Tag Archives: Classic Race Cars

Mighty Metro

Lego MG Metro 6R4 Group B

The Austin/Rover/MG Metro does not have a good reputation here in TLCB’s home nation. Now almost extinct, most observers would say that’s a good thing. But this staff writer is feeling brave, and he’s going to make a case for the humble British city car…

Launched in 1980 the Austin – and then Rover/MG – Metro was designed to compliment (but eventually replace) the beloved but ageing Mini. Neat packaging, clever hydro-gas suspension, and modern looks earned British Leyland’s new product the What Car? Car of The Year accolade and buyers bought it in their thousands.

However the Metro was born at a tumultuous time for the British car industry, and the reputation of industrial action, striking workers and piss-poor quality still lingered around almost anything that British Leyland made.

This meant that the Metro was a rare success story, but whilst other good products would arrive in the 1990s cash would become increasingly tight, and the Metro would be forced to carry on for eighteen years. Over that time of course, a good car designed in the late 1970s became no longer a good car at all.

That meant the end of the Metro and – ultimately – the end of Rover too, and the Metro is now almost completely gone from European roads, despite over 2 million being sold.

Lego Remote Control Metro 6R4

However, one variant of British Leyland’s little hatchback can still be found. A version from a time when the company was optimistic about its future, and adventurous in its marketing too. The amazing MG Metro 6R4.

Built for the monstrous Group B rally era, and then becoming a dominant force in rallycross, the Metro 6R4 squeezed a 400+bhp Cosworth-derived V6 and a permanent all-wheel drive system into a space-framed version of the Metro shell, and the engine later went on to be developed for the Jaguar XJ200 supercar – which became the fastest production car in the world.

This wonderful fully remote controlled recreation of British Leyland’s most spectacular car comes from newcomer All_About_Lego, and it’s packed with working functions. Alongside the remote control all-wheel drive and steering are working front and rear lights, all-wheel suspension, and opening doors and rear clamshell. The exterior is accurately stickered in the 6R4’s period mid-80s livery, whilst the inside contains a fully detailed (and roll-caged) interior too.

A full gallery of images is available to view on Flickr, you can read more about the build and watch a video of the model in action via the Eurobricks forum by clicking here, and if you’re wondering quite why this writer thinks the MG Metro 6R4 is so cool, click this link…

Lego MG Metro 6R4 Group B

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You Can’t Leave Your Hat On

Lego Ferrari 312T RoscoPC

This is Ferrari’s 1975 312T Formula 1 car, recreated in spectacular detail by TLCB favourite and Master MOCer Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC. Rosco continues to upload his huge back-catalogue of stunning historic racing cars to Flickr, and his latest is one of the most successful single designs ever to race in F1.

Launched in 1975 the Ferrari 312T was the first Formula 1 car to feature a transversely mounted gearbox, with the ‘T’ donating that layout rather than the turbocharger you might expect, the engine being Ferrari’s long-standing naturally aspirated flat-12.

The clever gearbox position gave the 312T superb handling, something that its 312B predecessor wasn’t blessed with, and it delivered immediate results, winning Ferrari’s first F1 title in eleven years. During its long racing life from 1975 to 1980 the 312T won three Drivers and four Constructors World Championships, evolving over this time to take into account the changing regulations. Even losing its characteristic high air-box in 1976 due to an FIA ban on the design didn’t stop it winning.

The 312T was finally replaced in 1981 by the new 126C, Ferrari’s first turbo-charged Formula 1 car, leaving the 312T to be remembered as one of Ferrari’s greatest ever Formula 1 designs, and the car that made World Champions of Nikki Lauda and Jody Scheckter.

There’s much more to see of Luca’s incredible Lego replica of the Ferrari 312T at his Flickr album, and you can read our interview with the builder as part of Season 2 of the Master MOCers series by clicking here.

Lego Ferrari 312T RoscoPC

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Formula 1 Sucks

Lego Brabham BT46B Fan Car

This is the 1978 Brabham BT46, designed by the legendary Gordon Murray and powered by an Alfa Romeo flat-12 engine, and it was amongst the front runners of the 1978 Formula 1 World Championship, securing a Constructors third place for the Brabham team.

The BT46 won two races in the ’78 season, but its win at the Swedish Grand Prix is one of the most unusual in the sport. You see this is the BT46 ‘B’, a design which raced only once, and which won by over half a minute.

Designed to take on the ‘ground effect’ Lotuses, Murray engineered an engine-powered fan to literally suck the car to the ground. Whilst it was claimed at the time the fan was used to cool the Alfa Romeo flat-12, it became obvious what its true purpose was when the drivers revved the engine, as the BT46B visibly squatted down on the track.

Effectively a reverse hovercraft, the Brabham BT46B dominated the field, which of course meant that like other ingenious developments in Formula 1, it was immediately banned. Because Formula 1 sucks.

The BT46B was never allowed to race in Formula 1 again and Brabham were forced to revert to their non fan-assisted variant, however TLCB regular and Master MOCer Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) remembers one of Formula 1’s cleverest designs with his stunning Lego replica of the one-race-wonder.

Added to his ever growing portfolio of historic racing cars on Flickr, Luca’s BT46B includes working steering, suspension, a flat-12 engine, and – of course – a working fan. There’s lots more to see at Luca’s Flickr Album – click this link if you’re a fan.

Lego Brabham BT46B Fan Car

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Tyrrell P34 | Picture Special

Lego Tyrrell P34

This is not a Hot Wheels car. Nor is it an outlandish concept of what Formula 1 could look like in the future. This is the mid-’70s Tyrrell P34, and it really did look exactly like this.

Designed to minimise the drag caused by the front wheels protruding above the front wing, Tyrrell opted for tiny wheels with specially made Goodyear tyres that could sit behind it. However, tiny wheels meant a tiny contact patch, and therefore less grip, so the wheels were doubled to keep the grip levels on par with its larger-wheel counterparts.

The P34 was revealed in September 1975 to astonished onlookers, many of whom thought it was a publicity stunt, however all six wheels duly hit the track the next month, and following testing the Tyrrell P34 entered the 1976 Formula 1 season.

Lego Tyrrell P34 6-Wheel F1 Car

Solid results followed, including a 1-2 result for Team Tyrrell at the ’76 Swedish Grand Prix – the only time a six-wheeled car has won a Formula 1 race (and probably the only time one ever will, seeing as the FIA outlawed cars with more than four wheels several years later, in another pointless addition to the rule book…).

The P34 remained competitive for a few years, before the advancement of other teams and Tyrrell’s reliance on the specially-made Goodyear tyres led to the team returning to the conventional four-wheel layout in 1978, however such was the P34’s unique design that the retired race car became a collectors item overnight.

This perfect Lego replica of Formula 1’s most innovative race winner is the work of Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) and it recreates the incredible Tyrrell P34 in breathtaking detail. Accurate bodywork is enhanced by a period-correct stickered livery, and like the real car all four front wheels are steered, plus there’s a working V8 engine and suspension too.

There’s lots more of this amazing build to see at Luca’s Tyrell P34 Flickr album by clicking here, and you can read our interview with the builder as part of the Master MOCers series by clicking this link.

Lego Tyrrell P34 6-Wheel F1 Car

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Lotus 43 – BRM H16 | Picture Special

Lego Lotus 43 BRM H16

Race car building legend Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) has been building his stunning historic racing cars for the best part of a decade. He’s recently uploaded another one of his glorious creations to Flickr (where we hope many more will follow), and thus we’re able to publish it here. It’s also one of the weirder racing cars in Luca’s garage, although it might not look remarkable at first glance.

Any classic racing fan will know of the incredible performances of the Lotus F1 team. Led by Colin Chapman, and powered by the legendary Cosworth DFV engine, the partnership delivered four Driver and five Constructor World Championship titles. However, before the DFV was ready Chapman needed an engine to put into his new 43 Formula 1 car for the 1966 season. He turned to previous Championship Winners BRM, and their unique P75 H16 engine.

Lego Lotus 43 BRM H16

Yup, H16. Basically two Flat-8 engines stacked on top of one another, yet only 3 litres in capacity. Unfortunately the unusual design was unusual for a reason – reliability. Or lack of it.

Heavy, extremely complicated, and constantly breaking, the BRM engine in Chapman’s Lotus 43 caused it to retire from every race bar one during the 1966 season. However, that one finish was a race win at the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, showing that when it worked, the Lotus 43 was quick. Really Quick.

The following year in ’67 the new Cosworth DFV 3 litre V8 engine was ready, Ford added their sponsorship to it (in a stroke of marketing genius), and the year after that the DFV starting a Championship Winning streak that went unbroken for seven years.

Lego BRM H16 Engine

BRM’s mental P75 H16 engine was quickly forgotten, although the team continued to produce Formula 1 cars until the late 1970s, and Lotus forged on with a Cosworth partnership that was to become one of the most successful ever seen in the sport.

However, we think the Lotus 43 BRM H16 deserves a little recognition. It was a race winner after all, and for a brief moment two of Britain’s greatest F1 teams combined to produce something, well…  a little bit crap.

RoscoPC’s homage to that disastrous partnership pictured here was first built in 2010 and is now available to view in wonderful detail on Flickr. It features working steering, suspension, beautiful detailing, and – of course – a recreation of one of the maddest engines ever seen in Formula 1.

You can see all of the images of Luca’s incredible Lotus 43 build at his photostream via the link above, and if you’re curious to know what an H16 Formula 1 engine sounds like, click here…

Lego Lotus 43 BRM H16

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The Killer Years

Lego Ferrari 126C F1 Car Villeneuve

Formula 1 is – whilst not without its risks – relatively safe today. For almost all of the sport’s history however, it was a insanely dangerous place to be. Even as late as the 1980s Formula 1 drivers (and others involved in F1 trackside) were dying on a regular basis. This car belongs to one such driver, the hugely popular Gilles Villeneuve, who was tragically killed at Zolder in Belgium after just 5 years in the sport.

Gilles joined Formula 1 after winning the Formula Atlantic championship in both the US and Canada in 1976, debuting with McLaren in ’77 before World Champions Ferrari took him on for the ’78 season. In May of 1982 Gilles collided with the back of Jochen Mass’ car during qualifying, with Mass on a slow lap and Gilles on a fast one. Both drivers saw each other at the last moment, both took evasive action, and both moved to the right…

The Ferrari disintegrated, and Gilles, still strapped into his seat, exited the car and hit the catch fencing, fatally breaking his neck. Formula 1 had lost one of it’s most loved drivers.

Lego Ferrari 126C2

Gilles is now remembered at his home track in Canada, renamed in his honour, and both at Zolder in Belgium and San Marino in Italy, each with a corner named after him. Yesterday marks 35 years since Gilles’ death, and race car building legend Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC has paid tribute by uploading his incredible recreation of Gilles’ 1982 Ferrari 126C2 Formula 1 car to Flickr, 5 years after he first designed it.

Luca’s model is one of the most spectacular Lego recreations of a classic Formula 1 car that you will ever see, and its beauty lies as much within as it does on the surface, with working suspension complete with anti-roll bars, a 6-cylinder engine and full remote control drive and steering.

There’s more to see of Gilles Villeneuve’s Ferrari 126C2 at Luca’s Flickr gallery – click here to make the trip.

Lego Ferrari 126C F1 Car Villeneuve

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Scuderia Ferrari – Picture Special

Lego Scuderia Ferrari

We may only be four months into the year, but we’re pretty sure we’ve found our favourite creation of 2017 already…

This breathtakingly beautiful scene comes from Michel Van den Heuvel aka Start Bricking on Flickr, and it is -of course – Scuderia Ferrari’s 1950s workshop, recreated wonderfully in mini-figure scale.

Lego Scuderia Ferrari

Inside Michel has taken care of every detail, from tools to trophies, rubber to race cars, nothing is missing, and it’s all been thoughtfully replicated in miniature from our favourite Danish plastic.

Outside the workshop and underneath some stunning brick-built lettering are a trio of historic Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 racing cars, complete with a superb Fiat team transporter ready to take the cars to their next race.

Michel hasn’t stopped with Formula 1 either, as Ferrari’s legendary endurance racers and sports cars have also been exquisitely recreated in Lego form.

Lego Scuderia Ferrari

There’s a whole lot more to see of Michel’s incredible build at his Flickr photostream by clicking here, and if anyone from LEGO is reading this; please make this an official set. You know you want to!

Lego Scuderia Ferrari

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Plan B

Lego Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

We rarely feature digital creations here at TLCB. Today though we’re going to break our own rule, because this virtual Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Group B rally car is an absolute delight.

Built in the mid-1980s to race in the World Rally Championship, Peugeot’s monster mid-engined all-wheel-drive 205s won the final two Group B World Championships in ’85 and ’86, before the formula was banned.

This wonderful recreation of one of the most fearsome WRC cars ever is the work of newcomer Fabrice Larcheveque, who has replicated Peugeot Sport’s famous 1980s livery brilliantly in digital form, and has absolutely nailed the car that wears it too.

Fabrice has built several other iconic cars in LEGO’s Speed Champions style and you can see more of these, plus the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 featured here, via MOCpages, plus you can also vote for the Peugeot to become the next officially-licensed car in the Speed Champions range via LEGO Ideas.

Lego Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

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A Bit Hairy

Lego 67 Hurst "Hairy" Oldsmobile

We have a sneaking suspicion that a few of TLCB Elves may have worked for Oldsmobile in a previous life, as this is so their kind of car.

Built to showcase the durability of the company’s new FWD transaxle, two Hurst ‘Hairy’ Oldsmobile Cutlasses were created in 1967, each fitted with two 1,200bhp supercharged V8s, with one engine powering the front wheels and the second powering the rears.

Lego Oldsmobile Cutlass Hairy Hurst

The result was a car capable of all-wheel-drive burnouts and eleven second quarter miles, but also one with prodigious torque-steer and minimal visibility, which led to one of the two Hairy Hursts being destroyed in a demonstration run.

This glorious recreation of the monstrous drag-racer comes from Flickr’s Tim Inman, who – due to LEGO’s limited range of golden pieces – has had to use hundreds of studded tiles to create the Oldsmobile’s bodywork.

There’s more to see at Tim’s photostream – click the link in the text above to make the jump.

Lego Hurst "Hairy" Oldsmobile

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Brick Built Brabham

Lego Brabham BT24

This is a Brabham BT24, and it won the 1967 Formula 1 Constructor’s Championship. However, it was not the fastest car of the season – that honour went to Lotus – but it was much more reliable, and thus its consistency meant that it took the overall championship ahead of the faster Lotus design.

This neat mini-figure scale recreation of the championship-winning Brabham is the work of Pixel Junkie of Flickr, and it contains some wonderfully inventive parts usage. See more at Pixel’s photostream via the link above.

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An Mg Racing Car

honda-f1

Not a product of the Morris Garages car builders but a Formula 1 racing car with a body made from lightweight magnesium. This car is yet another fascinating piece of auto-racing history from Greg_998 on Flickr. In the late 1960s Honda saved 80kg from the weight of their previous F1 car by giving its body a magnesium shell, instead of an aluminium one.

This author fondly remembers setting fire to strips of magnesium in chemistry lessons, something which is now probably banned under Elf & Safety. Magnesium burns at roughly 3,100°C, making it great for things such as distress flares, sparklers on bonfire night and those things that Boy Scouts start fires with. Tragically these properties make it an incredibly dangerous material to have built a car from if it crashes and catches fire. You can see more images of this unusual car and read a full history by following this link to Greg’s Photostream.

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To Finish First…

Lego Nissan R89C

…First you must finish. Unfortunately for Nissan their strikingly designed 1989 R89C Group C racer was uncharacteristically un-Japanese when it came to reliability, with all three Le Mans entries retiring before the race was over. Sadly the R89C fared little better in the World Sports Car and Japan Sports Prototype Championships, suffering from chassis and engine issues throughout the season.

The R89C is not exactly a legend of endurance racing then, but just look at it! Making almost 1,000bhp from its twin-turbo 3.5litre V8 engine the R89C packed quite a punch when it was working too.

This gorgeous Model Team replica of the classic Nissan racing car is the work of Alexander Paschoaletto and he’s recreated the R89C’s magical shape (and Nissan’s famous late ’80s – early ’90s livery) beautifully in brick form. You can see more of his build on both Flickr and MOCpages – click on the links to take the trip to ’89.

Lego Nissan R89C

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The Killer Years – Historic F1 Picture Special

Lego Lotus Ford 72D JPS

Every so often we receive a suggestion here at TLCB that makes the whole office stop what it’s doing (which today seemed to mostly be Google-imaging attractive Rio Olympics athletes) to gaze in wonder at the creation/s found. This was definitely one of those moments.

Lego Ferrari 640 Formula 1

These incredible Model Team classic Formula 1 replicas have all been built by newcomer Idihnab Szalab from Hungary, and he’s uploaded all four to MOCpages in one go. Each is an exquisitely detailed creation that perfectly captures one of the Formula 1’s most famous and iconic cars in Lego form.

Lego Williams-Honda FW11

From top to bottom Idihnab has built; the dominant 1972-75 Lotus-Ford 72D in John Player Special livery, Ferrari’s 1989 640, the double World Championship-winning 1986-87 Williams-Honda FW11, and lastly the beautiful Lotus-Ford 72C from 1970-71 in magnificent Gold Leaf livery.

Lego Lotus Ford 72C Gold Leaf

We can’t recommend paying Idihnab’s MOCpage a visit enough – click here to view all four incredible creations and to step back in time to Formula 1’s greatest era.

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Rotary Renown

Lego Mazda 787B Rotary Le Mans

This remarkable car is Mazda’s 1991 Group C Le Mans winning 787B, to this day the only Japanese car ever to win the famous 24 hour race and the only non-reciprocating engine powered car to do so too. This stunning replica of Mazda’s greatest triumph is the work of TLCB favourite Greg998, and he’s recreated the 900bhp carbon-composite monster in jaw-dropping detail.

Underneath the brilliantly recreated bodywork – complete with Mazda’s tricky ’91 livery and period-correct decals – Greg’s 787B features working steering, all-wheel suspension, working headlights, and a Lego version of Mazda’s unique (and mental) 4-rotor engine. There’s lots more to see on Flickr, Eurobricks and MOCpages – click the links to see full details and imagery.

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Group C Finale

Lego Nissan R92CP Racing Car

In the 1980s the World Rally Championship was at its most spectacular. Space-framed, wildly unstable and sometimes downright dangerous all-wheel-drive monsters raced through the world’s forests and deserts as part of the lethal Group B experimental class. Not to be outdone World Endurance Racing mirrored the WRC’s turbo-charged excess with its own ludicrous Group C class, where cars like this incredible Nissan R92CP produced over 1,200bhp in qualifying specification.

Like WRC’s Group B, the Group C endurance class was axed after a few short years, but the cars it created have lived on much longer in racing legend. Previous bloggee Greg998 has an impressive catalogue of historic racing cars and his latest is one of the final Group C greats. His stunning 1992 Nissan R92CP is available to view on MOCpages, Eurobricks or Flickr.

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