Tag Archives: 1970s

Ocean Custodian

Lego RV Calypso Research Boat

Built by TLCB debutant Luis Pena, this is a 1:100 scale replica of the research vessel ‘Calypso’, complete with a helicopter and ‘diving saucer’ submersible vehicle.

The Calypso was originally a US-built wooden-hulled British minesweeper that served in the Mediterranean during the Second World War. Following the Allied victory the ship returned to US hands before being recommissioned as a Maltese ferry.

Within a year however, British millionaire Thomas Loel Guinness purchased the ship and gave it to the diving pioneer, film-maker, conservationist and adventurer Jacques-Yves Cousteau for use as a marine research vessel, a role the Calypso fulfilled for five decades. During an incredible half-century of oceanic exploration Cousteau and the Calypso made numerous discoveries, including the wreck of the HMHS Brittanic sunk during the First World War, the ability of marine mammals to use echolocation, and halted the dumping of radioactive waste in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1996, almost fifty years after it entered service with Cousteau, the RV Calypso was accidentally rammed by a barge in Singapore and it sunk in the harbour. A week later the ship was raised and transferred to a shipyard, however Jacques-Yves Cousteau died the following year of a heart attack aged 87, and the Calypso was left to rot as various parties fought over the boat’s ownership, its restoration, and unpaid bills.

Today the ship, which has featured in film, documentaries, song, and even has a namesake in Star Trek, is still quietly dissolving in a shipyard in France, a victim of mankind’s inability to put progress over profit. However Cousteau’s legacy remains almost unfathomably huge, and continues to today via the environmental protection foundation that he created which now numbers over 300,000 members.

This beautiful homage to a ship which as done probably more than any other can be found in greater detail at Luis’ photostream on Flickr, and includes both above and below the waterline versions (each pictured here). There’s more to see via the link above, and you can read more about the Cousteau Society that continues Jacques-Yves’ work today by clicking here.

Lego RV Calypso Research Boat

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Dinotopia*

Lego Technic Ferrari Dino

This gorgeous Technic Ferrari Dino 246 was found by one of our Elves on Flickr today. Built by James Tillson it perfectly captures one of the last curvy Ferraris before the wedges of the ’70s took over sports car design.

With only a 2.4 litre V6 engine (enlarged from just 2 litres in the early cars) the Dino – named after Enzo Ferrari’s son who died tragically young – was one of the few Ferrari models that wasn’t a supercar, and whilst Ferrari’s other non-supercar efforts are often looked down upon the original Dino is still held in high esteem.

James’ recreation of the 246 is a worthy homage to the original car, and there’s lots more to see of his splendid Lego recreation at his photostream by clicking the link above.

Lego Technic Ferrari Dino

*Twenty TLCB points if you know the reference!

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Water Bomb

Lego Canadair CL-215

Ah Canada. The United States’ slightly boring neighbour. Home of singing-horse Celine Dion, the catchy pop of Carly Ray Jepsen, and perennial annoyance that is Justin Bieber. Fortunately they also know how to make some cool stuff up there, thanks almost entirely to transportation giant Bombardier.

Founded in the 1930s Bombardier began by making snowmobiles, and have since expanded to build ski-doos, trains, ATVs and aircraft. It’s the latter we have here, in the form of a Canadair CL-215 water-bombing amphibious plane. Designed in the late 1960s to operate at low speeds and in tricky winds, the CL-215 was sold to eleven countries for fire-fighting and search and rescue operations, with 125 units produced until the design was replaced in 1990.

This lovely replica of the Canadair CL-215 comes from previous bloggee Dornbi of Flickr and he’s captured the unusual shoulder-mounted engine configuration of the aircraft brilliantly. There’s more of the build to see at Dornbi’s photostream – click the link above to drop the world’s biggest water bomb.

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4x4x2

Lego Ford F-250 1975

It’s a dirty double today at The Lego Car Blog! First up (above) is TLCB regular _Tiler‘s wonderful 7-wide lifted 1975 Ford F-250, complete with beautifully chromed bumper and grille pieces and some marvellous Technic balloon tyres.

The second model in today’s double-helping of rough-riding fun comes from previous bloggee de-marco, with this supremely neat 5-wide classic Ford Bronco-esque off-roader, which has been cunningly constructed from bricks placed almost entirely sideways.

There’s more to see of each creation on Flickr – check them out via the links above whilst we congratulate ourselves on making it the whole way through this innuendo-strewn post without referencing your Mom.

Lego Off-Roader Bronco

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Sittin’ Pretty

Lego Datsun 240Z

This TLCB writer is going to poke his head above the metaphorical parapet that is the internet’s comments and state that the prettiest sports car of the 1970s is not a Jaguar, Porsche, or Alfa Romeo… but a Datsun. In particular, this Datsun – the wonderful 1970 240Z.

This lightly JDM-modified 240Z comes from Jonathan Elliott and it captures the Japanese sports car’s curves beautifully. There’s more to see on both Flickr and MOCpages via the links, and you can find today’s title track – by none other than The Datsuns – by clicking here.

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Agent Orange

Lego 1970 Toyota Celica TA22

Here’s a car that we’d like to own for real. Toyota’s first generation Celica produced between 1970 and 1977 has become a seriously cool ride, even more so when painted bright orange and lightly modified. This awesome remote controlled Lego version of the 1970 TA22-type Celica comes from LegoMarat of Flickr, and he’s lightly modified his creation too.

Lego 1970 Toyota Celica TA22

With a third-party BuWizz brick installed LegoMarat’s Celica produces up to eight times the power of a model powered by a standard LEGO battery, making his model a seriously quick bit of kit.

There are more images to view on Flickr via the link above, and you can see the real-life Celica TA22 that inspired LegoMarat’s build by clicking here.

Lego Toyota Celica Remote Control

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McLaren M23 – Picture Special

Lego McLaren M23

This is the McLaren M23, a car that raced in Formula 1, Formula 5000, and the Indy 500 over five seasons between 1973 and 1978.

Powered by the ubiquitous Cosworth DFV engine and with relatively unremarkable bodywork the M23 was not the most innovative car of the time. However McLaren’s continual development of the M23 kept it amongst the front-runners of Formula 1 right up until the arrival of the M26 mid way through the 1977 season, earning two Driver’s and a Constructor’s World Championships, sixteen Formula 1 race wins, and multiple podiums.

Lego McLaren M23 Formula 1 Car

It was towards the end of the M23’s career that it won probably the most famous Formula 1 Championship of all time, when James Hunt emerged victorious from a season-long battle with Ferrari’s Nikki Lauda at a rain-soaked Fuji Speedway. The 1976 season has been immortalised in the 2013 Ron Howard epic ‘Rush’ (which if you haven’t seen it – watch the trailer here), and now Hunt’s ’76 McLaren M23D has been immortalised in Lego too.

Constructed by Formula 1 building legend Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) this Model Team McLaren M23D is a near perfect recreation of the 1976 Championship-winning car. With period-correct decals, a working V8 engine, and steering and suspension, Luca’s M23D is a stunning Lego replica of one of F1’s greats.

Lego McLaren M23 James Hunt

There’s lots more to see at Luca’s Flickr photostream, where you can also find his extensive back-cataelgue of superb historic racing cars, plus you can read our interview with Luca as part of the Master MOCers series by clicking here.

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Crushing Cars

Lego Bigfoot Monster Truck

Never has a vehicle found by one of Elves been more… Elven. Well, maybe if paave‘s Technic Bigfoot monster truck was remote controlled, but weary of past smushings we’re rather thankful that it isn’t.

Based on a 1974 Ford F-250 pick-up truck, the original ‘Bigfoot’ was, like all the best inventions, built by a man in his shed.  After a motorsports promotor saw a video of the truck crushing some old cars in a field he asked Bigfoot’s creator, Bob Chandler, if he wouldn’t mind repeating the stunt in front of a paying audience. Bob tentatively agreed and the rest is history, with Ford even sponsoring the truck from the early ’80s.

Paave’s Technic recreation of Bob’s F-250 probably won’t be crushing any cars, but it is just as technically capable, with accurate four-wheel steering, four-wheel drive, and four-link axles with enormous suspension travel. Head over to MOCpages with a warm beer and a footlong hot-dog to see more of paave’s creation.

 

Lego Bigfoot Monster Truck

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Power to the Pixel

Lego Ferrari 512s Longtail 1970

One of the most common comments we receive here at The Lego Car Blog, along with ‘Can I have instructions?’ and ‘Send nudes’, is ‘why don’t you feature more digital creations?’.

Well in answer, we’re a blog about Lego models, and a digital creation is not a Lego model. It’s a picture of one. However, every so often a digital creation comes along that is worth flexing our rules for… this is one such time.

This wonderful Speed Champions style 1970 Ferrari 512S Longtail was discovered on Flickr and it comes from TLCB newcomer Alan Guerzoni. Alan has faithfully replicated Ferrari’s glorious Le Mans racer beautifully in digital bricks, and he’s gone a step further by designing and adding period-correct decals to the render – something he’d have been unable to do if the model was build from real pieces.

We’d still rather Alan’s Ferrari 512S was constructed using actual LEGO though, and fortunately it can be – awesome decals included – thanks to the LEGO Ideas platform, where the Ferrari is currently available to support in Alan’s quest to see it become an official LEGO set.

With LEGO already partnered with Ferrari and the 512S Longtail slotting neatly in the Speed Champions line-up we think it stands a very good chance of making the cut. There are more images to see at Alan’s Flickr photostream via the link above, and you like what you see you can cast your vote on LEGO Ideas by clicking here.

Lego Ferrari 512s Longtail 1970

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Ferrari Fursday

Lego Ferrari Testarossa

We suppose we could have just waited a day to post this so the title made more sense, but say it with an Essex accent and it’s fine. If you’re an international reader sorry, that reference is probably meaningless…

Anyway, the models! These two superb Speed Champions style Ferraris are the work of Jonathan Elliott of Flickr, and he’s done a thoroughly good job of recreating the mid-’80s Testarossa and mid-’70s 512 BB in 7-wide(ish) form.

If you fancy a closer look click here for more of the Testarossa and here for more of the 512 BB, and if you’re an international reader and you don’t know what an Essex accent sounds like click here and brace yourself count yourself lucky.

Lego Ferrari Testarossa

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Groundhog

Lego Lotus 79

As detailed in yesterday’s post, Ferrari are back on top after a few years in middle of the F1 pack, but there was a time when they barely won anything. And not because they had a bad car either.

Ferrari (and everyone else’s) woe was due to the utter dominance of one car, the pioneering Lotus 79, the first car to make full use of ground effect aerodynamics.

The first Formula 1 car designed using computer design aids, Lotus took downforce to an entirely new level, with the 79 producing 30% more of it than even their own car from the previous year. The suction generated by the 79 at speed was so strong that early cars suffered chassis fatigue and had to be strengthened to allow them to cope with race distances.

Lego Lotus 79 RoscoPC

The strengthening worked, and the cars went even faster in testing. Upon the 79’s debut at the 1978 Belgium Grand Prix Mario Andretti took pole by over a second, and won the race ahead of the next Lotus in second place by ten seconds, with Ferrari in third almost half a minute behind. In fact, so fast were the new Lotuses that Ferrari could only win if the 79s retired.

Lotus finished the season with 50% more points than the next nearest team, securing the 79’s position amongst Formula 1’s most dominant ever designs.

This spectacular homage to one of Formula 1’s greats is the work of previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC. Built eleven years ago, Luca has recently uploaded his model to Flickr, and despite its age Luca’s 79 is still one of the finest Lego F1 replicas you’ll see. Accurate decals, a working V8 engine, steering and suspension are all included, and there’s lots more to see at Luca’s Lotus 79 Flickr album by clicking here.

Lego Lotus 79

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Both Sides of the Curtain

Lego Land Rover UAZ 4x4

Things were frosty between The Soviet Union and the United Kingdom back in the 1970s. Scary infomercials played on television explaining what to do in the event of a nuclear attack (die screaming we suspect), whilst every Bond Villain was an evil Russian.

However, political and economic differences aside, were West and Eastern Europe really so different? Take their approach to off-road workhorses for example. One is a simple, painfully slow, easily repairable vehicle of suspect build quality, designed for the state military but used the world over, and the other is, well… exactly the same.

We reckon that had the designers of the Land Rover Series 1 and UAZ 469 met they probably would have got along great. Perhaps there’s a lesson there… Anyhoo, these too charming mini-figure scale recreations of the Land Rover and UAZ come from Flickr’s Pixel Fox, and you can see more of each, as well as his other previously blogged off-roaders, via the link above.

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Carrera Classic

Lego Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS

You don’t need a million bricks to appear here at The Lego Car Blog. A few hundred will do, especially if they’re yellow, and especially if they’re arranged as exquisitely as this. This gorgeous Legoland style ’70s Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS comes from Flickr’s Peter Blackert (aka Lego911), and it captures the super-rare version of Porsches most famous model beautifully. There’s lots more of the Carrera 2.7 RS to see at Peter’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

 

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KRAZY

Lego KrAZ 255 Truck Remote Control

This is a Ukrainian KrAz 255 6×6 off-road truck, launched in the late 1960s by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The KrAZ factory actually started out making bridges, then combine harvesters, before moving on to military trucks. Communism meant you built what you were told to…

KrAZ were good at trucks though, and in 1971 they were awarded the Order of Lenin (the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union) for their successes, and their products were exported to several countries around the world.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union KrAZ are no longer under the control of the state, and – a little weirdly – are supplying vehicles to the Ukrainian army to defend Ukraine from invasion by their old masters Russia.

This superb Model Team style recreation of the Soviet-era KrAZ 255 is the work of xxtruck of Brickshelf, making his TLCB debut. Underneath the realistic exterior is a remotely controlled 6×6 drivetrain, working suspension on all wheels, a detailed engine and interior, and functioning head and tail lights.

There’s lots more of the KrAZ 255 to see via xxtruck’s Brickshelf Gallery – take a look via the link above.

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Forced Induction

Lego Renault RS10 Formula 1 Car RoscoPC

This is a 1979 Renault RS10, and it was the first turbocharged car to ever win a Formula 1 race. It’s been faithfully recreated in Lego form by Master MOCer Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC, whose recently re-uploaded creations have featured heavily here over the past few months. This is Luca’s first entirely new build, allowing him to take advantage of LEGO’s latest parts to brilliant effect.

Powered by a tiny 1.5 litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine the Renault RS10 produced over 500bhp… when it worked. Which to be honest it didn’t all that much, but when it did the RS10 was phenomenally fast. Renault’s single 1979 win with the new turbo engine forced every other front-running F1 team to hastily begin turbo engine development, and if it weren’t for F1’s constantly changing (and pointless) restrictions banning turbocharged engines by the late-’80s (when they were producing as much as 1,400bhp), we doubt any naturally-aspirated engine would have won an F1 championship again. Of course those same pointless restrictions now mandate the use of 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engines, so the sport has come full circle…

Lego Renault RS10 Formula 1 Car RoscoPC

Renault never won a Formula 1 Championship with the technology they pioneered though (although they did earn some excellent results), but the RS10 can be credited with completely changing the landscape of F1, ushering in the wonderful insanity of the ’80s turbo-era until forced induction was outlawed in 1989.

There’s more to see of this stunning recreation of one of Formula 1’s most game-changing cars at RoscoPC’s Renault RS10 Flickr album – click the link to make some boost.

Lego Renault RS10

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