Tag Archives: 6-wide

Vanburger

Andy might look like a bearded hipster but there are no plant-based all-natural ethical peace crisps in the back of his van. This lovely classic Chevrolet comes from TLCB favourite (and Master MOCer) Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74 and it’s part of a much larger and utterly wonderful hamburger restaurant scene.

Head to Andrea’s Flickr album for more of Andy’s Van and his Burger Joint and make ours a double beef with bacon!

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The Trouble with Tesla

Tesla. If there’s one car company you cannot criticise on the internet due to frankly fanatical supporters it’s Elon Musk’s electric automotive brand. Here goes…

Tesla were not actually founded by the creator of Paypal back in 2003, but Musk has pretty much led the company ever since, from it’s first car (the Lotus Elise based Roadster) to its position today as the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer. This is a simply astonishing achievement, particularly as it’s Tesla that have brought EVs to the mainstream, forcing the established car manufacturers to take EVs seriously. The raft of new EVs about to reach the market are in large part due to Tesla proving the business case.

They’ve also brought a sense of fun to the often staid motor industry, with models that literally spell ‘S3XY’, a drive mode named ‘Ludicrous’, whoopie cushion seats, and host of other mischievous features. Plus the Tesla Model 3 is the safest model ever tested by the Euro NCAP. And yet, would this TLCB writer buy one?…

Nope.

For all Tesla’s technical innovation and engineering brilliance the company’s primary function is to build cars, and they’re shockingly bad at it. Designs that use four times as many parts as they should (making repairs complicated, eye-wateringly expensive and slow), risible paint quality, panel gaps that  you could drive another car through, and chronic unreliability plague Tesla’s range. As the company tries desperately to meet demand (and to make money) the ‘finished’ cars are far from it, recreating the ownership experience of a 1970s British Leyland.

Whether Tesla can, or even wants to, sort these issues out is debatable. However what isn’t is that Mercedes-Benz, the Volkswagen Group, BMW, and many more besides wouldn’t be scrambling to go electric if it weren’t for Musk and what all started with an electrically-powered Elise. Which means when this writer is driving an EV he’ll be able to give a nod of thanks to Tesla, even though his car probably won’t actually be one.

Oh yeh, this neat digitally rendered Tesla Model 3 comes from Robson M of Flickr and there’s more to see at the link!

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Muscle Car Double

Lego Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Founded in the late 1920s, mis-managed into administration, and then closed down in the last decade or so, Plymouth and Pontiac are best known in recent times as victims of the Big Three’s sorry tale of arrogance, greed and incompetence.

But before all that there were some good times. Really good times. In the late-’60s to early-’70s the muscle car was in a golden age, and both Plymouth and Pontiac were riding the crest of that wave.

Plymouth’s Barracuda (above) launched in the mid-’60s with a range of engines beginning at just 100bhp, yet by 1970 it was making up to 425bhp from an enormous Hemi V8. Unfortunately 425bhp didn’t sit really suit the market once the oil crisis hit in 1973, and production ended shortly afterwards, but if anything that short life has helped the ‘Cuda become one of most sought-after muscle cars in history.

General Motors were also in on the muscle car action in the 1960s, bringing – via their Pontiac brand – the GTO (below) to market in ’64. By the 1970s they too were making over 400bhp, with stock cars delivering 13.4 second 1/4 miles times straight from the forecourt. Like Plymouth the oil crisis put an end to that, but in its hay-day the Pontiac GTO sold almost 100,000 units annually, despite its slow steering and ‘amazingly inadequate’ brakes. The roads must have been a fun (if slightly terrifying) place!

Lego Pontiac GTO

The two superb Speed Champions versions of the Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda and Pontiac GTO pictured here are the work of Thomas Gion, who has faithfully recreated both cars in just 6-studs of width, capturing the styling cues of each brilliantly.

Today both brands are gone, but the legendary cars they created in the 1960s and ’70s mean they won’t be forgotten for some time yet.

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Gears and Garbage

Lego Town Garbage Truck

This neat garbage truck (or ‘bin lorry’ where we’re from) proves that you don’t need zillions of bricks to appear here at The Lego Car Blog. It’s got more squeezed inside it than you might think too (insert your own ‘Your Mom’ joke), as builder Scott Hasse has designed ingenious hand-operated bin lift, compactor, and dumping mechanisms, each of which works beautifully! There’s lots more to see of Scott’s mini-figure garbage truck at his photostream by clicking here, where you can also find a link to the design on the LEGO Ideas platform from which you can vote for it to become an official LEGO set.

Lego Town Garbage Truck

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Seventies Safari

Lego Datsun 240Z Safari Rally

We know rally cars today as brutal all-wheel-drive monsters, with enormous wings, enormous turbochargers, and even more enormous balls in the driving seat. The current World Rally Championship makes for quite a show, but back in the 1970s things were a bit… simpler.

This is a 1971 Datsun 240Z. It has raised suspension, off-road tyres, and some extra lights – and it won the ’71 East African Safari Rally. In fact it wasn’t until the late-’80s that an all-wheel-drive car would win the event, which surely proves that you really don’t need a 4×4 to take little Timmy to school.

This glorious 6-wide replica of the 1971 Safari Rally winner comes from previous bloggee and TLCB favourite Jonathan Elliott, and there’s more to see of his delightful Datsun 240Z on Flickr via the link above.

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Stranger Vans

Lego Chevrolet Van Stranger Things Netflix

Normally amongst the most mundane vehicles on the roads, vans don’t often appear here at The Lego Car Blog. Today though, we have two, and they’re strange ones at that.

First up is an admittedly boring 1980s Chevrolet G-Series panel van, although it has been wonderfully recreated in 6-wide mini-figure scale. However it’s a van which stars in the Netflix sci-fi series ‘Stranger Things’ and it really does do something strange. Click the link to find out what, and you can see more of the superb model pictured above courtesy of Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74) by clicking here.

Today’s second van doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary but it was, for America at least, a strange vehicle. This mid-’60s Chevrolet ‘forward control’ van mounted the driver and controls right at the front of the chassis, leaving more space in the back for carrying things. Common in Europe and Asia, this design never really took off in the ‘states, which is a shame as we think Chevrolet’s 1960s efforts looked pretty cool. This one comes from Tim Henderson of Flickr, it’s also built in 6-wide mini-figure scale, and there’s more of it to see at Tim’s photostream by clicking here.

Lego Chevrolet Van

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Super Duper Supra

Lego Toyota Supra

Toyota’s new Supra is nearly (finally) here, but it’s got a lot to live up. Launched in 1993, the fourth generation A80 Supra was almost wildly futuristic back in the mid-’90s, and came with a naturally aspirated straight-six or a Porsche-beating twin-turbo. The 2JZ engine as it was known, became a tuner’s dream, being easily modifiable to make up to (and over) 1,000bhp.

Unfortunately for Toyota it’s these highly modified Supras that people remember, not the excellent – but slightly fat – cruisers that left the factory, giving the new one an impossible task. Still, to our eyes the new Supra does look rather good, and even if it’s not there are plenty of A80’s around.

Oddly considering its status, the fourth generation Supra is a car that’s rarely recreated in LEGO form. Previous bloggee Simon Przepiorka has rectified this with a superb Speed Champions scale replica of the famous ’90s GT car, which – like so many A80 Supras – is a little different from the ones that left the factory. A giant exhaust, bodykit, and a ridiculous rear wing all make appearances, and – whilst we would definitely prefer an original one (Simon?) – there’s much more to see on Flickr. Jump back to the ’90s and make ‘Bwarrrp bwarrrrp!’ noises via the link above.

Lego Toyota Supra

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Exploding Chevy

Lego Chevrolet Bel Air

Ford may be best known for exploding cars (their crown of evil now claimed by Volkswagen), however today’s vehicular-explosion applies not to a ‘70s Ford Pinto but to a classic ’50s Chevrolet Bel Air. Not in the Ford ‘let’s-try-to-cover-up-that-one-of-our-cars-detonates-in-an-accident’ kind of way though, rather the very cool ‘let’s-see-what’s-inside’ kind.

This brilliant exploded Chevy comes from previous bloggee PixelJunkie of Flickr, whose lovely ’55 Bel Air has appeared here before as part of an excellent garage scene. Pixel’s clever explosion not only looks great, it also effectively displays the ingenious techniques used within the build, and there more to see at Pixel’s photostream by clicking here.

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Mr. T

Lego Ford Model T

In the hundred years since The Great War ended mankind has made all sorts of progress. Antibiotics, space travel, the television, Twitter, the cat pencil sharpener… it’s an amazing list, yet cars are still more or less the same as they were a century ago, and they’re still produced in largely the same way too.

This is the car that defined automobile production for the next 100 years, the phenomenally successful Ford Model T. Produced from 1908 to 1927, around fifteen million units of Henry Ford’s world-changing car were built, meaning that at one time over half of all the cars on the roads anywhere in the world were Model Ts. It’s likely we’ll never see such a dominant product – of any type, let alone a car – again.

This excellent Lego replica of very probably the most important machine ever made comes from previous bloggee Pixel Junkie who has recreated the Model T brilliantly in Lego form. See more at his photostream by clicking here.

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Royally Posh

Lego Bugatti Royale

Long before the Veyron, Chiron and Volkswagen ownership, Bugatti made some very posh cars. So posh in fact that the people who owned them didn’t drive the car themselves, and they didn’t even give their driver a roof, so that he would know his place.

This is one such car, the Bugatti Royale, of which just seven were produced. Powered by a 12.7litre straight-8 and measuring 21ft in length (significantly larger than even a modern-day Rolls Royce Phantom) the Royale was released just as the Great Depression hit, and it was a gigantic flop. Of the seven made only three were sold to paying customers, although to be fair to Ettore Bugatti he did apparently refuse to sell one to the King of Albania on account of his poor table manners.

This lovely Town-scale recreation of the Royale comes from ER0L of Flickr and there’s more to see at his photostream via think above. If your table manners are good enough.

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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.

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Dirty Photo

Lego Workshop

Much has been written in the nerdier corners of the online Lego Community about keeping your Lego bricks in the best condition. Put them in the dishwasher. Use baking soda on yellowed white pieces. Keep them away from sunlight. Don’t open the box…

We’re don’t exactly share this school of thought here at The Lego Car Blog, preferring to, you know, use our bricks. Flickr’s PixelJunkie has gone one step further though, and deliberately dirtied his Danish plastic.* We can hear the incredulous tutting from the aforementioned nerds from here… Good.

The creation resulting from Pixel’s liberal application of grime is gloriously realistic, with a ’50s Chevrolet/Frazer-Nash-ish type vehicle suspended above its chassis during restoration inside a wonderfully real-looking workshop, complete with hoist, tools, pallets and lots of dirt!

Click the link above to put on your overalls and get dirty with PixelJunkie on Flickr.

*It might be digital dirt – we’re not sure – but our statement still stands. Get your bricks dirty; it’s more fun that way.

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Blue Wonder

Lego Mercedes-Benz Blue Wonder

Race transporters used to be much more interesting than a DAF with a huge box trailer on the back…

This is the Mercdes-Benz ‘Blue Wonder’, built in the mid-1950s to transport the team’s racing cars (plus a few customer cars too). Based on a lengthened Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing chassis, and powered by the same engine, the Blue Wonder was billed as the fastest transporter in the world.

Sadly the original vehicle was scrapped in ’67, although Mercedes have since built a replica, and so has previous bloggee pixeljunkie of Flickr, whose Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula 1 car appeared here earlier in the week and now resides on the deck of the truck.

There’s more to see of Pixel’s fantastic model at his photostream – click the link above to transport yourself back to 1955.

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Brown ’77

Lego Ford Granada Mk1

After berating old fat Fords yesterday, here’s, er… an old fat Ford. And we absolutely love it. This is a Ford Granada, a hugely successful car for Ford of Europe in the 1970s and ’80s. Built in Germany and the UK the Granada sold in the hundreds of thousands in a bewildering variety of engines, trim levels and body styles across three generations.

However as Granadas got older (and rustier) they, like all things, became near worthless. This meant they found a new calling on the banger track, where they were (and still are) highly prized for their speed and strength, and thus have been obliterated in terrifyingly vast numbers. When the handful left are worth a fortune in a few years time we’ll look back and wonder how we let it happen…

Here’s one Granada that won’t end its days on the track, a gloriously brown Mark 1 estate complete with a seventies beige interior and a roof-rack for family holidays to the seaside. It’s the work of Mateusz Waldowski of Flickr and there’s much more to see of this superb creation at his photostream via the link above.

Lego Ford Granada Mk1

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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…)

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