Tag Archives: 4×4

Suzuki’s Peak

If you’re of a certain age (like this TLCB Writer) then you will absolutely know this car.

Playstation’s Gran Turismo 2 ruled racing games in the late ’90s. Populated with all manner of awesome mostly-Japanese cars from the county’s car-building zenith, pixilated racing glory could be yours at the wheel of an Impreza, a Skyline GT-R, a Supra, an RX-7, or a multitude of other machinery.

Of course you had to work your way up through a soup of crappy Suzukis and Daihatsus to get to the good stuff, but even they had some late ’90s monsters available in digital form. OK, Daihatsu didn’t, but Suzuki did; the mighty Escudo Pikes Peak.

Based on the humble Vitara (although it resembled the Vitara about as much as this TLCB Writer does Ryan Reynolds), the Escudo Pikes Peak produced almost 1,000bhp from a mid-mounted bi-turbo V6, and could do o-60mph in 3.5 seconds. On gravel.

Built for one race (the Pikes Peak…), the Suzuki Escudo won the 1995 event in the hands Nobuhiro Tajima, before he returned in the mid-’00s to win a further six consecutive Pike Peaks with Suzuki, by which time the Escudo was already a legend with an entire generation of Playstation owners.

This instantly recognisable Speed Champions homage to the iconic Gran Turismo 2 star and Suzuki outlier comes from Sergio Batista, with custom decals and bespoke wheels maximising the realism (far beyond what 1999 gaming graphics could manage…).

Building instructions are available and you can re-live your youth at Sergio’s photostream via the link above.

Newnimog

Making not only their TLCB debut, but their MOCing debut too, today’s creation publicises a newcomer to the online Lego community via a well-trodden path; the Mercedes-Benz Unimog.

We’ve featured dozens of brick-built Unimogs here over the years, and TLCB debutant Rajesh Sriram (aka Voldemort87) adds another to the roster, with his excellent fully RC truck trial version of the famous off-road truck.

PoweredUp motors deliver the all-wheel drive, steering, and high/low gearbox, whilst the cabin tilts, there’s a working piston engine, and all-wheel suspension too.

There’s more to see of Rajesh’s first published MOC at both Eurobricks and Flickr, and you can take a look via the links above.

 

Build in Low-Res

No your screen hasn’t suddenly gone low-res. The reason for the Minecraft-esque appearance of today’s creation is that it has been constructed (no doubt tediously) using solely 1×2 plates. Yup, everything from the windscreen to the wheels of Chris Doyle‘s Jeep is built only from LEGO’s second-smallest part, which assuredly makes this the least detailed (and yet one of the most ingenious) creations that this site has ever featured. Head over to Flickr to pretend you’re in a video game c1995!

Camp Jimny

Speaking of ‘coolest vehicles on the planet‘ following today’s other post, here’s another. The Suzuki Jimny is one of the hottest vehicles to own right now, helped no doubt by the EU’s ‘CAFE’ CO2 regulations taking it off sale after just two years, during which time it had a sizeable waiting list. But buying a hateful G63 AMG is fine… go figure.

Anyway, these two polar bears have managed to get themselves a Suzuki Jimny (whose survival was surely the point of that non-sensical, counter-productive EU legislation), applying a few well-chosen mods to equip them with everything they need for a weekend camping.

There’s a folding table, cooler, camping stove, and much more besides to ensure a successful polar-bear-father-son camping trip.

Flickr’s LEGO 7 is the builder behind this wonderfully whimsical, delightfully detailed, and beautifully built creation, and there’s more to see of his superbly presented bear-based camping scene at his ‘Camping Time’ album. Click the link above to join the fun.

Tan Parade

In recent years most military vehicles – such as these these American ‘Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected’ (MRAP) light tactical vehicles – seem to be painted tan, what with all the oil being in the desert. Er, we mean the ‘complicated political nature of the Middle East’, or something.

Of course a certain minimally-endowed despot has changed the landscape somewhat, bringing war back to the greeny-brown lands of Europe, and we suspect many national militaries will be re-painting a proportion of their equipment accordingly, even if they have no intention of joining in.

However the ’90s-2010s will be remembered, in a military context at least, for desert-based conflicts, and the tan-coloured vehicles that operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other sandy locales.

Cue Robson M (aka BrickDesigners), and these excellent Middle-East spec MRAPs, armoured trucks, and personnel carriers. Each captures its real-world equivalent brilliantly, helped by custom decals and weaponry, and there’s more to see of all of Robson’s desert warfare vehicles on Flickr via the link.

Cream Dream

Things this TLCB Writer would like; More sleep, better hair, Jennifer Lawrence’s phone no., and a modified Toyota FJ60-Series Land Cruiser.

Whilst the first three aren’t going to happen any time soon we do have the latter here today, courtesy of regular bloggee 1saac W, whose superb brick-built FJ60 – suitably modified for overland adventures – is an absolute dream car.

Big tyres, a bull-bar, a roof cage, and a snorkel make the already awesome FJ60 even cooler, and you can check out 1saac’s brilliant build on Flickr via the link above.

Fake Tan

This glorious vehicle is a brick-built recreation of Jeep’s Wrangler ‘Africa Concept’. Designed for overland expeditions, and reinforcing that – to many Americans – Africa is not a continent but a country, Jeep’s 2015 one-off looked the business on 17″ steel wheels shod with 35″ tyres, and featured fox shocks plus a 2.8 litre diesel engine that made it far more appropriate for long distances than most domestic Jeeps.

This ace Lego version of the Jeep Wrangler ‘Africa Concept’ is the work of regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott, who has captured it beautifully in tan bricks. Except he hasn’t, as not all the pieces required were available in tan, so he built it in grey then photoshopped it. Still, it allowed us to write a clever title, and you can check out Jonathan’s fake tan at his photosteam via the link above. It’ll still be more real than anything you see on Instagram today.

Bug Squash

The last remotely controlled Lego creation found by our Elves produced no squashings of any kind. That can not be said today.

This is Horcik Designs’ ‘EXP. Buggy’, an all-wheel-drive Power Functions equipped off-roader, built for a Lego Trophy event, and used – by the Elf that found it – to squash a number of its colleagues.

Twin L Motors deliver the power and you can both watch the model in action and create it for yourself courtesy of the video and building instructions Horcik has produced along with it.

There’s more to see at both Eurobricks and Bricksafe, and you can take a look via the links above.

The Long Way Home

This return journey will be familiar to anyone with an extended period of Land Rover ownership in their vehicular history.

Actually that’s not entirely fair; whilst classic Land Rovers (in this case a Series III) will break, they do only require electrical tape and a piece of string to fix. Clearly the owner of this one forgot to bring their string…

Ralph Savelsberg is the creator of this excellent MAN TGS AA recovery truck (along with the lovely Series III Land Rover it’s recovering), which includes a working under-lift, sliding platform, tilting cab with four opening doors, and some beautifully authentic decals.

It could only be more realistic if the Land Rover Series III on the back was replaced by a Range Rover Sport. And that’s definitely not a car that’s repairable with electrical tape and piece of string.

Proper Off-Roader

We love a proper off-roader here at TLCB, and they don’t come much properer than this; the Jeep Cherokee XJ. Particularly when they’ve been outfitted for proper off-roading like this one has.

Builder filsawgood has equipped his fully remote controlled Technic ’90s Jeep Cherokee with a snorkel, lifted suspension, wide arches and oversize tyres, a winch, roof cage, and a differential locker, and there’s lots more to see of his off-road modded Jeep (including a video) at the Eurobricks forum.

Click the link above for some proper off-roading.

Soviet Synergy

The Soviet Union, for all the terror, oppression, and poverty meted out on its inhabitants, achieved some amazing things. Uniting almost all of Eastern Europe, it spanned over 22,000 square kilometres and eleven time-zones before its collapse in 1990, heralding a freedom long-awaited by millions.

The two largest countries within the bloc were the Russian SFSR and the Ukrainian SSR, where collaboration on military, vehicle and aircraft manufacturing was particularly close.

Which makes it all the more awful that Russia has decided to invade and bombard its brother, despite a shared history, language, people, accomplishments, and that Kyiv is actually even older than Moscow. It’s a war to revive the Soviet Union, in a time where – thankfully – such oppression is incredibly hard to achieve, and is – we hope – doomed to fail.

Today’s creation captures the shared history of Russia and Ukraine beautifully, being a Russian Lada Niva constructed in Ukrainian colours. Flickr’s PalBenglat is the builder, answering our call to build in blue and yellow, and there’s more to see on Flickr. Good luck Ukraine.

Theory of Evolution

LEGO’s Speed Champions range has evolved a bit over the years. Jumping from six studs of width to eight has upped the realism, as has a the more widespread use of decals, allowing for the recreation of real-world liveries and sponsorships.

Previous bloggee Fabrice Larcheveque has moved with the times as well, updating his Peugeot 206 T16 rally car to fit LEGO’s latest Speed Champions aesthetic, with it looking rather wonderful a as result.

Fabrice’s original 205 T16 featured on this site half a decade ago, and The Lego Car Blog has evolved a bit since then too, with the standard of presentation required to appear here considerably higher than it was back then. The incompetent writing and woeful site management remain though…

Fabrice’s significantly upgraded and perfectly presented Peugeot 205 T16 is available to view on Flickr, where building instructions are now available too. Click here to join the evolution.

Tediously Tracking

A 1990s Asian-American econobox is the definition of mundane motoring. There was the Toyota Corolla rebadged as the Geo Prizm (which was somehow even more boring), the miserable Daewoo Matiz rebadged as a Chevrolet, and this; the Suzuki Vitara rebadged as the Geo Tracker.

This Lego version comes from Flickr’s Thomas Gion, who has constructed it for the Festival of Mundanity competition, and earned some decent mundane points in the process.

However, he’s also lost a few by building his Tracker in yellow and putting a surfboard in the back. Thomas, Thomas… white with a brown box in the back would have been so much more mundane.

Despite this monotonous faux-pas it’s still a worthy entry and you can check out more of Thomas’ Tracker on at his photostream via the link, plus you can read the contest details and see the prizes on offer for the most boring builds by clicking here.

Yellow Niva

The Soviet Union was full of terrible cars. This is not one of them.

The Lada Niva / VAZ-2121 is unibody 4×4, capable of going as far as a Land Rover (only more comfortably, as it had proper springs) and able to be easily worked on with limited tools. And it’s brilliant.

Unusually, the Niva was an in-house design – rather than using left-over bits of old Fiats – and so successful is it that is still being built today. Not for long though, as the Niva’s days are numbered, after which it’ll be replaced by a re-badged Dacia Duster courtesy of Lada’s parent company Renault.

Now we quite like the Duster, but it’s not a Niva, and it certainly can’t go as far as a Land Rover off road. Which means we suspect the original Niva will become quite a sought-after vehicle once production stops, not something you might expect of a Communist-era Lada.

This rather lovely Lego version comes from previous bloggee Legostalgie, who has evolved his previously featured design and has now made building instructions available. If you like the Niva as much as we do you can check out all the images of Legostalgie’s update, and find a link to building instructions, by clicking here.

Dyb Dyb Dyb

The Festival of Mundanity entries are starting to arrive! Hoping to win one of the awesome prizes on offer (more on those later today) is PalBenglat of Flickr, whose International Harvester Scout (hence the title) is, well… actually not very mundane at all.

But despite not exactly maxing out his Mundane Points, Pal’s logic is rather clever. Back in the 1970s the Scout was marketed to middle-America couples, usually living in the suburbs with a dog, as per the recreated advertisement image above. And it doesn’t get more mundane than that.

Of course middle-America didn’t need Sports Utility Vehicles, but International Harvester forecast that it would want them. Which it did. By the million.

Now, partly thanks to the Scout, middle-America only buys SUVs and crossovers, they’re all exactly the same, and suburban motoring has never been more mundane.