the 10262 Aston Martin DB5 ‘Goldfinger’ set. As well as accurate opening ‘gullwing’ doors, Tobais’ model includes an opening trunk, raising hood, and a detailed engine, and there’s more to see of his fantastic creation at his ‘Mercedes-Benz 300 SL’ album on Flickr, where a link to building instructions can also be found.

Old Grey

Here at The Lego Car Blog we’re basically seven year olds, so it tends to be fast, loud, and obnoxiously coloured vehicles that feature here. Not today though, as we’ve flipped to the other end of the vehicular spectrum for a vehicle that is very slow, and very grey.

This rather lovely vintage tractor is the work of MangaNOID of Eurobricks, who has based his creation on a 1950s Massey Ferguson. Manga’s model features a working 3-cylinder engine, differential, power take-off, three-point hitch, suspended drivers seat, steering, and positive caster, camber and toe for accurate old-timey tractor realism.

It’s a great example of Technic functionality and there’s more to see of Manga’s build at the Eurobricks discussion forum – click the link above to take a look!

Lead Sled

The Elves are happy today. Not only has one of their number found a shiny red hot rod, but there’s a scantily clad girl too. Cue Elven giggling. We have Master MOCer and previous bloggee Redfern1950s to thank for our sniggering workforce of mythical little turds, and his ’50s Mercury-based ‘lead sled’ built in his trademark style.

Smooth curves (the car, not the girl) and chrome embellishments (again…) complete the look, and there’s more to see of Red’s Lead Sled at his vehicle-packed photostream. Click the link above to head to Flickr for a closer look, but no giggling!

Power Wagon

Is there a cooler name for a truck than ‘Power Wagon’? Nope. Dodge’s naming department nailed it back in 1945, with the nameplate lasting right up until 1980. This is a ’50s Power Wagon, with a few modifications, as built by TLCB Master MOCer Redfern1950s, and it’s magnificent.

Red’s cartoon-ised Dodge sits proudly atop monster wheels and suspension, features a brick-built removable ‘canvas’ load cover, plus a detailed engine and interior behind a removable hood and opening doors.

A multitude of top-notch imagery is available to view at Red’s Flickr photostream by clicking here, and you can read his interview as part of the Master MOCers series here at The Lego Car Blog by clicking the link in the text above to discover how he builds models like this one!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!