Tag Archives: 1990s

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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The Other Jeep

Lego Technic Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Wranglers and CJs appear regularly here at The Lego Car Blog in Technic form, yet oddly the brand’s most popular model, the Cherokee, has appeared just once (in Grand form, when we mocked it). This is probably because the Cherokee is seen as a bit of a Soccer Mom’s car in the U.S, used exclusively for taking Ethan Jr. to football practice and picking Alicia up from the mall.

However despite the Cherokee’s usual life of suburban drudgery it’s actually a very capable ‘proper’ off-roader. Which of course makes it horrible for use on the road where Soccer Mom’s spend all of their time. The American consumer makes zero sense. Anyway, damianple of Brickshelf has not only built a Lego Jeep Cherokee, he’s got it doing the things it was meant to do. Remote control steering, all-wheel-drive and an operable winch all feature, as do opening doors, a raising hood and an opening tailgate.

There’s more to see of Damian’s off-road ready Jeep on Brickshelf where it’s been photographed on-location (and not at the mall) – click the link above to check it out.

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Williams FW14B – Picture Special

Lego Williams FW14B Formula 1

This is the Williams FW14, designed by the legendary Adrian Newey and powered by Renault’s formidable 3.5litre V10, it won more than half of the Formula 1 races that it ever entered.

Launched in 1991 the FW14 was a technical masterpiece, and one that many thought too complicated to work. With active suspension, a semi-automatic transmission, traction control and incredible aerodynamics, they were initially  right, and teething troubles meant a string of retirements throughout the 1991 season.

Despite the breakdowns Williams still managed to secure seven race wins and second place in the Constructor’s Championship, behind the slower but more reliable McLaren, and they set to work ironing out the reliability issues for the 1992 season.

Lego Williams FW14B Formula 1

The following year Williams returned with the upgraded FW14B and it proved utterly dominant, winning ten of the sixteen races and qualifying 2-3 seconds faster than anyone else. Williams took the Constructors’ World Championship in 1992, with Nigel Mansell becoming World Champion just a year after he considered retiring from the sport.

Williams replaced the FW14B with the FW15C for 1993, further the developing the active suspension, traction control and semi-automatic gearbox debuted on the FW14. The car took the team to another Driver’s and Constructor’s World Championship, before the FIA outlawed electronic driver aids in 1994, making the FW14 and FW15 possibly the most advanced Formula 1 cars that have ever been built.

This incredible recreation of the 1992 Championship-winning FW14B comes from previous bloggee and Master MOCer Luca Rosconi aka RoscoPC, who continues to upload his amazing back-catalogue of historic Grand Prix cars to Flickr. With a working V10 engine, pushrod suspension and functioning steering Luca’s beautiful build is as accurate underneath us it is on the outside.

There’s much more to see at the FW14B Flickr album, and you can read our interview with Luca as part of the Master MOCers series to find out how he builds creations like this one by clicking here.

Lego Williams FW14B Formula 1

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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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Honda NSX – Picture Special

Lego Technic Honda NSX

After over a decade out of the supercar game Honda’s new NSX supercar has just gone on sale, a near-600bhp hybrid-powered torque-vectoring computer with wheels. But that’s not the one we have here today.

Launched in 1990 the original Honda NSX was designed to take on the established supercars from manufacturers such as Ferrari, only at a lower price point, and to upset the supercar order through the virtue of it, well, being a supercar that actually worked.

Honda F1 driver Ayrton Senna helped to tune the handling in the final stages of development, and although the NSX was powered by ‘only’ a transversely mounted naturally aspirated 3.0 V6 making 270bhp (albeit with an 8,000rpm redline), it quickly gained a reputation for being one hell of a drivers’ car.

Lego Technic Honda NSX

Lightweight (the NSX was the first mass produced car to be made from aluminium) and beautifully nimble, Honda showed that you didn’t need all-wheel-drive, turbos, or a prancing horse on the hood to build a superb supercar. And unlike pretty much every other supercar at the time the NSX was reliable, because above all else, it was a Honda.

These days something of the original NSX’s simplicity is missing from the latest crop of overpowered, over-assisted supercars – the new NSX included, and arguably the same is true for their Technic equivalents. Packed with Power Functions electric motors, remote control, and bluetooth, we seem to have lost the joy of hands-on mechanics. Luckily for us though, Nico71 has not only recreated one of the finest old-school supercars ever made, he’s done it in a profoundly old-school way too…

Lego Technic Honda NSX

This is Nico’s Technic Honda NSX, and it’s as delightfully manual as the real car. An accurate transversely mounted V6 engine is turned by the rear wheels, which are independently suspended along with those at the front. The front wheels also steer by hand, thanks to a connected steering wheel plus a ‘hand-of-God’ connection mounted on the roof. The pop-up headlights are also manually raised and lowered via lever mounted on the dashboard, and the seats can slide fore and aft manually too. Lastly the doors, hood, rear window, engine cover and glovebox all open by hand, and there isn’t a Power Functions motor in sight.

Nico’s Honda NSX is – much like the real car – a triumph of mechanical engineering, and well worth a closer look. Check out the full details at Nico’s discussion topic at the Eurobricks forum, and you can find all the images, a video of the model’s features and instructions (yes, really, so we we won’t be getting the usual ‘Can I have instructions?’ messages for once!) at Nico’s own excellent website – Click here to take a look.

Lego Technic Honda NSX

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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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FTF FS-20 Roseboom – Picture Special

Lego FTF FS-20 Heavy Haulage Truck

This is probably the most beautiful Lego truck you’ll see this year. It might be the most beautiful Lego truck you’ll see ever.

It comes from Dirk Klijn of Flickr, and it’s an exact replica of an FTF FS-20 M 26 DT used by heavy haulage firm Roseboom in the Netherlands from 1989.

FTF (Floor Truck Factory) were a Dutch assembler of very heavy trucks, who sourced components such as engines from the USA and cabs from the UK to create specialist haulage vehicles.

Lego FTF FS-20 Heavy Haulage Truck

FTF now only manufacture trailers rather than tractor units, but this particular FTF truck has been totally restored to its former glory.

After finding details of the restoration Dirk has recreated Roseboom’s classic FTF in absolutely breathtaking detail, completing the build with a truly enormous Scheurle EuroCombi trailer carrying a mammoth steel beam, a load typical of the truck when it was in haulage service.

Lego FTF Truck RC

Dirk’s incredible model is more than a display piece too, as full Power Functions remote control – operated by a third-party SBrick bluetooth brick – is included, along with working suspension, a tilting cab, and mechanical steering on the Scheurle trailer.

There’s a whole lot more to see of Dirk’s amazing Roseboom-livereied classic FTF truck at his photostream – click here to heavy-haul circa-1989.

Lego FTF FS-20 Heavy Haulage Truck

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Ferrari-Lite

Lego Toyota MR2

It’s hard to do justice here to just how amazing the second generation Toyota MR2 was when it was launched in 1989. Toyota, like most of the Japanese manufacturers at the time, were on a roll. Even so, the arrival of the ‘W20’ series MR2 was one of the most shocking the automotive community had seen in ages. Looking like a mid-engined Ferrari and – in turbocharged form – going like one too, the effect would be like Hyundai launching a 458 rival today. Of course most people at the time didn’t know it was only humble Toyota with a four-cylinder engine…

Lego Toyota MR2

This brilliant Model Team recreation of the early ’90s Toyota MR2 is the work of serial bloggee Senator Chinchilla, and he’s absolutely nailed it. Featuring opening doors, a well-replicated interior, an opening engine lid and a realistic engine, Senator’s MR2 is packed with quality detailing. There’s more to see at his photostream via the link to Flickr above, and if you can find a good second generation MR2 for sale – buy it. Their values are only going to go one way…

Lego Toyota MR2

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Shell Suit

Lego Ferrari F40 GT Shell

This is an ultra-rare Ferrari F40 GT, built from 1991-92 to take Ferrari back into endurance racing. Just seven GT’s were built, each featuring a stripped-out interior, fixed perspex headlights (replacing the pop-up units fitted to the road car) and an engine upgrade to the tune of near 600bhp. That upgrade actually included a restrictor to limit the power produced by the twin-turbo V8 in order for it to meet national championship regulations, the full-fat LM version was rumoured to produce over 900bhp in qualifying trim…

This superb recreation of the 1991 Shell-liveried racer comes from Flickr’s Nuno Taborda, and much like the real F40 GT it’s based on the production version, in this case LEGO’s excellent 10248 Creator set. Nuno has upgraded the set’s bodywork and interior to GT specification, and re-liveried the car in Shell’s iconic white, red and yellow sponsorship.

There’s lots more to see of Nuno’s 10248 modification at his Flickr photostream – click the link above to go GT racing circa 1991.

Lego Ferrari F40 GT Shell

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Delta Force

Lego Lancia Delta

Lancia now make the sum total of one car. One. And it’s not even very good. The writing appears to be on the wall for the once-great marque, so let’s not dwell on what the brand has become (thanks Fiat…), but instead on one of their very greatest hits, the mighty Delta Integrale 16v.

The Giugiaro-designed Delta was a good car when it launched in 1979, and ten years later it became a great one. Fitted with all-wheel-drive and a two-litre turbo-charged engine, the Delta Integrale produced 200bhp and could hit 60mph in under 6 seconds. It would take Volkswagen another decade to reach those figures with the Golf.

This top-notch Model Team replica of one of the world’s very best cars comes from TLCB regular Senator Chinchilla and you can see more of his Lancia Delta Integrale 16v at his photostream via the link above.

Lego Lancia Delta

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Red Spider

Lego Alfa Romeo Spider

Is there a more disappointing automotive brand than Alfa Romeo? We’re going to say no, and the disappointment started with this car.

Launched in 1966, the pretty Pininfarina-designed Alfa Romeo Spider was at the cutting edge of sports car engineering. A twin-cam engine, 5-speed gearbox, and disc brakes all featured, and whilst the Alfa cost nearly as much as an E-Type Jaguar, it found plenty of buyers willing to spend a bit to drive something so gorgeous.

And then Alfa Romeo just kept making it. And making it. And making it. The final Series 4 version of the car (pictured here) was released in 1990, thirty-six years after the Series 1 debuted, wearing a stupid 1990s bodykit and featuring tail-lights robbed from the 164 sedan.

The striking GTV finally replaced the Spider in 1995, but it was a flash in the pan moment for a brand that had traded on the past glories of its badge for far too long. Years of automotive drivel followed, mostly re-badged Fiats in pretty dresses – which wasn’t a good starting point, and Alfa Romeo seemed on the verge of disappearing altogether.

But now something remarkable has happened. Alfa Romeo are back. And not just with a Fiat in a pretty dress. The new Guilia sedan and Stelvio (whisper it)… SUV are receiving properly good reviews, and could finally be the saviours of the brand that we’ve been awaiting for so long. So cross your fingers, and your toes, and try to forget about cars like the Series 4 Spider.

Oh, we nearly forgot! This excellent Model Team recreation of the Series 4 comes from previous bloggee Andre Pinto, and there’s more to see at his photostream by clicking here.

Lego Alfa Romeo Spider

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Unim-odd

Lego Technic Mercedes-Benz Unimog U90 4x4

Just like your Mom, the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U90 is a bit… er, aesthetically challenged, but it likes to get dirty. With portal axles, four-wheel-drive and huge travel suspension the 1992 U90 series Unimog was about as capable an off-road vehicle as you could conceive, and it could be fitted with an enormous array of attachments and tools to suit almost any job. The strange off-centre hood was in fact designed to allow the driver to better see any tools attached to the front from the driver’s seat.

This neat Technic recreation of the asymmetrical ‘mog comes from previous bloggee Thirdwigg, and it’s just as odd on the outside and clever underneath as the real U90. Remote control drive and steering, four-wheel-drive via portal axles, live axle suspension, a 4-cylinder piston engine and a three-way tipper bed all feature, and you can see all of that lot plus a video of the model in action via Flickr, Brickshelf and Eurobricks.

Lego Technic Unimog U90 Remote Control

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Mazda MX-5 Miata – Picture Special

Lego Mazda MX-5 Miata

We love the Mazda MX-5 / Miata / Eunos here at The Lego Car Blog HQ. Although clearly stealing its exterior styling straight from the 1960s Lotus Elan, and launched with just 110bhp, the first generation ‘NA’ series MX-5 reinvigorated the sports car for the modern age.

Lego Mazda MX-5 Miata

Prior to the little Mazda’s launch in 1989 the small two-seat roadster species was almost extinct. The collapse of the British auto industry which had made most of the world’s roadsters, and the rise of the hot hatchback had seen the sales of sports cars plummet.

And then Mazda came along, with something small, cheap, fun and – uniquely for a roadster – reliable. The MX-5 sold by the boatload, and ensured the survival of the roadster formula as BMW, Porsche, Honda, Mercedes and others rushed to join the newly resurgent sports car market.

Lego Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda are now on their fourth generation MX-5 and it’s better than ever, but today we’re sticking with the original, the lovely early ’90s NA. This brilliant Creator-style replica of the first generation MX-5 is a commissioned piece and comes from Flickr’s BrickMonkey, featuring pop-up headlights, opening doors, hood and trunk, and including a detailed engine, interior and even chassis.

Lego Mazda MX-5 Miata

There’s loads more to see at BrickMonkey’s Flickr photostream. Click the link above to take your top off and have some fun in ’89!

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Having a Wankel

Lego Mazda RX-7 FD

This beautifully-constructed creation is the work of serial bloggee Senator Chinchilla and it is, as any fan of ’90s Japanese cars will know, Mazda’s legendary final-generation RX-7.

Powered by a Wankel rotary engine the RX-7 was just 1.3 litres in capacity, yet with twin turbo chargers the tiny unit made well over 250bhp. And this was back in the early 1990s too.

Production of the RX-7 ended in Japan in 2002 as Mazda geared up for the more usable RX-8 which followed it, and – fingers crossed – Mazda is readying the RX-8’s rotary-engined successor as we type. In the meantime you can check out this brilliant recreation of RX-8’s predecessor by visiting Senator Chinchilla’s photostream – click here to make the jump.

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Featured TFOL: Marco. QM

Lego Nissan Skyline GTR

You thought we’d forgotten about the ‘Featured TFOL’ (Teen Fan of Lego) feature didn’t you? Well you’re right. We had. But it’s back!

Here at The Lego Car Blog we have quite a strict criteria that must be met before a model is published. However occasionally we bend the rules just a little if a model is close, and if the builder is unlikely to have a billion bricks at their disposal. A Teen Fan of Lego for example.

Today’s featured builder is Marco. qm, who has been building cars for a little while. He’s also entered the recent Review My Set competition and suggested models himself via the Feedback and Submission Suggestions page. All of that is very nice, but it doesn’t earn a spot here. However, this does; his excellent Nissan Skyline GT-R R34.

Instantly recognisable, with opening doors, hood and trunk, and some interior and engine bay detailing too, it’s a model that’s worth a closer look. You can see more at Marco’s Flickr photostream, and you can discover all of our past Featured TFOL’s by clicking here.

Lego Nissan Skyline GTR

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