Tag Archives: 1970s

Towering Inferno

This is the NASA ‘Launch Umbilical Tower’, designed to send the world’s most powerful machine – the Saturn V rocket – into space, and carried by the world’s heaviest land vehicle.

LEGO’s enormous 92176 NASA Saturn V set has allowed space fans to conduct their own bedroom-based lunar missions, but the ‘blast-off’ bit (in this writer’s opinion, the coolest bit) requires a few additional accessories not supplied by LEGO…

Fortunately Janotechnic of Eurobricks – here making his TLCB debut – has the answer, not only building this incredible 1:110 scale Technic Nasa Crawler and Launch Umbilical Tower, but doing so from three official LEGO Technic sets; the 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator, the 42082 Rough Terrain Crane, and the 42098 Car Transporter.

That expansive parts supply has enabled Jano to equip his B-B-B-Model with a huge array of motorised functions, including drive and steering, crane rotation, retractable support swing-arms, and even a working lift within the tower!

It’s an incredible creation and one that (in simplified form below) you can build for yourself, as building instructions are available. There’s more of Jano’s amazing NASA Crawler and Tower to see – including a video of the model’s motorised and mechanical functions – at the Eurobricks forum. Click the link above and prepare to blast-off!

A Whale of a Time

We’re not sure why whales are renowned for having such a good time, but we guess their partying reputation fits with the matra ‘Go Big or Go Home’.

Whatever the reason, Porsche decided that their 911 could do with being a bit more whaley in the 1970s, and fitted it with a huge ‘whale tail’ spoiler. And a turbo.

Said turbo added to the whaley fun, providing absolutely no power at all for a long time, and then suddenly all the power at once. This meant ’70s 911 Turbo drivers did indeed have a whale of a time right up until the point when they were upside-down in a field. That’s ‘Go Big or Go Home’ again we suppose…

This brilliant Porsche 911 Turbo comes from barneius, who has recreated the whale-tailed classic superbly in 8-wide Speed Champions scale. There are more beautifully sharp images available to view on Flickr, where you can also find a link to building instructions so that you can recreate chronic turbo lag and snap oversteer in miniature at home!

Click the link above to have a whale of a time!

Fast Running Camel

Cheap ubiquitous ‘Peoples’ Cars’ have a habit of becoming off-roaders. There are Baja Beetles, beach buggy Beetles, the Mini Moke, and – if those are too fast for you – the Citroen Mehari.

Based on the already off-road capable 2CV and ironically named after a fast-running camel, the Mehari kept the 2CV’s 602cc two-cylinder engine and added plastic body panels and a removable roof, creating a kind of off-road roadster. Just a very slow one.

This superb Speed Champions scale recreation of the plastic snail comes from TLCB regular Jonathan Elliott, which is both built and presented beautifully, and there’s more to see at the link.

Dodgy Drag

This Elves are very excited today. Not only does this excellent 1970 Dodge Challenger feature a hood scoop (Elf points), many drag racing modifications (more Elf points), and a brick built nitrous kit (even more Elf points), it’s fully remote controlled too, with LEGO’s monstrous Buggy Motor driving the rear wheels.

A Servo powers the steering, not that you’ll really need that at the drag strip (in this case TLCB office corridor), there’s working suspension (independent front and live-axle rear), plus opening doors, hood, and trunk.

It’s a mega bit of kit and one we fully intend to drive up and down the corridor to much Elven whooping until the battery is flat. Whilst we get on with that arduous testing you can check out more of Michael217’s awesome creation at both Eurobricks and Bricksafe – click the links to take a look!

Mystery Machine

OK, we might be as bad with farm equipment as we are with Star Wars, but we’re pretty sure we’ve got this red and yellow contraption by Flickr’s Damian Z right.

Damian’s wonderfully intricate Mechanised Spaghetti Twirler is being pulled by a Mercedes-Benz Trac 1600, a Unimog-based tractor manufactured in the ’70s and ’80s before the design was sold on to Werner-Forst-und-Industrietechnik, who still produce it today.

Clever detailing abounds on both the MB Trac and the Maximum Penetration Autopump behind, and there’s loads more to see of both the tractor and the Industrial Decombobulator in tow at Damian’s ‘MB Trac 1600’ album by clicking here.

Seriously though, we know it’s a Uniformly Regulated Simultaneous Ice Cream Dispenser. Obviously.

Shock of the Lightning

This is an English Electric Lightning, and it is the coolest fighter aircraft ever made.

Firstly, because it’s called the English Electric Lightning and secondly, because it was powered by two Rolls-Royce Avon axial-flow jet engines stacked vertically, one atop the other.

Such immense power a gave the Lightning a top speed in excess of Mach 2, making it the only fighter of the time able to catch Concorde, and it is to this day still the only U.K designed and built interceptor to achieve twice the speed of sound.

It was also capable of an exceptional rate of climb, reaching 33,000ft from take-off in under three minutes, with an operational ceiling well in excess of double that – an important ability given its brief to intercept Russian nuclear bombers during the Cold War.

This brilliant Lego recreation of the English Electric Lighting comes from previous bloggee Dread Pirate Wesley, who has constructed a 1:55 F.3 series aircraft as operated by RAF Squadron 56.

This particular Lightning is a preserved surviving example available to see on display, but if you can’t get to RAF Bruntingthorpe you can check out the next best thing via Wesley’s photostream. Click the link above to get to Mach 2 very quickly indeed.

*Today’s title song.

Forbidden Flatness

Porsche are perhaps the best known manufacturer to use flat engines, despite the fact that these days most of their cars are powered by Volkswagen Group Vs or Inlines. However Ferrari too once powered their cars by boxer engines, the first of which was this; the Berlinetta Boxer.

Ferrari’s first mid-engined twelve-cylinder road car, just over two-thousand Berlinetta Boxers were produced between 1973 and ’84 before the Testarossa picked up the flat-twelve mantle, although none were officially imported into the Unites States as Enzo Ferrari thought the flat-twelve was too much for U.S. 55mph speed limits and increasing emissions regulations.

This excellent Technic recreation of the ‘BB’ comes from previous bloggee and TLCB Competition Winner  James Tillson, whose model includes working suspension, steering, pop-up headlights, plus opening doors and rear clamshell, under which is – of course – a functioning 12-cylinder piston engine.

There’s much more of James’ superb Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer to see at his photostream, including a photo of the flat-twelve engine. Click the link above to take a closer look. Even if you’re in the U.S.

Two Horse Race

There was something of a kerfuffle in TLCB Towers today. In a not uncommon event, two TLCB Elves had returned with a model each – in this case a pair of Speed Champions classic Ferraris – and immediately fought over whose was best. For newcomers to this corner of the internet, ‘fought’ in the case of the Elves usually means extreme physical violence.

Fortunately for the Elven duo both of their finds were blogworthy and thus each received a meal token, so the violence – as is so often the way – wasn’t really necessary. Jonathan Elliott‘s wonderful Ferrari GTB/4 (above) and barneius‘ magnificent Ferrari 288 GTO (below) can be found on Flickr. Click the links above to pick your favourite. Just don’t tell the Elves which one it is.

Can-Am Classic

This unusually-hued creation is a 1970s Can-Am racer, from a time when huge V8s and top motorsport teams combined to create some of the coolest racing cars on earth.

Can-Am ran from the mid-’60s to the mid-’80s, with McLaren, Porsche, Lola and others fielding some wild creations, many of which pioneered turbo-charging, downforce, and even – in the case of the Chaparral 2J – using a snowmobile engine to suck the car to ground, years before Brabham did the same in Formula 1.

This generic mid-’70s Can-Am racer comes from Flickr’s michaelablinger, who has captured the aesthetic of the time brilliantly, further enhancing his model with period-correct decals from Michelin, NGK, Magneti Marelli and others.

A detailed cockpit, realistic chassis including a V8 engine and brick-built ‘suspension’, opening doors and removable rear bodywork all feature, and there are lots more images to see at Michael’s photostream.

Head to the racetrack c1974 via the link above.

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.

Smokey and the Bandit | Picture Special

This is a Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am, a car made famous by the ’77 movie ‘Smokey and the Bandit’, and possibly the only car in history to look kinda-cool with pin-striping. Plus a giant flaming bird motif of course.

This exceptional 1:8 recreation of the American icon is the work of Chris Radbone of Flickr, who has not only replicated the exterior of the ’77 Trans-Am beautifully, complete with pin-striping and giant flaming bird motif, his model is a qualified Technic Supercar underneath.

A Technic frame holds a working V8 engine, all-wheel suspension, functioning steering, and a D-N-R gearbox, all of which are concealed behind the wonderfully accurate Model Team exterior.

It’s a great way to finish the year and there’s more to see of Chris’s superb ’77 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am ‘Bandit’ at his photostream. Click here to make the jump to Flickr for the complete gallery of images, here to see the Smokey and the Bandit movie trailer in which this car stars, and we’ll be back soon with our 2020 round-up.

Fifteen Horsepower of Fun

We’ve featured some very cool, very fast motorbikes here over the years. The Honda Mini Trail ‘Monkey Bike’ is not one of them.

However we would take this diminutive 125cc practical joke of a motorcycle over literally any other two-wheeled machine, because it’s hilarious.

Powered by a 15bhp 125cc engine (or engines even smaller), Honda’s Mini Trail is not going to win any off-road competitions, but it going to make the rider look very funny, and that’s reason enough for us to love it.

This near-perfect Technic replica of the Mini Trail 125cc comes from ianying616, and we can confirm that with a TLCB Elf strapped atop, it’s just as funny as the real thing. Click the link above for 125cc of fun!

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…

SXSW

Three engines are better than two. They might even be better than four, just because of how cool they look. This is the Boeing 727-200, the brand’s 1960s narrow-body airliner and its only tri-jet. Over 1,800 727s were built between 1962 and 1984, with a handful still in use today by some airlines it’s probably best to avoid.

This marvellous Lego recreation of the 727-200 comes from a time when they were in regular service with mainstream airlines however, being recreated beautifully in Southwest’s 1980s livery.

Previous bloggee Big Planes is the builder, and like his past work there is a complete mini-figure interior, retractable landing gear, and functioning flaps too, with much more to see at his photostream. Head south by Southwest via the link above.

Scorpion King

Notable only for being Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s first lead role, the 2002 fantasy adventure ‘The Scorpion King’ is an appalling turd of a movie. A spin off from ‘The Mummy’ franchise, it took the shonkily CGI-ed character from the second Mummy instalment (itself only worth watching for Rachel Weisz) and dragged it out over ninety stupefying minutes.

However some scorpion spin-offs are worth a look, and the car in this post is one of them.

The Autobianchi A112 was created through collaboration by Fiat, tyre-maker Pirelli, and bicycle manufacturer Bianchi, launching in 1969 and being – as most Italian cars of the time were – rather excellent.

Over a million Autobianchi A112s were produced before the brand was eventually merged into Lancia, with the design also forming the basis of the rather good Fiat 127, the less good Seat 127, the pretty bad Polski-Fiat 127, and the miserable Yugo 45.

Of course being effectively a Fiat, Italian tuners Abarth got their hands on the A112 too, and uprated the tiny 900cc engine to 1,050cc, taking power from around 45bhp to a mighty 70 in the process.

Today’s post is an A112 in Abarth flavour, as built by previous bloggee Zeta Racing in full ‘Technic Supercar’ specification. Capturing the look of the real car brilliantly, Zeta has engineered his Lego replica with a working engine, gearbox, steering, and suspension, along with opening doors, hood, and hatchback. Zeta’s model also includes fully remotely controlled Power Functions drivetrain, with motors powering both the front-wheel-drive and steering, the gearbox, and equipping the car with working brakes.

It’s a fantastic build, presented beautifully, and enhanced with few choice decals (including the famous Abarth scorpion), and there’s much more of Zeta’s Autobianchi A112 Abarth to see at his photostream. Click the link above to check out one Scorpion King worth viewing.