Tag Archives: 1990s

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.

Soviet Snowrunner

This is a UAZ 3151, one of the Soviet Union’s many fantastically-boringly-titled, but actually very capable off-roaders. Built by Keymaker, this stunning fully RC recreation of the Russian off-roader not only looks the part in both standard and off-road modified forms, it’s absolutely packed with brilliant Technic engineering.

Drive for all four wheels comes from two L Motors whilst a Servo controls the steering. A Medium Motor operates front and rear remotely locking differentials, and not only are both axles suspended, the suspension height can be adjusted via an L Motor to vary the ground clearance.

These off-road mods are apparently inspired the video game ‘Snowrunner’, and Keymaker has gone further with his Technic model equipping it with a removable hardtop roof, removable bodywork, folding rear seats, an opening glovebox, opening and locking doors, a working inline-4 engine, and LED head and tail lights.

It’s an incredible build and one that’s definitely worth a closer look. Head to Eurobricks for full details and a video of the UAZ in action, and to Bricksafe for the complete image gallery, where you can find outdoor shots and pictures of the model in various states of off-road modification.

F1x2

McLaren Automotive are continuing Britain’s long tradition of making cars that are excellent in almost every way, but which have the reliability Windows XP.

Back in the ’90s they outsourced this unreliability to BMW, but the results were still spectacular. The McLaren F1 was the fastest production car in the world, with a gold-lined engine bay and an amazing central driving position.

These two remarkably similar Speed Champions versions of the iconic ’90s supercar were independently found by two Elves today, sparking an inevitable Elf fight, and a dilemma for us in the office.

We’ve chosen to avoid conflict and publish both together, with the red car coming from Rolling Bricks, the grey one from Fabrice Larcheveque, and there’s more to see of each via the links.

Desert Storm

Saddam Hussein didn’t have the best record during his leadership. Despite his relative religious tolerance, creating world class healthcare and high quality education systems, and being an advocate for womens’ rights, Saddam still falls within TLCB’s unofficial ‘brutal scumbag dictator’ category.

Gassing his own people, crushing opposition, and numerous human rights abuses make sure the scales tip towards the negative, as does invading a neighbour in a despite over oil and effectively sending 50,000 Iraqi troops to their deaths, knowing full well the world would respond.

And respond it did, with a coalition led by the US of over thirty countries formed to liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion. And it got a really cool name.

Operation Desert Storm restored Kuwaiti independence around seven months after the Iraqi invasion, with the final push into Kuwaiti City by coalition forces depicted here by Nicholas Goodman, in which a US tank and Humvee are cruising through a perfectly generic middle-eastern street.

Custom mini-figures, decals and weaponry add to the realism and there’s more to see of Nicholas’s recreation of Kuwaiti City in February 27th 1991 via both Flickr and the Eurobricks discussion forum.

I Owe You a 10 Second Car

‘The Fast & The Furious’ has a lot to answer for. Terrible dialogue, questionable physics, and finding a way (any way*) to keep characters going throughout the series (however absurd) are standard action-movie faux-pas, but the film franchise has had a larger and more irritating impact on the minds of internet commenters.

What? The new Supra doesn’t have a 2JZ? Not a Supra! What? The new Supra doesn’t have 1,000bhp from the factory? Not a Supra! What? The new Supra shares parts with BMW? Not a Supra!

OK internet commenters, here goes; The A80 Supra is not the fastest most awesomest car ever made. It was fairly fat cruiser for fairly fat people, with an engine that you could also get in a Toyota station wagon. Putting ‘NOS’ in it won’t give it 1,000bhp, and to get that power you’d need the world’s laggiest single-shot turbo, making the car borderline undrivable on the street.

Right, now that’s cleared up, here’s the fastest most awesomest car ever made, with ‘NOS’ and 1,000bhp.

Brian O’Conner’s modified A80 Toyota Supra Targa has become possibly the most revered movie car of all time, setting the stage for a dozen mostly terrible ‘Fast & Furious’ sequels, blasting fourth-generation Supra values into the stratosphere, and creating an unsurmountable barrier of hype for any future cars wearing the nameplate.

This glorious recreation of O’Conner’s A80 Supra brings the iconic movie car to life in full ‘Technic Supercar’ specification, with working suspension, gearbox, steering, and a replica 2JZ engine.

More importantly builder spiderbrick has faithfully replicated the slightly weird livery, bodykit, roll cage, nitrous system, and huge rear wing found on the movie car to such perfection that we can almost hear Dominic Toretto breathing the word ‘family‘ for the six-hundredth time for no discernible reason.

There’s loads more of Spider’s ‘The Fast & the Furious’ Toyota Supra A80 to see at his Brickshelf album, including a link to a video showing the model’s features, plus engine and chassis images. Click the link above to live your life a 1/4 mile at a time…

*Bad guy turns good? Check. Back from the dead? Check. Bad guy turns good again? Check.

New Sportscar Experimental

Honda’s NSX broke new ground when it launched in 1990. Whilst not the fastest or the most exotic supercar, it brought reliability and usability to a vehicular segment that had – in some cases – completely ignored these attributes in favour of silly doors.

This of course meant that the NSX was seen as a bit boring at the time, or even ‘not a super car’, at all, but time has been kinda Honda’s experiment, and it has become one of the most revered and iconic ’90s cars ever, with prices exploding in recent years.

This puts the NSX out of reach for most of us, but fortunately regular bloggee SP_LINEUP has constructed one that’s far more attainable, and just as awesome looking.

A detailed interior behind opening doors, a beautifully accurate engine under an opening cover, and – get this – working pop-up headlights via a lever in the cabin(!) all feature, and there’s much more to see of SP’s superbly presented build on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump!

Mitsubishi Memories

Mitsubishi Motors make precisely nothing that we would ever want to buy, drive, or ride in.

That Mitsubishi’s recent emissions fraud in Japan meant their share price dropped low enough for the Renault-Nissan Alliance to buy them (and then confirm they were pulling the brand out of Europe altogether) only makes us pleased, because there’s less chance of us having to look at the back of one of these.

Which makes it all the sadder that Mitsubishi Motors used to make some rather excellent cars, such as the mid ’90s Galant, the weird FTO, and this, the Lancer Evolution.

With all four wheels driven by a two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, the Lancer Evo and its Subaru Impreza WRX rival were way ahead of the European and American competition in the ’90s, as demonstrated by Japan’s utter dominance of the World Rally Championship at the time.

Both Subaru and Mitsubishi developed their cars every year or so too, with the latter handily applying roman numerals to the nameplate so it was easy to see who had the latest version.

This particular Lancer is a ‘V’, which appeared for just one year exactly halfway through the Evo’s development. Previous bloggee Fuku Saku has captured the Evo V brilliantly, using some properly clever techniques to recreate the late ’90s performance car icon.

There’s loads more of Fuku’s build to see at his ‘Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V’ album on Flickr; click the link above to make the jump, and remember a time when Mitsubishi made more than just air-conditioning units. And this.

#vanlife

Ergh, #vanlife.

Once the preserve of smelly hippies and families who liked to sleep in a field, the humble camper van has transformed into some kind of sustainable-living fashion statement, despite the fact that the occupants are literally burning oil with every unnecessary YouTube video uploaded following their drive to the nearest Starbucks. But if they only eat ethically-sourced all-natural vegan peace-crisps then it’s all OK…

This cheery mini-figure enjoying #vanlife has himself a 6-wide Volkswagen T3 Westfalia camper, complete with a brilliant pop-up roof, sliding door, and a fully fitted interior. Built by PalBenglat of Flickr it could only be more realistic if said mini-figure had a beard and a top-knot.

Join him trying to access the free WiFi at the nearest Starbucks via the link above!

Rambo Lambo

The Urus is not Lamborghini’s first SUV. But it is their ugliest, which is something we suppose. No, back in the late 1980s, the maddest of all the car manufacturers decided to do something even madder than usual, and built a military-grade, V12 engined off-roader.

Nicknamed the ‘Rambo Lambo’ (younger readers, ask your parents), the LM002 featured the 5.2 litre engine from the Countach up front, although if you liked to literally burn money you could order the LM002 with Lamborghini’s 7.2 litre engine that had – up until that point – been reserved for Class 1 offshore powerboats.

A tubular frame with riveted aluminium panels, all wheel drive, 169 litre fuel tank, and specially developed Pirelli run-flat tyres designed specifically for use on hot sand where also included, which gives a clue as to who Lamborghini was pitching the LM002 at.

However even if you’e not an oil sheik, you can still own a Lamborghini LM002, courtesy of previous bloggee filsawgood and this spectacular fully RC Technic recreation.

Powered by four L Motors with Servo steering, filsawgood’s incredible Technic replica of Lamborgini’s wildest car can be controlled via bluetooth thanks to a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery, which can also up the power to the motors by a factor of eight versus LEGO’s own Power Functions battery.

All-wheel-drive with planetary hubs, independent suspension, opening doors and hood, a brilliantly detailed interior, and a V12 piston engine all feature, and there’s more to see of filsawgood’s astonishing Lamborghini LM002 on Flickr via the link above, where yes – a link to instructions can also be found!

Turbo

Is there anything more Turbo-y than a classic Porsche 911 Turbo? We’d say no, and not just because ‘Turbo-y’ isn’t a word.

This is SP_LINEUP’s 964-series 911 Turbo, and it is remarkably lifelike considering the scale. Opening doors and front-trunk are included, as is a detailed interior, and there’s more to see at SP’s photostream here.

Tokyo Drift

None of the ‘Fast and the Furious’ movies are works of cinematic genius, and the third instalment ‘Tokyo Drift’ ranks below even the franchise average. However we do remember it was eminently watchable, mostly because of Nathalie Kelley, but also thanks to the ace Japanese machinery* used throughout the film.

This was our star car, the magnificent Mazda RX-7 VeilSide Fortune, as recreated here brilliantly in Technic form by ArtemyZotov of Eurobricks.

Built to full Technic Supercar specification, Artemy’s VeilSide RX-7 includes working steering, independent double wishbone suspension, a 4-speed sequential gearbox, and an incredible working recreation of the car’s twin-rotor wankel engine.

There are also opening doors, hood and trunk, working locks, plus a detailed interior and engine bay, and there’s much more to see at the Eurobricks forum, including a link to building instructions. Head sideways through the streets of Tokyo via the link above, and you can view a rundown of the features within Artemy’s stunning Mazda RX-7 VeilSide model in the video below.

YouTube Video

*And a Volkswagen Touran for some reason.

Yellow Devil

Is there anything more supercar-y than a yellow Lamborghini Diablo? Suggested by a reader (and previous bloggee themselves), this one comes from newcomer Attila Gallik of Flickr, who has done an excellent job recreating Lamborgini’s 1990s supercar in Speed Champions form.

Available in both GTR (giant wing) and standard specification, Attila’s Diablo can fit two mini-figures inside and includes a detailed engine underneath the opening rear cover, and if you fancy one for yourself instructions are available too! Take a look via the link above to see more.

Italian DTM

Italy and Germany have a long rivalry. Two of the best football teams in Europe, they’ve met 35 times, with Italy winning 15 of those encounters to Germany’s 8. They’ve fought on the track since Formula 1’s beginning (and even before that), with Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union battling Alfa Romeo and later Ferrari for dominance. Oh, and they fought against one another in World War 2, but only after Italy overthrew racism and changed sides.

Recently though, all the victories have been German. Mercedes-Benz have annihilated Ferrari in Formula 1, Italy haven’t beaten Germany in their last four soccer matches, and Ducati are now owned by Volkswagen.

However, go back to the mid-’90s and you’ll find a remarkable story of Italian dominance in Germany’s own back yard; the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM).

In 1993 Alfa Romeo decided to take their new 155 V6 to DTM, building an all-wheel-drive 11,000rpm Class 1 Touring Car to take on the domestic German teams from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Opel. The car proved unstoppable, with Nicola Larini winning a record eleven of the twenty-two races and teammate Alessandro Nannini another two, taking Alfa Romeo to a dominant manufacturer’s title.

This incredible replica of the ’93 championship-winning Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti comes from previous bloggee Zeta Racing of Flickr, who has recreated both the car and its iconic livery in stunning detail.

Underneath that beautifully stickered exterior Zeta has accurately constructed the 155’s drivetrain, including a jaw-dropping V6 engine, all-wheel-drive system, working suspension, gearbox, and a suite of Power Functions motors to control it all remotely.

A spectacularly detailed interior is included behind the four opening doors, with a bucket seat and racing harnesses, a full roll cage, and even the 155’s fire suppression system replicated in bricks.

Zeta Racing’s creation is a work of art (as any Alfa Romeo should be) and there’s a huge gallery of images available to view at his photostream on Flickr. Click the link above to remember a time when the Italians beat the Germans at their own game, and here to see (and hear!) the 155 DTM’s 11,500rpm V6 in action way back in ’93.

Lancia Delta HF Integrale – Picture Special

The most remarkable Italian car manufacturer is not Ferrari. Lancia’s story is one of incredible technical innovation, fantastic racing cars, an appalling corrosion scandal, and now – effectively – their death at the hands of a parent company that really should try harder.

However even during Lancia’s painful decline they still produced the best cars in the world. This is one of them, the amazing Delta HF Integrale.

Based on Lancia’s 1980 ‘European Car of the Year’-winning family hatchback, the HF Integrale added turbocharging and all-wheel-drive, and in doing so became the most successful rally car in history. By the time it was retired the HF Integrale had won six consecutive Constructors World Championships (a record that is still unbeaten), fuelling the sales of over forty thousand road-going versions.

These two incredible recreations of the HF Integrale are the work of newcomer Zeta Racing, and they are – without doubt – some of the best Technic Supercars that we have ever published.

Each is spectacularly detailed both inside and out, merging both Technic and System parts to create an almost unbelievable level of realism. Stunning period-correct decals add to the authenticity, yet the exteriors – astonishing though they are – aren’t the most impressive aspect of Zeta Racing’s builds. For that you need to look underneath…

Hidden within each build is some of the most brilliant Technic engineering we’ve seen, with both Deltas qualifying for ‘Technic Supercar’ status, with working steering, gearboxes, highly detailed transversely-mounted inline 4-cylinder engines, and working suspension. But the functionally does not stop there.

Each model is also fully remote controlled thanks to LEGO Power Functions motors, operating the drive, steering, gears, and – if we’ve interpreted the images correctly – equipping Zeta’s creations with working brakes too.

It seems that in Zeta Racing we may have found our favourite new builder of 2020, and if you agree you can take a look at both his white and black Lancia Delta HF Integrales via the links, where you can also add yourself to his current ‘follower’ count of one (which is only us at present).

Zeta Racing has also uploaded several other astonishing Technic Supercars alongside these two incredible HF Integales, mostly of the Italian hatchback variety, which we’ll be publishing here over the coming days. Check back here for more soon, including some you may never have heard of…

Cream Wrangler

Today’s title might sound like some sort of dairy-based burglar, but we’re actually referring to this most excellent 6-wide Jeep Wrangler TJ by regular bloggee 1saac W, which comes coloured in an unusual cream and light brown combo.

Cunning parts usage including mini-figure hands for mirror brackets, half of a Lego lever for wiper arms, and a whole lot of sideways clear 1×2 plates make this one of the most realistic small scale Wranglers we’ve seen, and there’s more to see of 1saac’s cream 4×4 on Flickr via the link.