Tag Archives: 4×4

The Unknown Off-Roader

Lego ARO 244

Today’s post is a car that we’d never heard of, despite more than 300,000 being produced over nearly forty years and it being sold in over one hundred countries. Back to school for TLCB Team…

This is the ARO 24-Series, a Romanian 4×4 launched in 1969 and sold, after many revisions, right up until 2006 when the company finally folded in rather weird circumstances.

ARO began by building a relicensed version of the Soviet GAZ-69 military 4×4 in the late-1950s before designing their own vehicles such as the 24. The 24-Series was a huge export success; over 90% of production was exported before 1989, with the model also built in Portugal and Italy.

After thirty-five years of production the Romanian government decided to sell ARO to an American businessman who planned to import the 24-Series to the US. He managed to convince 200 dealers to pay $75,000 each for franchise rights, and then pressured them to send more money for vehicles. The dealers refused insisting they pay on delivery, and the venture collapsed.

The Romanian government then learned that the buyer had sold the tooling and assets, and that the documents used to purchase ARO were falsified. They sued in 2006 and the import company fired all its employees, sold its headquarters and disappeared. It was a strange ending to a rather good car, one that was an unusual communist success story killed by capitalist greed.

Today’s creation depicts a second generation 24-Series and has been superbly built by previous bloggee Pixel Fox of Flickr. There’s more to see of his excellent Romanian 4×4 by clicking here, and you can discover his ever-expanding back-catalogue of brilliant mini-figure scale off-roaders by visiting the full album here.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Expedition Zetros II

Lego Technic Mercedes-Benz Zetros Expedition

Having already posted one awesome Mercedes-Benz Zetros expedition truck earlier in the year we didn’t expect to find another. But like feet, Noah’s animals, and your Mom’s chin, Zetroses it seems, come in twos.

This spectacularly well-engineered Zetros expedition truck comes from previous bloggee jrx and it’s packed with brilliant Technic functionally, with seven Power Functions motors fitted inside, controlled via two SBricks and a LEGO IR Receiver.

Each wheel is driven by an XL motor, a Servo controls the steering, and two further Medium motors power the winch and a retractable awning.

Lego Technic Mercedes-Benz Zetros Expedition

Fourteen sets of LEDs give jrx’s Zetros working head and tail lights, flashing turn signals, roof-mounted floodlights, and even interior lighting. The model also includes functioning suspension on all four wheels, a fully fitted interior, and an ATV stored on-board.

There’s much more to see of jrx’s excellent expedition Zetros at both Flickr and the Eurobricks forum – click on the links to join the journey, and you can watch the truck in action via the video below.

YouTube Video

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Neat Niva

Lego Lada Niva

Lada have come in for some stick here at The Lego Car Blog. Now owned by the Renault-Nissan alliance they’ll be making good cars soon enough, but their legacy is one of reheating the leftovers from Fiat, badly. Apart that is, from one car…

The Niva was not built from bits of old Fiat, but was actually rather sophisticated. Launched in 1977 it was the world’s first mass-produced unibody car, featured independent suspension, and with permanent four-wheel-drive and locking differentials it was as good as a Land Rover off-road.

So good that the design is still being produced today, almost completely unchanged in over 40 years. Despite this it’s a car that doesn’t appear much in Lego form, so de-marco‘s brilliant 4-wide version of the iconic 4×4 makes a refreshing change from the usual Land Rovers and Jeeps. de-marco has captured the design superbly in mini-figure scale and there’s more to see of his little Lada on Flickr via the link above.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Expedition Zetros

Lego Technic Mercedes-Benz Zetros

This is the Mercedes-Benz Zetros, the brand’s ultra-heavy duty off-road truck. Normally found in use by the military, utilities companies, or carrying weighty things to the middle-of-nowhere, it’s a truck that has a sort-of-adventurous life performing fairly mundane jobs. Not this one though.

Built by Samolot of Eurobricks this Zetros pays homage to a one-off expedition adventure vehicle created a few years ago which looks like something from The Wild Thornberrys and is possibly the coolest way ever to cross a continent.

YouTube Video

Based on the chassis found within the official LEGO Technic 8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog set, Samolot’s Zetros forgoes the now-commonplace remote control drive and steering for a host of mechanical and powered functions.

A single Medium Motor and gearbox drive three powered features; the winch, lowering rear tail-lift platform, and the side ladder, plus there’s a piston engine up front, working all-wheel-drive and all-wheel-suspension (as per the Unimog set) and a very nice-looking cab interior.

Lego Technic Mercedes-Benz Zetros Expedition

There’s more to see of Samalot’s superb Zetros Expedition at the Eurobricks discussion forum – click here to join the adventure!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

I’ll Be There

Lego Dodge Ram Baywatch

We’re not sure what was going on in the ’90s, but TV theme tunes seemed to focus on simply turning up, Friends and Baywatch being prime examples. This writer was much too young to appreciate Baywatch at the time and thought it was actually serious rescue drama, rather than light pornography for Dads, but nevertheless they did occasionally save people from the dangers of two feet of salt water.

One of the tools at their disposal to accomplish this was a fleet of bright yellow pick-up trucks, such as this Dodge Ram by Flickr’s ER0L. ER0L has recreated the ageing Dodge brilliantly in 7-wide Speed Champions style, and he’s thrown in a plethora of rescue apparatus for when the Baywatch lifeguards do finally actually rescue someone. See more of the classic Ram at ER0L’s photostream by clicking here.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Desert Storm

Lego Humvee

The first Gulf War – initiated when moustachioed douchebag Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, defied a UN resolution, and then gassed his own people – saw the US deploy its new ‘High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) in large numbers for the first time, as president George Bush Sr. and other world leaders responded to Iraq’s aggressions.

Twelve years later and George Bush Jr. decided to finish what his dad had started, and – for reasons we’re still not sure of – defied a UN resolution and attempted to overthrow the Hussein government. There was good reason in 1991, but in 2003? Er… 911? Nope. Weapons of mass destruction? Nope…

Whatever the reason behind Bush Jr.’s invasion, overthrow the Hussein government he did, and the Humvee played as pivotal a role in the outcome as it did in the liberation of Kuwait a decade or so earlier.

This superb 10-wide recreation of the iconic military vehicle comes from previous bloggee Manuel Cara, who has recreated the desert-spec Humvee in quite astonishing detail. All doors, the roof hatch and the tailgate open, and if anything what’s underneath is even more detailed than what you can see here.

Lego HumVee

You can head over to Manuel’s photostream via the link above for the complete gallery of images, and if you’re wondering what’s become of the Humvee another decade-and-a-half on from Iraq Round 2, well the old stalwart is finally due for replacement.

The Humvee is still doing service in Iraq though, as the U.S. left many units behind upon their withdrawal from the country to equip the new non-Saddam-run Iraqi military, and because shipping them back to the U.S would have been really expensive.

However the recent rise of Islamic State – due in no small part to the vacuum left as Saddam Hussein was removed from power – has meant that many Humvees have fallen into the wrong hands. There’s an irony there that would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

As we occasionally link to those picking up the pieces after conflict in posts such as this one, here’s are some organisations that do just that; Christian Aid, War Child, International Rescue Committee.

Lego HumVee

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Swedish Excellence

Lego Volvo XC90

As has been documented on these pages before, the current obsession with SUVs is not one shared here in TLCB Towers. However there is an exception. Volvo…

Sold by Ford during their purge in 2010 to stave off bankruptcy, Volvo are now under the ownership of Geely, and – much like Jaguar and Land Rover sold to the Indians by Ford two years previously – the Chinese have done a far better job of managing Volvo than Ford ever did.

By providing cash and economies of scale, but by letting Volvo be Volvo, the cars coming out of Gothenburg are a world apart from the dull badge-engineered knock-offs built under Ford’s stewardship.

The latest XC90 encapsulates this mantra; with superbly Swedish design, engines no larger than 2 litres, using turbocharging, supercharging, and hybrid electric to boost performance, and self-driving technology, Volvo’s flagship SUV is very probably the flagship SUV. Not bad for a company best known for estate cars.

This beautiful recreation of the latest XC90 ‘Excellence’ edition comes from previous bloggee dgustafsson1317, and he’s built the big Volvo brilliantly. A superbly detailed exterior (including bespoke 3D-printed wheels to replicate those on the real car) continues inside with a stunningly accurate interior, made all the more impressive by the need to squeeze in a raft of Power Functions electronic wizardry.

Five motors power the all-wheel-drive system, steering, and the electrically opening tailgate, all of which are operable remotely via a Bluetooth device thanks to a third-party SBrick. The build also features all-wheel suspension, neat brick-built windows, and some excellent custom badges too.

There’s much more of the model to see at dgustafsson’s enormous Volvo XC90 Excellence album on Flickr – click the link above for over fifty stunning images.

Lego Volvo XC90

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Tourist Trophy

Lego Technic Remote Control 4x4

This is the latest creation from TLCB regular Horcik Designs, he’s called it a Trophy Off-Roader, and its sort-of-but-not-quite a Toyota FJ, Jeep CJ and something weird and communist all rolled into one.

Wherever it’s from we like it (which is a good metaphor for people), and with Power Functions remote control drive and steering, plus working suspension, Horcik’s model boasts some decent technical functions too.

Click the link above to see more on Flickr.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Many Mogs

Lego Technic Mercedes-Benz Unimogs

We’re going to have a very fat (and possibly very sick) Elf later today…

These three excellent Technic Mercedes-Benz Unimog 437s were found by one Elf, as they all come from previous bloggee Thirdwigg. Designed as a modular build, Thirdwigg’s ‘mogs can be built as long or short wheelbase, standard or doka cab, with manual features or Power Functions remote control, and with a variety of tipper bed options.

Lego Technic Mercedes-Benz Unimogs

Each version also features four-wheel-drive linked to an inline-4 engine, working steering, and front and rear suspension.

There much more to see of the various ways in which Thirdwigg’s brilliantly-engineered Unimog 437 can be built at the Eurobricks discussion forum, you can find more images of the design on both Brickshelf and Flickr, and you can watch a video of the various ‘mogs on YouTube by clicking here, whilst we hand out three meal tokens to the world’s luckiest Elf.

Lego Technic Mercedes-Benz Unimogs

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Grandalf the Gray

Lego Jeep Grand Cherokee

This is a late ’90s Jeep Grand Cherokee, and we hate it. Well not this one obviously, as we’ve blogged it, but the real car. Shoddily built, boringly styled, and with an enormous wheezy V8 making about 8bhp, the Grand Cherokee is everything we dislike in a car all rolled into one. The only grand thing about it was the name.

Still, the fact it was crap didn’t stop it selling in the hundreds of thousands, as families across America clamoured for a car essential for taking little Cody to school. One such owner is Flickr’s Thomas Gion (sorry about all the above Thomas…) who owns a grey ’99 Laredo edition, which he has recreated brilliantly in Lego form.

Constructed from 265 pieces, almost half of which are mounted sideways or upside-down, Thomas’ 7-wide model features more ingenious build techniques than many models five times the size. There’s more to see of his mini-figure scale Jeep at his album on Flickr – click the link above for a closer look.

Lego Jeep Grand Cherokee

Tagged , , , , ,

DakaRC

Lego Mammoet Dakar Truck

It’s seems like only the other day that Brickshelf’s marthart appeared here at The Lego Car Blog with a huge remote control Technic creation. That’s because it was, but his second upload of the week is just as worthy of a posting here.

This is Mammoet Racing’s 2018 Renualt Dakar truck, yup – the same company that made this, and it’s brilliant. With remote control all-wheel-drive and steering, working suspension, a V8 engine, opening panels, and a tilting cab, marthart‘s Technic recreation of the two-stage-winning truck is packed with working functions and there’s much more to see at the Brickshelf gallery – Click the link above to take a closer look.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Strength in Numbers

Lego RC Pick-Up Truck

As any builder of remote control Technic creations will know, LEGO drivetrain components – especially u-joints, axle connections and gears – are often not up to the job of delivering the torque from LEGO’s excellent Power Functions motors to where it needs to go.

Gears shearing in half and u-joints snapping are problems that regularly occur, particularly if third-party battery and software products such as SBrick or BuWizz have been used to increase power far beyond what LEGO envisaged. We’ve even experienced this here at TLCB Towers, as an ‘accidental’ collision between an RC creation and a TLCB Elf can push a part past its breaking-point.

Lego Technic RC Pick-Up Truck

However Eurobricks’ Kevin Moo has designed a cunning solution to the problem, with his Toyota Tundra-esque 4×4 pick-up truck utilising two driveshafts for each of the live-axle suspended differentials.

Power is sent down both sets of components, effectively halving the load on each gear, u-joint and axle connection, and therefore the likelihood of a part failure. It’s an ingenious yet simple solution and one that enables Lego models to take more power, more reliably – watch truck trial builders use this design and then double the number of motors to end up right back where they started!

Lego Technic RC Pick-Up Truck

Kevin’s dual-driveshaft pick-up is also a thoroughly excellent model in addition to its clever driveline. Power to all four wheels comes from a single XL Motor with a Servo for steering, there’s superb live-axle suspension front and rear, opening doors, hood, tailgate and load cover, LED lights, and a realistically detailed body too.

There’s much more to see of Kevin’s brilliant build on Eurobricks via the link above, and you watch how the dual-driveshafts work via the top-quality video below. Take a look whilst we see whether breaking parts in ‘accidental’ collisions with TLCB Elves is a thing of the past (it’s all for science).

YouTube Video

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Slowly Smushing

Lego Technic RC Dakar Truck

It’s been a while since the last episode of Elf-on-Elf violence (even Elven behaviour during this year’s FIFA World Cup even proved uneventful, unlike the last one), however today we’re back to earth with a bump, thanks to this (admittedly incredible) fully remote controlled Dakar rally truck by Lucio Switch.

Driven by four XL motors with a Servo for steering, plus live-axle suspension, pneumatically controlled differential locks powered by an on-board compressor, LED lights and SBrick bluetooth control, Lucio’s Dakar truck is an engineering masterpiece. All of that lot makes it supremely capable off-road, where it can slowly climb over almost anything. Elves included.

Lego Technic RC Dakar Truck

As is the way with heavy remote control Technic models Lucio’s truck is pretty slow, and certainly no match for a fleeing Elf. But if a trap of sticky-side-up parcel tape has been laid by one of the little scumbags, the truck’s slow speed (but massive weight) are – if anything – advantageous to a good smushing.

So cunning was this inventive new use for sticky tape that we almost respect the Elf that did it. Almost. Because not only did we have to collect some thoroughly smushed Elves, they had to be pulled off the parcel tape too, which was not appreciated by them one bit.

We’re now going to look into a more secure stationary storage solution whilst you can check out all of the superb images of Lucio’s amazing creation on Flickr, plus you can join the discussion and watch the truck in action via the Eurobricks forum.

Lego Technic RC Dakar Truck

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Umm…

Lego UMM Alter 4x4

This is an UMM Alter II, and it’s surely one of the ugliest vehicles ever made. Based on a design bought from France and powered (mostly) by Peugeot engines, the UMM was built in Portugal from the mid-’80s until the mid-’90s mainly for military and utilities use, and it found around 10,000 buyers around the Mediterranean during its production run. A capable off-roader, there’s actually an avid following of the UMM amongst 4×4 enthusiasts despite it looks, so this marvellous mini-figure scale recreation by Flickr’s Pixel Fox is sure to please. Head over to Flickr via the link to see more.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Disco Inferno

Lego Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover may be most famous for the Defender, but it’s this car that ensured the brand’s survival. Launched in 1989 in three and five door body styles, and with 4-cylinder petrol, 4-cylinder diesel, and a V8 engine options, the Discovery took the fight to the Japanese brands dominating the mid-size SUV market. It worked too, and the design stayed in production for almost a decade.

This 6-wide recreation of the Series 1 Discovery comes from TLCB favourite Pixel Fox, and he’s done a magnificent job replicating the early-’90s off-roader in Camel Trophy spec. The lions appear to like the look of it too, or could that be the delicious mini-figures they’re more interested in? Head over to Pixel’s photostream to find out, and you can hear the today’s title track by clicking here (and don’t pretend you don’t like it…)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: