Tag Archives: Classic Car

Flame Grille

A flame paint-job is worth at least 150bhp, according to TLCB maths. That puts it right up there with a supercharger, side pipes and nitrous in TLCB’s list of go-faster things.

Laszlo Torma’s Speed Champions ‘57 Chevy is therefore very powerful indeed, being equipped with at least two of the above.

A brilliant brick-built grille and a pair of appropriately cool looking mini-figures complete the build, and there’s more to see of Laszlo’s flaming Chevy – including a link to building instructions – on Flickr via the link above.

The Other Ferrari

This is not a Ferrari.

The only legitimate son of Enzo, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari was an engineer at his father’s company until he died in 1956, aged just 24, from muscular dystrophy.

Until his death, Dino had been working on a new 1.5 litre DOHC V6 engine with Vittorio Jano, who had joined Ferrari from Lancia.

Encouraged by Dino, Jano developed the new V6 engine, and upon Dino’s death Enzo Ferrari decided to create a new marque named after his son to take the engine racing.

The ’Dino’ F2 team raced the following year, with the engine subsequently developed for road cars which bore the ‘Dino’ name, including the Dino 246 by Flickr’s Jonathan Elliott pictured here, plus the Lancia Stratos and Fiat Dino Coupe and Spider.

Sadly Dino never saw the engine he pushed for race, and Jano never saw his engine fitted to a Ferrari. He lost his own son as Enzo had, and a year later in 1965 he took his own life.

Enzo finally brought Dino and Jano’s engine in-house for use in Ferrari-branded road cars in 1976, discontinuing the ‘Dino’ marque.

After twenty years, Enzo had allowed his son’s engine home.

Also Available in Blue

The charming 10271 Creator Expert Fiat 500 set became a firm favourite when it joined LEGO’s ever growing line-up of officially licensed vehicles last year. Although we still don’t know why it comes with an easel.

Whilst the primrose yellow hue of the original set suites the Fiat 500 perfectly, the humble Italian city car was also available in a range of other pastel colours in the 1960s, and LEGO have decided to release a new version of the 10271 set in this lovely light blue.

Becoming 77942, the new Fiat 500 set is identical to the yellow version, only in, er… blue (with even the pointless easel updated accordingly).

On sale in the UK now, 77942 will hopefully roll out elsewhere (otherwise expect some ludicrous pricing on eBay), and could perhaps signal a wider multi-colour strategy from LEGO for successful sets?

Our picks would be the 10265 Ford Mustang updated in Bullitt green, or maybe even a Herbie-d 10252 Volkswagen Beetle!

Build-a-Countach

Lamborghini have just revealed the new Countach, celebrating 50 years since the original first appeared in concept form and re-wrote the supercar rule book. In looks only of course, as the actual car, when it arrived in 1974, was rather rubbish.

Still, how a car drives is irrelevant when it’s a poster on your bedroom wall, and the Countach fulfilled the bedroom poster brief better than any car before it, or since.

Which makes us rather disappointed that Lamborghini’s ‘new’ Countach looks mostly like every other Lamborghini, and is yet another ultra-limited special edition (just 112 units will be made) costing $2m a piece.

Not that it matters what we think of course, because the new Countach is already sold out.

No, we’ll stick with the old one produced from 1974 until 1990 (by which time it had grown to look rather silly), despite it being a pretty bad car – even by 1970s supercar standards.

Cue Flickr’s barneius, who has recreated one the later (silly) original Countaches – the extravagantly-titled ‘LP5000 Quattrovalvole’ – beautifully in Speed Champions scale.

Clever build techniques are matched by an even cleverer use of black stickers, and there’s more of barneius’s build to see, plus a link to building instructions, at his ‘Lamborghini Countach’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump.

Old-Timey Police Chase

It’s time for an old-timey police chase! Which would be similar to a modern police chase, only with more “Stop you reprobate, do you hear me? Stop!” type phrases being shouted somewhat politely through a loud hailer, and fewer ‘News’ helicopters broadcasting the unfolding mayhem live to the serially unemployed.

The cars would also likely be much cooler than today’s police chase defaults of battered Dodge pick-ups or 2003 Honda Civics, at least in the mind of this TLCB Writer, and certainly if 1saac W.‘s glorious ’53 Hudson Hornet and ’51 Nash Statesman police car are involved.

Built using only original LEGO pieces and off-cuts from LEGO sticker sheets, 1saac has captured each car beautifully in Speed Champions form, and there’s more to see of both the Hudson and the Nash at his photostream – click the link above to jump downtown in the mid-’50s.

Why Do Skodas Have Heated Rear Windows?

To keep your hands warm when you’re pushing!

Skoda might produce some rather good (if fantastically dull) cars today, but it hasn’t always been that way. Prior to Volkswagen’s ownership, Skoda were, um… let’s just say ‘not highly regarded’, causing the Czech brand to become the butt of a million mostly-bad jokes.

Part of that unwanted reputation was due to this car, the 105/Estelle, built from 1976 to 1990.

Designed for poor quality Eastern European roads, the 105 had its engine in the back for better traction, and because the Soviet Union refused to let Skoda built it in a more modern front-engined front-wheel-drive configuration, as it would have been better than all the crap made elsewhere in the bloc. Communism literally preferred to build a worse car than to allow the inequality created by progress.

Quality was also woeful, even if the design was actually OK, but at least that meant is was consistent with the other Soviet Union products of the time.

Today though, the rear-engined rear-wheel-drive layout makes the Skoda 105/Estelle something of a curiosity, with a reasonable following that it probably wouldn’t enjoy if it had been built as Skoda originally intended.

This excellent (and very orange) Model Team replica of the Skoda 105 comes from Legostalgie of Flickr, who has captured the car in its rear-engined rubbishness wonderfully in brick form. A detailed interior, opening doors, front trunk, and engine cover all feature, and there’s lots more to see at Legostalgie’s Skoda 105 album.

Click the link above to view all of the ace imagery, and to warm your hands on the rear window.

Build-a-Fiat

LEGO’s 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set is a fine addition to their officially licensed line up. Even if we don’t understand why it comes with an easel.

However being a Creator set, 10271 isn’t particularly technical. Cue TLCB Master MOCer Nico71, who has constructed a similarly-sized sixties Fiat 500 in Technic form with a whole heap more functionality. Although no easel.

Nico’s Fiat looks the part, with a combination of axles, lift arms and flex tubes recreating the 500’s famous shape, under which is a working rear-mounted two cylinder engine driven by the rear wheels, functioning steering, front and rear suspension, plus opening doors, front trunk and engine cover.

It’s a lovely build (that would make an excellent set too), and one that you can recreate for yourself at home as Nico has made building instructions available.

There’s more to see on Eurobricks, and at Nico’s excellent website, plus you can read his interview in the Master MOCers series here at The Lego Car Blog via the link in the next above.

YouTube Video

Get Lucky*

We like Lego hot rods here at The Lego Car Blog, and if you do too you can build this one by Flickr’s KosBrick for yourself. KosBrick has released a speed-build instructional video of this ‘Lucky’s Chop Shop’ hot rod, a link to which you can find at his photostream. Click the link above to check out more of the build.

*Today’s title song. Obviously.

James Young

Who? Well back in the ’60s (and a lot more before then), you could buy a car without a body. Usually a really posh one.

The point was a coach builder could create something more bespoke, and they were used frequently by the top luxury automotive brands of the time including Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and – of course – Rolls Royce.

This particular coach-built Rolls Royce is a 1960s Phantom V Limousine by James Young, and it has been recreated rather beautifully in Technic form by Agent 00381 of Eurobricks.

A full ‘Technic Supercar’ chassis sits underneath the elegant bodywork, with all-wheel suspension, working steering, an ‘auto’ gearbox, and a V8 engine.

Opening doors, hood, trunk, and glovebox are included, and there’ s even a rising partition to separate the peasant driving up front from the elite classes riding in the back.

There’s more of Agent’s Rolls Royce Limousine to see – including a link to building instructions and a video of the model’s features – at the Eurobricks forum. Click the link above to enter the rear of James Young.

The Dissappeared

Revealed, somewhat oddly, at the 1970 London Motorshow, the Volga GAZ-24 was a large luxury car produced by the Soviet Union for – as was often the case – its own military and Government officials.

A special permit was required to purchase one (because Communism), which meant that we’d have been rather nervous if we saw a GAZ-24 driving behind us; by the mid-’70s there were an estimated 10,000 political prisoners in the Soviet Union, and there was a lot of space in the GAZ’s trunk for bodies…

This stunning recreation of the Volga GAZ-24 comes from previous bloggee Legostalgie, who has captured the classic American styling brilliantly (the Soviet Union may have hated America, but they loved its cars).

A detailed engine bay, realistic interior, four opening doors, and an opening trunk large enough to enable a few ‘disappearances’ all feature, and there’s much more to see at Legostalgie’s ‘Volga GAZ-24’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to obtain your special permit.

My Other Car’s a Porsche

No really, it is. Because this amazing Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole is built entirely from the pieces found within the official LEGO 10295 Porsche 911 set.

How Firas Abu-Jaber has managed to turn a vehicle renowned for its curves into one famous for its straight lines has broken every brain here at TLCB Towers, but suffice to say, Firas has absolutely smashed it.

Working steering, an opening front trunk, engine cover and scissor doors, plus a detailed interior all feature, and there are more superbly presented images of Firas’s incredible 10295 alternate to see at his ‘Lamborghini Countach’ album here.

You can also find further details and building instructions at Firas’s excellent website Bricks Garage, plus you can check out his interview here at TLCB to learn how he builds models like this one by clicking these words.

Also Available in Red

These days the second generation Dodge Charger seems to only come in black. However we’re assured that other colours were available, and – if Tony Bovkoon‘s stunning red Dodge Charger is accurate – we’d like to see more of them.

Tony’s Charger features a detailed engine bay, interior, and trunk inside the brilliant red bodywork, which Tony has presented superbly in an extensive album on Flickr. Click the link to take a look.

Toothpick in an Alley

If there’s a car more likely to be driven by people who are usually found chewing a toothpick in an alley wearing a leather jacket and a bad moustache than the ’77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, we’re yet to find it.

This Speed Champions scale Trans Am comes from Rolling Bricks, complete with a lift-out T-top, opening doors, and a golden flaming bird motif.

Don your leather jacket and head to an alley to chew a toothpick via the link above.

Off-Road at Any Speed

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.

My Fat Lady

The Nissan/Datsun 280Z/Fairlady Z was never quite as pretty as its 240/260Z predecessors. However previous bloggee SP_LINEUP aims to address this by making his 280Z Fairlady well… a bit fatter. Unlike your Mom however, SP’s Fairlady Z wears its wider bodywork superbly, with black arch extensions, a front splitter, and phat exhaust. There’s more to see of SP’s modified Datsun on Flickr – click the link above to make the jump.