Tag Archives: 1980s

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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Seventies Escape

Lego UFO S.H.A.D.O Interceptor

This TLCB writer wasn’t around in the 1970s, but from the remnants that exist today it seems like it was pretty bleak time in ’70s Britain. Everyone was on strike, nothing worked properly, and everything was brown.

Hence British TV series ‘UFO‘, written by Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlett creator Gerry Anderson, and set in the near future of 1980, UFO offered some escapism from the drudgery of 1970s Britain. At least for a year, as it only lasted from 1970 to 1971.

UFO featured some pretty cool vehicles though, as is Anderson’s hallmark, and this is one of them; the S.H.A.D.O Interceptor, deployed to protect the secret moonbase from where operations against the alien invasion of 1980 could be orchestrated.

This slick mini-figure recreation of the Interceptor comes from previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74, joining his previously featured UFO Command Centre, and was suggested to us by a reader. There’s more to see at Andrea’s photostream – click the link above to escape for yourself.

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Plan B

Lego Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

We rarely feature digital creations here at TLCB. Today though we’re going to break our own rule, because this virtual Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Group B rally car is an absolute delight.

Built in the mid-1980s to race in the World Rally Championship, Peugeot’s monster mid-engined all-wheel-drive 205s won the final two Group B World Championships in ’85 and ’86, before the formula was banned.

This wonderful recreation of one of the most fearsome WRC cars ever is the work of newcomer Fabrice Larcheveque, who has replicated Peugeot Sport’s famous 1980s livery brilliantly in digital form, and has absolutely nailed the car that wears it too.

Fabrice has built several other iconic cars in LEGO’s Speed Champions style and you can see more of these, plus the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 featured here, via MOCpages, plus you can also vote for the Peugeot to become the next officially-licensed car in the Speed Champions range via LEGO Ideas.

Lego Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

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Orange Crush

Lego Technic Zil 130

Another day, another find, another Elven catastrophe to tidy up. Following this week’s earlier Elf squashing our workforce has been in a cautious but nevertheless vengeful mood.

And so one of the week’s earlier victims found itself at the controls of a vehicle capable of exacting a hit-and-run based revenge. With the Elves it doesn’t really matter if the perpetrator of a previous act is actually present when the revenge is served, just as long as someone gets squished. And squished they were.

Lego Technic Zil 130 MMZ Truck

The vehicle in question is this absolutely wonderful ZiL 130 MMZ 555 tipper truck, in perfectly-suited Porsche 911 GT3 orange, as built by previous bloggee Samolot. In a convenient metaphor for the communist economy that spawned it, the Zil was the ideal tool for crushing the people, or in this case, Elves.

Remote control drive with a remotely controlled four speed gearbox, and a novel linear actuator based steering system give this ZiL 130 a surprising turn of speed, certainly enough to catch out a few slower Elves, whilst all-wheel suspension allowed the truck to roll over them with ease. Unrelated to the smushing, but a cool feature nonetheless, Samolot’s Zil 130 also includes a remotely controlled dumping mechanism powered by a Medium Motor, taking the total motor-count to four.

Lego Technic Zil 130 MMZ Truck

Opening doors, a working steering wheel, and an opening hood all feature too, and Samolot has included a level of detail that’s now becoming typical with many Technic builds that moves the theme ever closer to Model Team in terms of aesthetics.

There’s a whole lot more to see of Samolot’s superb ZiL 130 dump truck via Brickshelf, MOCpages and the Eurobricks forum, plus you watch all the working features in action courtesy of the excellent video below.

YouTube Video:

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We Got Nukes, We Got Knives, Sharp Sticks…

Lego Aliens APC

…and a dropship containing an M577 armoured personnel carrier. The Weyland-Yutani Corporation’s APC was one of the earliest casualties in the 1986 sci-fi horror Aliens, destroying its transaxle to escape alien attack. Still, everyone else got out OK didn’t they?…

Lego Aliens APC Remote Control Sariel

This stunning recreation of the M577 APC from the Aliens movie comes from Technic legend, previous bloggee, and ‘Become a Pro‘ interviewee Pawel ‘Sariel’ Kmiec.

Sariel’s incredible creation packs in all the firepower of the original movie vehicle, with a 360° rotating, fully retractable sliding rear turret, twin roof-mounted opening missile pods, a rotating and elevating front turret, an electrically sliding cabin door, all-wheel-drive and all-wheel-steering with pendular suspension, and full LED lighting.

Lego Aliens APC

All of that can be controlled remotely thanks to a third-party SBrick bluetooth system, allowing the half-a-metre long APC to be operated via a smartphone.

To truly see what Sariel’s spectacular creation can do we highly recommend taking a look at the brilliant video below, plus you can see all the images of the M577 APC via both Flickr and MOCpages.

And whilst you’re checking out the video and those links, we’re going to take the APC’s controls and put the fear of God into our Elven workforce…

YouTube Video:

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High Five

Lego Renault 5 Turbo Group B

Renault are finally on a bit of a roll at the moment, after years of making rubbish. Back in the ’80s they were on a bit of a roll too, and this was the highlight, the mad Renault 5 Turbo Group B rally car. This one’s been built by Jonathan Elliott of Flickr and you can see more at his photostream here.

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Coming Up Trumps

Lego Murica-Mobile Truck

Flickr’s vehicle-building society LUNuts are very on-topic right now, with their current monthly building contest taking in all things dystopian.

Previous bloggee Lino Martins’ entry pays homage the bleak dystopian masterpiece ‘1984’, which contains absolutely no similarities with the current state of U.S politics.

Coincidentally, we’ll hand over to Lino to explain some of the features of his ‘Murica-mobile’; “The roof mounted loud speakers are so that the driver may broadcast alternate facts, and many people are saying that the gun rack and truck nuts are a classy touch. Many people. Believe me. And no one knows classy better than I do. Let’s make America great again. Bigly”.

No similarities whatsoever… See more courtesy of Lino’s photostream.

Lego Murica-Mobile Truck

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Back To The Future’s on TV Again!

Lego Television

We’ll watch the Back to the Future trilogy literally every time it’s on television, which means it plays quite regularly here at TLCB Towers. Flickr’s Primoz Mlakar has gone one step further though, as cinema’s most iconic movie car is permanently showing on his TV.

This absolutely wonderful period-correct 1980s Sony television, complete with the famous flying DeLorean from Back to the Future Part II, has caused our collective jaw to drop here in the office, and we cannot recommend taking a closer look highly enough. This is the build of the year so far.

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Back to the Future Part III – Delorean Time Machine – Picture Special

Lego Back to the Future Part III Delorean Time Machine

Time is standing still here at TLCB Towers. It’s been hours and we’ve accomplished nothing. Because of this. The single most amazing model that we’ve posted this year. Built by Flickr’s 지현 주 (aka seter82), it is, of course, the incredible final DeLorean DMC-12 time machine from the iconic Back to the Future franchise, and it’s the hardest one to make of them all.

Lego Back to the Future Part III Delorean Time Machine

Often overlooked by model makers, the time machine from Back to the Future Part III is the most intricate and highly detailed of all of the movie cars, modified to operate before gasoline was discovered via a push from a steam engine. Steampunk, surely, began here.

Lego Back to the Future Part II DeLorean time machine

Seter82’s astonishing recreation of the Back to the Futrure Part III DeLorean is one of the most beautifully replicated movie cars we’ve ever seen, in any context, and it even gives real-world recreations from the Back to the Future franchise fierce competition. With a perfectly recreated cabin, complete with all the paraphernalia Doc required for time travelling, a 100% movie-accurate exterior, plus functions such as opening gull-wing doors and hood, and adjustable steering wheel and seats, Seter’s DeLorean is a build that you can revel in for hours.

Lego Back to the Future Part III Delorean Time Machine

Which is what we’ll be doing. You can join us at Seter82’s Flickr photostream by clicking here, where a huge gallery of incredible imagery is available to view – however, unless you have a real time machine be prepared to lose a good part of your day. Because Seter’s DeLorean is as real as it gets.

Lego Back to the Future Part III Delorean Time Machine

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