Tag Archives: 1980s

Evolution of the Camel

The camel – our favourite humped, even-toed ungulate – did not start out as a large desert-dwelling domesticated animal. The camel’s beginnings, around 50 million years ago, are more rabbity. Later it had grown to around the size of a goat before, c5 million years ago, evolving into a nine-foot tall arctic-living creature, whose hump may have existing to help it survive the cold.

The Camel is an animal that’s gone through a bit of change, and so too has newcomer Fabiomaster‘s Land Rover Defender in Camel Trophy spec. Which is as seamless a link between two barely related things as you’re likely to find.

Beginning as an off-road chassis by TLCB Master MOCer Sheepo, the design evolved into a Land Rover Defender Camel Trophy in the hands of RM8, whose Sheepo-based creation appeared here four years ago.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the design has subtly evolved again, with Fabiomaster updating the Defender with the latest parts and unique off-road accessories, presenting it beautifully as you can see here. So it’s not really Fabiomaster’s creation, but rather the work of three builders over the course of several years, and it looks properly good as a result.

There’s more to see of Fabiomaster’s Land Rover Defender Camel Trophy on Eurobricks via the link above, and you can follow the evolutionary tree back through RM8’s version to Sheepo’s original chassis via the links in the blog text.

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Build-A-Beemer

We’re not fan of BMW’s latest M-cars. Enormous grilles, enormous engines, and enormous bodywork… all things that aren’t really about driving enjoyment. Nor are many others it seems, as BMW’s compact first generation M3, with it’s small grille, small (4-cylinder) engine, and small bodywork is becoming incredibly valuable, as people look for M-cars from a simpler time.

This neat Speed Champions E30 series M3 comes from Flickr’s Rolling Bricks, and it captures the car’s boxy lines, flared arches, and square rear wing brilliantly. Rolling Bricks has made building instructions available too, so if you’d like to own a classic M3 you can create your very own at home.

Head to Rolling Bricks’ ‘BMW E30 M3’ album via the link above to view the complete gallery, and to find the all-important link to building instructions.

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And to Our Future. No Matter Who it May Take Us up Against, or Where…

It’s the early ’80s, perms are big, jackets are leather, and 200mph, self-driving, talking cars exist only in the imagination. And then NBC shoved C-3PO into the dashboard of a Pontiac Trans-Am. Perms remained big and jackets remained leather, but the 200mph, self-driving, talking car was now a reality, on screen at least.

The Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T) became the coolest car for every eight year old in ’80s America, and even though most of the technology it featured is now hilariously out-of-date (even Mrs. TLCB Writer’s compact hatchback can do more* today), it’s still one of the most famous and enduring TV cars of all time.

Capturing K.I.T.T superbly in mini-figure scale, László Torma has constructed a 6-wide version of the camp coupe complete with a mini-fig Michael Knight, and he’s made instructions available too so that you can build your very own. Head to Laszlo’s photostream via the link above to take “a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man that doesn’t exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the powerless, and the helpless in a world of criminals that operate above the law“. It doesn’t get any more ’80s than that!

*OK, it can’t do 200mph, despite the way Mrs. TLCB Writer drives it.

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750

Another day, another Elf returns to TLCB Towers, and this time with something delightfully simple. Entitled ‘A Japanese 4-Cylinder 750cc Motorcycle from the 1980s’ this is tango-zero‘s Japanese 4-cylinder 750cc motorcycle from the 1980s. There’s only one image, it’s slightly grainy, and we love it. Head to Brickshelf via the link above to see it in full-size, alongside a few other lovely Model Team motorbikes from the same builder.

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Black Ace

This is the Grumman F-14A Tomcat, as flown by the U.S Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 41, the ‘Black Aces’ until he mid-’00s before being superseded by the F-18 Super Hornet.

First flying the in the early ’70s, the F-14 is a twin engine variable-sweep wing fighter that saw deployment in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and is – somewhat oddly – still in service with the Iranian Air Force today, despite the U.S destroying its retired aircraft to prevent spare parts ending up in Iran.

This spectacular replica of the F-14A resplendent in ‘Black Aces’ markings is the work of Jonah Padberg (aka Plane Bricks) of Flickr, who has recreated the supersonic fighter in breathtaking detail.

Featuring working flaps, ailerons, elevators, rudders and air brake, plus an opening canopy, functions landing gear, and an array of explody things slung underneath, Jonah’s F-14A is so realistic we wouldn’t be supposed if Iran try to buy it for spare parts. Which they can do, as Jonah is making his model available for purchase in kit form!

There’s more of Jonah’s incredible Grumman F-14A to see on Flickr, including detailed photos of the underside and all the explody things too. Click the link in the text above to visit Jonah’s photostream, where a few Iranian aviation maintenance people may also be snooping about…

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Silver Bird

American Airlines have a great paint scheme. Both retro and futuristic, their shiny silver overlaid by a tri-colour stripe is surely one of the best liveries in the industry. This particular TLCB Writer was most excited to get on an AA aircraft for the first time, newly painted in the shiniest of silvers, before realising the interior was last refreshed in the American Civil War. It was a l.o.n.g flight…

Perhaps that’s a metaphor for much of American produce; shiny on the outside, shit underneath. Anyhoo, equally shiny, yet wonderful underneath too, is this spectacular Boeing 757-200 airliner from Flickr’s BigPlanes, complete with the iconic American Airlines livery and a fully-fitted mini-figure interior.

BigPlanes’ 757 also features beautifully working landing gear, moving flaps, and lighting, which – admittedly – worked fine on this writer’s real-world American Airlines flight, but the interior wasn’t a patch on this! There’s much more to see of BigPlanes incredible creation at his ‘American Airlines Boeing 757-200‘ album; click the link to head to the departure gate, before wishing you’d flown Virgin Atlantic instead.

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Soviet Station Wagon

The Soviets may have hated America, but they sure liked its cars. This is the GAZ-24, specifically the 2402 station wagon produced from 1971 all the way up until the mid ’80s, despite looking like something straight out of America in 1963.

Powered by either a 2.5 litre four cylinder or an American-aping 5.5 litre V8, the GAZ-24 was famed for its toughness, and whilst limited numbers were exported, it wasn’t really available to the common Russian man, being reserved only for those with a special permit that allowed its purchase. Because Communism.

Matthew Terentev has got himself a 2402 though, by building this most excellent Technic recreation, complete with accurate leaf-spring rear and independent front suspension, a working inline 4-cylinder engine under the opening hood, ‘Hand of God’ steering and a working steering wheel, plus opening doors and tailgate.

There’s lots more to see of Matthew’s superb Soviet station wagon at his photostream on Flickr – grab your special permit, click the link, and pretend you’re a 1980s Russian pretending they’re a 1960s American.

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Switch-a-Stallion

If you’ve got one Ferrari in your stable, you probably have another too. And maybe another. If you’re like us though, even one Ferrari is a very long way out of reach, despite the glamour, fame, and groupies that blogging Lego creations brings.

Fortunately regular bloggee Angka Utama has an answer to the multiple Ferraris conundrum, with an update to his previously featured 308 GTS and 348 Testa Rossa models.

Angka’s design now includes some cunningly hidden pins and clips, allowing the 308 to morph into a 348 and back again in just few seconds. It’s like Transformers if they transformed from a robot into a slightly different robot.

Each classic Ferrari looks properly recognisable (plus we think interchangeable Ferraris would make a brilliant official LEGO Speed Champions set), and there’s more to see of how Angka has done it at his photostream. Click here to add two Ferraris to your Lego garage.

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BAE EAP & LR

Today’s acronym is the British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme (or EAP for short), the prototype air-superiority fighter that would eventually, via a cross-European collaboration, become the amazing Eurofighter Typhoon. Recreated here in its natty testing livery, Ralph Savelsberg has captured the aircraft brilliantly in mini-figure scale. A 5-wide RAF Land Rover Defender is on hand to assist with the testing programme and there’s more to see of both at Ralph’s photostream via the link.

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Eastern Education

Every day’s a school day. Following yesterday’s post featuring a vehicle by a successful German truck manufacturer that we’d never heard of, here’s another.

This is an Industrieverband Fahrzeugbau W 50, or ‘IFA W50’ for short, which is what we shall definitely be calling it. Constructed in East Germany from 1965 to 1990, the IFA W 50 was titled simply after the conglomerate that ran all of the East German vehicle manufactures at the time, including Trabant, Wartburg, and a host of other rubbish Communist companies, plus a few designs pinched from West German DKW.

Like many manufacturers behind the Iron Curtain the W 50 was produced in huge numbers, partly because it was built for so long, and partly because, well… you couldn’t buy much else.

Almost 600,000 IFA W 50s were built during its 25 year production run across over sixty body varieties, with up to 80% exported throughout the Soviet Union and sympathetic countries in some years, until Germany reunified and the Union began to collapse, abruptly ending production in 1990.

This neat Lego recreation of the East German truck comes from Clemens Schneider (aka popider) of Flickr and it features a working tipper and a rather accurate drivetrain too. Head to Clemens’ ‘IFA W 50’ album via the link to see all the images.

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America’s Movable Fighting Man

G.I. Joe has been the default choice for any patriotic American boy since the 1960s. This is despite him being, well… a doll, and – we suspect – boyfriend/GBFF to Barbie on the side (we’ve never seen Ken and Joe in the same room at once… just sayin’).

No matter, because when he’s not wearing a hawaiian shirt or driving a pink convertible, Ken G.I. Joe gets access to some pretty awesome stuff. Stuff like this, an articulated tank/rocket launcher device entitled the ‘Cobra Maggot’.

Built by Big Easy Bricks making their TLCB debut, the Maggot is every bit as playable as the real 1987 G.I. Joe toy, with working tracks, an accessible control room, and two rocket launcher/cannon arrangements. There’s more to see of Big Easy’s Cobra Maggot on Flickr – take a look via the link above.

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High Five

The BMW 5-Series has been the bastion of European executive transport for decades. 520d’s are everywhere, usually in grey, and – despite the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ tagline – they could only be less interesting if they were an X5. Which many now are. Sigh.

This though, is our kind of five. The E28 was the second generation of the 5-Series, produced from 1981-’88, and it was the first to feature both a diesel engine (boo) and an ‘M’ version (woo!).

This neat Speed Champions recreation of the E28 5-Series comes from regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott and it’s instantly recognisable. Head to his photostream to see more, plus his huge back catalogue of other brilliant small-scale replicas.

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Forest Pigs

Rallying was big business in the 1980s. With few rules making for wild cars, the WRC attracted as much attention as Formula 1, and Porsche wanted a piece of it, despite the unlikely suitability of their road-going products. Of course Porsche had a plan; their incredible all-wheel-drive 959, which would have been ideally placed for the WRC’s top-tier Group B once it was finished.

Unfortunately for Porsche the banning of Group B meant the 959 never got the chance to properly compete (although this did mean that the car raced in Paris-Dakar instead, becoming one of the most wonderful and weird winners in the event’s history), but before then Porsche still wanted a rally car whilst the 959 was in development. Cue the 911 with a giant wing on the back.

The 911 of the 1980s was of course only rear-wheel-drive though, meaning that the SC/RS version homologated for rallying stood very little chance against the all-wheel-drove competition in the WRC, but it was still a quick car. Switching to the lower-spec European Rally Championship proved smart, where Porsche’s stop-gap rally car was prepared by Prodrive and took several wins.

These two spectacular recreations of the Porsche 911 SC/RS come from TLCB Master MOCer Dennis Glaasker aka Bricksonwheels, who has faithfully recreated the ’80s icon in astounding detail. Each 1:14 scale model replicates a real version of the 911 rally car, with the famous Rothmans and Belga team liveries brought to life in incredible realism thanks to fellow previous bloggee JaapTechnic’s decal-producing wizardry.

Opening doors and engine covers reveal an interior and engine as beautifully recreated as the stunning exteriors, and there’s loads more to see of both 911 SC/RS models at Dennis’ ‘Porsche 911 SC/RS in Lego (1:14)’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to head to a forest in Belgium sometime in the 1980s.

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Purple Haze

The Honda Acty is not a fast car. In fact, in second generation 35bhp 550cc form, it is a very slow one. We therefore very much appreciate the mildly deranged mind of someone who decides to turn the 1980s kei van into a dragster. Cue Michael217, who has done just that, equipping his Model Team recreation of the Acty with dragster wheels, a wheelie bar, and a LEGO Buggy Motor – which explains the requirement for the first two items. Plus it’s purple.

There’s more to see of Michael’s brilliant remote control Honda Acty dragster at both Eurobricks and Bricksafe, and you can find today’s awesome title song by clicking here.

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Why Do Only Fools and Horses Work?

Britain has many famous TV cars. Ford Capris, Jaguar MkIIs, Volvo P1800s, and, er… the Reliant Regal Supervan. Yes, they really called it that, meaning it held the most ironic name in vehicular history until it was finally surpassed by the Mitsubishi Carisma in the late ’90s.

Flickr’s de-marco has captured the classic three-wheeled delivery van to perfection, and only the addition of ‘Trotters Independent Traders’ to the sides could make it any more cushty.

Click the link above to head to Peckham sometime in the 1980s. Lovely jubbly.

(If you have absolutely no idea what we’re on about, click here…)

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