Tag Archives: 1970s

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.

The World’s Most Expensive Recovery Truck

This astonishing creation is a fully working replica of the U.S Glomar Explorer, constructed by Master MOCer and world-renowned builder Paweł ‘Sariel’ Kmieć, and you’re in for a truly remarkable story…

It’s 1968, and the Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-129 has been lost with all 98 crew, plummeting over 16,000ft to the ocean floor. It’s just a few years after the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War is very real indeed. The Soviet Union is looking for its lost submarine, but 150 miles in the wrong place. The U.S. however, knows where it is…

And so begins one the strangest and most expensive recovery efforts in history, as the CIA commission the building of a ship designed solely to pluck the wreck of K-129 from the seabed to learn its secrets, without the Soviet Union knowing.

Costing $1.4billion, it was one seriously expensive recovery truck, although of course its true purpose was hidden behind a ‘drilling for magenese’ cover story, fronted by millionaire aviator and film-maker Howard Hughes.

Six years later and the 50,000 ton 600ft long ship was ready. Named the Transocean Glomar Explorer, it was positioned above the wreck using radio beacons (GPS being some way off) and the CIA began the enormous recovery of the 330ft, 2,700 long ton (before it was filled with water) nuclear-armed submarine.

A giant claw dropped through a moon pool in the centre of the ship, gripping the wreck of K-129 and winching it to the surface. However during the 16,500ft ascent a mechanical failure occurred, and two thirds of the submarine broke loose and sunk back to the ocean floor, taking with it the sought-after nuclear missiles and code book. However, two nuclear-tipped torpedoes and cryptographic machines were recovered, along with the bodes of six crew members, which were not returned to the Soviet Union, but back to the sea.

The Glomar Explorer was purposeless after the mission was (partly) completed, and in 1976 it transferred to the U.S Navy for storage in a dry-dock. In 1978 however, the ship was leased to test prototype deep sea mining equipment, before being converted to a drilling ship in the 1990s. It was finally scrapped in 2015.

Recreating this incredible feat of engineering is Sariel, whose floating brick-built replica of the Glomar Explorer measures over 3 metres in length, uses 60kg of LEGO pieces, and can really (partly) recover a lost Soviet submarine, thanks to a fully working recreation of the monumental grapple crane fitted to the real ship.

We won’t write too much more here as there’s really only one way to appreciate this spectacular build – take a look at the video above (or click here to find it in the Eurobricks discussion), and watch how one of the most impressive Lego creations of all time was built, and how it can recover nearly all of a brick-built submarine from the bottom of a swimming pool…

Wet Nellie

The second most famous Bond Car of all time is actually the best. Discuss. This is ‘Wet Nellie’, the Lotus Esprit S1 from 1977’s ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, that ‘transformed’ – by the push of a button – into a submarine. And nothing in the world is cooler than that.

Suggested by a reader, this is Paul Nicholson‘s fantastic recreation of the aquatic sports car, and not only does it look absolutely spot-on, it transforms too, with the wheels tucking in to reveal submarining fins, and the rear fins and propellers also folding out from within. Of course it wouldn’t be a classic Bond Car without some evasive weaponry too, and Paul’s Esprit duly replicates the front missile launcher, mine layer, and the rear missiles (that really fire) used by Roger Moore to escape Karl Stromberg’s henchmen.

It all adds up to something that would make a superb official LEGO set, and whilst LEGO don’t have a Lotus license, they do have a 007 one, with Paul’s model constructed in a matching scale to the 10262 Aston Martin DB5 ‘Goldfinger’ set. Plus how cool would it be to add Lotus to LEGO’s ever growing list of vehicle manufacturer partners?

There’s much more to see of Paul’s incredible creation at his Flickr photostream, where you can ask him to add it to LEGO Ideas where it would surely get 10,000 votes so we can all buy it one day. For what it’s worth TLCB would be at the front of the queue. Get wet via the link above.

Lime Horse

Painting a Ferrari in Lamborghini green will probably get you a ‘Cease and Desist‘ letter from Ferrari’s over-zealous legal department, but seeing as this one is constructed from left over bits of Lamborghini, it makes sense. Flickr’s James Tillson is the builder behind this lime green Ferrari Dino 246, and he has form, winning TLCB’s Lock-Down B-Model Competition with his previous Lamborghini-to-Ferrari conversion. His Ferrari Dino features the usual Technic Supercar functions and there’s more of the build to see at his photostream – click here to take a look before Ferrari write him an angry letter.

Air Pirate

Is there anything cooler than a fighter jet with a skull and crossbones painted on it? The answer is no, and thus here’s Lennart Cort‘s Grumman F-14 Tomcat resplendent in VF-84 ‘Jolly Rogers’ livery. See more at the link!

Chocolatey Contraband


The humble Kinder Suprise egg – one part tasty Italian chocolate, one part crappy plastic toy – is illegal in the United States. Appalling animal welfare and firearms are fine though.

Fortunately for our American readers, the Kinder contained in the back of this superb Scania 1-Series truck and trailer by Vladimir Drozd is all tasty Italian chocolate and no crappy plastic toy (which is the way we prefer it), so you can have munch too.

Recreated in 1:22 scale, Vladimir’s beautifully detailed Scania includes Power Functions remote control drive and steering, suspension on all wheels, and an automatic trailer hitch.

There are more top quality images of Vladimir’s Kinder delivery truck available to view at his Flickr album, and you can find full build details and a link to building instructions at the Eurobricks forum here.

Take look via the links above whilst we work on our elaborate plan to smuggle deadly Kinder Suprise eggs into the U.S inside some harmless assault rifles.

Black Ace

This is the Grumman F-14A Tomcat, as flown by the U.S Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 41, the ‘Black Aces’ until he mid-’00s before being superseded by the F-18 Super Hornet.

First flying the in the early ’70s, the F-14 is a twin engine variable-sweep wing fighter that saw deployment in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and is – somewhat oddly – still in service with the Iranian Air Force today, despite the U.S destroying its retired aircraft to prevent spare parts ending up in Iran.

This spectacular replica of the F-14A resplendent in ‘Black Aces’ markings is the work of Jonah Padberg (aka Plane Bricks) of Flickr, who has recreated the supersonic fighter in breathtaking detail.

Featuring working flaps, ailerons, elevators, rudders and air brake, plus an opening canopy, functions landing gear, and an array of explody things slung underneath, Jonah’s F-14A is so realistic we wouldn’t be supposed if Iran try to buy it for spare parts. Which they can do, as Jonah is making his model available for purchase in kit form!

There’s more of Jonah’s incredible Grumman F-14A to see on Flickr, including detailed photos of the underside and all the explody things too. Click the link in the text above to visit Jonah’s photostream, where a few Iranian aviation maintenance people may also be snooping about…