Tag Archives: 1980s

Memory Lane

For builders of a certain generation Dennis Bosman has performed a miracle of Lego reconstruction. The 8889 Technic Ideas book was published in 1984, just four years after the original 8888 book. 8889 showed just how quickly the parts available and building techniques for the Technic part of the Lego System had moved on. As well as step-by-step instructions for some builds (this writer’s favourite was the strange 6-wheeled vehicle) there were photos of additional models. Across two double-page spreads was a massive truck. How to build it though? This is what Dennis Bosman has done, using only contemporary parts. Click this link to travel back in time…

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Tuesday Trio

Lego US Navy Aircraft

Flickr’s Dornbi has appeared here numerous times with his stunning Lego aircraft. He’s recently pictured three of his historic US Navy planes together, with the F14a Tomcat, A-6E Intruder and A-7E Corsair all faithfully recreated in grey and white bricks. There’s more to see of each at Dornbi’s photostream – click there for the full set of images.

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6698 Redux

Lego Land Rover Boat Tow

One of this writer’s very favourite sets is 6698, released before he was born, and featuring what was quite clearly a Land Rover Series 3 towing nifty little speedboat. Must trawl eBay…

Anyway, TLCB favourite Pixel Fox has decided to build his own, thoroughly rebooted for the modern age. At 6-studs wide Pixel’s Land Rover is 50% larger than the ’80s original, and bang on the right size to be a current City set. The speed boat and trailer take advantage of their increased scale too, packing in some lovely detailing.

Pixel has presented his latest build in his trademark vignette style and you can see the scene in more detail by visiting his photostream – click the link above to head to the seaside.

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Lampooned!

Lego National Lampoon's Vacation Wagon Queen Family Truckster

“You think you hate it now, but wait until you drive it!”. 1983’s ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’ may have primarily been a vehicle for Chevy Chase’s comedic brilliance, but it featured quite a vehicle itself. The Wagon Queen Family Truckster was a modified ’70s station wagon, disguising it from any manufacturer association, and it had quite a trip. This top quality recreation of the star car comes from regular bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist, who has captured the unique crapness of the real car wonderfully! Hit the road to Flickr via the link above.

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Cannonball

Lego Porsche 956 Cannon

Six minutes and eleven seconds. The fastest ever lap of the fearsome Nurburgring Nordschleife, recorded not by a Formula 1 car or a Bugatti Veyron, but way back in 1982 by this; Porsche’s amazing Group C 956.

Powered by a development of the successful 936’s turbocharged flat-6, the 956 took power to over 600bhp and used the world’s first double clutch gearbox to send it to the rear wheels.

Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell debuted the car at the 6 Hours of Silverstone before taking pole, ahead of Porsche’s two other 956s in second and third, at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The race finished as it started, with Porsche taking a 1-2-3 and with Ickx and Bell claiming their third win together for the Porsche team.

This superb recreation of Porsche’s dominant early ’80s Group C Champion comes from Flickr’s Manuel Cara, which despite its small size is  wonderfully accurate, made more so by the authentic-looking period Canon decals. There’s more to see of Manuel’s 956 at his photostream by clicking here, and if you’d like to see the real car in action, take a look here!

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Black and Gold

Lego 911 Targa

First debuting around a decade ago (like today’s rather excellent title song), The Avro Brothers’ Porsche 911 targa is something of a legend within the online Lego Community. Recently updated, the Brothers have now released their incredible classic Porsche in a brilliant black and gold colour-scheme, and they’ve made building instructions available too.

Lego 911 Targa

There’s more of this incredible Porsche 911 Targa to see at the Brother’s photostream, where you can also find a link to The Avro Brothers website and the aforementioned building instructions. Make the jump to Flickr via the link above.

Lego 911 Targa

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Autosan H9-21 – Picture Special

Lego Autosan H9-21 Bus

This absolutely beautiful creation comes from previous bloggee Eric Trax, and it’s a near-perfect replica of a Polish Autosan H9-21 39-seat intercity bus produced from the 1970s until the early 2000s.

Powered by a 6.5 litre turbodiesel the Autosan H9 only had 150bhp, but it was reliable, easy to repair, and could handle near constant use on poor quality roads, making it an ideal export around the world, carrying passengers in the USSR, Eastern Europe, North Africa, South America, Korea and China.

Lego Autosan H9-21 Bus RC

Eric’s wonderful Model Team version of the popular Polish bus recreates the exterior and interior brilliantly in Lego form, and the model also includes remote control drive, steering, a 2-speed gearbox, opening doors, a detailed engine under the raising engine cover, and opening luggage compartments.

There’s lots more to see of Eric’s Autosan H9-21 at Flickr, Brickshelf, and the Eurobricks forum, where you can also find a video showing the model in action. Hop on board via the links above.

Lego Autosan H9-21 Remote Control

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Piggyback

Lego Nasa Space Shuttle Boeing 747

This remarkable airplane is a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), based on the Boeing 747 airliner and pictured here piggybacking the Space Shuttle. It’s been built by Lia Chan of Flickr, who has appeared here before with his incredible Shuttle launch scene. There’s more to see of Lia’s spectacular replica of SCA NA905 on Flickr, where the album includes images of the model alongside its enormous real-life NASA counterpart shot on-location at the Houston Space Centre. Click the link above to visit the full gallery.

Lego SCA NA905

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Squarange*

Lego Volvo 240 DL

Contrary to today’s other post, this slice of orange magnificence is not of interest to the Elves one bit. It is however, so our kind of car! Old, square, and with the design aesthetic of an East German office block, the Volvo 240 DL and TLCB Towers have much in common.

This wonderful recreation of one of the finest lumps of Swedish steel comes from LegoJalex, and never has the humble LEGO brick seemed more suited to a vehicle. Opening doors, hood and trunk-lid all feature, as does a deliciously brown interior. If you’re as much of a fan as we are (and therefore probably a bit odd), you can see more of this classic Volvo on Flickr via the link above!

*Because it’s square. And orange.

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You’ve Got Mail

Lego Ford Cargo Royal Mail Truck

This TLCB writer can’t remember the last time he saw a Ford Cargo, but they used to be everywhere. Once the truck of choice for large fleets such as the Royal Mail the humble Cargo must be nearly extinct now, however Flickr’s Lego Guy has kept at least one alive with his excellent Town-scale recreation, complete with a superb and instantly recognisable Royal Mail livery. There’s more to see at Lego Guy’s photostream – click the link above to lick the stamp.

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Ocean Custodian

Lego RV Calypso Research Boat

Built by TLCB debutant Luis Pena, this is a 1:100 scale replica of the research vessel ‘Calypso’, complete with a helicopter and ‘diving saucer’ submersible vehicle.

The Calypso was originally a US-built wooden-hulled British minesweeper that served in the Mediterranean during the Second World War. Following the Allied victory the ship returned to US hands before being recommissioned as a Maltese ferry.

Within a year however, British millionaire Thomas Loel Guinness purchased the ship and gave it to the diving pioneer, film-maker, conservationist and adventurer Jacques-Yves Cousteau for use as a marine research vessel, a role the Calypso fulfilled for five decades. During an incredible half-century of oceanic exploration Cousteau and the Calypso made numerous discoveries, including the wreck of the HMHS Brittanic sunk during the First World War, the ability of marine mammals to use echolocation, and halted the dumping of radioactive waste in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1996, almost fifty years after it entered service with Cousteau, the RV Calypso was accidentally rammed by a barge in Singapore and it sunk in the harbour. A week later the ship was raised and transferred to a shipyard, however Jacques-Yves Cousteau died the following year of a heart attack aged 87, and the Calypso was left to rot as various parties fought over the boat’s ownership, its restoration, and unpaid bills.

Today the ship, which has featured in film, documentaries, song, and even has a namesake in Star Trek, is still quietly dissolving in a shipyard in France, a victim of mankind’s inability to put progress over profit. However Cousteau’s legacy remains almost unfathomably huge, and continues to today via the environmental protection foundation that he created which now numbers over 300,000 members.

This beautiful homage to a ship which as done probably more than any other can be found in greater detail at Luis’ photostream on Flickr, and includes both above and below the waterline versions (each pictured here). There’s more to see via the link above, and you can read more about the Cousteau Society that continues Jacques-Yves’ work today by clicking here.

Lego RV Calypso Research Boat

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Indestructible Car

Lego Toyota Hilux

Famously unkillable, Toyota’s Hilux pick-up is now in its eighth generation. This is a fourth gen, pictured here somewhere on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast (probably), and beautifully recreated in Lego form by previous bloggee and Town-scale off-road wizard Pixel Fox. There’s more to see of his excellent 6-wide Hilux on Flickr via the link, where you can also find a wealth of other brilliantly replicated off-roaders.

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Go Long

Lego DAF 3600 8X4 ATI Van Seumeren

Last night your Mom put in a request, and thanks to Flickr’s Arian Janssens we’re happy to oblige. This 1980s DAF 3600 ATi 8×4 is seriously long, thanks to the truly enormous beam being transported between itself and the support trailer.

Lego DAF 3600 8X4 ATI Van Seumeren

The whole rig is brilliantly detailed and features an accurate livery of the company that operated the truck in Holland back in the ’80s. There is lots more to see of the DAF 3600 ATi, the trailer, and the colossal beam being transported at Arian’s photostream – click the link above to go long.

Lego DAF 3600 8X4 ATI Van Seumeren

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Mighty Metro

Lego MG Metro 6R4 Group B

The Austin/Rover/MG Metro does not have a good reputation here in TLCB’s home nation. Now almost extinct, most observers would say that’s a good thing. But this staff writer is feeling brave, and he’s going to make a case for the humble British city car…

Launched in 1980 the Austin – and then Rover/MG – Metro was designed to compliment (but eventually replace) the beloved but ageing Mini. Neat packaging, clever hydro-gas suspension, and modern looks earned British Leyland’s new product the What Car? Car of The Year accolade and buyers bought it in their thousands.

However the Metro was born at a tumultuous time for the British car industry, and the reputation of industrial action, striking workers and piss-poor quality still lingered around almost anything that British Leyland made.

This meant that the Metro was a rare success story, but whilst other good products would arrive in the 1990s cash would become increasingly tight, and the Metro would be forced to carry on for eighteen years. Over that time of course, a good car designed in the late 1970s became no longer a good car at all.

That meant the end of the Metro and – ultimately – the end of Rover too, and the Metro is now almost completely gone from European roads, despite over 2 million being sold.

Lego Remote Control Metro 6R4

However, one variant of British Leyland’s little hatchback can still be found. A version from a time when the company was optimistic about its future, and adventurous in its marketing too. The amazing MG Metro 6R4.

Built for the monstrous Group B rally era, and then becoming a dominant force in rallycross, the Metro 6R4 squeezed a 400+bhp Cosworth-derived V6 and a permanent all-wheel drive system into a space-framed version of the Metro shell, and the engine later went on to be developed for the Jaguar XJ200 supercar – which became the fastest production car in the world.

This wonderful fully remote controlled recreation of British Leyland’s most spectacular car comes from newcomer All_About_Lego, and it’s packed with working functions. Alongside the remote control all-wheel drive and steering are working front and rear lights, all-wheel suspension, and opening doors and rear clamshell. The exterior is accurately stickered in the 6R4’s period mid-80s livery, whilst the inside contains a fully detailed (and roll-caged) interior too.

A full gallery of images is available to view on Flickr, you can read more about the build and watch a video of the model in action via the Eurobricks forum by clicking here, and if you’re wondering quite why this writer thinks the MG Metro 6R4 is so cool, click this link…

Lego MG Metro 6R4 Group B

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The Other 3 Series

Lego SCANIA 113M 320

This beautifully detailed classic Scania 113M 320 truck comes from previous bloggee Andre Pinto. Produced from the late ’80s to the late ’90s, Scania’s ‘3 series’ of trucks came in variety of sizes and engine specifications and can still be seen throughout Europe, such is their reputation for reliability. You can see more of Andre’s stunning Model Team version on Flickr and at the Eurobricks discussion forum – click the links for the full gallery of images.

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