Tag Archives: 1980s

Not Everything in the ’70s was Brown

Cars in the 1970s tended to look like this. Or this. Or this. Or this. And then the Lamborghini Countach came along, from space.

Launched in 1974 the world hadn’t seen anything like it, and the car instantly became a cult bedroom wall icon. It’s fortunate however, that most people know the Countach from a poster rather than from driving one, because they would probably be rather disappointed.

Why not stick to this then, Jerac‘s incredible Model Team replica of the 1970s icon. Jerac has captured the Countach’s wild shape to perfection and he’s even made instructions available so you can build your very own. Which means you can own a Countach for the looks without having to drive one, which really is what the car is all about.

Head to Jerac’s photostream via the link above to find of all his superb images plus a link to building instructions too.

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Do It Yourself Mr Bean

Some TV shows are famous for their cars. Knight Rider has KITT, The Saint has the Volvo P1800, Dukes of Hazard the Dodge Charger, Starsky and Hutch the Ford Gran Torino, and Mr. Bean… a Mini with an armchair strapped to the roof.

There was a very good reason for the armchair to be on the roof, which Flickr’s Lasse Deleuran has recreated perfectly with this wonderful 5-wide homage to Mr. Bean’s trip back from the DIY store.

Head to Lasse’s photostream via the link above to see more. Just make sure the head of your broom doesn’t fall off…

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Acceptable in the ’80s

Some things were acceptable in the ’80s. Perms. Sexism. Straight lines. And turbos. Everything had the word ‘turbo’ written on it, even sunglasses. However the Honda City Turbo II did actually have a turbo attached to its little 1,200cc engine, giving it 100bhp. Nearly.

It was also designed entirely using straight lines, as was the minute Honda Motocompo folding scooter, a vehicle so small it could actually fit in the trunk of the City Turbo II, as proven in this magnificent ’80s commercial.

Despite being borne in the ’80s the Motocompo didn’t have a turbo, producing just 2.5bhp from its 49cc engine. Still, we bet even that was pretty terrifying. We’ll stick to the City Turbo II, which we’ve decided we really want in real life. But we are a bit odd.

These superb Model Team recreations of both the Honda City Turbo II and Motocompo scooter come from Dylan Denton, who has built each ’80s icon beautifully. Both models feature wonderful attention to detail (enhanced by accurately replicated decals) inside and out, and are absolutely worth a closer look.

Head to Tokyo c1983 courtesy of Dylan’s photostream via the link in the text above!

*Today’s title song

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Russian Dump

We’ll let Russian readers insert their own joke linking to the title so we don’t get poisoned by Novichok. Or we can make one about what fetish your Dad’s internet history reveals… Nope, we’re going to rise above it today* – on the the model!

This gorgeous GAZ-53 dump truck is the work of previous bloggee Samolot, who has created this beautiful fully-functioning Technic replica of the Soviet medium duty truck produced from 1961 right up until 1993.

Samolot’s model looks superb (particularly in the wonderful outdoor shot above), and features a long list of engineering ingenuity, including working front and rear suspension, remote control drive via a single XL Motor, steering via a Servo, a remote control four-speed gearbox, and a Medium motor-powered functioning tipper.

There’s much more to see of Samolot’s brilliant build at the Eurobricks discussion forum by clicking here, where you can also find a video demonstrating the GAZ’s working functions.

*Kinda

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Farmville

We like a good tractor here at TLCB. We even like a not very good tractor, which – knowing little about this Ursus C-360 from 1970s Poland – today’s one may well be. It is a lovely build though, coming from Flickr’s Thietmaier (aka Damian Z) who has recently updated his previously blogged design with LEGO’s latest parts. He’s also built a plethora of farming equipment to accompany it, including whatever that green thing is above. See more of it and the fabulous tractor pulling it at Thietmaier’s Ursus C-360 album by clicking here.

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Dip it Low*

Suggested to us by a reader on our Facebook page, newcomer Drop Shop today makes their TLCB debut with two spectacular Model Team low riders. Both the 1980s Chevrolet Monte Carlo ‘Mad Monte’ above and ’66 Cadillac ‘Sinister Series’ below are immaculately constructed, and each has been dropped to a pavement-scraping height that looks simultaneously gloriously impractical and magnificently evil.

With all-black bodywork and custom chrome the models must have been a nightmare to photograph, but Drop Shop shows how it should be done with excellent presentation utilising great lighting and a clean monotone background (see how you can do this for yourself by clicking here), showcasing the creations superbly.

Drop Shop has uploaded a few other builds alongside the Mad Monte and Sinister Caddy which continue the low theme, including a beautiful dropped ’63 Cadillac Fleetwood Convertible and a slammed Ferrari 288 GTO (which is sacrilege, but undeniably well-made!).

Click the links above to see more of the two models featured in this post, here to see Drop Shop’s complete photostream, and we’re pretty sure that Drop Shop’s future creations will be be making appearances here at The Lego Car Blog.

*A personal thanks to Drop Shop for reminding that the video to today’s title song exists.

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City Turbo

From one mighty engineering feat to, er… a tiny 1980s hatchback. Still, both Concorde and the Honda City Turbo express the excess of the ’80s, with slightly unnecessary speed and only really selling in their home markets.

The Honda City was a 1980s sub-compact car built mainly for the domestic Japanese market, and – this being the ’80s – Honda decided to stick a turbo on it in 1982. The Turbo II arrived in 1984, lasting just two years until its replacement in 1986, and with 108 bhp from its 1.2litre intercooled engine, the Turbo was the only City to crack 100mph.

It also featured some very ’80s graphics and a weird asymmetric grille, which Flickr’s aaref1ev has captured in digital Lego form brilliantly with his 6-wide City Turbo II design. Take a trip to Tokyo sometime in 1985 via the link above.

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Supersonic Bricks

TLCB bold statement of the weekend; the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde is the greatest aircraft ever made. And simultaneously one of the worst…

Concorde is one of only two airliners ever to fly supersonic (the other of which was basically a Soviet copy), with a top speed of over 1,300mph. That’s twice the speed of sound, and it enabled passengers to travel from New York to London in three hours, meaning that check-in probably took longer than the transatlantic flight.

This remarkable feat was enabled by Concorde’s incredible delta wing design and the four Rolls Royce Olympus engines engines that took the plane to around 60,000ft, an altitude 50% higher than other commercial airliners.

However despite this height the aircraft was spectacularly loud, and not just because of its engines. A sonic boom – caused by the pressure wave that builds up around an object travelling above the speed of sound – is not a one-off ‘bang’, it’s continuous, travelling with the object. This meant that Concorde was only allowed to travel at supersonic speeds over water, and thus almost all of the world’s airports refused to take it.

With costs spiralling to over £1 billion (in the 1970s!), the British and French governments effectively bought the programme, with each country’s national carrier (British Airways and Air France) becoming the only operators to fly the plane. From an original sales expectation in the low hundreds, just fourteen aircraft were built (plus six test units), entering service between Europe and America.

With Concorde only able to take around 100 passengers at a time, tickets were enormously expensive – costing dozens of times more than a conventional transatlantic flight. However in the booming 1980s both operators were finally able to turn a profit, as Concorde’s wealthy passengers were happy to pay the huge price for the speed and status offered by a supersonic transatlantic flight.

It couldn’t last forever though, and with Concorde ageing, fuel prices increasing, and alternative flights becoming more luxurious and much cheaper on conventional aircraft, the business case for supersonic passenger flights became less viable. A fatal accident in 2000 (Concorde’s only such loss in three decades of flying) and the global demand slump after the September 11th attacks led to the aircraft retiring in 2003, and with it the era of supersonic transatlantic flight was over.

This spectacular replica of the world’s most iconic airliner is the work of BigPlanes of Flickr, whose incredible recreation of Air Force One appeared here at the start of the year. With a fully fitted mini-figure interior including kitchen, cockpit, and bathrooms, a working ‘droop nose’ (which allowed the pilots to see the runway as the plane approached), functioning landing gear, afterburners, and a wonderful brick-built classic British Airways livery, BigPlanes’ Concorde is one of the finest Lego aircraft that we have ever featured.

It’s a fitting tribute to one of the most ambitious engineering masterpieces of modern times, and there’s more to see of his phenomenal model at his photostream. Click the link above to head out over the Atlantic Ocean and go supersonic.

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Massive Minecraft

Built in 1973, massive to world record proportions, and able to service an entire mine at once, your Mom and the Terex 33-19 Titan have a lot in common.

Just one Terex Titan was constructed and – until 1998 – it was the largest mining truck in the world, at a staggering 350 tons. This incredible recreation of the mighty mining machine comes from Beat Felber of Flickr, who has rebuilt the Terex superbly in a huge 1:28.5 scale.

Beat’s model is so large in fact that LEGO don’t make tyres big enough, hence the non-LEGO 120mm tyres fitted – the only non-LEGO pieces used. There’s something authentic about this too, as the real Terex required six axles rather than the usual four as there were no tyres large enough available for a four-axle truck to take the Titan’s immense weight.

Beat’s astonishing replica of the 33-19 Titan not only looks spectacular, it functions too, with two very brave XL Motors driving the tandem rear axle and pair of Servo Motors powering the all-wheel steering. A further L Motor drives the two XL linear actuators that allow the enormous bucket to tip and two sets of LEDs illuminate the Terex’s head and tail lights, with all of that controlled by a third party SBrick programmable bluetooth battery.

Top quality custom decals and excellent presentation make Beat’s build a must-see, and you can do just that at his Terex 33-19 Mining Truck album on Flickr. Click the link and join us there, where it’s making our own Lego creations feel very small indeed.

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No School Like the Old School

BMW’s M-cars have got ever more capable, and ever more silly. The latest M3 is phenomenal machine that is almost pointlessly over-powered. Still, it’s not an X6M so that’s worth celebrating.

Back in the 1980s BMW’s M-cars weren’t all about power though, as demonstrated by the first M3. The ‘E30’ series was only a four-cylinder and it only had around 200bhp, but it was small, light and agile, making about a billion times more fun than the current version. Which is why the values of E30 M3s have gone stratospheric.

Luckily SP_LINEUP has created a more attainable version, via his superb mildly modified 8-wide model, complete with opening doors and hood, and a roll cage inside the detailed interior. Head to Flickr via the link above to see more of SP’s brick-built recreation of the first – and best – M3 that BMW ever made.

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Powered-Up Porsche (II)

Porsche 911s are everywhere in the car scene, so it’s apt that it’s the car of choice for Lego builders too. Having published our first ‘Powered-Up’ creation utilising LEGO’s new bluetooth components yesterday – a classic Porsche 911 – here’s another ‘Powered-Up’ equipped model, a… er, classic Porsche 911.

Flukey similarities aside, it’s a mega build by previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Mahjqa, who has deployed LEGO’s new components to great effect in his ’80s ‘whale tail’ Porsche.

LED lights feature alongside the bluetooth-controlled drive and steering and there’s more to see of Mahjqa’s build at both his Flickr photostream and the Eurobricks forum.

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Supercar of the ’70s

If there’s one car that encapsulates supercars of the 1970s, it’s this one. The Lamborghini Countach was, well… basically un-drivable. No visibility, the widest tyres ever fitted to a production car, the world’s heaviest clutch, zero thought to driver ergonomics, and less power than a modern Mercedes-Benz A-Class…

And yet… look at it. Designed by Bertone in 1971 the Countach was produced from 1974 all the way until 1990, whereupon it was replaced by the Diablo, with some 1,800 units built over its sixteen year life. Later cars were ‘improved’ with the addition of wide arches, sills, and a mental rear wing (making the Countach as iconic in the ’80s as in the decade of its birth), but we prefer the early ones like this LP400.

Flickr’s Jonathan Elliott is the genius behind this 7-wide Speed Champions version, putting LEGO’s new canopy part to brilliant use here. In fact seeing as LEGO have a licence to make Lamborghini sets we think Jonathan’s LP400 would make an excellent addition to the official Speed Champions line-up from whence the canopy part came.

Head to Jonathan’s photostream via the link above if you like his Lamborghini as much as we do, where you can see more this model and his impressive back-catalogue of Speed Champions builds.

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F-ing Fantastic

This phenomenal Volvo F12 truck complete with a VBA box and a Dapa drawbar box trailer was found by one of our Elves on Flickr today, and we know it’s early but this is surely already a contender for the best truck of 2020.

Built by Master MOCer and truck-building legend Dennis Bosman (aka legotrucks), this spectacularly presented build perfectly replicates the real trucks that were in use with the refrigerated transport company ‘Sties’ whose livery Dennis has expertly recreated.

Dennis’ 1:13 scale replica of the 1980s truck (making it almost 150cm in length) not only looks absolutely beautiful on the outside, it includes a wealth of features too, including a tilting cab with a fully fitted interior, and highly detailed engine and chassis, and opening cargo doors.

An extensive gallery of stunning imagery showcasing the classic Volvo F12 truck is available to view by clicking here, and you can read Dennis’ interview here at The Lego Car Blog as part of the Master MOCers series by clicking these words to discover how he creates incredible models such as this one.

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Flying Dolphin

The Lego Car Blog Elves have never met a dolphin, and thus they have little knowledge of what one looks like. The naming department of Eurocopter must only have had a loose idea too, because the clever aquatic mammals definitely don’t have rotors. Still, we suppose the barracuda doesn’t have wheels and that provided a cool car name for Plymouth.

The Eurocopter HH-65 does have a sort-of-dolphinish nose though, recreated here in superb detail by Robson M of Flickr. As well as the nose Robson has successfully replicated the Dolphin’s complex tail rotor, fitted a complete interior (with neat sliding door too), and has enhanced the accuracy with some excellent custom decals.

There’s more to see of Robson’s wonderfully realistic Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin at his photostream – click the link above to watch it do a backflip for some fish.

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Ageing Orange

Nope, not a play on words for this abomination in America’s history, nor the current President of the United States (we’ve done him already today), but this spectacular classic DAF N2800 truck from previous bloggee and truck-building legend Nanko Klein Paste. Nanko’s creation replicates the 1980s DAF heavy-hauler beautifully, using the livery of a Belgian sand and gravel company ‘Fa. Maes’.

The truck also includes Power Functions motors, allowing it to drive, steer, and tip the chunky container (with its load of c2,500 ‘rocks!) thanks to a motor-driven linear-actuator, plus it includes LED lights, custom decals, and a wonderfully detailed interior too. There’s much more to see of Nanko’s superb classic DAF at his photostream – take a look via the link in the text above.

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