Tag Archives: 1980s

Camp Fire

We love repurposed vehicles (or anything else for that matter) here at The Lego Car Blog. Taking something and transforming for a different purpose is not only far less environmentally damaging than making something new, the results are often way cooler. As evidenced by Beat Felber‘s wonderful 1984 Land Rover 110.

Beat’s real-world Land Rover served as an off-road fire engine for about twenty-five years, before it was retired and converted into the superb off-road camper it is today, and Beat has now recreated it in Lego form, capturing his real-life vehicle beautifully.

Underneath the brilliantly life-like exterior – complete with opening doors and hood – is a remotely controlled 4×4 drivetrain powered by an SBrick, with L-Motors driving both axles (each of which is suspended), a Servo the steering, and an M-Motor the high/low gearbox.

It’s a delightful build made all the better by its real-world counterpart, and there’s more to see of both Beat’s Lego Land Rover 110 and the real fire-engine-turned-camper that inspired it via the link above.

No Time to Die (Again)

Thanks to a deadly virus circulating the globe, several major film releases have been postponed by well over a year, with studios desperately trying to maintain interest in the meantime. There have been so many new ‘No Time to Die’ trailers we’ve pretty much seen the whole movie.

Cue this impressive DAF NTT 2800 truck by Flickr’s Arian Janssens, which admittedly we published here last year, but look! – A new trailer! See, a seamless link to that new 007 movie and not a desperate attempt to gain bandwagon views at all.

There’s more to see of Arian’s DAF, and that new trailer (a three-axle slurry tanker), via the link.

Playing Golf

In the opinion of this TLCB Writer, walking (or riding) around a park in silly trousers is not a sport. Still, when Volkswagen’s naming department decided to choose sports as the theme for their new cars in the 1970s, golf was one of the games they selected, alongside ‘Derby’ and ‘Polo’.

Eight generations later and the Golf is still going strong, and previous bloggee SP_LINEUP has built no less than four of them, all recreated beautifully in small-scale brick form.

There’s more to see of each, including a tasty-looking Mk1 and a 2000s-era R32, at SP’s photostream. Grab your clubs and head to the green via the link above.

Messing Up Afghanistan Since 1978

The news coming from Afghanistan at the moment is heartbreaking. A rare case of successful international cooperation, the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent defeat of its Taliban ‘government’ brought freedom, equal-ish rights, and prosperity to millions of Afghans.

It also brought about a fantastically corrupt (although democratically elected) government and the deaths of tens of thousands, but despite this it would be hard to argue that many Afghans – particularly women – weren’t better off for the intervention.

Which makes it tremendously sad that all of those gains (and the blood spilt to achieve them) may now be lost thanks to a hasty politically-motivated Western withdrawal, with the Taliban regaining power even quicker than they lost it twenty years ago.

More tragically, it’s not the first time that foreign powers have put their own politics before the lives of Afghans…

This is a Soviet BTR-80, a remarkable 8×8 amphibious armoured personal carrier, as used in the Soviet-Afghan War.

Back in 1978 a coup in Afghanistan overthrew the presidency, replacing it with the ‘Democratic Republic of Afghanistan’, a puppet Communist government supported by the Soviet Union, which many of the Afghan people resisted via a brutal guerrilla war.

The UN ordered the Soviet Union to withdraw, which they ignored and engaged in a 9 year war in support of the Communist government, razing villages, destroying farmland, laying millions of landmines, and committing rape and torture.

Sanctions and a mass boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics followed, but worse was to come for the Soviet Union, who ultimately lost the war to the Afghan Mujahideen and the international community supporting them, which – many argue – hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union itself.

The BTR-80 used towards the end of the conflict was still a mighty impressive piece of hardware though, and so too is this spectacular fully RC recreation by Sariel.

With eight-wheel-drive, four-wheel-steering, all-wheel suspension, a three-speed gearbox, motorised hatches, a remotely operable gun turret, rotating and lit searchlight, a working winch, and powered propellors all controlled via bluetooth thanks to three SBricks, Sariel’s BTR-80 is an engineering masterclass.

You can watch all of those incredible features in action via the video below, plus there are more stunning images of Sariel’s creation available to view at his ‘BTR-80’ Flickr album. Click here to make the jump to a pointless war in Afghanistan sometime in the late ’80s.

And back to that disastrous piece of Soviet foreign policy; even after the Soviet Union withdrew defeated, peace in Afghanistan was not forthcoming. A civil war continued to rage, taking the death toll to as many as two million Afghans.

Eventually, after years of turmoil, it was the Taliban who ended up in power, which brings us right back to 2001, the international intervention, and now – twenty years later – the rapid undoing of everything that was won.

Donate to Unicef in Afghanistan here.

The Other F12

Ferrari’s F12 Berlinetta is not the only vehicle to carry the F12 moniker. Volvo Trucks got there first, way back in 1977, and – because we’re a bit weird – we prefer their one…

This beautiful 7-wide Volvo F12 comes from builder Duq, whose recreation of the classic cab-over contains some of the finest detailing we’ve ever seen at this scale, from that wonderful grille and a life-like interior to even a realistic driveshaft.

There’s more to see of Duq’s F12 at both Flickr and Eurobricks, you can check out a rather larger version of the vintage Volvo here, and you can view a model of Ferrari’s (frankly less interesting) namesake by clicking here.

Skull and Crossplane

Americans, like TLCB Elves, are excited by decals. There’s the Pontiac Firebird’s Giant Flaming Bird motif, the Ford Mustang’s twin stripes, aircraft with teeth, and many more besides.

Despite this clear appreciation for decal work, that most American of cars – the Chevrolet Corvette – isn’t really famous for any stickers at all.

Fortunately László Torma is here to correct this, by equipping the unloved LS1 crossplane-engined C4 Corvette (see, the title does make sense!) with a giant skull on the hood.

You can also build both the aforementioned skull and the car wearing it at home, as László has made building instructions for his C4 Corvette ‘Skull Edition’ available. Go on, get a boner via the link above!

Build-a-Countach

Lamborghini have just revealed the new Countach, celebrating 50 years since the original first appeared in concept form and re-wrote the supercar rule book. In looks only of course, as the actual car, when it arrived in 1974, was rather rubbish.

Still, how a car drives is irrelevant when it’s a poster on your bedroom wall, and the Countach fulfilled the bedroom poster brief better than any car before it, or since.

Which makes us rather disappointed that Lamborghini’s ‘new’ Countach looks mostly like every other Lamborghini, and is yet another ultra-limited special edition (just 112 units will be made) costing $2m a piece.

Not that it matters what we think of course, because the new Countach is already sold out.

No, we’ll stick with the old one produced from 1974 until 1990 (by which time it had grown to look rather silly), despite it being a pretty bad car – even by 1970s supercar standards.

Cue Flickr’s barneius, who has recreated one the later (silly) original Countaches – the extravagantly-titled ‘LP5000 Quattrovalvole’ – beautifully in Speed Champions scale.

Clever build techniques are matched by an even cleverer use of black stickers, and there’s more of barneius’s build to see, plus a link to building instructions, at his ‘Lamborghini Countach’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump.

Why Do Skodas Have Heated Rear Windows?

To keep your hands warm when you’re pushing!

Skoda might produce some rather good (if fantastically dull) cars today, but it hasn’t always been that way. Prior to Volkswagen’s ownership, Skoda were, um… let’s just say ‘not highly regarded’, causing the Czech brand to become the butt of a million mostly-bad jokes.

Part of that unwanted reputation was due to this car, the 105/Estelle, built from 1976 to 1990.

Designed for poor quality Eastern European roads, the 105 had its engine in the back for better traction, and because the Soviet Union refused to let Skoda built it in a more modern front-engined front-wheel-drive configuration, as it would have been better than all the crap made elsewhere in the bloc. Communism literally preferred to build a worse car than to allow the inequality created by progress.

Quality was also woeful, even if the design was actually OK, but at least that meant is was consistent with the other Soviet Union products of the time.

Today though, the rear-engined rear-wheel-drive layout makes the Skoda 105/Estelle something of a curiosity, with a reasonable following that it probably wouldn’t enjoy if it had been built as Skoda originally intended.

This excellent (and very orange) Model Team replica of the Skoda 105 comes from Legostalgie of Flickr, who has captured the car in its rear-engined rubbishness wonderfully in brick form. A detailed interior, opening doors, front trunk, and engine cover all feature, and there’s lots more to see at Legostalgie’s Skoda 105 album.

Click the link above to view all of the ace imagery, and to warm your hands on the rear window.

My Other Car’s a Porsche

No really, it is. Because this amazing Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole is built entirely from the pieces found within the official LEGO 10295 Porsche 911 set.

How Firas Abu-Jaber has managed to turn a vehicle renowned for its curves into one famous for its straight lines has broken every brain here at TLCB Towers, but suffice to say, Firas has absolutely smashed it.

Working steering, an opening front trunk, engine cover and scissor doors, plus a detailed interior all feature, and there are more superbly presented images of Firas’s incredible 10295 alternate to see at his ‘Lamborghini Countach’ album here.

You can also find further details and building instructions at Firas’s excellent website Bricks Garage, plus you can check out his interview here at TLCB to learn how he builds models like this one by clicking these words.

My Fat Lady

The Nissan/Datsun 280Z/Fairlady Z was never quite as pretty as its 240/260Z predecessors. However previous bloggee SP_LINEUP aims to address this by making his 280Z Fairlady well… a bit fatter. Unlike your Mom however, SP’s Fairlady Z wears its wider bodywork superbly, with black arch extensions, a front splitter, and phat exhaust. There’s more to see of SP’s modified Datsun on Flickr – click the link above to make the jump.

404 Error: File Found

Ah Error 404. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol standard response code that indicates the browser communicated with a given server, but the server couldn’t find what was requested.

Which, as purveyors of a website with a million views a year, we of course knew without looking it up on Google… Honestly, it’s a miracle that this site functions at all.

Anyway, today 404 was found, as one of Elves brought back this rather lovely Peugeot 404 pick-up, as built by regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott.

Based on Peugeot’s 1960s large passenger car, the 404 pick-up was produced into the late ’80s in Europe, and until 1991 in Kenya, where it’s still a common sight thanks to its almost unbreakable toughness. Yup, we really did say that about a Peugeot.

Jonathan’s 8-wide recreation captures the 404 pick-up beautifully, and you can check out the build, along with his extensive garage of other Speed Champions scale vehicles, at his photostream on Flickr.

Click the link above to instruct your browser to communicate with the server. Or something.

Got the Horn

We’ve got the Horn. Well, it is the morning.

Get your minds out of the gutter, this is the Rhino ‘High Occupancy Reconnaissance Nexus’, or ‘H.O.R.N’ for short. And because the cartoon TV show from which it came really liked acronyms.

An anonymous tanker truck on the outside, the H.O.R.N was packing a lot more underneath than first appeared.

This awesome Lego recreation of the H.O.R.N by Flickr’s Flashback Bricks replicates the ability of the Hasbro toy from the TV series brilliantly, expanding to reveal M.A.S.K’s mobile command base and the sonic tank hidden inside, which enabled M.A.S.K operatives to keep it up without outside support for up to two weeks.

There’s more to see of Flashback’s H.O.R.N at his photostream via the link above, and if you fancy another appendage-filled post try this one for size!

Brick KITT

We’re not sure why robots in the eighties were uptight nerds, but KITT was the wheeled equivalent of C-3PO.

However unlike Star Wars’ anxious golden bi-ped, KITT had flame throwers, lasers, a tear gas launcher, a giant taser, and ultramagnesium charges at his disposal. And we don’t even know what that last one means.

Equipped with none of that, but looking rather cool nonetheless, is Jerry Builds Bricks‘ 8-wide Speed Champions version of the Knight Industries Two Thousand, which captures the TV star car beautifully.

There’s more of KITT to see at Jerry’s photostream, and you can head there to deploy some ultramagnesium charges via the link above.

Mud Pack

Gosh today’s title is tenuous, even for us. You see a mud pack is often a volcanic mask… Anyway, this is Orion Pax‘s ‘M.A.S.K Volcano’, a near perfect brick built replica of the mid-’80s Hasbro toy that accompanied the M.A.S.K cartoon TV show.

The show, designed mostly to sell toys, pitched the ‘Mobile Armoured Strike Kommand’ (spelt wrong because it’s cooler that way) against the ‘Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem’ (VENOM), who seemingly took a very literal and non-secretive approach to their naming.

Beyond that, we’re not really sure what the show was about, but it did lead to toys that split down the middle to reveal a giant rotating cannon (as in the case of the Volcano here), that has got the Elves very excited.

Orion’s model transforms beautifully as per the original toy and there’s more to see at his photostream. Apply your mud pack via the link!

One Time Winner

This is a BMW M3. The first BMW M3 in fact, back when it was light, agile, and powered by just four cylinders.

Built as a homologation special for touring car racing, the E30-series M3 was not intended to compete at the highest level of the World Rally Championship, what with that being dominated by the four-wheel-drive Group B cars from Audi and Lancia.

However, for just one rally, in 1987, the E30 BMW M3 was untouchable. The Tour de Course is a tight, all-tarmac rally held on the island of Corsica, and it’s just like a (very long) touring car race. All-wheel-drive and enormous power didn’t matter, as Bernard Béguin proved by taking a start-to-finish victory in his BMW M3, the first and only time BMW has won a WRC event.

This incredible brick-built replica of the Rothmans-BMW M3 rally car is the work of Dennis Glaasker (aka bricksonwheels), who has recreated the 1987 Tour de Corse winner with astounding realism.

Around 2,000 LEGO parts have been used, detailing the exterior, rally-spec interior, and inline-4 turbocharged engine under the hood, with fellow previous bloggee JaapTechnic assisting Dennis with the build by designing the stunning replica Rothmans-BMW livery.

The result is one of the most life-like creations of the year so far, presented beautifully to Dennis’ usual impeccable standard. There’s more of this astonishing creation to see at Dennis’ ‘BMW M3 Rally’ album on Flickr, and you can find out more about how he creates his amazing creations such as this one via the Master MOCer series by clicking here.