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.
This is a BMW i3, one of the first dedicated electric cars from a mainstream manufacturer, and one of the weirdest too.
Launched in 2013 the i3 brought the arrival of BMW’s ‘i’ sub-brand (‘i’ because German car brands have zero imagination and if in doubt, stick an ‘i’ in front of it), and it was quite unlike any of BMW’s other products. A suicide-doored B-Seg MPV-style hatchback, the i3 was powered by either an electric motor, or an electric motor backed up by a motorcycle engine generator.
Despite this oddity the i3 was mostly well received, and sales have climbed every year since launch as electrification has become increasingly accepted, although they still haven’t topped more than 40,000 annually. However the i3’s strangeness – and its moderate success – mean there will be no replacement.
These days you don’t need an electric car to be deliberately weird; a regular car that happens to be electric is the order of the day, thus there is no place in BMW’s line-up for a suicide-doored B-Seg MPV-style hatchback.
Nor is there a place for an EV sub-brand like ‘i’, as the UK and many other European countries implement new car combustion-engine bans from as little as four years’ time. By then, if you’re not selling EVs, you’re not selling anything. Which also means of course, that technically the electric i3 with its little range-extending petrol-powered motorcycle engine, will also be banned.
Still, it was fun while it lasted, and Rolands Kirpis has paid tribute to BMW’s first EV with this rather excellent Model Team recreation of the i3, complete with a brilliantly detailed interior, opening hatchback, front trunk, and even the weird suicide doors too.
There’s much more for the model to see at Rolands’ ‘BMW i3’ album, where several top quality images are available to view. Click the link above to take a look at BMW’s past vision of an electrified future.
Gosh do we hate the BMW X3. Not a much as the X7, which numerically we hate just over twice as much, but still. However, our thoughts on BMW’s affront to ‘compact’ SUV styling are – like pretty much everything we write – moot, because the X3 has been a phenomenal success for the German brand.
Now seventeen years and three generations in, around two million X3s have been produced, and today we can add one more to that number, courtesy of Jeroen Ottens and the brilliant Technic recreation you can see here.
Powered by two L Motors with a Medium Motor delivering the steering, Jeroen’s X3 can be controlled via bluetooth thanks to a third-party SBrick, which has also been programmed to operate the LED head and tail lights (including indicators), and the Servo controlled drive-mode select, which can send all the power to the rear wheels, 25% front and 75% rear, or 50/50 all-wheel-drive via a centre differential.
It’s an ingenious piece of engineering and there’s more to see on both Flickr and at Jeroen’s website, where building instructions are also available. Click the links to check it out.
Andre Pinto is the builder behind many of the motorbikes that have appeared here over the years, and he’s now built a workshop to house them. Complete with an impressive array of superbly detailed tools and equipment, including a ramp, compressor, pallet truck, tyre fitter, and – that workshop essential – a girly calendar, there’s more to see on both Flickr and Eurobricks. Get your bike serviced via the links.
We’re not fan of BMW’s latest M-cars. Enormous grilles, enormous engines, and enormous bodywork… all things that aren’t really about driving enjoyment. Nor are many others it seems, as BMW’s compact first generation M3, with it’s small grille, small (4-cylinder) engine, and small bodywork is becoming incredibly valuable, as people look for M-cars from a simpler time.
This neat Speed Champions E30 series M3 comes from Flickr’s Rolling Bricks, and it captures the car’s boxy lines, flared arches, and square rear wing brilliantly. Rolling Bricks has made building instructions available too, so if you’d like to own a classic M3 you can create your very own at home.
Head to Rolling Bricks’ ‘BMW E30 M3’ album via the link above to view the complete gallery, and to find the all-important link to building instructions.
This spectacular array of racing cars is the entire Le Mans 2018 GTE Pro grid, just one of the four categories that compete side-by-side at the world’s greatest motor race.
Built over two years by Lasse Deleuran, all teams and driver combinations from the GTE Pro class of 2018 are present, with Ferrari, BMW, Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Ford, and the race-winning Porsche squad recreated brilliantly in Miniland scale, many of which have featured here individually over the last two years.
Instructions for every single GTE Pro car are available for free, and you can see more of each racer and find the link to recreate your very own Le Mans 2018 GTE Pro grid via Lasse’s photostream by clicking here.
How every text received and sent by this TLCB Writer began back in the 2000s. What happened to text-speak? Anyway, this M8 isn’t shorthand, being BMW’s Le Mans GTE racing car from the 2018 24 Hour race. Previous bloggee Lasse Deleuran is building the entire grid of Le Mans racers and there’s more to see of this superb Miniland-scale recreation of BMW’s GTE endurance racer on both Flickr and at the Eurobricks forum, where free building instructions are also available. Click the links to take a look, and where you can LOL, OMG, YOLO, and all the rest.
The BMW 5-Series has been the bastion of European executive transport for decades. 520d’s are everywhere, usually in grey, and – despite the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ tagline – they could only be less interesting if they were an X5. Which many now are. Sigh.
This though, is our kind of five. The E28 was the second generation of the 5-Series, produced from 1981-’88, and it was the first to feature both a diesel engine (boo) and an ‘M’ version (woo!).
This neat Speed Champions recreation of the E28 5-Series comes from regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott and it’s instantly recognisable. Head to his photostream to see more, plus his huge back catalogue of other brilliant small-scale replicas.
Motorbikes, like pedal bikes, tend to use a chain to transfer power from the engine to the rear wheel. However they’re usually (but not always) slightly more powerful than the average human, so the chain is often the weak point. Plus it can eat trouser legs and flick oil all over the place, thus the shaft-drive was developed.
Working in the same way a car’s driveline does, the chain is replaced by a rotating shaft and a gear assembly, which makes a shaft-drive more expensive and heavier than a chain, but better in pretty much every other respect. Plus it sounds a bit rude.
Flickr’s František Hajdekr has chosen the latter option for his Technic BMW-esque motorcycle, a brand that has used shaft-drive designs for much of their range (including the R 1200 GS Adventure immortalised in the ace 42063 Technic set). Working steering, rear suspension, and a seat made from Batman’s chest also feature, and you can see more of František’s shaft-driven bike at his photostream via the link.
BMW’s stunning i8 is soon to be retired. A three-cylinder Mini Cooper engine and electric motors delivered kinda super car performance with kinda supermini economy. Except it didn’t really do either of those things. But it did look great.
Also looking great is James Tillson’s Technic version, built from the parts found within the 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS and the 42093 Chevrolet Corvette sets. James’ model features working steering and suspension, a three-cylinder engine, gearbox, and the option to add an electric motor to drive the front axle.
Whilst not qualifying for TLCB Lock-Down B-Model Competition as it’s made from two LEGO sets, James has already entered the contest with another build (also derived from 42056), and you can build a qualifying competition entry from two official LEGO sets, provided each set’s RRP was under $25 at launch.
There’s more to see of James’ excellent B-Model at the Eurobricks forum and on Flickr, the former of which where you can also find a video demonstrating the model’s features and a link to building instructions if you’d like to turn your own Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Chevrolet Corvette sets into a BMW i8 too.
This is a Fritz Riemerschmid Gleiskettenkrad (which we can assure you that we pronounced flawlessly in TLCB Office so you can too as you’re reading this), a 1930s BMW R12-based tracked motorcycle that was designed to drive on snow. In straight lines only presumably.
Built by previous bloggee Nikolaus Lowe, who seems to have a penchant for odd vintage machinery, this marvellous Model Team recreation includes a sidecar, a working two-cylinder engine with functioning gearbox, and something purporting to be steering.
There’s much more to see at Nikolaus’ ‘Fritz Riemerschmid Gleiskettenkrad’ album – click the link above to head over. In a straight line.
The ‘Need for Speed’ franchise is to video games what ‘The Fast and the Furious’ franchise is to movies. Appalling physics, only the loosest of connections to racing or engineering accuracy, and yet… a right of motoring passage for probably most of you reading this.
The ‘Most Wanted’ episode in the ‘Need for Speed’ series arrived in 2005, pitting gamers against AI cops and featuring a heavily modified BMW M3 GTR E46 going sideways on the cover. This BMW M3 GTR in fact.
Suggested by a reader, this top quality recreation of the ‘Most Wanted’ cover star comes from previous bloggee Davanchi M who proves there’s still life in MOCpages once every so often. If Sean Kenney has decided to switch the servers on.
Head there via the link above and evade the cops like it’s 2005!
BMW’s M-cars have got ever more capable, and ever more silly. The latest M3 is phenomenal machine that is almost pointlessly over-powered. Still, it’s not an X6M so that’s worth celebrating.
Back in the 1980s BMW’s M-cars weren’t all about power though, as demonstrated by the first M3. The ‘E30’ series was only a four-cylinder and it only had around 200bhp, but it was small, light and agile, making about a billion times more fun than the current version. Which is why the values of E30 M3s have gone stratospheric.
Luckily SP_LINEUP has created a more attainable version, via his superb mildly modified 8-wide model, complete with opening doors and hood, and a roll cage inside the detailed interior. Head to Flickr via the link above to see more of SP’s brick-built recreation of the first – and best – M3 that BMW ever made.
That title got your Mom’s attention. This is a BMW R80 RT by Dutch customisers Moto Adonis and it’s been recreated beautifully by Andre Pinto (aka brickthebrick). Based on the 750cc twin-cylinder BMW touring bike of the 1980s, the R80 RT Adonis was built as a one-off for a client to compliment their architecture business. Andre’s highly detailed Model Team version captures the look brilliantly and there’s more to see at both Eurobricks and on Flickr via the links.
We’re not sure if there is a German word for ‘Brunch’ but if there is it would apply here, because this gorgeous BMW R1000 by Flickr’s ZetoVince has been constructed in the British ‘cafe racer’ style, where light weight and probably extreme discomfort were the trends amongst North London bikers at the time, who used their modified motorcycles to dash between the cafes of Watford and Wembley. This beautiful bike captures the aesthetic brilliantly and there’s more to see of Zeto’s perfectly photographed R1000 at his photostream. Click the link above to place your order at Cafe Flickr.