Tag Archives: 1960s

Lotus 18 | Picture Special

This beautiful creation is a Lotus 18, and it’s one of the most wonderful racing cars ever made.

Succeeding Colin Chapman’s Lotus 16 (what happened to 17?), the 18 was designed to compete in both Formula 1 and Formula 2, and was powered by a little Coventry Climax 4-cylinder engine, first in 2500cc and then 1500cc sizes when Formula 1 reduced the engine limit.

The 18 gave Lotus’ their first Formula 1 win, plus two-time World Champion Jim Clark his first Grand Prix drive, before he and Innes Ireland took Lotus to the Constructors Runner-up spot in the 1960 World Championship.

However it wasn’t just Team Lotus who raced the 18, with Rob Walker Racing leasing a car to be driven by a new hotshot driver by the name of Stirling Moss.

Moss won the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix for Rob Walker Racing, the first time a privateer team had ever one a Formula 1 race, with only two teams managing it since.

Moss went on to take another win later in the season, although the Lotus 18’s campaign was marred by Moss’s injury at Spa-Francorchamps which put him out for most of the championship, and fellow Lotus 18 driver Alan Stacey’s death at the same track, after the 26 year old driver hit a bird.

Moss returned to racing though, continuing to campaign the Lotus 18 successfully for Rob Walker Racing in 1961, winning another two races and taking third in the World Championship behind the two Ferrari drivers.

The Lotus 18 was quite an important car then. It gave not only Lotus, but several future racing greats their early wins, their first Formula 1 drives, and – sadly in Alan Stacy’s case – their last drive too.

This unfathomably good recreation of the Lotus 18 comes from Andre Pinto, whose stunning replica of Sir Stirling Moss’s 1960 race-winner is one of the finest historic racing cars that this site has ever featured.

Beautiful detailing and attention to detail is evident everywhere you look, and there’s lots more to see at both the Eurobricks discussion forum and at Andre’s ‘Lotus 18 Stirling Moss‘ album on Flickr.

Click the link above to take a look at one of the most important Formula 1 cars ever made.

Carabo

This is the Alfa Romeo Carabo, it’s just one letter short of being a Thai energy drink / some kind of cow, and it’s mad.

Designed by Bertone and revealed in 1968, the Carabo ushered in the change from swoopy and beautiful, to weird and wedgy. Just one concept was built, powered by a V8 of just two litres capacity mated to a six speed manual gearbox.

This excellent Speed Champions recreation of the Carabo was suggested to us by a reader, and it comes from The G Brix of Flickr. Complete with a detailed interior and engine bay there’s more to see at Brix’s photostream via the link.

Only one Carabo was made, but its design led directly to something that did make production, and a bit of an impact too…

Pre-SUV

With the world’s luxury auto makers seemingly in competition to produce the most hideous, obnoxious, and enormous SUV (see here, here, here, and here), we’re going back to a time when a fast family car didn’t need to be the size of Belgium.

This is the Lamborghini Espada, a four-seat grand tourer powered by a 3.9 litre V12, and produced from 1968 to ’78. It was successful too, being Lamborghini’s best selling model until they decided to keep making the Countach for three decades.

This brilliant Speed Champions version of the Espada comes from regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott, who has recreated Lamborghini’s ’70s family car beautifully in 7-wide form.

There’s more of the build to see at his photostream, along with a host of other excellent Speed Champions cars – click the link above to make the jump.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA | Picture Special

This is an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA, and we don’t think we’ve ever wanted a car more.

Built by Zeta Racing, this incredible recreation of Alfa Romeo’s brilliant ’60s sports saloon has jumped right to the top of the list for Best Creation of 2021, with a depth of engineering that is amongst the most advanced that this site has ever featured.

Inside the fantastically well-executed exterior, which captures the Giulia Sprint GTA in Technic form with almost unbelievable realism, is one of the finest Technic Supercar chassis yet built.

Alongside all-wheel suspension and a working 4-cylinder engine, Zeta’s model includes a Power Functions drivetrain that not only delivers remote control drive and steering, but also a motorised sequential gearbox and – amazingly – working brakes with callipers that genuinely squeeze the discs when activated via an on-board pneumatic compressor.

It’s a phenomenal piece of engineering, wrapped in one of the most brilliant Technic bodies we’ve ever seen, which also includes beautifully accurate period-correct decals, and a wonderfully detailed interior too.

There’s much more to see of Zeta’s jaw-dropping Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA at his photostream via the link above, were a wealth of stunning imagery is available to view. Click the link above to join us viewing perhaps the best Technic creation of the last few years.

Get Low*

Built (mostly) from the LEGO 10271 Fiat 500 set, Flickr’s Orion Pax has decided to use his primrose yellow pieces for something far more American.

This is a 1960s Chevrolet Impala convertible, complete with custom chrome bricks, and no less than four Power Functions motors. However they don’t do what you might expect…

Instead of the driving the wheels, Orion’s Impala deploys each motor for fully adjustable suspension, with each wheel able to do its own thing independent of the rest. Servos bounce the front wheels up and down, whilst the rears are adjustable thanks to a pair of motor-driven linear actuators.

It’s an ingeniously simple piece of engineering, and one we’d love to see fitted to a MOC of an old Citroen. Because we’re so un-street here at TLCB that we find old Citroens more interesting than pimped American barges.

Until then you can check out Orion’s brilliant Chevy lowrider album on Flickr by clicking here, which includes a video of the remotely controlled suspension in action.

*Today’s title song. Obviously.

The Other GTA

The Lego Car Blog Elves aren’t allowed to play Grand Theft Auto. Having a tendency to enact whatever it is they’ve most recently seen, playing a game based upon wanton destruction would only add to their already violent disposition, and we have enough tidying up to do already.

Fortunately today’s GTA has nothing to do with that long-running – and admittedly very good fun – video game, but rather this brilliant Speed Champions style Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA, as built by TLCB debutant PleaseYesPlease. Neat decals and a trademark yellow nose make Please’s GTA a properly good homage to the original ’60s sports car, and there’s more to see of their Giulia GTA on Flickr.

Click the link above to take a look, whilst we jack a car, blow up a security truck, and go on a rampage.

Dodgy Restomod

Despite the title this is not a badly-restored classic, ‘repaired’ in Billy-Bob’s garage in the hope of making a quick buck. No, restomods, when done well, are rather excellent, bringing modern tech (cooling systems, brakes, suspension etc.) to cars from a very different era of performance. Flickr’s Brick Flag has turned his very capable hand to restomoding his own ’60s Dodge A100 model, in the final of his five ‘forward-control’ classic vans. There’s more to see of Brick’s excellent creation on Flickr via the link above, and you can see all five brilliant classic vans side-by-side by clicking here.

Little Red Wagon | Picture Special

It’s 1965, and drag-racers Jim Schaeffer and John Collier have got their hands on a Dodge A100 ‘forward-control’ truck. The pair decided to install a 426 Hemi in the bed, and any non-essential items were removed. The resulting ‘Little Red Wagon’ was the world’s fastest 1/4 mile truck, setting an eleven second time at the first attempt. However, the modifications also tilted the weight bias rearward a bit…

The unintended consequences of this rear-biased weight distribution were a vehicle that proffered to drive only on its back wheels, and in fact the ‘Little Red Wagon’ could complete an entire 1/4 mile race without the front wheels ever touching the ground.

Such crowd-pleasing shenanigans caught the attention of Dodge, who not only used the ‘Little Red Wagon’ in commercials, they all arranged for its purchase by Super Stock Champion Bill Golden to use as the first ‘competition wheelstander’, a class it created single handedly.

Of course having your front wheels in the air limited steering somewhat, and the ‘Little Red Wagon’ crashed in 1969. And 1971. And 1975. That last wreck took the truck out of service, and Golden converted a new truck to continue his wheel standing antics, setting the Guinness World Record for the longest (at nearly 3/4 of a mile!) in 1977 and racing it until his retirement in 2003.

Today a recreation of the ‘Little Red Wagon’ tours alongside the wrecked original, whilst Golden’s own replacement wheel standing truck sold for over $500,000 in 2009.

Flickr’s Brick Flag, who is fast becoming one of our favourite builders here at TLCB, has converted his own Dodge A100 model into a ‘Little Red Wagon’ wheelstander, with his spectacular Model Team version amalgamating the different versions of the real truck that were built over the years.

Superb design, detailing, and decals are evident in abundance and there’s heaps more to see at Brick’s ’60s Dodge Little Red Wagon’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to head down the drag strip on just your back wheels, and here to see the real ‘Little Red Wagon’ in action courtesy of a glorious period video!

Not All Ferraris are Red….

This is a Ferrari 250 GTO, a car numbering less than 40 units and today worth roughly three squillion dollars. They are most famously red of course (as highlighted by the beautiful Model Team version we featured here earlier this week), however a handful of GTOs have strayed from the Ferrari corporate uniform over the years, one being Sir Stirling Moss‘s bespoke green car, and another being this; No. 112, painted – magnificently we think – in the colours of Sweden.

Now owned by a billionaire (what Ferrari 250 GTOs aren’t?), the unique 250 GTO was raced in Europe during the 1960s by Swedish racing driver Ulf Norinder, who competed very successfully in some the continent’s most prestigious events.

This incredible replica of that uniquely painted car comes from previous bloggee and Lego-building legend Jens M., who has recreated No.112 in astonishing detail. A lifelike engine resides under the opening hood, the trunk opens to reveal the fuel tank, and a realistic interior is accessible through the opening doors. Plus, most importantly of course, it’s blue with a big yellow stripe down the middle.

It’s one of the finest Lego cars we’ve featured this year, and there’s more to see of Jen’s stunning creation at his ‘Ferrari 250 GTO album‘ on Flickr. Click the link to make the jump to this one-of-a-kind classic racer, and you can see an equally brilliant brick-built 250 GTO in the more traditional red via the link in the text above if you missed it earlier in the week.

Orange Juice

Flickr’s Brick Flag has appeared here twice recently, with his excellent American 1960s ‘forward control’ vans, the Dodge A100 and Ford Econoline. We tend not to feature the same builder repeatedly in quick succession, but had we not today there would have been an Elven riot. Plus, – more importantly – we think this is bloody cool too.

The reason for the Elves’ excitement is obvious; Brick Flag‘s latest build is bright orange, features a racing stripe, wheelie-bar, ground-scraping stance, a huge rear wing, oh – and it has ‘some sort of turbo jet boat engine directly on its rear axle’, to quote the builder. This has also allowed for a bench seat to be fitted in place of the original two-seat set-up, which sounds safe.

Even Brick Flag admits this ‘makes no sense whatsoever’, but if you’re a TLCB Elf few things do, and that’s the way they like it. There’s more to see of Brick’s wildly modded ‘Pro Street’ ’60s Ford Econoline at his photostream – click the link above to fire up ‘some sort of turbo jet boat engine’ and become an orange blur.

$50 Million

Fifty million. That’s the current value of the Ferrari 250 GTO. Which makes it slightly out of reach of us here at The Lego Car Blog, despite the immense riches brought in by the new ads. However Flickr’s Lennart Cort has a 250 GTO that’s rather more attainable, and it’s every bit as breathtakingly beautiful as the real thing.

Constructed in 1/15 scale, Lennart has captured the real GTO in stunning detail, with every curve, air intake and vent replicated wonderfully in brick form.

With LEGO dipping into the back-catalogues of several of their partner manufacturers we think Lennart’s incredible model would make a superb officially-licensed LEGO set, allowing ownership of a Ferrari 250 GTO for about $49,999,950 less than the real thing.

Take a closer look via the link above and ask Lennart to post this on LEGO Ideas!

Pink Bits

If you’re new to this site and were expecting to see something else based on the title, sorry; here’s a Lego van instead. But it is built from pink bits.

Two shades of pink in fact, which recent previous bloggee Brick Flag has used in the creation of this rather excellent 1960s Dodge A100 van.

The Dodge A100’s story is a similar one to the Ford Econoline that appeared here earlier in the week, being designed to combat the influx of imported Volkswagen Type 2s. Like the Ford, the Dodge was available in pick-up and van body styles, featured a three speed gearbox (three!), and an inline 6-cylinder engine. A V8 was also available, although we have no idea why.

Brick Flag has taken the hot rod route with his superb A100 van, fitting his creation with lowrider suspension and a custom pink paint job, and there are further images available to view on Flickr. Click this link to see more pink bits.

Econoline

From one simple, basic workhorse to another now, and possibly the most blandly-named vehicle in American history, the Ford Econoline.

Worried by Volkswagen’s assault on the budget van and pick-up market with the Type 2 Transporter, America’s domestic auto-makers began to build their own ‘forward-control’ pick-ups in the 1960s.

Ford based their design on the Falcon sedan which helped to keep costs low, as did leaf-spring suspension both front and rear, and a manual gearbox with just three speeds.

The Econoline did feature a racing stripe down the side though, and today we think it looks rather good, particularly as the Econoline had become a standard and far less interesting two-box van by the 1970s.

This superb Model Team recreation of the 1960s original comes from Brick Flag of Flickr, who has captured the 1961 Econoline pick-up wonderfully, including an excellent brick-built version of the ‘FORD’ stamped tailgate.

There’s more to see of Brick Flag’s model at his photostream – click the link above jump back to ’61.

Tim’s Van

This is Tim, and this is his 1965 Chevrolet Sportvan, complete with vintage slot-mag wheels, flat-black paint, a modded 230ci inline-6, shag carpet interior, and more than a little rust*.

Previous bloggee Tim Henderson really does drive this ’65 Chevy van in real life, having owned it since 2003. He now has a Lego version too, and there’s more to see of this lovely little build on Flickr. Click the link above to read more.

*The office Rover 200 shares precisely one of Tim’s Van’s features. Can you guess which one?

Phantom Rising

This glorious McDonnell Douglas F-4N Phantom II was found by one of our Elves on Flickr today, and it proves – at least in USS Coral Sea livery – that more was more for the U.S Navy when it came to applying stickers.

Of course ask any 7 year old (or TLCB Elf) if stickers make something faster and you’ll get an answer along the lines of ‘Duh… Yeah.’ or whatever it is 7 years olds say these days.

The Phantom II confirms this entirely scientific fact as it was phenomenally fast, setting multiple world records during the ’60s and ’70s. Of course this speed was in no doubt helped by the addition of a shark’s mouth, US Navy motifs, red racing stripes, and rising sun/rainbow/gay pride arrangement on the tail.

Flickr’s Jonah Padberg (aka Plane Bricks) has captured all of that stickerage brilliantly, applying them to his beautifully constructed F-4N Phantom II model that comes complete with opening cockpits, under-wing armaments, and folding landing gear.

There’s much more of Jonah’s impressive Phantom II to see at his photostream; click the link above to take a closer look, whilst we see if applying some stickers to the office Rover 200 can work the same magic…