The 1961 Chevrolet Corvair was a brilliantly interesting car. Designed to take on Volkswagen, the Corvair was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled flat-6 engine, which even came with the option of turbo-charging (the first production car in the world to do so).
Unfortunately however, the Corvair also featured a significant design flaw; the suspension tried to kill you.
The bean-counters at GM omitted anti-sway bars to save cost, which – when combined with that rear-mounted flat-6 engine and swing-axle suspension – caused the wheel camber to vary drastically when cornering. This created a car with wildly unpredictable handling, and therefore one that crashed a lot.
In 1965 attorney Ralph Nader published a book on the Corvair titled ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’, and Corvair sales plummeted. Of course GM did the default ‘evil corporation’ thing and attempted to smear Nader rather than fix the car, before conceding and equipping the Corvair with independent suspension.
The damage had been done though, and the Corvair carries a crashy reputation to this day. Cue Flickr’s Volker Brodkorb, who has fixed his Corvair station wagon’s handling issues by, well… turning it into an off-road monster truck.
OK, if anything the handling would be even worse, but look how cool it is! Volker’s model is in fact based on a real Corvair monster truck, which has got the Elves very excited. There’s more to see of Volker’s version via the link above, and you can check out a video of the real-life monster truck on which Volker’s model is based by clicking this link, where – amazingly – no one is killed at all.
Today’s find is yellow and a hot rod, which – if you’re a TLCB Elf at least – is about as good as it gets. Regular bloggee 1saac W. owns the hands behind it and there’s more to see of his Chevrolet pick-up ‘show rod ‘at his photostream via the link.
“Hello, who are travelling with today?” “My brother.” “Did you pack the car yourself?” “Yes sir.” “Carrying anything back there? Live animals, fruit, explosives, weapons?” “Er…”.
This is a 1967 Chevrolet Impala, from back when large American cars were really cool. It was also the vehicle chosen as the star car for the TV show ‘Supernatural’, in which it’s used to hunt down various other-worldly monsters that are running amok.
This means a trunk full of paranormal paraphernalia, which previous bloggee Tony Bovkoon has duly recreated in Lego form to complete this superb Model Team replica of the Supernatural Impala.
There’s lots more of Tony’s creation to see (including the occult contents of the Chevy’s trunk) at his ‘Impala ’67 Supernatural’ album on Flickr – Click the link above to have an interesting conversation with the border guard…
Thomas’s Speed Champions scale build features removable front bodywork, a brilliant brick-built engine, flame-shooting exhausts, wheelie bars, plus a range of wonderfully life-like tools and equipment.
There’s more of the build to see at Thomas’s ‘1963 Chevrolet Nova Gasser’ album – click the link above to take a look!
The ’60s was an era full of wildly optimistic names. This is a 1965 Chevrolet Sportvan Delux, which Chevy’s marketing department must have spent literally minutes working on, before going outside to smoke a pack of cigarettes or three.
Still, it looks cool, particularly with a trio of surfboards on the roof. Flickr’s Tim Henderson is the builder and there’s more to see of his wonderfully built but stupidly named creation via the link above.
The Elves have been busy! A crack team of ‘volunteers’, sent into the bowels of The LEGO Company’s HQ, have returned, some of them without any German Shepherd teeth marks at all! The fruits of their mission are six new Speed Champions sets for 2021, and – more excitingly – two brand new manufacturer partnerships.
76900 Koenigsegg Jesko
The first of the two new manufacturer partnerships is the hardest to spell. Swedish hypercar maker Koenigsegg have been a bedroom wall staple for years, and 76900 will bring Koenigsegg’s 1,300bhp (and rumoured 300+mph top speed) Jesko to bedroom floors too when it arrives alter this year. The Speed Champions version includes 280 pieces and – to our eyes – really looks the part. Expect it to cost around $20/£15 when it hits stores, and for bedroom floors to be a much faster place.
76901 Toyota GR Supra
The second new partnership is the one we’re most excited about, although perhaps not the first model to come from it. 76901 marks the first officially licensed Toyota set, and brings their spectacularly styled fifth generation Supra into the Speed Champions line-up. It’s a shame then that the resulting model looks so awkward, in particular the dodgy-looking stickered headlights. Still, LEGO know what sells, and we suspect that 76901 will be mighty popular. Plus, if it opens the door to a Technic or Creator Toyota Land Cruiser, Le Mans racer, or Yaris WRC car, we’re all for it. Aimed at ages 7+, expect 299 parts and the usual $20/£15 price-tag.
76902 McLaren Elva
The third new set in the 2021 Speed Champions line-up recreates yet another McLaren in brick form. The near $2million Elva is one of far too many real-world McLaren special editions, giving LEGO a vast range of McLaren cars to turn into sets. It’s not one of our favourites this one, although the wing-mirror looks cool. Less stickers (good), less parts (bad), and likely the same price-tag as the sets above.
76903 Chevrolet C8.R & ’68 Chevrolet Corvette
This is more like it! The first double-car set of the 2021 Speed Champions range, 76903 brings the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R racing car and ’68 Corvette C3 to the line-up, and they both look fantastic. The modern C8.R shows how stickers should be applied (i.e. to create a livery, not as a substitute for the brick-built basics), whilst the classic C3 might be one of the nicest Speed Champions road cars ever. 76903 includes 512 parts, two mini-figures, and is expected to cost around $40/£35 when it arrives later this year.
76904 Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster & ’70 Dodge Challenger
The American road and racing car combo continues with 76904; Dodge’s iconic ’70 Challenger (in their excellent ’70s purple!) alongside an enormous Mopar Top Fuel dragster. Unlike the larger sets from previous years no gantry or starting lights are included (which is fine by us as they always look a bit rubbish), but the size of the dragster alone increases the piece count to 627. Two mini-figures and a lot of stickers for the dragster are included, and we expect 76904 to cost around $60/£55.
76905 Ford GT Heritage Edition & Bronco R
The final new set in the 2021 H2 Speed Champions range continues LEGO’s successful partnership with Ford, recreating the Ford GT in Heritage Edition spec and the brand new Ford Bronco. The GT features as many stickers as the rest, although they do work well here, whilst the Bronco R is covered in even more. They kind of suit the Bronco though, which also includes a very cool looking blue roll cage, sump guard, and spare tyre cage too. Like the other double vehicle sets, 76905 is aimed at ages 8+, and actually includes the most parts at 660 (although many are small pieces). Expect 76905 to cost around $55/£50, and for that Bronco to be used to jump over all manner of household objects after it goes on sale later in the year.
We like rusty cars here at The Lego Car Blog. The staff car park features several. Although in those cases the rust is due to neglect, age, and general decrepitness rather than some kind of rat-rod based badassery.
So too is Tim Henderson’s ‘barn find’ ’68 Chevy Nova, although unlike the office Rover 200 it somehow manages to look seriously cool as well as neglected, old, and decrepit.
A cunning deployment of mini-figure seats form the doors, an array of browns convey years of oxidisation, and there’s more of Tim’s ‘barn find’ Nova to see at his photostream here.
This TLCB Writer rather likes old square 4x4s, particularly if they have winch, roof rack, and assorted adventuring stuff piled on top. Suggested by a reader, Andrea Lattanzio’s classic Chevrolet Blazer has appeared here before in various guises, and there’s more to see of this one – including the wider diorama of which it is part – on Flickr here.
Yogi Bear looks pissed. We’re not sure what the mini-figure behind the wheel of this Chevrolet K5 Blazer has done but we’re betting he’s hoping that rickety bridge holds up. It’s got a bit of extra weight to carry too, what with the Blazer being loaded with a variety of outdoorsy paraphernalia, and – oddly – a globe, which – unless your journey is really long and the details don’t really matter – seems a pointless thing to bring. Anyway, there’s more to see of Yogi’s revenge courtesy of Andrea Lattanzio on Flickr – click the link to take a look!
Built (mostly) from the LEGO 10271 Fiat 500 set, Flickr’s Orion Pax has decided to use his primrose yellow pieces for something far more American.
This is a 1960s Chevrolet Impala convertible, complete with custom chrome bricks, and no less than four Power Functions motors. However they don’t do what you might expect…
Instead of the driving the wheels, Orion’s Impala deploys each motor for fully adjustable suspension, with each wheel able to do its own thing independent of the rest. Servos bounce the front wheels up and down, whilst the rears are adjustable thanks to a pair of motor-driven linear actuators.
It’s an ingeniously simple piece of engineering, and one we’d love to see fitted to a MOC of an old Citroen. Because we’re so un-street here at TLCB that we find old Citroens more interesting than pimped American barges.
Until then you can check out Orion’s brilliant Chevy lowrider album on Flickr by clicking here, which includes a video of the remotely controlled suspension in action.
This is Tim, and this is his 1965 Chevrolet Sportvan, complete with vintage slot-mag wheels, flat-black paint, a modded 230ci inline-6, shag carpet interior, and more than a little rust*.
Previous bloggee Tim Henderson really does drive this ’65 Chevy van in real life, having owned it since 2003. He now has a Lego version too, and there’s more to see of this lovely little build on Flickr. Click the link above to read more.
*The office Rover 200 shares precisely one of Tim’s Van’s features. Can you guess which one?
The Chevrolet Corvette has finally gone mid-engined. This is not it, but it is built only from the parts found within the front-engined 42093 Technic Chevrolet Corvette set, so it’s kind of a mid-engined Corvette. Sorta.
Whatever you want to call it, it is a rather good B-Model, coming from previous bloggee Horcik Designs and featuring functioning steering and a working mid-mounted V6 engine.
There’s more to see at the Eurobricks forum, where you can also find a link to building instructions should you wish to convert your own 42093 Corvette set into a mid-engined Corvette. That’s not a Corvette. But now could be.
Dozens of brilliant B-Models were produced for the contest, and whilst the competition may be over, alternate building keeps going, as demonstrated here by TLCB Master MOCer Nico71.
Constructed only from the pieces found within the 42093 Technic Chevrolet Corvette set, Nico has created this cool-looking sand buggy, complete with working suspension, a transverse three-cylinder engine, and functioning steering.
Nico has also made instructions for his alternate available so that you can convert your own 42093 Corvette into a sand buggy at home, and you can see all the images and find a link to building instructions on Brickshelf by clicking here.