Tag Archives: 1980s

Apple Sauce

Apple weren’t always the tech giant that they are today. Back in 1980 at the dawn of the home computer era, and for the next 25 years, they were a small nerdy company making nerdy things for nerdy people.

However Apple did manage to break free form their nerdiness briefly with their sponsorship of the Porsche 935 K3 racing car run by actor Paul Newman at the 1980 Le Mans 24 Hours, which (perhaps unintentionally) practically writes its own to pork and apple puns.

This wonderful homage to the forgotten Apple Computers Porsche 935 K3 comes from serial bloggee Simon Przepiorka, who has captured both the car and its rainbow livery brilliantly in Speed Champions style.

Both Porsche and Apple have gone on to much bigger things since 1980, one almost pioneering the sports-car-turned-SUV craze (boo) and the other managing to sell basically the same phone for ten years at increasingly ludicrous prices (also boo).

We’ll stick with Apple and Porsche c1980 then, and you can too via the link above.

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Guts-Dozer

This writer isn’t old enough to have played Mega Man 2, but looking at this killer Boss he feels like he missed out!

Flickr’s TFDesigns! aka Frost is the builder behind this splendid recreation of the ‘Guts-Dozer’, successfully turning a 2D pixelated video game villain into a 3D brick-built caricature, complete with a giant enraged alien or whatever it was that Mega Man was fighting.

Take a trip to the Skull Fortress circa 1988 via the link above, and if you have no idea what we’re on about you can see this Boss in all his ’80s glory by clicking here!

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Electrically Embarrassing

Electric cars have come a long way in recent years. We have Tesla to thank for much of that, along with Nissan, and Toyota of course with their electrification of combustion engines.

However not so long ago electric cars were, frankly, absolutely terrible. The Reva G-Wiz. The Think City. Whatever the hell this is supposed to be. And this, the CityEl / Ellert.

Launched in 1987 the CityEl has a top speed of around 35mph and a range of 30-50 miles from its set of horrible lead-acid batteries and single electric motor. Yup, we said ‘has’ rather than ‘had’, because this automotive embarrassment is still being made. To put that into context purchasing one new today would be like buying a ZX Spectrum computer, an Atari games console, or one of those mobile phones that you had to carry around in a briefcase.

Brickshelf’s gtahelper has made the slightly odd choice to reproduce the CityEl / Ellert in Lego, but he has done a rather excellent job, and has even included a wonderfully ’80s driver to stand alongside it. A full gallery is available to view via the link above, where you can also find a link to instructions should you share gtahelper’s penchant for unfortunate vehicles.

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Rain Reign

This gorgeous creation comes from TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka, and it’s a 1:24 replica of the Porsche 935 in K3 specification. The 935 was launched in the mid-’70s and raced successfully well into the 1980s, with perhaps its greatest moment being a remarkable Le Mans 24 Hour victory in 1979, where the 935 beat even the prototype racing cars in the pouring rain to take the outright win. Simon’s superb Lego replica captures the 935 K3 brilliantly and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.

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Ferrari Testrossa | Picture Special

We’re rounding out the weekend with something rather special. This bewitchingly beautiful Ferrari Testarossa is the work of car-building legend Firas Abu-Jaber, and it is – as you can see here – astonishingly good.

Firas’ spectacularly presented creation is 100% LEGO (those excellent rims are genuine LEGO pieces that have been custom chromed) and includes a superbly detailed engine and interior inside the opening engine cover and doors.

There’s much more of Firas’ Ferrari to see at his Testarossa Flickr album by clicking here, and you can read our interview with the man behind the model by clicking here.

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The Answer’s Always Golf

Whilst in the U.S the answer to every car based question seems to be ‘Miata’ (and rightly so), in Europe it seems to be ‘Golf’. Well, it used to be – now it might be more ‘bland crossover SUV’ – but there are about fifteen Golf-based versions of those so in a way the answer is still ‘Golf’.

It’s mostly decades of clever marketing as the Golf isn’t really any better than a myriad of other hatchbacks, but somehow it’s still the default choice.

Back in the mid-’70s though, the Golf really was way ahead of the competition, thanks to sharp styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro, front-wheel-drive, and the fact that it didn’t fall apart like every other car of the era.

This near-perfect Model Team replica of the Volkswagen Golf Mark 1 comes from Serge S who has captured the classic hatchback brilliantly. There’s a realistic interior and engine bay, opening hood, doors and boot, and there are even instructions available too. Click the link above to get to the default answer c1976.

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Stranger Blazer

Lego Chevrolet Blazer K5 Stranger Things

Here in TLCB’s home nation police cars all look pretty much the same, so a coffee-coloured police car really would be a strange sight. Not so in the Unites States though, where police livery varies widely from state to state. That makes this 1980 Chevrolet Blazer K5 police car not strange at all, but it is a starring vehicle in the TV show ‘Stranger Things’, being driven by Police Chief Jim Hopper, and that can be very strange indeed.

This ‘Stranger Things’ Chevrolet Blazer was suggested to us by a reader and comes from TLCB Master MOCer Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74, who has recreated both it and Hopper’s cabin beautifully in Lego form. Click here to head over to Andrea’s photostream for all the strange goings on.

Lego Chevrolet Blazer K5 Stranger Things

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Maranello Magnum

Lego Ferarri 308 GTS

This is a Ferrari 308 GTS, made (more) famous by its continued appearance in 1980s Hawaii-based drama ‘Magnum PI’, and built from 1975 in Maranello Italy before being replaced a decade later by the 328.

Designed by Pininfarina the 308 also has the claim of being the slowest Ferrari ever made, as a 2 litre version (known as the 208) was produced to dodge a tax in Italy that applied to cars over 2000cc. Strangely the 208 was still a V8, just a pointlessly small one, and thankfully ‘Magnum PI’s Thomas Magnum got the proper 2.9 litre 240bhp version.

This excellent recreation of Magnum’s mid-’80s Ferrari 308 GTS comes from Flickr’s Peter Blackert aka Lego911 and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link.

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Hackney Carriage

Lego Austin FX4 London Taxi

One of the most iconic vehicles in the world, London’s ‘Black Cab’ has remained visually unchanged for over sixty years. First built by Austin, which became British Leyland, and then by a succession of smaller specialist companies, the ‘Black Cab’ has ferried tens of millions of passengers around the streets of Britain’s capital.

This particular ‘Black Cab’ is an Austin FX4, a design first launched in 1958 that lasted right up until the late 1990s. Powered by various diesel engines the FX4, despite being a rather lovely vehicle, turned London’s air into a soot-filled soup, so thankfully they were banned from service in recent years (and their replacement is a far more air-quality friendly plug-in hybrid).

This brilliant Miniland-scale rendition of the old Austin FX4 comes from Peter Blackert aka Lego911 of Flickr and you can hail it for yourself via the link above. Just don’t breathe in what comes out the back…

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Dangerous Erection

Lego MAZ, RSD-10 Pioneer SS-20 Saber

This website has featured a few tenuously linked erection puns over the years, but today there’s no tenuousness at all, as this green phallus-on-wheels is actually called an ‘erector-launcher’.

This Cold War era Soviet RSD-10 ‘Pioneer’ ballistic nuclear missile and the amazing MAZ 547 transporter erector-launcher which carried it come from TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg, and they’re terrifying.

Measuring over 54ft in length, weighing 37 tons, and capable of flying 7,500km whilst carrying up to three warheads by the end of its development, the RSD-10 was at the very forefront of pointless nuclear dick-waving.

Over 650 of the things were produced, but are now thankfully destroyed (bar a few decommissioned for display purposes) after the U.S and the Soviet Union signed an agreement in 1987 to stop being total morons*.

The Soviet Union though, being a model of responsibility, sold a few of the launchers to North Korea, because they’re trustworthy and accountable state nation. Sigh.

There’s more to see of this rather brilliant mini-figure scale recreation of the MAZ 547 and RSD-10 at Ralph’s Flickr album via the link above, and if you fancy seeing a real one you can do so at the Ukraine Air Force Museum in Kiev and at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

Or on the streets of Pyongyang in North Korea of course.

Lego MAZ, RSD-10 Pioneer SS-20 Saber*And if you think the U.S is any better, guess who this year pulled out of the agreement that ended the RSD-10 Pioneer’s use… Yeah, this guy.

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Miami Vice

Lego Ferrari Daytona Miami Vice

Ferrari didn’t allow Miami Vice to use their cars, because they are – famously – dicks when it comes to their brand protection. The producers decided they wanted Ferraris anyway, and commissioned Corvette-based replicas to create their desired movie cars. We’re not sure who had the last laugh there, the Miami Vice production company or Ferrari, who received marketing for free without even having to lend out a couple of cars.

This neat replica of a replica of a Ferrari Daytona Spider in Miami Vice black on Magnolia spec comes from previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott, and a rather splendid job he’s done too. See more at the link above.

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Black Panther

Lego A-6E Intruder VA-35 Black Panthers

Jungle cat, 1960’s political movement, comic-book hero (and slightly overrated movie), and U.S Navy attack squadron, the name ‘Black Panther’ has seen varied use over the years. It’s the latter usage we’re focussing on here, and the squadron that adopted the name from the 1930s until its disbandment in 1995.

The Black Panthers were a carrier-based air squadron that flew combat missions in the Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War and the First Iraq War, with all of those bar the first using this aircraft, the Grumman A-6 Intruder. This spectacular recreation of the A-6 comes from Master MOCer and TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist), who has constructed the Intruder in A6-E Black Panthers specification in glorious detail.

With folding wings, a sliding canopy, custom decals and a full armament there’s a whole lot more to see. Take a look at Ralph’s A6-E Intruder Flickr album by clicking here, where over twenty high quality image are available.

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Rear-ly Rapid

Lego Skoda Rapid

The current Skoda Rapid is one of the most boring cars ever made. Back in the 1980s though, before the company became yet another subsidiary of the Volkswagen empire, the little Skoda was much more interesting. Much worse too, but we’d take ‘interesting’ over ‘competent’ any day.

Whilst the Rapid only had 60bhp (at most) from its 1300cc engine, that engine was mounted in the rear, driving the rear wheels via a transaxle – just like a Porsche 911! Only worse.

We might be being unfair on the Rapid though, as whilst Skoda rightly had a rubbish reputation for quality in the 1980s (even compared to its British, French and Italian rivals) the Rapid was actually quite well made, being tough and reliable – even to the point of becoming a (moderately) successful rally car and being converted into a (moderately) stylish cabriolet by a UK-based specialist.

The excellent recreation of the ’80s Skoda Rapid pictured here comes from PsychoWard666 of Eurobricks, who’s taken some time away from terrorising the nurses to construct this wonderfully accurate Model Team replica of the classic rear-engined Czech coupe. With opening doors, trunk, and a brilliantly detailed interior Psyco’s Rapid is definitely worth a closer look – click on the link above to visit the Eurobricks forum and take it in the rear.

Lego Skoda Rapid

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Do-It-Yourself Mr. Bean

Lego Mr. Bean Mini

Mr. Bean, one of Britain’s most beloved TV characters, had quite an adventure in his 9th episode. Taking full advantage of the New Year’s Day sales, Mr. Bean bought himself an armchair, paint, brushes and a new mop. Only one problem; his little 1980s Mini was far too small to contain his copious purchases.

Fortunately Bean is a clever fellow, and thus he managed to construct an elaborate driving mechanism from the very items that caused the problem in the first place! What could go wrong? Find out by clicking here, and you can see more of this superb homage to TV gold courtesy of Flickr’s PixelJunkie by clicking here.

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Stranger Vans

Lego Chevrolet Van Stranger Things Netflix

Normally amongst the most mundane vehicles on the roads, vans don’t often appear here at The Lego Car Blog. Today though, we have two, and they’re strange ones at that.

First up is an admittedly boring 1980s Chevrolet G-Series panel van, although it has been wonderfully recreated in 6-wide mini-figure scale. However it’s a van which stars in the Netflix sci-fi series ‘Stranger Things’ and it really does do something strange. Click the link to find out what, and you can see more of the superb model pictured above courtesy of Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74) by clicking here.

Today’s second van doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary but it was, for America at least, a strange vehicle. This mid-’60s Chevrolet ‘forward control’ van mounted the driver and controls right at the front of the chassis, leaving more space in the back for carrying things. Common in Europe and Asia, this design never really took off in the ‘states, which is a shame as we think Chevrolet’s 1960s efforts looked pretty cool. This one comes from Tim Henderson of Flickr, it’s also built in 6-wide mini-figure scale, and there’s more of it to see at Tim’s photostream by clicking here.

Lego Chevrolet Van

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