Tag Archives: 1960s

Tilt!

Lego Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) XC-142

From one weird aircraft to another today, only this one was real (sort of). Built in the 1960s, the Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) XC-142 was an experimental tilt-rotor vertical take-off/landing aircraft, and it really did look as odd as it does here.

It worked too, with five prototypes performing successful test flights in the mid-1960s. However with four 2,850bhp engines the XC-142 probably wasn’t a particularly fuel efficient way to transport 4,000kgs of military stuff, and thus the project didn’t prove financially viable, being shelved in 1966.

Today just one prototype XC-142 survives, but Henrik Jensen has added another with his rather excellent recreation of the tilting oddity. There’s more to see at Henrik’s Flickr photostream and on MOCpages – click the links to tilt the table.

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Muscle Car Double

Lego Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Founded in the late 1920s, mis-managed into administration, and then closed down in the last decade or so, Plymouth and Pontiac are best known in recent times as victims of the Big Three’s sorry tale of arrogance, greed and incompetence.

But before all that there were some good times. Really good times. In the late-’60s to early-’70s the muscle car was in a golden age, and both Plymouth and Pontiac were riding the crest of that wave.

Plymouth’s Barracuda (above) launched in the mid-’60s with a range of engines beginning at just 100bhp, yet by 1970 it was making up to 425bhp from an enormous Hemi V8. Unfortunately 425bhp didn’t sit really suit the market once the oil crisis hit in 1973, and production ended shortly afterwards, but if anything that short life has helped the ‘Cuda become one of most sought-after muscle cars in history.

General Motors were also in on the muscle car action in the 1960s, bringing – via their Pontiac brand – the GTO (below) to market in ’64. By the 1970s they too were making over 400bhp, with stock cars delivering 13.4 second 1/4 miles times straight from the forecourt. Like Plymouth the oil crisis put an end to that, but in its hay-day the Pontiac GTO sold almost 100,000 units annually, despite its slow steering and ‘amazingly inadequate’ brakes. The roads must have been a fun (if slightly terrifying) place!

Lego Pontiac GTO

The two superb Speed Champions versions of the Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda and Pontiac GTO pictured here are the work of Thomas Gion, who has faithfully recreated both cars in just 6-studs of width, capturing the styling cues of each brilliantly.

Today both brands are gone, but the legendary cars they created in the 1960s and ’70s mean they won’t be forgotten for some time yet.

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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 Panther

Lego A-6E Intruder VA-35 Black Panthers

Jungle cat, 1960’s political movement, comic-book hero (and slightly overrated movie), and U.S Navy attack squadron, the name ‘Black Panther’ has seen varied use over the years. It’s the latter usage we’re focussing on here, and the squadron that adopted the name from the 1930s until its disbandment in 1995.

The Black Panthers were a carrier-based air squadron that flew combat missions in the Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War and the First Iraq War, with all of those bar the first using this aircraft, the Grumman A-6 Intruder. This spectacular recreation of the A-6 comes from Master MOCer and TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist), who has constructed the Intruder in A6-E Black Panthers specification in glorious detail.

With folding wings, a sliding canopy, custom decals and a full armament there’s a whole lot more to see. Take a look at Ralph’s A6-E Intruder Flickr album by clicking here, where over twenty high quality image are available.

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Bumblebug

Lego Transformers Bumblebee VW Beetle

Before Michael Bay, Megan Fox and General Motors sponsorship, Bumblebee wasn’t a Camaro. He was in fact a humble Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle, a car that regular bloggee Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist recreated beautifully some years ago. Using – we assume – magic, Ralph has now turned his original (and perfect) Beetle design into a fully transforming Bumblebee autobot. Take a look at the scarcely-believable image below and then join us in amazement at Ralph’s photostream by clicking here.

Lego Transformers Bumblebee VW Beetle

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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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Stranger Vans

Lego Chevrolet Van Stranger Things Netflix

Normally amongst the most mundane vehicles on the roads, vans don’t often appear here at The Lego Car Blog. Today though, we have two, and they’re strange ones at that.

First up is an admittedly boring 1980s Chevrolet G-Series panel van, although it has been wonderfully recreated in 6-wide mini-figure scale. However it’s a van which stars in the Netflix sci-fi series ‘Stranger Things’ and it really does do something strange. Click the link to find out what, and you can see more of the superb model pictured above courtesy of Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74) by clicking here.

Today’s second van doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary but it was, for America at least, a strange vehicle. This mid-’60s Chevrolet ‘forward control’ van mounted the driver and controls right at the front of the chassis, leaving more space in the back for carrying things. Common in Europe and Asia, this design never really took off in the ‘states, which is a shame as we think Chevrolet’s 1960s efforts looked pretty cool. This one comes from Tim Henderson of Flickr, it’s also built in 6-wide mini-figure scale, and there’s more of it to see at Tim’s photostream by clicking here.

Lego Chevrolet Van

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Ferrari 312 | Picture Special

Lego Ferrari 312 Grand Prix Racer

In the mid-1960’s Formula 1 was, perhaps surprisingly, nearly as restrictive technically as it is today. Engines had to be just 1.5 litres or less, which meant they were often comically smaller than those available to the general public. In 1965 the teams requested more power, and to their almost complete surprise the governing body responded by doubling the allowed engine capacity for 1966. We can’t image the FIA being that responsive today…

Lego Ferrari 312 Formula 1

The Three Litre era of Formula 1 was born as the existing teams scrabbled to take advantage of the new regulations. Ferrari were lucky, having a larger V12 engine available to them from their sports car racing programme, which they modified to keep within the maximum 3000cc allowed and shoved in the back of their F1 chassis. It was a bit of bodge-job though, being heavy and down on torque, and thus the resulting ‘312’ racer wasn’t a Championship winner, taking only three race wins from thirty-eight starts.

With limited success the 312 is sadly most famous for the tragedy that struck Lorenzo Bandini in the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix. On the 82nd lap Bandini caught the guardrail whilst entering the Marina and his car overturned, rupturing a fuel line as it did so. The shower of sparks ignited the car, and with the straw bales lining the track also catching fire Bandini was trapped in the inferno. Marshalls managed to pull him from the car, but he died in hospital a few days later.

Lego Ferrari 312 Formula 1

Ferrari continued to race the 312 with little success for several more years, with no money to develop a new car and the Cosworth DFV engine used by many other teams winning absolutely everything. Eventually Enzo Ferrari sold a stake of his business to FIAT, and in 1970 used the money to develop a new purpose-built flat-12 engine for Formula 1 racing, finally returning the team to a race winning position.

The 312 was quickly forgotten, but whilst it certainly wasn’t one of Ferrari’s more successful designs, it was – as you can see here – surely one of their most beautiful. The impeccable Model Team replica of the 312 shown in these images comes from Andre Pinto, who has captured every detail of the 312’s the suspension, interior, bodywork, and the (spectacular) V12 engine to create one of the finest classic Formula 1 cars ever built in Lego form.

There’s more to see of Andre’s beautifully photographed 1967 Ferrari 312 at both his Flickr album and at the Eurobricks discussion forum. Take a look via the links above, and if you’d like to hear what that slightly bodged 3.0 V12 sounds like, take a listen here.

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Watch This!*

Lego '65 Ford Mustang

After years watching from afar we’ve finally got the Ford Mustang in Europe. This is – on the one hand – quite cool, however on the other we’re wondering how long before we copy America completely and European Mustangs start doing things like this. And this. And this. And this

It’s probably better if we stick to a classic Mustang, which – thanks to Eric Teo of Flickr and his excellent 7-wide Speed Champions-esque creation – we can. Eric’s ‘stang is a 1965 convertible with enough room for three mini-figures and, being a classic, it probably won’t do this.

See more by heading over to Eric’s photostream via the link above. Carefully…

Lego Ford Mustang 1965

*The words uttered by every bro moments before they inevitably do this.

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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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Gadgets are Getting Smaller

Lego Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger

Every year gadgets get smaller. Well, apart from when Apple – being the innovators that they are – decided that their iPhones should get progressively larger until they resembled televisions, and charge people a premium for doing so.

Anyway, enough about the geniuses in Apple’s phone department, everything else is getting smaller. The first computer filled a whole office, early mobile phones were the size of a suitcase, and the ancient photocopier here in TLCB Towers has an entire room to itself.

The same is true of LEGO’s new 10262 Aston Martin DB5 ‘007’ set. Packed with gadgets and looking mostly like a DB5, 10262 is 1,295 pieces of 007-inspired excellence, yet even it is subject to the rule of technological shrinkage.

Flickr’s Gerald Cacas is the man doing the shrinking as he’s captured the world’s most famous movie car in a model that’s just seven studs wide, and there’s a even a gadget or two included. There’s more to see of Gerald’s 007-in-minitaure at his photostream – click the link above and think small!

Lego Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger

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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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Black Beetle

Lego Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen, following the need to pay some huge fines, are having a bit of a model cull at present. In the for the chop are pretty much all of their three-door cars, including the Scirocco (boo) and the New New Beetle (meh). Still, that makes room for even more SUVs (sigh)…

With the Volkswagen Group’s line-up becoming ever more boring by the minute we’re going back to more interesting times, before dieselgate, greedy shareholders, and every customer needing a truck to take their kids to school.

This is the original Beetle, commissioned by Hitler, designed by Ferdinand Porsche, and becoming the world’s most successful car design ever.

This superb Model Team style Beetle comes from previous bloggee Lennart C, who has built one of the toughest cars to recreate from LEGO ever brilliantly, including a wonderfully detailed interior and an authentically replicated flat-4 engine.

There’s more to see of Lennart’s beautiful bug via the link above, and you can see LEGO’s own officially-licensed Volkswagen Beetle set by clicking here.

Lego Volkswagen Beetle

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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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