Tag Archives: 1990s

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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Get Hard

Lego Technic Nissan D21 Hardbody

We’re not quite sure why Nissan’s late ’80s – early ’90s compact pick-up truck was called the ‘Hardbody’. All cars have a hard body. Well, apart from whatever this is. It’s also meant that today’s blog post titles are both a bit ambiguous in nature, so we’ll move on quickly and get to the technical stuff…

Built by previous bloggee Filsawgood of Flickr, this neat Technic Nissan D21 Hardbody is one of our favourite trucks of the year. It’s also one of our favourite trucks in real life, being the total antithesis of the hateful Dodge Ram and its ilk.

Filsawgood’s recreation of the little Nissan looks the part thanks to a few well designed Model Team style details, and it’s packing some decent Technic functionality underneath too, including remote control drive and steering and all-wheel suspension. There’s lots more to see at Filsawgood’s photostream – click the link above to get hard.

Lego Technic Nissan D21 Hardbody

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Jurassic Jeep

Lego Jurassic Park Jeep Wrangler RC

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster ‘Jurassic Park’ didn’t feature many vehicles. The stars of the movie were definitely the big lizards, but nevertheless the few vehicles that did appear in the film have gathered a bit of a following. This is one of them, the early ’90s Jeep Wrangler, and it’s been recreated beautifully in full Jurassic Park specification by previous bloggee Silva Vasil.

Lego Jurassic Park Jeep Wrangler RC

Powered by LEGO’s LiPo battery, Silva’s Jeep features remote control drive and steering (via an XL and Servo motor respectively), all-wheel drive, suspension, working headlights, opening doors, hood and tailgate, and a folding windshield.

Silva has photographed his build beautifully too, and you can see all of the images via his Flickr photostream – click the link above to go on an adventure 65million years in the making…

Lego Jurassic Park Jeep

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Civic Duty

Lego Technic Honda Civic EG

Ah, the humble Honda Civic. Built in TLCB’s home nation, and once – even if not any more – the byword for advanced yet reliable hatchbackery.

The Civic has since been overtaken by the Korean brands here in Europe, but early examples are still a reasonably regular sight on the roads due to their legendary reliability. It’s an even more common sight on the banger track, as early Civics are worth about £5 and they can take a serious amount of punishment before heading to the great carpark in the sky.

America is where the Honda Civic was really successful though, where – despite it being basically the same car as the one we have in Europe – the little Japanese hatch has trodden a very different path in the annuls of automotive history.

Today early Stateside Civics seem to all have one thing in common; modifications. Bad modifications. Here at TLCB we’re not really sure why this is, seeing as gas, cars, and insurance are so cheap in the ‘States why not just buy a faster car in the first place?

Lego Honda Civic

The upshot of this is that finding an original unmodified early Civic is like trying to find an educated climate change denier – it’s virtually impossible. Which is a shame, as the late ’80s and early ’90s Civics were great little cars when left as Honda intended.

If you’re reading this in America and have a hankering for an unmolested slice of early ’90s Honda pie, get on Craigslist, find 78 year old Mavis who’s recently given up driving, and buy her Civic. It’ll be a classic one day. Probably.

Alternatively though, you could build your own, which is exactly what TLCB regular Nico71 has done. Based on the ’90s fifth generation (EG) Civic hatch, Nico’s creation is gloriously simple looking. It’s not simple inside though, as a full RC Power Functions drivetrain and rear suspension system have been squeezed in.

It’s quite a feat of packaging and handily Nico has taken photos that show how it’s all been done. You can see all of the images of Nico’s little Technic Honda, inside and out, via Brickshelf – click the link above to make the jump to ’91.

Lego Technic RC Honda Civic

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Rat Race

Lego Nissan 180SX

As you can imagine with a blog as ropey as this one, an Elven workforce held together with Pritt Stick, and our penchant for your Mom, we very much like objects of a slightly aesthetically-challenged nature here at TLCB. This is one such object, an absolutely brilliant Nissan 180SX drift pig by VovaRychkov. What the Nissan lacks in sleek looks we’re sure it more than makes up for in smokey sidewaysyness, and we know which we’d rather have. There’s more to see at Vova’s photostream and you can check out all the images by clicking here.

Lego Nissan 180SX

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Dropped D21

Lego Technic Nissan D21 Remote Control

No sooner had we published a reader review of LEGO’s infamous buggy motor than two Elves returned to TLCB Towers with a Buggy Motor powered creation. Maybe they can read after all? The first of their Buggy Motor propelled finds you can view below, the second is this; Filsawgood’s brilliant 1991 Nissan D21 Hardbody pick-up.

Like today’s other blogged model Filsawgood’s D21 uses the combination of a Buggy Motor driving the rear wheels, a Servo for steering, and a third-party SBrick for control via bluetooth device, plus there’s all-wheel suspension and custom stickers.

The D21 hardbody is also a damn cool antidote for our deep-rooted loathing of the pick-up truck genre at the hands of hateful crap like the Dodge Ram. You can see more of Filsawgood’s glorious early ’90s Nissan at both Flickr and Eurobricks – click the links for the full gallery, build details, and a video of the truck in action.

Lego Datsun Nissan D21 Hardbody Pick-Up

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Black Plastic

Lego Mitsubishi Pajero

If there’s one defining characteristic of Japanese cars from the 1990s it’s Black Plastic. Lots of Black Plastic. Despite this affliction the ’90s were something of a golden age for Japanese manufacturers, when Toyota, Mitsubishi and Subaru all ruled the WRC, Mazda won at Le Mans, and Honda were Formula 1 World Champions.

However, unlike today’s other ’90s Japanese post, this car isn’t one of the era’s highlights. The Mitsubishi Shogun / Pajero was quite a successful 4×4 (long before the term ‘SUV’ came into being), but it came from a time when all 4x4s were, frankly, a bit crap. This one is the three-door Pajero, which makes it particularly pointless. Oddly though, with the rise of the increasingly unnecessary small-SUV, it’d probably be quite popular these days.

This excellent Model Team replica of the Mitsubishi Pajero has been built by TLCB regular Senator Chinchilla, and he’s absolutely nailed the ’90s Black Plastic. There’s more to see at his photostream – click the link above to make the trip.

Lego Mitsubishi Shogun Pajero

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Nineties Nissan

Lego Nissan 180SX

This neat modified Nissan 180SX was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr. It’s the work of VovaRychkov and it reminds us of a time when Nissan’s European line-up wasn’t entirely made of crossovers. There’s more to see of Vova’s classic ’90s Nissan at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

Lego Nissan 180SX

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