“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…
It’s time for another delve into the automotive curiosity cupboard that is the Eastern Bloc, a Communist alliance renowned for the oppression of millions, waiting lists that stretched into decades, and cars that were almost comically bad. This is one of them, the Wartburg 353.
As with many Communist creations though, the Wartburg was not a bad car when it launched in the late 1960s. A weird one perhaps, but not bad objectively speaking.
The 353 started production from a pinched BMW factory in 1966, and was powered by a 1 litre, 3-cylinder, 2-stroke engine that had its roots in a 1938 DKW. This made it as torquey as the larger engines in the west, and meant it had only seven major moving parts, but also made the car incredibly unrefined and polluting, leaving a cloud of burnt oil behind it whenever it went.
A unique freewheel system meant the 353 required no clutch to change gear, and the car was also front-wheel-drive, still fairly novel at the time, although the set-up imbued it with terrifying understeer characterises in the wet.
Despite the niggles, the Wartburg 353’s low price, reliability, and the fact it wasn’t a Trabant, led to success, and meant that – due to the ‘planned economy’ of East Germany – the waiting list stretched out to fifteen years for private citizens.
The 353 was also exported to several countries as the Wartburg ‘Knight’, presumably to bring in foreign currency (which must have been frustrating for those on the waiting list), as well as being used by the police and East German government.
Of course as time passed the 353 became increasingly outdated, and little was done to keep pace with Western products that were out of reach for those trapped behind the Iron Curtain. The government even repeatedly refused to upgrade the polluting 2-stroke engine, despite Wartburg’s engineers having developed working alternatives.
By the late-’80s the writing was on the wall, both for East Germany and Wartburg. The eventual addition of a modern 1.3 litre engine from the Volkswagen Polo in 1984 came too late, and the reunification of Germany finally killed the 353 – alongside many other long-obsolete East German offerings – in 1988.
This splendid Model Team recreation of the Wartburg 353 ‘Tourist’ is the work of previous bloggee Legostalgie, who has captured the East German family car beautifully in period-correct brown.
Opening doors, hood and tailgate, plus a detailed engine and interior all feature, and there’s lots more of the model to see at Legostalgie’s ‘Wartburg 353 Tourist’ Flickr album. Click the link above to join a fifteen year queue in East Germany sometime in the 1970s.
There are many great things about working for The Lego Car Blog; The rock-star level of fame. The immense riches. The queue of attractive girls waiting to enter TLCB Towers for a piece of the action.
However it’s not all paparazzi, wealth, and wild parties. Offsetting this are – as with everything in life – a few negatives; The Elves (obviously). The constant Cialis spam. The daily removal of (sometimes wildly) inappropriate images added to the Blogged by TLCB Flickr group. And lastly, the ‘Where can I buy this? / How do I build this? / Building instructions please’ comments, when every single post has a link to the builder’s page.
So today we’re addressing the latter of these, by – as you can see here – publishing the complete photo-based building instructions for Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74)‘s excellent Speed Champions scale ‘Classic Sports Car’.
Suggested by a reader and built from 160 fairly common pieces, Andrea’s classic Camaro-esque convertible can be constructed in just eighteen steps, each of which has been photographed superbly alongside a complete parts listing.
Andrea’s instructional album can be found on Flickr via the link in the text above, plus you can read his Master MOCers interview here at TLCB to learn more about how he designs creations such as this one.
Click the links to take a look, whilst this TLCB Writer responds to one of the countless Cialis messages in readiness for this evening’s wild party…
If there’s one 4×4 cooler than the Land Rover Defender, this is it. The Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 is an off-roading icon, and thus – like all things old and Japanese – it’s now worth about a million pounds.
However with the news that Toyota have become the latest auto manufacturer to partner with LEGO, we may one day see an official Land Cruiser set, which will be a far more attainable way to FJ40 ownership for this TLCB Writer, even with immense fame, glory and groupies that working for this site brings…
Until then though, regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott has created a Speed Champions scale Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 so good we doubt LEGO will do any better should they decide to produce one. And it’s yellow.
Glorious attention to detail and ingenious building techniques are in evidence everywhere you look, and there’s more to see of Jonathan’s brilliant FJ40 at his photostream via the link.
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!
We recently wrote a post about things that TLCB Elves like, so today we’re jumping straight to a thing that we like, and ignoring the Elves completely. They’re rather annoyed by this of course, but the intersection of the Venn diagram that displays their likes and ours is quite sparsely populated, so we’re unlikely to please both them and us.
Cue the Volvo 240 estate and the cause of their annoyance, which was once – by some margin – the least cool car on sale in TLCB’s home market. Driven only by antiques dealers at precisely 43mph, even if the road had a speed limit of 70, they caused Volvo such reputational damage that the brand even fired a few off a cliff when marketing later models to show how far they’d come.
However the car itself was actually very good, and now that antiques dealers are all driving SUVs (along with everyone else), the long forgotten Volvo estate has become seriously, deeply, almost mythically cool.
This magnificent slab of vintage Swede is the work of regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott, who has not only recreated the Volvo 240 estate wonderfully in brick form, he’s even chucked a sofa on the roof as a nod to its antiques transporting history.
Join us (but not the Elves) in lusting after 1980s Volvo ownership at Jonathan’s photostream via the link above.
From one iconic classic to another, although this one perhaps for very different reasons…
The Trabant 601 was a reasonable little car when it first launched in the 1960s, despite the shortage of metal in post-war Europe forcing its construction from cotton, and its two-stroke 600cc engine.
The cotton body meant that it didn’t rust, which – combined with a near monopoly in East Germany and a production run until the collapse of the Soviet Union some thirty years later – led to well over two million Trabants being on the roads at one point.
That number quickly fell once East Germans could buy Volkswagens and Opels instead though, as even by the ’80s the 601 was hopelessly outdated, such is the folly of Communism.
Cue this excellent Model Team version of the Trabant 601, built by Flickr’s Legostalgie who has recreated the classic cotton car superbly in brick form. A detailed interior, engine bay, and opening doors, hood and trunk are included, and there’s more to see at Legostalgie’s ‘Trabant 601’ album by clicking here.
Is there a car more perfect for LEGO’s new 8-wide Speed Champions range than the Ferrari F40? The most iconic Ferrari ever made has appeared in Creator form, but not yet as an 8-wide set. We’re sure it will at some point, and until then Jonathan Elliott has built one so wonderful we doubt it’ll be beaten. Head to Jonathan’s photostream via the link above to look at the best small-scale Ferrari F40 we’ve seen yet.
Opening doors, a detailed interior and a lifelike engine are all included, and there’s more to see at monster’s photostream via the link above, where a link to building instructions will also appear shortly.
Superman and Lex Luther. Batman and Joker. Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. Peter Griffin and the Giant Chicken. There are some very famous nemesis, but – in this writer’s opinion – none more so than Mr. Bean and the mystery driver a blue Reliant Regal van. We don’t know why the aforementioned anonymous van-driver enraged our hero so, but we’re willing to go with it for scenes like this one.
Recreating Bean’s arch-rival, along with his own Mini from probably the most famous Mr. Bean scene of them all, is Rob of Flickr – who has encapsulated both cars brilliantly in brick form. The Mini probably deserves to give a nod of thanks (or several) to designs by previous bloggees _Tyler and Lasse Deleuran, but it’s still worth your click. Take a look via the link above!
Over one in three Americans are obese, but TLCB’s home nation isn’t far behind, with 28% of the population being medically categorised as ‘chunkadunk’. Today though, we have two really small Brits, each being constructed in diminutive Speed Champions scale, yet still instantly recognisable as miniatures of their real-world brethren.
The first (above) is a tiny car in real life too, being a delightful recreation of the late-’50s Austin-Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite by RGB900. The real Spite measured just 3.5 metres in length, making it almost a third shorter than McLaren’s ridiculously-long 5.1 metre Speedtail.
Suggested by a reader, this neat Speed Champions version of one of McLaren’s million special editions is the work of newcomer User 5346 and there’s more of each small-scale Brit to see on Flickr. Take a look via the links above whilst we go and eat a donut or six.
We don’t know what a French ghost looks like (it’d probably be smoking, with an attractive accent, and a penchant for striped jumpers), but we do know that if the Ghostbusters were French they’d probably drive this. Well, according to Tobias Munzert anyway.
This rather lovely Citroen DS is constructed solely from the pieces found within the official LEGO 10274 Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set, and it’s looks perfect for hunting down some gallic ghouls.
Building instructions are available and there’s more to see of this apparition-busting alternate at Tobias’ photostream. Click the link above to taaaake a loooook (in a ghost voice).
This wonderful vintage Route 66 scene was found by one of our Elves on Flickr, and it comes from the collaborative efforts of previous bloggee Dornbi and TLCB debutant Bricking Robo.
A gloriously evocative vignette, Dornbi and Robbo‘s build features a wealth of classic American metal, plus a brilliant motel, gas station, and auto shop, and there’s lots more to see at both builders’ photo streams via the links above.
Small, grey, and shaped like a ball, Michael Jasper‘s 5-wide Volkswagen Beetle looks a picture of simplicity. Not so inside, where some seriously cunning techniques have been used to turn LEGO’s resolutely right-angled pieces into the famous shape. The knife bumpers might not pass pedestrian crash legislation but otherwise Michael’s nailed it. See how he’s done it on Flickr.
LEGO have produced several Porsche 911 sets, from Speed Champions to Technic, but there’s still room for fan-made models of the famous rear-engined sports car.
This is one of them, a beautifully built and photographed 911 Carrera by Flickr’s Dornbi, and unlike most 911 builds (including one of Dornbi’s own past creations), his latest Porsche sports no wings, stripes, or racing numbers, simply being a base naturally-aspirated narrow-body classic, and we think it’s all the better for it.
There’s more to see of Dornbi’s stunning classic 911 by clicking here, and if you can figure out today’s title a hundred TLCB Points to you!