Tag Archives: Classic Race Teams

Matra MS80

Lego Matra MS80 Forumla 1

Matra may not a be a manufacturer familiar to many of you, but if so they’re one of the greatest companies you’ve never heard of.

Founded in the 1960s Matra have made everything from sports cars to air-to-air missiles, including probably the world’s first crossover and the world’s first MPV (albeit for Renault). However it’s their racing subsidiary, Equipe Matra Sports, that we’re most interested in here.

Equipe Matra Sports produced racing cars for an almost immeasurable number of categories, winning Le Mans three times, five Formula 2 Championships, and both the Drivers and Constructors Formula 1 World Championships in 1969, making them the only team besides Ferrari to win the Championship with a car not built in Britain.

This is that car, the gorgeous Matra MS80, powered by the ubiquitous Ford-Cosworth DFV V8 and run by Ken Tyrrell before he started his own team. In the hands of Jackie Stewart the MS80 won five of the ten races it entered in the ’69 season, winning the Championship by a huge margin, despite the fact that every other race winner that year used the same engine.

This fabulous Model Team replica of the Matra MS80 comes from classic racer extraordinaire Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC, with a superbly-replicated Cosworth DFV engine, working steering and suspension, and some ace period-correct decals. There’s more to see of Luca’s brilliant Matra MS80 on Flickr via the link above, plus you can read our interview with the builder as part of the Master MOCers Series by clicking here.

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Fuji ’88

Lego Porsche 962

The All Japan Sports Prototype Championship (JSPC) was one of the world’s wilder race series. Running from the early ’80s to the early ’90s it pitched various classes of endurance racers against one another on Japan’s fastest circuits. Porsche dominated the series, winning seven of the eleven Championships, with Nissan, Toyota and BMW taking the remaining four.

The Porsche 962 proved the car to beat, and yesterday’s Guest Blogger Prototyp has built three of the 962s that raced in the 1988 Fuji race. Each features the livery from a different team running the Porsche 962 in the late ’80s and there’s more to see of all three versions at Prototyp’s Porsche 962 Flickr album by clicking here.

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Paint My Porsche

Lego Porsche 911 Le Mans 70th

With nineteen overall wins (plus numerous class victories) Porsche have won the Le Mans 24 Hours more times than any other manufacturer. Over their 70 year history they’ve also raced in some wonderful liveries, advertising everything from fuel to cigarettes to alcohol – basically all the cool stuff.

To mark their 70th year Porsche will be fielding three of their iconic past liveries in the GTE Pro class at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours race. Flickr’s Lasse Deleuran has recreated each in Lego form, applying them to his previous Porsche 911 RSR design, and they look incredible! Head over to Lasse’s photostream via the link above and pick your winner!

Lego Porsche 911 Le Mans 70th

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Cannonball

Lego Porsche 956 Cannon

Six minutes and eleven seconds. The fastest ever lap of the fearsome Nurburgring Nordschleife, recorded not by a Formula 1 car or a Bugatti Veyron, but way back in 1982 by this; Porsche’s amazing Group C 956.

Powered by a development of the successful 936’s turbocharged flat-6, the 956 took power to over 600bhp and used the world’s first double clutch gearbox to send it to the rear wheels.

Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell debuted the car at the 6 Hours of Silverstone before taking pole, ahead of Porsche’s two other 956s in second and third, at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The race finished as it started, with Porsche taking a 1-2-3 and with Ickx and Bell claiming their third win together for the Porsche team.

This superb recreation of Porsche’s dominant early ’80s Group C Champion comes from Flickr’s Manuel Cara, which despite its small size is  wonderfully accurate, made more so by the authentic-looking period Canon decals. There’s more to see of Manuel’s 956 at his photostream by clicking here, and if you’d like to see the real car in action, take a look here!

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McLaren M23 – Picture Special

Lego McLaren M23

This is the McLaren M23, a car that raced in Formula 1, Formula 5000, and the Indy 500 over five seasons between 1973 and 1978.

Powered by the ubiquitous Cosworth DFV engine and with relatively unremarkable bodywork the M23 was not the most innovative car of the time. However McLaren’s continual development of the M23 kept it amongst the front-runners of Formula 1 right up until the arrival of the M26 mid way through the 1977 season, earning two Driver’s and a Constructor’s World Championships, sixteen Formula 1 race wins, and multiple podiums.

Lego McLaren M23 Formula 1 Car

It was towards the end of the M23’s career that it won probably the most famous Formula 1 Championship of all time, when James Hunt emerged victorious from a season-long battle with Ferrari’s Nikki Lauda at a rain-soaked Fuji Speedway. The 1976 season has been immortalised in the 2013 Ron Howard epic ‘Rush’ (which if you haven’t seen it – watch the trailer here), and now Hunt’s ’76 McLaren M23D has been immortalised in Lego too.

Constructed by Formula 1 building legend Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) this Model Team McLaren M23D is a near perfect recreation of the 1976 Championship-winning car. With period-correct decals, a working V8 engine, and steering and suspension, Luca’s M23D is a stunning Lego replica of one of F1’s greats.

Lego McLaren M23 James Hunt

There’s lots more to see at Luca’s Flickr photostream, where you can also find his extensive back-cataelgue of superb historic racing cars, plus you can read our interview with Luca as part of the Master MOCers series by clicking here.

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British Racing Mean

Lego Ferrari 312 & Brabham BT24 Formula 1 1967

The pig-nosed driver of this Ferrari 312 isn’t taking any prisoners with that move. Under Bernie Ecclestone’s helm Formula 1 would see said combatant confined to the pits for ‘causing a collision’, but this is 1967, and rules were for sissies.

The car the Ferrari has swiped has appeared here at TLCB before, a Brabham BT24, and it’s now pictured alongside the latest build by Flickr’s Pixel Junkie in this wonderfully nostalgic Formula 1 scene.

It’s Brabham that went on to win the 1967 Formula 1 World Championship, despite having a slower car than the Lotus of the time, whilst Ferrari finished a lowly fifth. Ferrari may have lost the battle in ’67, but it is they who won the war, with Brabham fading into history whilst the prancing horse has gone on to win almost twice as many titles as any other team.

Being British we prefer the outcome in ’67 though, so we’ll leave this post with a picture of the Brabham BT24 rightfully back in front of the Ferrari 312, and you can us find at Pixel Junkie’s photostream feeling patriotic.

Lego Formula 1 1967 Ferrari vs Brabham

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Power to the Pixel

Lego Ferrari 512s Longtail 1970

One of the most common comments we receive here at The Lego Car Blog, along with ‘Can I have instructions?’ and ‘Send nudes’, is ‘why don’t you feature more digital creations?’.

Well in answer, we’re a blog about Lego models, and a digital creation is not a Lego model. It’s a picture of one. However, every so often a digital creation comes along that is worth flexing our rules for… this is one such time.

This wonderful Speed Champions style 1970 Ferrari 512S Longtail was discovered on Flickr and it comes from TLCB newcomer Alan Guerzoni. Alan has faithfully replicated Ferrari’s glorious Le Mans racer beautifully in digital bricks, and he’s gone a step further by designing and adding period-correct decals to the render – something he’d have been unable to do if the model was build from real pieces.

We’d still rather Alan’s Ferrari 512S was constructed using actual LEGO though, and fortunately it can be – awesome decals included – thanks to the LEGO Ideas platform, where the Ferrari is currently available to support in Alan’s quest to see it become an official LEGO set.

With LEGO already partnered with Ferrari and the 512S Longtail slotting neatly in the Speed Champions line-up we think it stands a very good chance of making the cut. There are more images to see at Alan’s Flickr photostream via the link above, and you like what you see you can cast your vote on LEGO Ideas by clicking here.

Lego Ferrari 512s Longtail 1970

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Groundhog

Lego Lotus 79

As detailed in yesterday’s post, Ferrari are back on top after a few years in middle of the F1 pack, but there was a time when they barely won anything. And not because they had a bad car either.

Ferrari (and everyone else’s) woe was due to the utter dominance of one car, the pioneering Lotus 79, the first car to make full use of ground effect aerodynamics.

The first Formula 1 car designed using computer design aids, Lotus took downforce to an entirely new level, with the 79 producing 30% more of it than even their own car from the previous year. The suction generated by the 79 at speed was so strong that early cars suffered chassis fatigue and had to be strengthened to allow them to cope with race distances.

Lego Lotus 79 RoscoPC

The strengthening worked, and the cars went even faster in testing. Upon the 79’s debut at the 1978 Belgium Grand Prix Mario Andretti took pole by over a second, and won the race ahead of the next Lotus in second place by ten seconds, with Ferrari in third almost half a minute behind. In fact, so fast were the new Lotuses that Ferrari could only win if the 79s retired.

Lotus finished the season with 50% more points than the next nearest team, securing the 79’s position amongst Formula 1’s most dominant ever designs.

This spectacular homage to one of Formula 1’s greats is the work of previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC. Built eleven years ago, Luca has recently uploaded his model to Flickr, and despite its age Luca’s 79 is still one of the finest Lego F1 replicas you’ll see. Accurate decals, a working V8 engine, steering and suspension are all included, and there’s lots more to see at Luca’s Lotus 79 Flickr album by clicking here.

Lego Lotus 79

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Duty Free

Formula Zero Gravity Lego

On every flight there’s always one. That lady or gentleman who – when booze is marginally cheaper courtesy of airport tax free shopping – decides to optimise this saving. “I’ll just get a few bottles to take home” they say. Sure they will. Those bottles will be empty before they’ve even boarded. Anyway, this post is for them – and to that one guy who tries to smoke in the airplane toilet – as these models are literally encouraging drinking/smoking and flying.

With most countries doing what Formula 1 wouldn’t (because F1 is all about the monies), and banning alcohol and cigarette sponsorship in sport, alcoholic beverage and cigarette companies are no longer seen on the side of Formula 1 cars.

But there are no rules in space…

This is Formula Zero Gravity, an invention by British Lego Group Brickish, and they’re single-handedly bringing morally-dubious sponsorship back to top level racing! Two of motorsport’s greatest liveries have made the return so far (with more to come), with Nick Barrett’s stupendous Martini Racing F0 racer above, and Jeremy Williams’ gorgeous John Player Special F0 racer below.

There’s more to see of Nick’s build at both his MOCpage and photostream, and you can view Jeremy’s courtesy of Flickr here. Enjoy your flight!

Formula Zero Gravity Lego

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Forced Induction

Lego Renault RS10 Formula 1 Car RoscoPC

This is a 1979 Renault RS10, and it was the first turbocharged car to ever win a Formula 1 race. It’s been faithfully recreated in Lego form by Master MOCer Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC, whose recently re-uploaded creations have featured heavily here over the past few months. This is Luca’s first entirely new build, allowing him to take advantage of LEGO’s latest parts to brilliant effect.

Powered by a tiny 1.5 litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine the Renault RS10 produced over 500bhp… when it worked. Which to be honest it didn’t all that much, but when it did the RS10 was phenomenally fast. Renault’s single 1979 win with the new turbo engine forced every other front-running F1 team to hastily begin turbo engine development, and if it weren’t for F1’s constantly changing (and pointless) restrictions banning turbocharged engines by the late-’80s (when they were producing as much as 1,400bhp), we doubt any naturally-aspirated engine would have won an F1 championship again. Of course those same pointless restrictions now mandate the use of 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engines, so the sport has come full circle…

Lego Renault RS10 Formula 1 Car RoscoPC

Renault never won a Formula 1 Championship with the technology they pioneered though (although they did earn some excellent results), but the RS10 can be credited with completely changing the landscape of F1, ushering in the wonderful insanity of the ’80s turbo-era until forced induction was outlawed in 1989.

There’s more to see of this stunning recreation of one of Formula 1’s most game-changing cars at RoscoPC’s Renault RS10 Flickr album – click the link to make some boost.

Lego Renault RS10

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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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Retro Racing Replicas

Lego Ferrari F189 RoscoPC

TLCB Master MOCers Hall of Fame is the place to find the world’s very best Lego vehicle builders. Fame, glory, and an imaginary trophy await those that make it into the Lego Community’s most exclusive club, and today we recognise the fourteenth builder to enter, joining such legends as Firas Abu Jaber, Sariel, Crowkillers and more.

Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC has appeared here several times in recent months, as he continues to upload his incredible garage of beautiful historic Formula 1 cars to the photo-sharing platform Flickr.

Lego RoscoPC

With new cars in the works, two of which we can exclusively reveal here before their upload (the iconic Ferrari F189 above and the wonderful Renault RS10 below), now seems like the perfect time for Luca to share his Lego story.

Find out how it all started, and how he creates the stunning racing replicas you see here by reading his Master MOCers interview via the link below.

Master MOCers Series 2, Episode 3

Luca Rusconi 

Lego Renault RS10

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Brabham BT52 | Picture Special

Lego Brabham BT52

This is a 1983 Brabham BT52, one of the most powerful Formula 1 cars of all time, and the first turbo-charged car ever to win a World Championship. Designed by legendary engineer Gordon Murray, the BMW-powered BT52 took Nelson Piquet to his second World Championship, after the earlier BT49 had given him his maiden Championship in 1980.

Brabham won six World Championships in total, four Drivers and two Constructors, and founder Jack Brabham remains the only driver ever to win a Formula 1 World Championship in a car of his own design. However, after two periods of huge success in the 1960s and 1980s, Bernie Ecclestone – who owned the Brabham team in the ’70s and ’80s – sold it to a Japanese investor, and a few years later Brabham collapsed due to financial difficulties.

Lego Brabham BT52

Sadly Brabham haven’t raced in Formula 1 since, but TLCB has ears, and rumour has it that Formula 1 team Force India, who are currently in good form, need a new owner. With their current billionaire owners on bale for serious fraud offences and Brabham looking to build their own road-cars, we could see the famous Australian-British brand back at the sharp end of Formula 1 very soon. You heard it here first!

Back to the ’80s, and this incredible replica of Brabham’s last Championship-winning car comes from previous bloggee Luca Rosconi aka RoscoPC, who continues to re-publish his huge collection of classic Formula 1 cars to Flickr. There’s more to see of the Brabham BT52, as well as his other stunning replicas, at Luca’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

Lego Brabham BT52

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Lotus 49B | Picture Special

Lego Lotus 49B

Modern Formula 1 is almost all about aerodynamics. The art of directing airflow around a car seems quite mundane today, but when Colin Chapman first added ‘wings’ to his Lotus 49B in 1968 in order to generate downforce it was a revolution.

As is often the way with innovation, the other teams first tried to ban the Lotus, and then copied it, including its innovative use of the Cosworth DFV engine as a structural component in the chassis, and much of Chapman’s design is still in standard use in F1 today.

Lego Lotus 49B

Chapman’s Lotus 49 won both the Constructor’s and Driver’s World Championships twice, and also lays claim to being the first ever Formula 1 car to feature a racing livery, again – normal now, but a revolution in the 1960s.

This exquisite recreation of one of the greatest (perhaps the greatest) Formula 1 car ever designed comes from previous bloggee Lucas Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) who continues to upload his extensive catalogue of beautiful historic racing cars to Flickr.

Luca’s 1968 Lotus 49B features working suspension, steering, and a beautiful replica Cosworth DFV V8 engine, and you can see more of the build as well as his other incredible creations by clicking the link to his photostream above.

Lego Lotus 49B

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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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