Tag Archives: 1990s

Bwaaaarp!

If it’s red, with fart-cannon exhausts, and a giant wing on the back, then TLCB Elves will probably like it. Cue this Honda Prelude by Flickr’s SP_LINEUP, which is red, with fart-cannon exhausts, and a giant wing on the back. See more at the link, whilst try to stop the Elves running around the office making engine and tyre screeching noises.

Not a 911

Pretty much every Porsche has – success-wise – lived in the 911’s shadow. The Cayenne is probably the exception, as it casts its own enormous, miserable, SUV-shaped shadow over almost anything. Although it did save Porsche to allow them to keep building 911s.

However even the Cayenne – which outsells the 911 by a factor of three – hasn’t usurped it as the most recognisable Porsche. In fact we think no car brand’s identity is tied to one model more than Porsche’s is to the 911.

Which is shame for all the other Porsches, as some of them were really rather good. The 944 was one of them, and – after years being worth about 50p – is starting to be recognised as an excellent ’80s-’90s Porsche in its own right, with values climbing steadily northwards.

Also recognising Porsche’s other ’80s sports car is previous bloggee (and ‘Featured TFOL‘, if you remember that feature!) Marco Q, who has built it brilliantly in brick-form.

Complete with pop-up headlights, opening doors and hood, a detailed interior, and really rather cleverly constructed (and therefore recognisable) wheels and rear window/spoiler, Marco’s 944 is a fitting homage to a car on the up.

There’s more to see of Marco’s excellent creation at his ‘Porsche’ album on Flickr, which might not contain a 911, but we think it’s perhaps all the better for that. Click the link above to take a look.

Playing Golf

In the opinion of this TLCB Writer, walking (or riding) around a park in silly trousers is not a sport. Still, when Volkswagen’s naming department decided to choose sports as the theme for their new cars in the 1970s, golf was one of the games they selected, alongside ‘Derby’ and ‘Polo’.

Eight generations later and the Golf is still going strong, and previous bloggee SP_LINEUP has built no less than four of them, all recreated beautifully in small-scale brick form.

There’s more to see of each, including a tasty-looking Mk1 and a 2000s-era R32, at SP’s photostream. Grab your clubs and head to the green via the link above.

Half-Size Supercar

This is an Autozam AZ-1, and it’s awesome! Produced from 1992 to ’94, fewer than 5,000 units were built across all three brands that marketed it (Mazda, Mazda’s kei car brand Autozam, and Suzuki, who supplied the engine), with sales hampered by a high list price, collapsing economy, and it being weird even by the standards of the Japanese kei-class.

Effectively a 1:2 scale mid-engined gull-winged supercar, the AZ-1 we have here is even smaller, at 1:11, but it’s as packed with interestingness as the real thing. Built by syclone of Eurobricks, this brilliant Technic recreation of the coolest kei-car of them all features remote control drive, steering and headlights, a working steering wheel inside a detailed cabin, independent front and rear suspension, a working piston engine (in there somewhere!), and – of course – opening gull-wing doors.

Building instructions are available and there’s much more to see of syclone’s brilliant Autozam AZ-1, including a video of it in action, at the Eurobricks discussion forum. Take a look at this fantastic 1:11 recreation of a 1:2 supercar via the link above!

Skull and Crossplane

Americans, like TLCB Elves, are excited by decals. There’s the Pontiac Firebird’s Giant Flaming Bird motif, the Ford Mustang’s twin stripes, aircraft with teeth, and many more besides.

Despite this clear appreciation for decal work, that most American of cars – the Chevrolet Corvette – isn’t really famous for any stickers at all.

Fortunately László Torma is here to correct this, by equipping the unloved LS1 crossplane-engined C4 Corvette (see, the title does make sense!) with a giant skull on the hood.

You can also build both the aforementioned skull and the car wearing it at home, as László has made building instructions for his C4 Corvette ‘Skull Edition’ available. Go on, get a boner via the link above!

Smaller than Expected*

This may look like a normal cab-over light duty truck, but it is in fact a kei car, Japan’s microcar class in which vehicles can measure no longer than 3.4m, no wider than 1.48m, and have an engine size no greater than 660cc.

It is, therefore, absolutely tiny. Plus, obviously, it’s a Lego model, so it’s even smaller than that…

This superb Technic kei-class truck is a Daihatsu Hijet S110P, and it comes from syclone of Eurobricks who has packed it with an unfathomably large amount of features.

Under the really rather good exterior is a full remote control drivetrain, complete with all-wheel-suspension, all-wheel-drive, servo steering (linked to the steering wheel too), opening and locking doors, dropping bed side walls, and even working headlights.

There’s loads more of syclone’s Daihatsu Hijet to see at the Eurobricks forum, including a video of the kei truck in action. Take a look via the link above!

*That’s what she said.

The Last Good Lancia

Lancia’s current range of one solitary ugly car is probably the most pathetic of any car manufacturer alive today. But it wasn’t always like that.

Back in the 1990s Lancia was still, er… troubled, but nevertheless capable of absolute magic, and this was one of their most magical moments.

The Lancia Delta HF Integrale was the final evolution of a humble (and rather good) hatchback that started life way back in the late 1970s, eventually becoming a turbocharged all-wheel-drive rally homologation special.

The HF Integrale is now a seriously sought after car, which Eurobricks member Pingubricks has recreated beautifully in Model Team form. There are opening doors (no mean feat considering the wide-arch bodywork), an opening hood under which sits a detailed engine, and a realistic interior too.

An impressive suite of further imagery can be found at the rather underused Eurobricks ‘Scale Modelling’ forum; click the link to jump to see more of Pingu’s brilliant brick-built homage to one of Lancia’s finest moments.

Topless Summer

It’s summer here at TLCB and it’s HOT. Elves are scattered everywhere panting, and the office ‘air conditioner’ (a fan gaffa-taped to a window ledge) is just moving hot air about like the one in the back of an oven, ensuring everything is equally cooked.

Those of you reading this in sunnier climes than the UK (that’s all of you) will be wondering what all the fuss is about, but this TLCB Writer is well-travelled and no-where gets hot like the UK. Thank the high humidity, limited air conditioning, and buildings designed to keep in, not out, for that.

It also might explain why the British buy more convertibles than the French, Germans, Italians, and Spanish. Put together. Thus we have two here today, and they’re both… um, a bit crap.

The Dodge Viper was basically a truck engine shoved in a kids’ plastic toy, and was predictably rubbish as a result. But on the other hand, it was a truck engine shoved in a kids’ plastic toy, and it was therefore excellent. This superb Speed Champions scale Dodge Viper convertible was suggested by a reader, and it comes from previous bloggee RGB900 who has nailed the 1990s American icon in 6-wide form.

Equally iconic (and rubbish) was the modern Volkswagen Beetle convertible; a bubble-shaped Golf with a pram roof stuck on the back that predictably became the must-have accessory for people that knew nothing about cars.

Fashion is fickle though, and without any substance whatsoever the modern Beetle is now dead, and its customers have all moved on to Mini convertibles. SP_LINEUP hasn’t forgotten it though, creating this excellent brick-built version that was also suggested by a reader.

There’s more to see of each convertible on Flickr via the links, and if you’re wondering why we haven’t featured good drop-tops instead of a kids’ toy and VW pram, just be thankful we didn’t find one of these to post. See, the British do stupid things when it gets hot.

Turn Your Nose Up

The wildly incompetent back-alley of the internet that is TLCB actually came to be because the proper Lego blogs were turning their noses up at vehicular creations. We’re not sure if ‘turning their noses up‘ translates internationally very well, but basically you had more chance of unearthing pirate treasure under your sink than seeing your car featured.

Cue the arrival of TLCB, and car builders still probably wishing they could appear on a proper website rather than here…

Anyway, a lot has changed since then, and proper sites like The Brothers Brick now not only blog vehicles, some even have vehicle builders on staff too. Which means that this splendid 1990 Tyrrell 019 Formula 1 car was not found by one of our Elves, as instead this TLCB Writer first saw it blogged on The Brothers Brick. Which makes this site rather pointless.

Still, our title is much more tenuous and you don’t get ‘Your Mom’s so fat…’ jokes over there, so we’re going to blog it here too.

Said Tyrrell 019 was – whilst not a race winner – a regular points scorer during the 1990 season, in part thanks to its revolutionary ‘high nose’ design that allowed maximum air underneath it, thereby generating more downforce along the car’s underside.

It set the template for nose cone design right up until Formula 1 banned high noses in 2012 due to fears over safety (in doing so making F1 cars horrendously ugly overnight), and it’s been replicated beautifully by builder Tenderlok in Model Team form.

Excellent custom decals, a replica Cosworth V8 engine, detailed cockpit, removable bodywork, and an ingeniuous (if slightly ‘illegal’) front wing connection technique add to the realism, and there’s more to see of Tenderlok’s Tyrrell 019, complete with its upturned nose, on both Flickr and at the Eurobricks discussion forum. Or The Brother’s Brick of course.

6-Wide Speed

Building an instantly recognisable vehicle from Lego bricks isn’t always easy, and it becomes increasingly difficult the smaller the scale becomes. That’s why LEGO have recently upped the size of their Speed Champions sets, to better capture the real-world cars they aim to imitate (with varying degrees of success).

Cue previous bloggee RGB900, who has not only constructed this immediately identifiable Honda NSX, he’s even managed to do so in the ‘old’ 6-wide Speed Champions scale. A few of the building techniques probably wouldn’t pass LEGO’s requirements for an official set, but there are no sticker-based cheats here!

There’s more to see of RGB’s excellent NSX on Flickr, and you can do just that via the link above.

Just Like a 911. Sort of.

The Porsche 911 is not the only rear-engined rear-wheel-drive European car. In fact there were loads, including Volkswagens, Tatras, Skodas, the Smart ForTwo, and – of course – Fiats.

Following the phenomenally successful 500, Fiat followed up with another rear-engined, rear-driven design, the near five-million selling 126.

Much of the 126’s technology was based on the 1950’s 500, which – considering it was produced in Polski-Fiat 126p form until the year 2000 – is both an astonishing achievement and rather frightening.

It’s the Polski-Fiat version we’re featuring here today, a car that mobilised Poland, although only if you were prepared to wait years or had communistical connections. Recreated in a fetching ‘hearing-aid beige’ / ‘baby-sick yellow’, Legostalgie‘s Model Team replica of the 126p captures the real car wonderfully, with a near perfect exterior, detailed interior, plus opening doors, front trunk and engine cover, with a realistic two-cylinder engine underneath.

Legostalgie has presented his model beautifully, and there are more top-notch images available to view at his ‘Polski Fiat 126p’ album on Flickr – click on the link above for all the drawbacks of a 1970’s Porsche 911, but none of the thrills…

Ferrari F50 GT | Picture Special

This is the Ferrari F50 GT, a GT1 racer designed to compete in the Global GT Series of the mid-’90s against supercars such the McLaren F1 GTR, Jaguar XJ220 and Porsche 911 GT1.

However, Ferrari being Ferrari, they were unhappy that homologation specials like the 911 GT1 were allowed to race, and so threw their hands in the air, shouted something Italian, and stormed off to continue monopolising Formula 1’s TV revenue.

Thus only three F50 GTs were built, none of which raced, and these days they’re probably worth a gagillion of any currency you care to pick. Fortunately this one is rather more attainable, being a (stunning) 1:10 scale Technic ‘Supercar’ replica.

Created by Jeroen Ottens, this beautifully presented build features all of the Technic Supercar requirements, including all-wheel suspension, functioning steering, a working V12 engine and four-speed sequential gearbox, plus opening doors and front and rear clamshells.

It’s a jaw-dropping model and there’s more to see at both Flickr and Eurobricks, where you can also find a link to building instructions so you can create Jeroen’s F50 GT for yourself. Just ensure you refuse to race it against a Porsche and shout a lot in Italian about things not being fair for the authentic Ferrari experience.

Nice Niva

We often mock Communist-era Eastern European cars for being slow, highly polluting, ageing designs built for far longer than they should have been. Because we’re so much better in the West…

So here’s a Communist-era Eastern European car that’s a slow, highly polluting, ageing design that’s been built for far longer than it should have been. And we absolutely love it.

No, we’re not consistent.

Anyway, this is the Lada Niva / VAZ-2121, a wonderful compact off-roader that was not only more advanced than the famous Western offerings of the time (cough Land Rover Defender cough), it’s still in production without becoming just another enormous luxury SUV (cough Land Rover Defender cough).

This lovely Model Team recreation of the Niva captures the real car brilliantly, with opening doors, hood and tailgate, a detailed interior and engine bay, plus some suitable over-landing accompaniments mounted on the roof.

Flickr’s Legostalgie is the builder and there’s more of this superb Soviet 4×4 to see at his ‘Lada Niva / VAZ-2121’ album – take a look via the link above!

New Sports Experimental

Honda’s current range of drab uninspiring boxes shows just how far a manufacturer can fall from their height.

Back in the 1990s Honda were on top of the world, winning Formula 1 races, building exceptionally popular cars most of which had a fun version, and even pioneering Hybrid technology before – for reasons unknown – looking that gift horse in the mouth.

All of which makes Honda’s current range of cars look narcoleptic by comparison. We mean, just look at this one.

No car highlights how far Honda’s slide into dismal mediocrity has come from than this; the amazing Honda NSX.

Built to be an everyday supercar, the NSX wasn’t massively fast (although little was back in 1990), but it was joyously engineered, comfortably beating Ferrari, Lamborghini and others in terms of its technical accomplishment.

Despite this, badge snobbery was just as prevalent in the 1990s as it is today, and the NSX was largely overlooked in favour of the established (and worse) competition. Not so now, where NSXs (and all cars from Japan’s heyday) are in serious demand, perhaps helped by the fact that Honda now make absolutely nothing exciting whatsoever.

This means that Honda’s spectacular engineering masterpiece is now way out of reach of us here at The Lego Car Blog, despite the vast fame and riches that blogging Lego models brings.

Cue TLCB debutant Pingubricks, who has recreated Honda’s finest moment brilliantly in brick form. Pingu’s Model Team NSX captures the design of the real car wonderfully, and there are opening doors, trunk, engine cover, and even working pop-up head lights via a lever in the cabin too!

There’s more to see of Pingu’s spectacular Honda NSX at the Eurobricks forum, and you can join us there via the link in the text above.

Three is the Magic Number

Britain has a long tradition of making crap cars. This is widely considered to be one of them.

The Reliant Robin has been the butt of jokes in TLCB’s home nation for years. Cheap, slow, and missing something that is taken for granted with almost every other car (a fourth wheel), it was derided for decades.

However, the humble Robin (and its Rialto and Regal forbears) was actually phenomenally successful. The second most mass-produced fibreglass car in history, the Robin’s success came from its ability to exploit loopholes, as with Germany and France’s microcar classes and Japan’s kei cars.

Three wheels meant the Robin could be driven on a motorcycle license, drivers paid less tax, and the oil crisis of the 1970s caused sales to rocket. It was this success that led to the derision, as there were actually loads of British three-wheeled microcars but no-ones heard of any of the others.

This brilliant Technic recreation of everyone’s (least)favourite British car comes from previous bloggee Danifill, who has not only replicated the Robin’s inline 4-cylinder engine, the steered and suspended centre wheel, and the live rear axle, he’s also equipped his Robin with a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery and three (appropriately) Power Functions motors.

An XL Motor drives the rear wheels, a Servo powers the steering (which also turns the steering wheel), whilst a Medium motor controls a two-speed gearbox. There are also opening doors with functioning locks, an opening hood and tailgate, plus working head and taillights too.

It’s a great build of a crap but somewhat unfairly derided car and there’s more to see of Danifill’s ’90s Reliant Robin at the Eurobricks forum, where there’s also a video in which you can watch all three wheels in action.