Tag Archives: 1960s

The Other Ferrari

This is not a Ferrari.

The only legitimate son of Enzo, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari was an engineer at his father’s company until he died in 1956, aged just 24, from muscular dystrophy.

Until his death, Dino had been working on a new 1.5 litre DOHC V6 engine with Vittorio Jano, who had joined Ferrari from Lancia.

Encouraged by Dino, Jano developed the new V6 engine, and upon Dino’s death Enzo Ferrari decided to create a new marque named after his son to take the engine racing.

The ’Dino’ F2 team raced the following year, with the engine subsequently developed for road cars which bore the ‘Dino’ name, including the Dino 246 by Flickr’s Jonathan Elliott pictured here, plus the Lancia Stratos and Fiat Dino Coupe and Spider.

Sadly Dino never saw the engine he pushed for race, and Jano never saw his engine fitted to a Ferrari. He lost his own son as Enzo had, and a year later in 1965 he took his own life.

Enzo finally brought Dino and Jano’s engine in-house for use in Ferrari-branded road cars in 1976, discontinuing the ‘Dino’ marque.

After twenty years, Enzo had allowed his son’s engine home.

Build-a-Fiat

LEGO’s 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set is a fine addition to their officially licensed line up. Even if we don’t understand why it comes with an easel.

However being a Creator set, 10271 isn’t particularly technical. Cue TLCB Master MOCer Nico71, who has constructed a similarly-sized sixties Fiat 500 in Technic form with a whole heap more functionality. Although no easel.

Nico’s Fiat looks the part, with a combination of axles, lift arms and flex tubes recreating the 500’s famous shape, under which is a working rear-mounted two cylinder engine driven by the rear wheels, functioning steering, front and rear suspension, plus opening doors, front trunk and engine cover.

It’s a lovely build (that would make an excellent set too), and one that you can recreate for yourself at home as Nico has made building instructions available.

There’s more to see on Eurobricks, and at Nico’s excellent website, plus you can read his interview in the Master MOCers series here at The Lego Car Blog via the link in the next above.

YouTube Video

James Young

Who? Well back in the ’60s (and a lot more before then), you could buy a car without a body. Usually a really posh one.

The point was a coach builder could create something more bespoke, and they were used frequently by the top luxury automotive brands of the time including Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and – of course – Rolls Royce.

This particular coach-built Rolls Royce is a 1960s Phantom V Limousine by James Young, and it has been recreated rather beautifully in Technic form by Agent 00381 of Eurobricks.

A full ‘Technic Supercar’ chassis sits underneath the elegant bodywork, with all-wheel suspension, working steering, an ‘auto’ gearbox, and a V8 engine.

Opening doors, hood, trunk, and glovebox are included, and there’ s even a rising partition to separate the peasant driving up front from the elite classes riding in the back.

There’s more of Agent’s Rolls Royce Limousine to see – including a link to building instructions and a video of the model’s features – at the Eurobricks forum. Click the link above to enter the rear of James Young.

LEGO Creator 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper | Set Preview

The crack team of Elven ‘volunteers’ fired over The LEGO Company’s HQ permitter wall tasked with uncovering this summer’s new sets had – we thought – all returned/been eaten by guard dogs, but no! Today one last bedraggled Elf returned home to TLCB Towers with a final new-for-2021 LEGO set, at it’s a great one…

This is the brand new Creator Expert 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van, LEGO’s officially licensed successor to the wonderful 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van that has been on sale for almost a decade (making it one of the longest serving LEGO sets ever).

Improving on the 10220 set is no mean feat – it achieved a full 10/10 review here at TLCB – and LEGO have certainly gone all-out, nearly doubling the parts count to a whopping 2,207 pieces.

Many of these are tiles too, as a new building technique deploys outward facing ‘SNOT’ to construct the bodywork in place of the original set’s traditional stacked bricks.

A fully detailed interior complete with a canvas pop-top, opening cabinets, a fridge, a stove (with all important tea pot), and a sink is included, whilst a brick-built surfboard (first seen on the 10252 Volkswagen Beetle set) along with two folding deck chairs ensure the T2 is suitably beachy.

Working steering, a sliding door, a brand new windscreen piece, and an opening engine cover add to the realism, whilst period-correct (and hippy default) ‘Peace’ and ‘Love’ decals ensure the model reflects the late ’60s – early ’70s era that still defines the T2 today.

Expect the new LEGO Creator Expert 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van to cost around $180/£150 when it hits stores later this year, and LEGO’s successful Volkswagen Camper story to continue for some time yet. A T3 set in 10 years’ time? We wouldn’t bet against it!

Also Available in Red

These days the second generation Dodge Charger seems to only come in black. However we’re assured that other colours were available, and – if Tony Bovkoon‘s stunning red Dodge Charger is accurate – we’d like to see more of them.

Tony’s Charger features a detailed engine bay, interior, and trunk inside the brilliant red bodywork, which Tony has presented superbly in an extensive album on Flickr. Click the link to take a look.

Fortunate Son

If there are two things associated with America’s involvement in the Vietnam War more than any others, it’s the incessant use of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Fortunate Son’, and the Bell UH-1N ‘Huey’ helicopter.

Fortunately we like Fortunate Son, and we like the Bell UH-1N Huey too, at least in brick form from Flickr’s [Maks].

[Maks]’s USAF Twin Huey captures the real military helicopter brilliantly, with flex hose skids, brick-built camo, and accurate decals.

There are more superb images of [Maks]’s build to see at his ‘UH-1N Twin Huey’ album – click the link above and start humming Fortunate Son on loop.

Off-Road at Any Speed

The 1961 Chevrolet Corvair was a brilliantly interesting car. Designed to take on Volkswagen, the Corvair was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled flat-6 engine, which even came with the option of turbo-charging (the first production car in the world to do so).

Unfortunately however, the Corvair also featured a significant design flaw; the suspension tried to kill you.

The bean-counters at GM omitted anti-sway bars to save cost, which – when combined with that rear-mounted flat-6 engine and swing-axle suspension – caused the wheel camber to vary drastically when cornering. This created a car with wildly unpredictable handling, and therefore one that crashed a lot.

In 1965 attorney Ralph Nader published a book on the Corvair titled ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’, and Corvair sales plummeted. Of course GM did the default ‘evil corporation’ thing and attempted to smear Nader rather than fix the car, before conceding and equipping the Corvair with independent suspension.

The damage had been done though, and the Corvair carries a crashy reputation to this day. Cue Flickr’s Volker Brodkorb, who has fixed his Corvair station wagon’s handling issues by, well… turning it into an off-road monster truck.

OK, if anything the handling would be even worse, but look how cool it is! Volker’s model is in fact based on a real Corvair monster truck, which has got the Elves very excited. There’s more to see of Volker’s version via the link above, and you can check out a video of the real-life monster truck on which Volker’s model is based by clicking this link, where – amazingly – no one is killed at all.

404 Error: File Found

Ah Error 404. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol standard response code that indicates the browser communicated with a given server, but the server couldn’t find what was requested.

Which, as purveyors of a website with a million views a year, we of course knew without looking it up on Google… Honestly, it’s a miracle that this site functions at all.

Anyway, today 404 was found, as one of Elves brought back this rather lovely Peugeot 404 pick-up, as built by regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott.

Based on Peugeot’s 1960s large passenger car, the 404 pick-up was produced into the late ’80s in Europe, and until 1991 in Kenya, where it’s still a common sight thanks to its almost unbreakable toughness. Yup, we really did say that about a Peugeot.

Jonathan’s 8-wide recreation captures the 404 pick-up beautifully, and you can check out the build, along with his extensive garage of other Speed Champions scale vehicles, at his photostream on Flickr.

Click the link above to instruct your browser to communicate with the server. Or something.

Charger R/T

Produced for just two years between 1968 and 1970, the second generation Dodge Charger was  a roaring success. Almost 100,000 second-gen Chargers were built, versus a planned production run of just 35,000, with seven different engine options ranging from a 3.7 litre slant-6 to a 7.2 litre V8. The R/T (road/track) was top of the tree, and over 17,000 were built (one of which featured in probably the most famous movie car chase of all time). This excellent 8-wide Speed Champions scale Charger R/T comes from Jonathan Elliott of Flickr, who has captured the iconic Chrysler Corporation muscle car superbly in brick form. Click here to take a closer look, or the the link above to see the real thing lose more hubcaps than it has wheels on the streets of San Francisco…

Spray Tan

Orange lines are usually not a good look. They are today though, thanks to Tim Henderson and this lovely ’63 Ford Econoline van. Tim’s model is based upon the customised Econoline owned by his friend Rose who runs Custom Vanner Magazine, and there’s more to see of Tim (and Rose)’s tan lines on Flickr via the link above.

Ghostly Antelope

“Hello, who are travelling with today?” “My brother.” “Did you pack the car yourself?” “Yes sir.” “Carrying anything back there? Live animals, fruit, explosives, weapons?” “Er…”.

This is a 1967 Chevrolet Impala, from back when large American cars were really cool. It was also the vehicle chosen as the star car for the TV show ‘Supernatural’, in which it’s used to hunt down various other-worldly monsters that are running amok.

This means a trunk full of paranormal paraphernalia, which previous bloggee Tony Bovkoon has duly recreated in Lego form to complete this superb Model Team replica of the Supernatural Impala.

There’s lots more of Tony’s creation to see (including the occult contents of the Chevy’s trunk) at his ‘Impala ’67 Supernatural’ album on Flickr – Click the link above to have an interesting conversation with the border guard…

Volkswagen Pride

It’s Pride Month, which used to be Pride Week and before that Pride Day, but – like that girl in the office who drags her birthday out over three separate weekends – it seems to have become wildly and unnecessarily long. Because really there shouldn’t be the need for Pride anything at all.

However, the fact that when the Volkswagen Type 2 Transporter was launched the government of TLCB’s home nation determined which sexualities were acceptable and which were not, and in many other countries the government still decides which sexualities are acceptable and which are not, probably explains the continuing need for Pride and the fight for equal rights.

Cue 1saac W.‘s excellent Volkswagen T2, pictured here in both monochrome, and a rather more rainbowy paint scheme in support of Pride Day/Week/Month. Click the link above to see more, whether you’re monochrome, rainbow, or anything in between.

What’s Brown and Smelly?

It’s time for another delve into the automotive curiosity cupboard that is the Eastern Bloc, a Communist alliance renowned for the oppression of millions, waiting lists that stretched into decades, and cars that were almost comically bad. This is one of them, the Wartburg 353.

As with many Communist creations though, the Wartburg was not a bad car when it launched in the late 1960s. A weird one perhaps, but not bad objectively speaking.

The 353 started production from a pinched BMW factory in 1966, and was powered by a 1 litre, 3-cylinder, 2-stroke engine that had its roots in a 1938 DKW. This made it as torquey as the larger engines in the west, and meant it had only seven major moving parts, but also made the car incredibly unrefined and polluting, leaving a cloud of burnt oil behind it whenever it went.

A unique freewheel system meant the 353 required no clutch to change gear, and the car was also front-wheel-drive, still fairly novel at the time, although the set-up imbued it with terrifying understeer characterises in the wet.

Despite the niggles, the Wartburg 353’s low price, reliability, and the fact it wasn’t a Trabant, led to success, and meant that – due to the ‘planned economy’ of East Germany – the waiting list stretched out to fifteen years for private citizens.

The 353 was also exported to several countries as the Wartburg ‘Knight’, presumably to bring in foreign currency (which must have been frustrating for those on the waiting list), as well as being used by the police and East German government.

Of course as time passed the 353 became increasingly outdated, and little was done to keep pace with Western products that were out of reach for those trapped behind the Iron Curtain. The government even repeatedly refused to upgrade the polluting 2-stroke engine, despite Wartburg’s engineers having developed working alternatives.

By the late-’80s the writing was on the wall, both for East Germany and Wartburg. The eventual addition of a modern 1.3 litre engine from the Volkswagen Polo in 1984 came too late, and the reunification of Germany finally killed the 353 – alongside many other long-obsolete East German offerings – in 1988.

This splendid Model Team recreation of the Wartburg 353 ‘Tourist’ is the work of previous bloggee Legostalgie, who has captured the East German family car beautifully in period-correct brown.

Opening doors, hood and tailgate, plus a detailed engine and interior all feature, and there’s lots more of the model to see at Legostalgie’s ‘Wartburg 353 Tourist’ Flickr album. Click the link above to join a fifteen year queue in East Germany sometime in the 1970s.

FJ40

If there’s one 4×4 cooler than the Land Rover Defender, this is it. The Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 is an off-roading icon, and thus – like all things old and Japanese – it’s now worth about a million pounds.

However with the news that Toyota have become the latest auto manufacturer to partner with LEGO, we may one day see an official Land Cruiser set, which will be a far more attainable way to FJ40 ownership for this TLCB Writer, even with immense fame, glory and groupies that working for this site brings…

Until then though, regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott has created a Speed Champions scale Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 so good we doubt LEGO will do any better should they decide to produce one. And it’s yellow.

Glorious attention to detail and ingenious building techniques are in evidence everywhere you look, and there’s more to see of Jonathan’s brilliant FJ40 at his photostream via the link.

We’ve Got Gas

Well, Thomas Gion aka HotDogSandwiches does, in the form of this marvellous 1960s Chevrolet Nova ‘Gasser’ style drag racer.

Thomas’s Speed Champions scale build features removable front bodywork, a brilliant brick-built engine, flame-shooting exhausts, wheelie bars, plus a range of wonderfully life-like tools and equipment.

There’s more of the build to see at Thomas’s ‘1963 Chevrolet Nova Gasser’ album – click the link above to take a look!