Tag Archives: 1970s

Supercar of the ’70s

If there’s one car that encapsulates supercars of the 1970s, it’s this one. The Lamborghini Countach was, well… basically un-drivable. No visibility, the widest tyres ever fitted to a production car, the world’s heaviest clutch, zero thought to driver ergonomics, and less power than a modern Mercedes-Benz A-Class…

And yet… look at it. Designed by Bertone in 1971 the Countach was produced from 1974 all the way until 1990, whereupon it was replaced by the Diablo, with some 1,800 units built over its sixteen year life. Later cars were ‘improved’ with the addition of wide arches, sills, and a mental rear wing (making the Countach as iconic in the ’80s as in the decade of its birth), but we prefer the early ones like this LP400.

Flickr’s Jonathan Elliott is the genius behind this 7-wide Speed Champions version, putting LEGO’s new canopy part to brilliant use here. In fact seeing as LEGO have a licence to make Lamborghini sets we think Jonathan’s LP400 would make an excellent addition to the official Speed Champions line-up from whence the canopy part came.

Head to Jonathan’s photostream via the link above if you like his Lamborghini as much as we do, where you can see more this model and his impressive back-catalogue of Speed Champions builds.

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Bullet the Blue Sky

This is the Lockheed U-2 ‘Dragon Lady’, an aircraft from the 1950s that is still in service today, flying on the edge of space. Designed for the Cold War, but carrying no weapons, the U-2 is able to operate at an altitude of over 70,000ft, taking photographs of the ground beneath it.

Believed to be out of range of ground-to-air missiles, the U-2 was flown extensively over the Soviet Union, supplying the United States with information on nuclear development, missile locations, and airbases.

Unfortunately for the U.S this theory proved inaccurate when, on May 1st 1960, a U-2 flown by Francis Gary Powers was successfully shot down. The Soviets had been tracking the aircraft from 15 miles outside of the border, and an indirect missile-hit brought the U-2 down, with Powers miraculously surviving.

The U.S didn’t believe that a pilot would survive a crash from 70,000ft and thus stuck to a pre-written cover story that the U-2 had drifted into Soviet airspace after the pilot became unresponsive. The Soviet Union cleverly let the U.S release their lie to the world before revealing that Powers was alive and had admitted spying under interrogation. Oops.

Powers spent a year and a half in prison before being swapped in a prisoner exchange at Glienicke Bridge between East and West Germany. He subsequently returned to the U-2 programme working for Lockheed before losing his life in a helicopter crash in 1977.

Amazingly though, the Lockheed U-2 is still in service today, with the United States Air Force taking over operations from the CIA. This splendid recreation of their incredible aircraft was constructed as a commission by Jonah Padberg (aka Plane Bricks) whose brilliant H145M rescue helicopter featured here earlier in the week.

Jonah’s model captures the iconic Cold War aircraft in stunning accuracy and there lots more to see of his superbly built and presented Lockheed U-2 spy plane at his photostream. Click the link above to fly to 70,000ft and take a look.

*Today’s excellent title song.

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Holiday Heroes II

Today’s earlier post remembers the heroes of the emergency services, who – unlike the underserving muppets here at TLCB – work over the holiday period keeping us alive. From the amazing National Health Service we enjoy in TLCB’s home nation to the fire, police, mountain rescue and lifeboat services that operate every day of the year, there are heroes in every town, village and street.

However one group that often gets forgotten, particularly in the current woke culture that sometimes attempts to undermine their existence, are the armed forces. They too work over the holidays, unseen, largely forgotten, and ready to protect us turkey-eating muppets on Christmas Day as they would on any other.

This find is one example of that group, the Canadian Armed Forces’ very cool looking Lockheed F-104 ‘Starfighter’ in ‘Red Indian’ Squadron markings. Part of NATO, these F-104s operated out of 421 Squadron in West Germany during the Cold War, following their introduction by the Canadian Air Force two decades earlier.

This superb replica of the CAF Lockheed F-104 ‘Starfighter’ is the work of Flickr’s John C. Lamarck and it captures the iconic aircraft (and its unusual CAF ‘toothbrush’ colour scheme) beautifully. There’s more of the build to see at John’s photostream and you can head to an airbase in West Germany c1983 via the link above.

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Back in the USSR*

This is a BRDM-2, which might sound like something from your Mom’s internet browser history, but is in fact an amphibious armoured car built by the USSR between 1962 and 1989, and which is still in production in Poland today. Powered by a 140bhp GAZ V8 the BRDM-2 is capable of around 60mph on roads and a heady 6mph on water, when the engine drives a water-jet.

Like the MiG-29 we featured here earlier in the week the BRDM-2 was exported extensively, and is now in use on both sides of some conflicts, most recently between Russia and Ukraine.

This marvellous Technic recreation of one the Soviet Union’s most interesting vehicles was discovered by one of our Elves on Eurorbricks. Built by newcomer Danifill it packs in all the working functions of the real BRDM-2, besides the ability to float.

Two Power Functions XL motors deliver power to the four-wheel-drive system whilst an L motor drives the steering. All wheels are suspended, there are LED lights front and rear, and turret rotation is motorised too, with a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery delivering eight times the power of LEGO’s own system plus bluetooth remote control.

There’s more to see of Danifill’s brilliant BRDM-2 build at the Eurobricks forum where you can also find a link to a video of the model in action. Click the link above to head back to the USSR.

*Today’s excellent title song.

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Petite Porsche

This is a Porsche 917K, one of the most successful endurance racing car designs of all time, and it’s been recreated to near perfection in miniature by Flickr’s K MP. Wearing the 1970 Le Mans winning livery K MP’s 917 captures the real car brilliantly and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link above.

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Super Stratos Stradale

The Lancia Stratos was not a good road car. Uncomfortable, unreliable, and almost comically badly designed, there’s a reason that Lancia are barely around today (and so sad is their current single offering it’d probably be better if they weren’t. What’s going on Fiat?!). However, the Lancia Stratos rally car was a very different matter…

Powered by a mid-mounted Ferrari V6 the Stratos won three consecutive World Rally Championships, in ’74, ’75 and ’76. It might have won more too, were it not for parent company Fiat switching their focus (and therefore funding) to their own brand in ’77.

Such results have made the Lancia Stratos a hugely sought after car, despite the road variants being pretty rubbish. A better bet (and probably better built) is this Technic version from James Tillson, which recreates the Stratos brilliantly in Lego form.

Like the real car the front and rear bodywork opens, revealing the transversly-mounted V6 engine, working suspension, and functioning steering, with remote control delivered by Power Functions motors and a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery.

There’s more to see of James’ Technic Lancia Stratos in both Stradale and Group B specification on Flickr and at the Eurobricks forum – take a look via the links in the text above, plus you can read our review of the BuWizz bluetooth battery that controls and powers it by clicking here.

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Chevy C10

Not all American pick-up trucks are pointlessly-enormous, over-engined yet under-engineered projections of machismo. This is the Chevrolet C10, a compact and utilitarian vehicle for actually picking stuff up and moving it about. Which is probably why Chevrolet don’t make it anymore. No matter, Simon Przepiorka has remembered the C10, and he’s added a few tasteful mods too. See more of his excellent 8-wide recreation of the 1970s Chevy on Flickr via the link.

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Speed Communists

We continue the small-scale theme with this, László Torma‘s ace Speed Champions scale Trabant 601. An unlikely race car, László’s Trabant uses a be-stickered curved brick for the doors which he kept because his son said they were cool (the Elves agree by the way), and thus the Trabbi has a slightly more sporting nature than was originally intended. Clever techniques have been used throughout the build to recreate the communist car’s famous shape and there’s more to see of László’s 601 in both race and road car specification on Flickr – click the link above to take a look.

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Hiding in Plain Sight

The words spoken by our favourite alien truck/robot protector at the end of the first Transformers movie, explaining not only his ongoing mission but also setting up the premise for an unending series of increasingly terrible sequels.

Even the Elves have lost a degree of interest in the Transformers franchise now that Megan Fox isn’t involved anymore, however Optimus Prime’s famous quote does allow us to neatly link to today’s creation, built as it is by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. Well, as anonymous as seeing your work blogged here allows. They’re ‘Hiding in plain sight’ at any rate.

This spectacular recreation of the 1973 Marmon HDT-AC 86 ‘cab-over’ semi truck that was the first Optimus Prime comes from a secretive unnamed builder who has captured the real vehicle brilliantly. Whilst not quite transforming, the builder’s truck can also be reconstructed into Optimus’s robot mode, and looks just as good on two legs as ten wheels.

Unlike all our other posts there’s no link to see more, however you can click on the images here to view them in full size and you can use the search bar at the bottom of the page to take a look through the countless Autobot and Decepticon builds that have featured here over the years.

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Mechanical Mehari

Citroen are not known for their off-roaders. Ok, these days all they seem to make are – like every car company – SUVs, but they’re about as good off-road as Kim Kardashian is at plumbing.

However Citroen’s roots are far more off-roady than you might think; one of the 2CV’s key objectives was to cross a field without breaking any eggs.

And that’s where this comes in; the delightful 2CV-based Mehari.

Produced from the late ‘60s the Mehari was designed as a utilitarian two-wheel-drive off-roader (although four-wheel-drive versions followed) for civilian and military use, and – just like the models we have here – it was made out of plastic.

The models we have here come from TLCB favourite Nico71, who has recreated the Mehari beautifully in Technic form.

Nico’s design features steering, a removable roof, opening doors, hood and tailgate, and – most importantly – an accurate recreation of the Mahari’s superb suspension system.

There’s loads more to see of Nico’s wonderful build at his website by clicking here, where full details, an extensive image gallery, and building instructions are all available.

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Thunderbolt II

One of the most ‘interesting’ looking aircraft, the A-10 Thunderbolt II is certainly a tricky beast to build in Lego. However we have our second Thunderbolt in a month today, as Flickr’s Lennart C (aka Everblack) has constructed this brilliant mini-figure scale version, complete with an array of wing-mounted weaponry. Head to Lennart’s photostream via the link above for all the photos.

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Stagefright

Produced by Hot Wheels from the late ’70s to early ’80s, ‘Stagefright’ brought Jack Keef’s 1849 Concord Stagecoach hot rod to bedroom floors everywhere. TLCB debutant Tony Bovkoon has brought it back, capturing the insanity of the Hot Wheels toy (and the real car on which it was based) beautifully in Model Team form. A flip body, mid-mounted V8, and some highly dubious ‘suspension’ all feature, and there’s more to see at Tony’s ‘Stagefright’ Flickr album via the link above.

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SpaceTruck!

Benny has made a few modifications to his 1970 Chevrolet C10 pick-up truck…

Well, actually it’s only one modification, but if you look closely at the image above you might be able to spot it. That plasmawarpdrive9000* is sure to keep Benny smiling at the traffic light grand prix! The Chevy’s load capacity has been compromised somewhat though.

Flickr’s Pasq67 owns the mind behind this and there’s more to see at his SpaceTruck album via the link!

*Probably.

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Thunderbolt

This might be the most beautiful recreation of a butt-ugly vehicle we’ve yet published. The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, nicknamed the ‘Warthog’, is a close air support aircraft – effectively providing air cover for front-line troops – that has served the USAF since the late ’70s.

Its, er… ‘unique’ appearance is dictated by the need for a short take-off and landing ability, significant firepower, and heavy armouring – due to the aircraft’s high likelihood of coming into contact with enemy forces.

This utterly brilliant Lego recreation of the A-10 Thunderbolt II comes from previous bloggee Plane Bricks of Flickr, who has nailed the challenging aesthetic thanks to a range of expertly deployed advanced building techniques, particularly evident in the engines and cockpit.

A huge gallery of images is available to view at Plane Bricks’ photostream – take a look via the link above.

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Beastly Buick

Buick might be best known for making miserable floaty nonsense for old people to drive around Florida, or more recently cars for China, which would probably finish a few Buick drivers off if they knew about it, but the brand has occasionally built an interesting car.

Back in the early ’70s everyone was having a go at muscle cars, even Buick, who chucked a larger engine, trunk spoiler, lurid paint, and a hood-mounted tachometer (why?!) on their Skylark coupe to create the GSX.

This most excellent Lego replica of the Buick GSX (in ‘limemist green’) is the work of Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist of Flickr who has recreated the lesser-known muscle car superbly in his trademark style. Head to Ralph’s photostream via the link above for the complete gallery and you can read his interview as part of TLCB’s Master MOCers series by clicking here.

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