Tag Archives: 1980s

Indestructible Car

Lego Toyota Hilux

Famously unkillable, Toyota’s Hilux pick-up is now in its eighth generation. This is a fourth gen, pictured here somewhere on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast (probably), and beautifully recreated in Lego form by previous bloggee and Town-scale off-road wizard Pixel Fox. There’s more to see of his excellent 6-wide Hilux on Flickr via the link, where you can also find a wealth of other brilliantly replicated off-roaders.

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Go Long

Lego DAF 3600 8X4 ATI Van Seumeren

Last night your Mom put in a request, and thanks to Flickr’s Arian Janssens we’re happy to oblige. This 1980s DAF 3600 ATi 8×4 is seriously long, thanks to the truly enormous beam being transported between itself and the support trailer.

Lego DAF 3600 8X4 ATI Van Seumeren

The whole rig is brilliantly detailed and features an accurate livery of the company that operated the truck in Holland back in the ’80s. There is lots more to see of the DAF 3600 ATi, the trailer, and the colossal beam being transported at Arian’s photostream – click the link above to go long.

Lego DAF 3600 8X4 ATI Van Seumeren

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Mighty Metro

Lego MG Metro 6R4 Group B

The Austin/Rover/MG Metro does not have a good reputation here in TLCB’s home nation. Now almost extinct, most observers would say that’s a good thing. But this staff writer is feeling brave, and he’s going to make a case for the humble British city car…

Launched in 1980 the Austin – and then Rover/MG – Metro was designed to compliment (but eventually replace) the beloved but ageing Mini. Neat packaging, clever hydro-gas suspension, and modern looks earned British Leyland’s new product the What Car? Car of The Year accolade and buyers bought it in their thousands.

However the Metro was born at a tumultuous time for the British car industry, and the reputation of industrial action, striking workers and piss-poor quality still lingered around almost anything that British Leyland made.

This meant that the Metro was a rare success story, but whilst other good products would arrive in the 1990s cash would become increasingly tight, and the Metro would be forced to carry on for eighteen years. Over that time of course, a good car designed in the late 1970s became no longer a good car at all.

That meant the end of the Metro and – ultimately – the end of Rover too, and the Metro is now almost completely gone from European roads, despite over 2 million being sold.

Lego Remote Control Metro 6R4

However, one variant of British Leyland’s little hatchback can still be found. A version from a time when the company was optimistic about its future, and adventurous in its marketing too. The amazing MG Metro 6R4.

Built for the monstrous Group B rally era, and then becoming a dominant force in rallycross, the Metro 6R4 squeezed a 400+bhp Cosworth-derived V6 and a permanent all-wheel drive system into a space-framed version of the Metro shell, and the engine later went on to be developed for the Jaguar XJ200 supercar – which became the fastest production car in the world.

This wonderful fully remote controlled recreation of British Leyland’s most spectacular car comes from newcomer All_About_Lego, and it’s packed with working functions. Alongside the remote control all-wheel drive and steering are working front and rear lights, all-wheel suspension, and opening doors and rear clamshell. The exterior is accurately stickered in the 6R4’s period mid-80s livery, whilst the inside contains a fully detailed (and roll-caged) interior too.

A full gallery of images is available to view on Flickr, you can read more about the build and watch a video of the model in action via the Eurobricks forum by clicking here, and if you’re wondering quite why this writer thinks the MG Metro 6R4 is so cool, click this link…

Lego MG Metro 6R4 Group B

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The Other 3 Series

Lego SCANIA 113M 320

This beautifully detailed classic Scania 113M 320 truck comes from previous bloggee Andre Pinto. Produced from the late ’80s to the late ’90s, Scania’s ‘3 series’ of trucks came in variety of sizes and engine specifications and can still be seen throughout Europe, such is their reputation for reliability. You can see more of Andre’s stunning Model Team version on Flickr and at the Eurobricks discussion forum – click the links for the full gallery of images.

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Porsche 911 Targa – Picture Special

Lego Porsche 911 Targa

This glorious 1980s Porsche 911 Targa comes from very probably the most talented vehicle-building pairing anywhere on the ‘net. The Avro Brothers have been constructing some of the world’s best Lego vehicles for some time, with this particular model debuting almost a decade ago. The brothers’ classic Porsche 911 Targa is surely one of the most perfectly realistic Lego replicas ever built, and now you can build it too.

Lego Porsche 911 Targa

For once the most frequently asked question of them all here at The Lego Car Blog (‘Can I have instructions?’) can be answered with a resounding Yes, as The Avro Brothers have produced detailed step-by-step building plans which are due to be made available via their new website. In just over 150 pages and just under 900 pieces you could build your own stunning 1980s Porsche 911 Targa. Get started by visiting The Avro Brothers’ Porsche 911 Flickr album via the link above, click on one of the images, and follow the links.

Lego Porsche 911 Targa

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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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FTF FS-20 Roseboom – Picture Special

Lego FTF FS-20 Heavy Haulage Truck

This is probably the most beautiful Lego truck you’ll see this year. It might be the most beautiful Lego truck you’ll see ever.

It comes from Dirk Klijn of Flickr, and it’s an exact replica of an FTF FS-20 M 26 DT used by heavy haulage firm Roseboom in the Netherlands from 1989.

FTF (Floor Truck Factory) were a Dutch assembler of very heavy trucks, who sourced components such as engines from the USA and cabs from the UK to create specialist haulage vehicles.

Lego FTF FS-20 Heavy Haulage Truck

FTF now only manufacture trailers rather than tractor units, but this particular FTF truck has been totally restored to its former glory.

After finding details of the restoration Dirk has recreated Roseboom’s classic FTF in absolutely breathtaking detail, completing the build with a truly enormous Scheurle EuroCombi trailer carrying a mammoth steel beam, a load typical of the truck when it was in haulage service.

Lego FTF Truck RC

Dirk’s incredible model is more than a display piece too, as full Power Functions remote control – operated by a third-party SBrick bluetooth brick – is included, along with working suspension, a tilting cab, and mechanical steering on the Scheurle trailer.

There’s a whole lot more to see of Dirk’s amazing Roseboom-livereied classic FTF truck at his photostream – click here to heavy-haul circa-1989.

Lego FTF FS-20 Heavy Haulage Truck

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Vice Vice Baby

Lego Ferrari Testarossa Miami Vice

Short of your Dad snorting coke from the bellybutton of a hooker, there is nothing that sums up the 1980s better than a Miami Vice-white Ferrari Testarossa. Each launched in 1984, the Testarossa and the Miami Vice TV show have become symbols of their decade.

Unusually for a successful American TV show though, it was actually the Ferrari that endured longer, with production of the design lasting until 1996, making the Testarossa platform one of Ferrari’s most-produced models.

It’s this particular Testarossa that we like the best, so gloriously and unashamedly ’80s is its appearance. It’s been built by Ciamoslaw Ciamek of Flickr, and there’s more to see of both the car and the characters from the hit TV show at his photostream. Grab yourself a rolled up $100 bill via the link above.

Lego Ferrari Testarossa Miami Vice

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Go West

Lego Volkswagen T3 Westfalia Camper

Come on, come on, come on, come on
(Together) we will go our way
(Together) we will leave someday
(Together) your hand in my hands
(Together) we will make our plans
(Together) we will fly so high
(Together) tell all our friends goodbye
(Together) we will start life new
(Together) this is what we’ll do
life is peaceful there
(Go west) in the open air
(Go west) where the skies are blue
(Go west) this is what we’re gonna do
(Go west, this is what we’re gonna do, go west)
Songs for Blog Titles continues here at TLCB, and today we have a song covered by this writer’s least favourite band. The Pet Shop Boys’ hateful do-over of Village People’s ‘Go West’ fills this writer with such inner rage that the only outlet he has is to slate the musical travesty in blog that isn’t even topically related. You can suffer too if you like, by watching quite possibly the Worst Music Video Ever Made. Ever.

Right, enough of that despicable ’80s synth-pop, this Volkswagen T3 Westfalia camper comes from TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist, and it’s absolutely packed with wonderful details. A working high-top roof, sliding rear door and a realistic interior are all included, as are a neat deckchair and cool-box for enjoying in the open air when the skies are blue. Go west in the Westfalia at Ralph’s photostream by clicking here.

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Rusty Slammington

BMW Rat Rod

BMWs in TLCB’s home nation are everywhere. Whilst we appreciate that to much of our readership they’re seen as a slightly unusual luxury car, to this writer they are the epitome of the boring rep-mobile, driven by boring people on boring roads to impress their boring friends who also drive boring BMWs.

Not so this one though.

This slice of brown Bavarian brilliance is _Tyler‘s Lego reincarnation of Mike Burroughs’ fantastic BMW E28 rat rod. The polar opposite of every dull grey diesel on the roads here, Mike’s E28 reminds us of a time when BMWs were slightly unusual luxury cars. That his ratty coupe would also cause the Residents Association to call an emergency meeting to discuss its effect on their property prices is an added bonus.

There’s more to see of both the real car and _Tyler’s superb 7-wide Lego version via the links in the text above – click on each to make a jump.

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‘Initial D’ AE86

Lego Toyota AE86 Initial D

Once every so often a car comes along that, for reasons mysterious and illogical, becomes more than just another metal box, a car that captures the imagination, and that becomes more than the sum of its parts. This is one such car, the legendary 1980s Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 / Sprinter Trueno.

If you’re a Japanese drift fan though, you might want to skip this next bit…

The Toyota AE86 was not a special car.

It was in fact a humdrum hatchback designed to take people from point A to point B reliably and at a reasonable cost. Just like every other humdrum hatchback at the time.

But it’s a manual with rear wheel drive we here you cry! It was indeed, but so was pretty much everything else on sale in Europe and Japan back then. So far so ordinary.

Lego Toyota AE86 Initial D

But then something strange happened. Moderately successful motorcycle racer / moderately unsuccessful car racer Kunimitsu Takahashi had started to throw cars sideways on track in Japan a few years earlier. Rookie racer Keiichi Tsuchiya liked what he saw, and applied the technique to the illegal street races that he was participating in, becoming a legend in the process.

Keiichi went on to forge a successful professional racing career following his antics on the street, and the car from his illegal racing days, his humble Corolla Levin AE86, became a legend as big as the man that drove it.

Japan’s illegal drift scene exploded, and the arrival of the Initial D manga cartoon in the mid ’90s, featuring a hero driver at the wheel of a Toyota AE86, did nothing to lessen the legend of both the man and the car credited with creating it.

The result is that the little Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 has become one of the most iconic and sought after cars of the ’80s, and as such prices have gone stratospheric. Pretty good for a humble hatchback designed to go to the shops.

If, like us, you don’t quite have the loose change to get your hands on a real AE86, Technic builder RM8 might have just the answer. This is his beautifully engineered AE86 model, and it captures the details of the real ’80s Corolla Levin brilliantly in Technic form. It’s also as fun to drive as drifting a real AE86 up a Japanese mountain pass (probably), with a Power Functions L Motor driving the rear wheels, a Servo Motor powering the steering, and a third-party SBrick bluetooth receiver controlling the signals to both.

There’s lots more to see of RM8’s Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 / Sprinter Trueno at MOCpages and the Eurobricks discussion forum, but much like the real car RM8’s model is something more than the sum of its parts. Take a look at RM8’s enthralling video below to see why…

YouTube Video

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Digital Daddy

Lego Toyota Supra

With Toyota’s legendary Supra nameplate set to return next year after sixteen years out of production, we take a look back at the original. Nope, not the be-winged ’90s incarnation from the Fast and Furious movies, but this, the humble A60 type from the early 1980s.

With (much) less than 200bhp, the early Supras were essentially Celicas with pop-up headlights and an extra two cylinders. And they were wonderful. This superbly recreated digital version of the A60 Supra comes from Flickr’s Alex Sonny, and whilst the image above might not feature any real plastic bricks (making it suitably eighties in appearance), Alex’s Supra is about as realistic a replica as you will find.

More images available at Alex’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

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Brabham BT52 | Picture Special

Lego Brabham BT52

This is a 1983 Brabham BT52, one of the most powerful Formula 1 cars of all time, and the first turbo-charged car ever to win a World Championship. Designed by legendary engineer Gordon Murray, the BMW-powered BT52 took Nelson Piquet to his second World Championship, after the earlier BT49 had given him his maiden Championship in 1980.

Brabham won six World Championships in total, four Drivers and two Constructors, and founder Jack Brabham remains the only driver ever to win a Formula 1 World Championship in a car of his own design. However, after two periods of huge success in the 1960s and 1980s, Bernie Ecclestone – who owned the Brabham team in the ’70s and ’80s – sold it to a Japanese investor, and a few years later Brabham collapsed due to financial difficulties.

Lego Brabham BT52

Sadly Brabham haven’t raced in Formula 1 since, but TLCB has ears, and rumour has it that Formula 1 team Force India, who are currently in good form, need a new owner. With their current billionaire owners on bale for serious fraud offences and Brabham looking to build their own road-cars, we could see the famous Australian-British brand back at the sharp end of Formula 1 very soon. You heard it here first!

Back to the ’80s, and this incredible replica of Brabham’s last Championship-winning car comes from previous bloggee Luca Rosconi aka RoscoPC, who continues to re-publish his huge collection of classic Formula 1 cars to Flickr. There’s more to see of the Brabham BT52, as well as his other stunning replicas, at Luca’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

Lego Brabham BT52

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Volkswagen Golf GTI | Picture Special

Lego Technic Volkswagen Golf GTI RC

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the all-time great hot hatchbacks. Now in it’s seventh generation there have been roughly five good Golf GTIs, and three really good ones. This is one of the really good ones…

Launched in 1976, two years after the Golf first went on sale, the GTI was the product of a few VW engineers having some fun. In a very German way of course, as having some fun meant staying on late at work.

Still, the product of their inventiveness helped to re-write the rules of quick cars. Powered by a fuel-injected 1.6, and then 1.8 litre engine, the Mark 1 Golf GTI was quicker than the contemporary sports cars of the time, it could fit four people in it, and it didn’t leak when it rained.

Lego Technic Volkswagen Golf GTI RC

Now a seriously sought after car, there sadly aren’t many Mark 1 Golf GTIs left, but if you’d like one Damian Plesniak may have the answer.

Featuring a transversely-mounted 4-cylinder engine, accurate McPherson front and twist-beam rear suspension, opening doors, hood, and hatchback with parcel shelf, a detailed interior with a working steering wheel, adjustable seats, and opening glovebox, plus full remote control drive and LED lights, Damian’s Technic Golf GTI is very nearly as well engineered as the real thing.

There are loads more images to see at Damian’s Flickr and Brickshelf albums, and you can read more about the build, as well as watch a video of the Golf GTI in action, at the Eurobricks discussion forum.

Lego Technic Volkswagen Golf GTI RC

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The Killer Years

Lego Ferrari 126C F1 Car Villeneuve

Formula 1 is – whilst not without its risks – relatively safe today. For almost all of the sport’s history however, it was a insanely dangerous place to be. Even as late as the 1980s Formula 1 drivers (and others involved in F1 trackside) were dying on a regular basis. This car belongs to one such driver, the hugely popular Gilles Villeneuve, who was tragically killed at Zolder in Belgium after just 5 years in the sport.

Gilles joined Formula 1 after winning the Formula Atlantic championship in both the US and Canada in 1976, debuting with McLaren in ’77 before World Champions Ferrari took him on for the ’78 season. In May of 1982 Gilles collided with the back of Jochen Mass’ car during qualifying, with Mass on a slow lap and Gilles on a fast one. Both drivers saw each other at the last moment, both took evasive action, and both moved to the right…

The Ferrari disintegrated, and Gilles, still strapped into his seat, exited the car and hit the catch fencing, fatally breaking his neck. Formula 1 had lost one of it’s most loved drivers.

Lego Ferrari 126C2

Gilles is now remembered at his home track in Canada, renamed in his honour, and both at Zolder in Belgium and San Marino in Italy, each with a corner named after him. Yesterday marks 35 years since Gilles’ death, and race car building legend Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC has paid tribute by uploading his incredible recreation of Gilles’ 1982 Ferrari 126C2 Formula 1 car to Flickr, 5 years after he first designed it.

Luca’s model is one of the most spectacular Lego recreations of a classic Formula 1 car that you will ever see, and its beauty lies as much within as it does on the surface, with working suspension complete with anti-roll bars, a 6-cylinder engine and full remote control drive and steering.

There’s more to see of Gilles Villeneuve’s Ferrari 126C2 at Luca’s Flickr gallery – click here to make the trip.

Lego Ferrari 126C F1 Car Villeneuve

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