Tag Archives: 1960s

Eastern Exception

Lego Technic Tatra 603

Cars from behind the Iron Curtain were almost universally crap. Cars like this, this, this, and this for instance.

But there was one exception. A glorious, wonderful, magnificent oasis hidden in the vast automotive wastelands of Communist Europe. Tatra.

Now famed for their indestructible off-road trucks, Tatra used to produce cars too, and what cars they were. This is their incredible 603, powered by a 100bhp air-cooled V8 mounted in the rear, and with an amazing aerodynamic body that was extensively wind-tunnel tested way back in the 1950s.

This stunning Lego replica of the 603 is the work of Horcik Designs of Flickr, and it faithfully recreates the T2 version of Tatra’s masterpiece. Working steering, suspension, V8 engine, opening doors, hood and engine cover, and a six-seat interior are all included, but Horcik’s real party-price is surely that spectacular bodywork.

There’s a whole lot more of the Tatra 603 to see on Flickr – click here to see the full photo album at Horcik’s photostream.

Lego Technic Tatra 603

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Eleanor

Lego Ford Mustang GT500 Eleanor

Ah Nicolas Cage, the man who literally can’t turn down any film role, no matter how terrible it may be. Ghost Rider, Left Behind, Drive Angry, The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider 2…

But there was a time when Nic made decent movies. This movie car is not from that time, but we suppose it sits somewhere in the middle. Cage’s remake of the car theft action film ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ was enjoyable enough, and it gave a starring role to a modified 1967 Mustang GT500 named Eleanor, which can only be a good thing.

This is Ralph Savelsberg‘s remake of his own original version of Eleanor from a few years ago, and there’s more to see of his brilliant GT500 build (plus a brick-built Nic Cage) at his photostream via the link above.

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Brick Built Brabham

Lego Brabham BT24

This is a Brabham BT24, and it won the 1967 Formula 1 Constructor’s Championship. However, it was not the fastest car of the season – that honour went to Lotus – but it was much more reliable, and thus its consistency meant that it took the overall championship ahead of the faster Lotus design.

This neat mini-figure scale recreation of the championship-winning Brabham is the work of Pixel Junkie of Flickr, and it contains some wonderfully inventive parts usage. See more at Pixel’s photostream via the link above.

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Complex Simplicity

Lego Porsche 911

The Porsche 911 was not a complicated car when it launched in the 1960s, and some would argue it still isn’t today. It is however, fiendishly difficult to built accurately from LEGO, as every single panel seems to have three different curves on it. Flickr’s Michael Jasper has nailed it though, with some ingenious building techniques that have bricks facing in all six possible directions. See how Michael has done it, thanks to a handy cut-away image, at his photostream here.

Lego Porsche 911

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Travelling Light

Lego Mini Clubman

Before the Mini Traveller, now called the ‘Clubman’, became a larger rebadged BMW 1 Series, it looked like this. This is the van variant, of which over half a million were produced until the early 1980s, but with a payload of just 1/4 of a ton it wasn’t going to trouble Ford’s Transit.

However, the Traveller van was perfect for light-duty work nipping down city streets, which is what Flickr’s Peter Schmid has deployed his to do, delivering pizza for Al Capone’s pizzeria. Based on the official LEGO 10242 Mini Cooper Creator set, Peter has faithfully replicated the van version of the iconic original Mini, complete with the famous twin barn doors at the back.

Place your pizza order at Peter’s photostream via the link above.

Lego Mini Traveller Van

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Galaxie 500

Lego 1966 Ford Galaxie 500

This gorgeous 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 comes from Jonathan Derksen of Flickr and MOCpages, and whilst this blog has been known to slate enormous American barges, there will be no such commentary today. That’s because the Galaxie, fitted here with the 428 V8 from the Thunderbird, was rather wonderful. It even found fame on the racetracks of Britain (despite never being sold in the UK), where it went up against the Jaguars, European Fords, and Minis that raced side-by-side in the British Touring Car Championship.

Lego 1966 Ford Galaxie 500

Jonathan’s beautiful Model Team replica of the classic ’60s Ford is packed with detail, including opening doors, hood and truck, a superbly recreated 428 V8 engine, and a stunning interior. There’s loads more to see at Jonathan’s Flickr album and MOCpages account – click the links in the text above to make a visit.

Lego 1966 Ford Galaxie 500

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Not Another Mini

Lego Mini Moke

Well, this is a Mini, but not a normal one. Designed to sell to the world’s militaries, the Mini Moke was an ultra lightweight off-road vehicle built for ease of travel and maintenance. And it did those things pretty well, being based on the standard Mini passenger car and being light enough to be picked up by its bumpers.

However, at the one thing the Moke really needed to do well, the off-roading stuff, it was a bit hopeless. Low ground clearance (and low power) meant the little car got stuck a lot, and even the addition of a second engine in the rear to give the Moke four-wheel-drive failed to convince any major militaries to back it.

Looking for a way to recoup their investment, the British Motor Corporation re-marketed the Moke as a fun car for civilian use, and in a few places – notably Australia, the Caribbean and parts of the Mediterranean – turned their initial failure into a quite a success, and the Moke has now become something of a cult car in these markets.

This lovely Lego version of the unusual Mini, built to match the scale of the official LEGO 10242 Mini Cooper set, has been built by Ritto Aydillo Zuazo of Flickr, and it’s a faithful recreation of the odd original. Ritto is hoping that his Moke replica can become an official LEGO set via the LEGO Ideas platform – to see all the images and to give it your vote check it out on Flickr via the link above.

Lego Mini Moke

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DeVille-ishly Good

Lego Cadillac DeVille Coupe 1965

Previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott is back, this time with something very big and very grey. This whale-like vehicle is a 1965 Cadillac DeVille Coupe, and it’s very probably the least coupe-ish coupe ever made. Well, apart from this obviously. It’s a nice build though, and you can see more images of Jonathan’s DeVille via the link above.

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Bullitt in Brick

Lego Bullitt Ford Mustang

TLCB Master MOCer and car-building legend Ralph Savelsberg has returned with another glorious movie car. Actually this dark green ’68 Ford Mustang GT Fastback isn’t just another movie car. It’s very probably the greatest movie car in cinematic history, and stars in one of the most influential car chases of all time.

You can see more of Ralph’s superb recreation of Bullitt’s iconic Mustang at the link above, and if you haven’t seen the chase scene in which it stars, we highly recommend taking 10 minutes to enjoy it here. Just don’t count the lost hubcaps…

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French Fancy

Lego Citroen DS 19

DS; Citroen’s attempt to emulate the Volkswagen Group by building a car that’s identical to their ‘volume’ products, save for the badge and headlights, and charging 50% more for it. Yes Audi, we’re looking at you.

Still, Volkswagen have made it work, thanks to mankind’s preference for marketing over facts, and PSA – owners of Citroen and Peugeot – would love a slice of the premium profit margin pie for themselves.

The DS range is PSA’s answer, and it’s safe to say that so far it hasn’t been a success. It’s almost as though people don’t want to spend half-as-much again for a thoroughly average car with fancy headlights and a clever marketing campaign…

Lego Citroen DS

From 1955 to’75 though, ‘DS’ meant something a whole lot more. Very probably the most advanced car ever made, Citroen’s DS 19, 21 and 23 models sold almost 1.5 million units between them.

The original DS featured innovative front-wheel-drive (a rarity even by the ’70s), hydro-pneumatic self-levelling independent suspension, headlights that swivelled into corners, power steering, a semi-automatic clutchless transmission, and it was the first production car ever fitted with disc brakes. Quite a car then, and a world away from a Citroen C4 with ‘DS’ written on the back and and larger price stuck in the windshield.

This glorious machine is a 1967 DS 19, and it’s been beautifully recreated in Lego form by Jonathan Elliott of Flickr and MOCpages. His wonderful Model Team style replica features working steering, squishy suspension, opening doors and hood, and a lovely authentically detailed interior.

There’s a lot more to see of the DS 19 at Jonathan’s photostream and MOCpage – click the links above to make the jump.

Lego Citroen DS ID19

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You Don’t Know Man… You Weren’t There

Lego Bell AH-1G Cobra Helicopter

We weren’t there, or even born, but we do know that the outside contributors to the Vietnam War (China, the Soviet Union, Australia, South Korea, Thailand and, of course, the United States) were embroiling themselves completely pointlessly.

The Vietnam War raged for twenty years from 1955 to 1975, with heavy U.S involvement from the early ’60s until ’73, yet the conflict should have simply been an internal civil war between North and South Vietnam. However, when one side was Communist and the other Capitalist, the world’s superpowers decided that they could use the unrest to further their own ideology, split as they were along the same lines. Yay imperialism.

This dramatic escalation meant that up to 4 million people died in the conflict, the majority of whom were Vietnamese civilians, and the U.S pulled out having needlessly lost nearly 60,000 personnel. Still, lessons were learned and the superpowers never again involved themselves in foreign wars to further their own agenda. Wait, that’s not right…

Oh yeah, the model! This superb mini-figure scale Bell AH-1G Cobra helicopter in U.S Military Vietnam specification is the work of previous bloggee Daniel Siskind and you can check it out via his excellent photostream by clicking here.

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Big Country

Lego Ford Country Wagon

Flickr’s Luke C appeared here earlier in the week with a lovely small-scale 1960s Ford Country station wagon, and now he’s built a Model Team version! You could call it A Big Country

Right, enough tenuous linking to obscure ’80s Scottish rock bands, on to the model. Measuring over twice as wide as his small-scale version, Luke’s Big Country (Dammit! Ed.) is packed with detail, and includes opening doors, hood and tailgate plus working steering.

It’s also one of the coolest-looking cars that we’ve seen in ages, and it’s made even better with a roof-rack mounted surfboard. There’s lots more to see at Luke’s photostream – click Luke’s name above to visit a Big Country (we’ll stop now before our editor fires us).

Lego Ford Country Wagon

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Ho Ho Ho…

Lego HH-3E Jolly Green Giant

…Green Giant. We’re not convinced that the marketing department at Green Giant canned vegetables were being completely original when they came up with their tagline, but in fairness if Father Christmas hadn’t trademarked it first it was a bit short sighted of him. Anyway, it does allow us a tenuous link to Christmas with this blog post title, so we’re cool with it.

This superb military helicopter, complete with some of the best brick-built camouflage that we’ve ever seen, is a Sikorsky HH-3E ‘Jolly Green Giant’. Launched in the early 1960s the big Sikorsky has been in continuous use ever since, with both it and the UK variant (the Westland Sea King) forming the backbone of American and British search and rescue fleets.

The brilliant Lego recreation of the Jolly Green Giant featured here comes from Flicker’s [Maks] and it’s without doubt one of the finest Lego helicopters that we’ve come across since this site was founded. There’s lots more to see at [Maks]’ photostream – click the link above to take off.

Lego Sikorsky S-61R

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Black Beauty

Lego Green Hornet Black Beauty

Nope, not that curious entry in your Dad’s internet browsing history but this, the heavily modified 1965 Chrysler Imperial Crown sedan as used in The Green Hornet TV show from 1967.

The Green Hornet may be yet another comic-based superhero that we don’t give a toss about, but the car is something rather special. Featuring rockets, silent-running mode, and a flying drone thingumy (long before the word ‘drone’ became the media’s favourite word), Black Beauty was nearly as tricked-out as the other famous crime-fighting car of the time, the Batmobile.

This neat Lego replica of the comic book star comes from TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist) and there’s more to see of Black Beauty, The Green Hornet, and Kato at his photostream via the link above.

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Got Wood?

Lego 1967 Ford Country Squire

Ford did back in the ’60s, and they had some truly ridiculous ‘English’ car names too. This particular one is a Ford Country Squire, and this 8-wide Lego creation – complete with wooden side-mouldings – is rather brilliant. It’s been built by Luke C of Flickr and there more to see here.

Lego Ford Country Squire

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