Tag Archives: 1950s

Radio Flyer Wagon

Lego Radio Flyer Wagon

Likely the first vehicle of many of our American readers, the Radio Flyer Wagon has been an icon of free-wheeling adventure for over 90 years, making it the cause of more broken bones than probably any other vehicular design in history.

Despite this legendary status the dangerous tub-on-wheels had so-far escaped the attention of Lego builders, today corrected wonderfully by 1saac W of Flickr. 1saac’s inspired choice of pieces have recreated the Radio Flyer Wagon to perfection, from its brake-less axles to its gloriously unstable draw-bar steering. Now let’s go and find a really big hill!

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Bavarian Brunch

Lego BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycle

We’re not sure if there is a German word for ‘Brunch’ but if there is it would apply here, because this gorgeous BMW R1000 by Flickr’s ZetoVince has been constructed in the British ‘cafe racer’ style, where light weight and probably extreme discomfort were the trends amongst North London bikers at the time, who used their modified motorcycles to dash between the cafes of Watford and Wembley. This beautiful bike captures the aesthetic brilliantly and there’s more to see of Zeto’s perfectly photographed R1000 at his photostream. Click the link above to place your order at Cafe Flickr.

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Black Sugar*

Lego Ford F100 V8

Another day, another Elf returns to TLCB Towers eagerly expecting a meal token and a Smartie. Today’s Elf is in luck, as it will get fed, but sadly as Smarties don’t come in black and there’s an unwritten rule about creation colours matching candy, it won’t receive the extra sugar hit. No matter, because Chris Radbone‘s custom ’50s Ford F100 pick-up hot rod looks the business in black. Opening doors, a dropping tailgate and a V8 engine all feature, and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link.

Lego Ford F100 V8

*Today’s most excellent title song.

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Fly Bavaria

Lego Douglas DC-3

It’s a grey January winter’s day here at TLCB Towers, and we’re already pondering sunnier climes. So too is Vaionaut of Flickr it seems, having built this wonderful Douglas DC-3 airliner. Launched in the 1930s the American Douglas DC-3 revolutionised air travel, becoming the default airliner for decades thereafter, and is – incredibly – still in use today. Vaionaut’s beautifully built model is pictured here in German Bavaia livery (complete with a neat 1972 Munich olympics decal) and there’s more to see of his gorgeous creation at his photostream. Click the link above to take to the skies.

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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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