We love receiving comments here at TLCB. It means people actually read this stuff. Well, when we say we love receiving them, it does depend a little upon what we receive.
Automated spam for various exciting sounding drugs, offers of ‘help’ to ‘grow our audience’ and ‘give me instruktions’ comments arrive in their hundreds, but in-between all of that nonsense we do get some gems. Such as this one.
Suggested by a reader this is Firas Abu-Jaber’s AC Cobra, built solely from the parts found in the official 10271 Fiat 500 set. So excellent does it look that we wouldn’t have guessed that it has been constructed from the pieces of a single LEGO set, with opening doors, hood and trunk, a detailed interior, and even a realistic engine bay.
There’s loads more to see of Firas’s fantastic 10271 AC Cobra B-Model at his Flickr album by clicking these words, and if you’d like to suggest a creation or leave feedback about anything else (preferably not exciting sounding drugs or offers to ‘help’ to ‘grow our audience’ though), you can get in touch via the Contact page here.
The inline four-cylinder petrol engine is the most commonly fitted engine to cars the world over. The optimum balance between smoothness, power, efficiency, and er… cheapness, the inline-4 needs only one cylinder head, there are always two cylinders going down as two go up, and when mounted transversely it takes up little space.
Despite all those worthy attributes however, these days the inline 4-cylinder can be seen as a bit dull, despite the efforts of the world’s best engineers to liven it up. Back in the earliest days of motoring though, it was anything but.
Bentley’s amazing ‘Blower‘ racing cars used 4-cylinders, and so too did Fiat, who – in 1911 – fitted a four-cylinder engine to their S76 World Record Car of twenty-eight litres capacity. The result was quite fiery, and allowed the ‘Beast of Turin’ to hit an unofficial top speed of over 130mph.
It’s this car that Joe Maruschak‘s ‘Vintage Race Car’ most closely resembles, itself being fitted with a working 4-cylinder engine utilising LEGO’s suitably vintage square pistons and featuring pushrod-operated valves.
A hidden Power Functions motor brings Joe’s creation to life and there’s more to see of his mighty 4-cylinder racing car on Flickr via the link above.
The Fiat 500 has been a runaway success across Europe. Over two million have been sold to date, despite the design remaining virtually unchanged in fourteen years of production.
Fiat, unused to building a car that people actually like, subsequently decided that literally everything they make should be a 500[something]. This has unfortunately led to hideous monstrosities like this, which have been about as successful as storming the U.S. Capitol building in the hope of overturning a legitimate election.
However unlike Fiat, LEGO’s ace 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set is proving not only a hit, but also one that can be used to create a range of other vehicles that don’t just look like a regular 500 has died at sea and washed up on a beach months later.
Cases in point are these two brilliant B-Models, each built only from the parts found within the 10271 Fiat 500 set, and each managing to successfully create something new and excellent from the recycled parts.
First up (above) is monstermatou‘s marvellous 1920s Citroen 5HP Trefle, which captures the real car so well you’d be hard pushed to know it’s an alternate (which explains why monstermatou very nearly won TLCB Lock-Down B-Model Competition with one of his past builds). Building instructions are available and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.
Cleverly using the Fiat’s interior pieces to make up for the shortfall in available bodywork bricks, Nathanael’s B-Model includes opening doors, hood and tailgate, and building instructions are available too.
Click the link above to check out more of Nathanael’s B-Model at his photostream, and if you own a 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set, perhaps see what you can create from it! You’ll easily do a better job than Fiat have managed with the real thing…
This excellent 1960s Ford Mustang fastback comes from Flickr’s Gerald Cacas, and it’s been built only from the parts found within the 10271 Fiat 500 set. Like the official LEGO version Gerald’s model includes opening doors, trunk and hood, under which there’s the option of fitting a gloriously oversized hood-protruding engine. Combine that with it being both yellow and adorned with racing stripes and you have a car almost made for TLCB Elves.
There’s more of the creation to see of Gerald’s Ford Mustang 10271 Alternate Build album, where you can also enquire about building instructions should you wish to convert your own 10271 Fiat into Ford’s iconic ’60s pony car.
Now if only someone could build a Fiat 500 from the 10265 Ford Mustang set to complete the circularity…
Fiat’s original 500 was small, very cheap, and designed to mobilise the the masses, with over 3.5 million built during a production run that lasted two decades. The beauty of LEGO of course, is that you can turn anything into anything, as published author Peter Blackert (aka Lego911) has proven with his beautiful 1935 Auburn 851 ‘Boat-Tail’ Speedster.
Produced for the super wealthy for just one year and in tiny numbers, the Auburn 851 Speedster is about as far removed from the diminutive Italian peoples’ car as it’s possible to get. With a 4.5 litre straight-eight (and an optional supercharger), the Auburn Speedster’s engine was nine times larger than the Fiat 500’s with four times as many cylinders, and provided it with a top speed double that of the Fiat.
However Peter’s wonderful replica of the Auburn 851 Speedster has more in common with the little 500 than it may appear, as it uses only the recycled parts from the official 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set in its construction, even repurposing the Fiat’s canvas sunroof to form the Auburn’s convertible top.
It’s a superbly diverse alternate and there’s lots more to see of Peter’s brilliant Auburn Boat-Tail B-Model at his photostream. Click the link above to turn your Fiat into something altogether more dashing!
Notable only for being Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s first lead role, the 2002 fantasy adventure ‘The Scorpion King’ is an appalling turd of a movie. A spin off from ‘The Mummy’ franchise, it took the shonkily CGI-ed character from the second Mummy instalment (itself only worth watching for Rachel Weisz) and dragged it out over ninety stupefying minutes.
However some scorpion spin-offs are worth a look, and the car in this post is one of them.
The Autobianchi A112 was created through collaboration by Fiat, tyre-maker Pirelli, and bicycle manufacturer Bianchi, launching in 1969 and being – as most Italian cars of the time were – rather excellent.
Over a million Autobianchi A112s were produced before the brand was eventually merged into Lancia, with the design also forming the basis of the rather good Fiat 127, the less good Seat 127, the pretty bad Polski-Fiat 127, and the miserable Yugo 45.
Of course being effectively a Fiat, Italian tuners Abarth got their hands on the A112 too, and uprated the tiny 900cc engine to 1,050cc, taking power from around 45bhp to a mighty 70 in the process.
Today’s post is an A112 in Abarth flavour, as built by previous bloggee Zeta Racing in full ‘Technic Supercar’ specification. Capturing the look of the real car brilliantly, Zeta has engineered his Lego replica with a working engine, gearbox, steering, and suspension, along with opening doors, hood, and hatchback. Zeta’s model also includes fully remotely controlled Power Functions drivetrain, with motors powering both the front-wheel-drive and steering, the gearbox, and equipping the car with working brakes.
It’s a fantastic build, presented beautifully, and enhanced with few choice decals (including the famous Abarth scorpion), and there’s much more of Zeta’s Autobianchi A112 Abarth to see at his photostream. Click the link above to check out one Scorpion King worth viewing.
Fiat, since their takeover of Chrysler in 2014, are the owners of Dodge, Ram, and Jeep. Which means Jeeps are now Fiats and Maseratis are now Jeeps.
It’s fitting then, that this creation by LEGO set designer Nathanael Kuipers (aka NKubate), is – despite its Jeepy appearance – actually a Fiat underneath, being built solely from the parts found within the official Creator 10271 Fiat 500 set.
However if it looks familiar that’s because it actually has more in common with the Jeep-inspired Model Team 5510 Off-Road 4×4 set from the late ’80s, being a modern interpretation of this vintage set, but built from another set. Which makes our head hurt.
You can check it out at Nathanel’s photostream by clicking here, where you can also find a link to building instructions should you want to turn your own Fiat 500 set into a classic Jeep.
It’s the 1980s and literally everything has got ‘Turbo’ written on it. Aftershave, sunglasses, and – as of 1985 – even Fiat shopping cars. The Fiat Uno Turbo i.e. did actually feature a turbo too, with an IHI unit, complete with intercooler, fitted to its 1.3 litre engine.
Power jumped to 105bhp, which may not sound a lot (and isn’t), but ’80s Italian cars had the structural integrity of a paper bag, and thus were almost comically light. This gave the Uno Turbo a 127mph top speed and a 0-60 time of 7 seconds, which was properly quick for the time. We just don’t want to think about crashing one…
Fortunately Fiat had an answer, creating the Uno Turbo i.e. ‘Antiskid’, which was equipped with a rudimentary form of ABS. It’s this version that Zeta Racing has chosen to recreate – beautifully – in Technic form, adding another stunning ’80s Italian hot hatchback to his catalogue, following the incredible Lancia Delta HF Integrale’s published here yesterday.
Like the Lancias, Zeta’s Uno Turbo replicates the real car with jaw-dropping authenticity, including a full ‘Technic Supercar’ driveline consisting of a transverse 4-cylinder engine, suspension, steering, and gearbox, all motorised via LEGO Power Functions components.
The model also includes a fantastically realistic interior, with folding seats, a tilting sunroof, and some rather ingenious seatbelts that we suspect we’ll see on a lot more Technic creations after this is published. Opening doors, hood and hatchback complete the model, and there’s loads more to see at Zeta Racing’s photostream.
Click the link above to make the jump to Flickr for all the photos, whilst we squash down our hankering to buy one of these tiny tinny Italian deathtraps*…
*It seems that improbably thin Italian steel didn’t survive UK winters very well. Just a dozen Fiat Uno Turbo’s are left on UK roads, and only two ‘Antiskid’ versions. They may have crashed less, but they rusted just us much…
It’s review time here at The Lego Car Blog, and on this occasion we thought we’d share the love and offer the product we were supplied to one of our readers. It just so happens that the reader in question owns a considerably more professional Lego site than we do…
The 10271 lighting kit comes in a nice black box, but it only has the logo of the manufacturer on it. I’m not sure if you get any additional identification if you order multiple light kits, but mine didn’t give any clues as to which LEGO set it belonged to.
Inside the box I found five numbered plastic bags and a battery box, and as you can see there’s not any extra documentation or anything in the box besides the hardware, which is a good thing if we think about the environment, but it makes the project a bit challenging if we are looking for some building instructions.I tried to go first to the web page of Game of Bricks and the product page of the Fiat 500 light kit, but there’re no instructions there.
As the text says I can ask for pdf instructions, but I was hoping to find them without the need to reach out to the team.As always Google helped me out; apparently Game of Bricks have a page for their instructions and I managed to find the one for the Fiat 500. I already installed some light kits from other manufacturers and the instructions were very similar, I can say that the steps for this set are pretty easy to follow.
The tiny LEDs and the cables are also familiar, if you ever saw a 3rd party light kit then there won’t be any surprises.
Installing the front lights is a pretty straightforward exercise, although I was a bit surprised that only the upper lights got a replacement piece instead of the LEGO pieces, the lower ones had to be squeezed under the transparent round 1×1 piece.Under normal circumstances there’s exactly zero space between the transparent piece and the stud below it, so even with this super thin wire it will be a bit off and you need to push it in place carefully.
The rear section has similar challenges to solve, and we get a light strip for the roof with an adhesive tape to attach to the sunroof. I decided not to attach it, as the cables can be arranged to hold it in place.All cables will meet at the bottom, where you need to attach them to a splitter piece, although the tiny connectors are not the easiest to handle, and you need some extra arrangement if you want to keep your model movable.
The battery box requires 3 AAA batteries and includes a USB connector. If you have a smaller power bank or something similar then it might be a good idea to change it, as the one in the kit barely fits in the model. It is also challenging to turn on and off, as you need to remove it to be able to access the button.
However the end result looks great, and can really spice up a display model. The modular design is a big plus, all my previous light kits were hard wired together so it was not possible to add only certain sections of them to a model. For example, if you don’t want to use the cabin light in the Game of Bricks kit then you can simply detach it whilst leaving the rest of the LEDs in the model.
The only thing I’d like to change if I wanted to display the set permanently with LED lighting installed would be the power source, if only to make the on/off button more accessible!
Technic Supercars are not defined by the type of car they would be in the real world. Most would still be super cars of course, but some… some are little more mundane. Like a Fiat 125p for example. And we love them for this.
This heroically humdrum Technic Supercar is the work of Porsche96, who has created Fiat’s 1960s sedan in unbelievable accuracy. In fact Fiat’s regular 125 was too flashy for Porsche96, who decided to built the 125p version; the Polski-Fiat built under license by FSO in Poland until a scarcely believable 1991.
Porsche96’s recreation of the Polish peoples’ car includes all of the prerequisites to be classified as a Technic Supercar, plus a whole lot more besides. Working steering, a functioning four-cylinder engine and four-speed gearbox, and all-wheel suspension tick all the Supercar boxes, whilst remote control for the drive, steering, and even gearbox (thanks to a suite of Power Functions motors and servos, plus an SBrick and BuWizz battery) goes much further indeed.
There are opening and locking doors, an opening bonnet with a working interior release mechanism, adjustable seats, LED head and tail lights, and also fully removable bodywork.
It all adds up to Porcshe96’s Fiat 125p being one of the most accurately engineered (and brilliantly built) Technic Supercars that we’ve ever featured, even if the real world car is about as far from a super car as it is possible to be. Which somehow makes this model all the cooler.
There’s much more to see including a full build description on Eurobricks, the complete and extensive gallery of images can be found on Bricksafe, and building instructions are available via Rebrickable. Plus you watch this amazing Technic Supercar in action via the brilliant video below.
It’s a brave builder who takes an official wheeled LEGO set and uses it to construct something without wheels, but that’s exactly what previous bloggee Serge S has done in creating this marvellous polar aircraft. Build solely from the pieces found within the 10721 Fiat 500 set there’s more to see at Serge’s photostream by clicking the link above, plus if you’re feeling inspired to make an ‘alternate’ of your own you can check out TLCB’s Lock-Down B-Model Competition by clicking here!
It’s time for something rather special here at The Lego Car Blog; this is Bricksonwheels’ phenomenal Lancia Martini Historic Rally Team, formed of a a ’92 Lancia Delta Integrale Evo, an ’85 Lancia 037, and – proving Martini’s racing livery can make literally anything cool – a Fiat Ducato van, complete with tools, spares, and equipment. And each is amongst the finest examples of Lego model-making that you will ever see.
With expertly recreated liveries courtesy of fellow previous bloggee JaapTechnic, Bricksonwheel‘s creations are near perfect replicas of the stars of Lancia’s greatest era. And a Fiat van, but that’s a near perfect replica too.
Each model is built from around 2,000 pieces and includes fully detailed suspension, engine and interior, with every aspect constructed with mind-bending attention to detail.
There’s much more to see at Bricksonwheels’ Lancia Martini Historic Rally Team album on Flickr by clicking the link above, you can see the Delta Integrale’s individual appearance here at TLCB last year by clicking these words, and you can read Bricksonwheels’ interview as part of the Master Mocer Series by clicking here to learn how he creates amazing models like these.
What’s up guys, this is Balazs from RacingBrick. As you might know, Technic is my favourite LEGO theme but today’s set comes from a different lineup. We’ve seen many iconic cars being released with the Creator Expert badge in the past few years, and the newest one in the family is no exception; say hello to the 10271 Fiat 500!
The box has the usual characteristics of the Creator Expert sets, fairly big but thin. On the front you see the car in a beautiful Italian sunset in front of the Colosseum, and there’s also a nice painting commemorating the exact same scene. On the back you’ll find closeups of the details and the different features.
The set has 960 pieces and cost $89.99 / €79.99 when it launched on March 1st this year. There are 9 numbered bags in the box split into 3 phases, plus there’s a separate bag for the fabric sunroof, and you’ll find the instruction manual with the sticker sheet in another plastic bag.
The manual thankfully follows the tradition of the previous Creator Expert vehicles and provides some extra details and information at the beginning, which I think adds a lot to the building experience. As a nice gesture the text is in English and in Italian, we get some information about the history of Fiat, the birth of this specific model, and the design process of the LEGO model.
Total building time was around 1h and 45 minutes, and the 3 phases within this are more or less distributed equally.
The building process starts with a studded Technic frame, and it has some interesting connections reinforcing the structure. The axles are totally fixed, meaning there’s no suspension – which is not a surprise in a Creator set – but unfortunately no steering either, which was kind of expected as the recent Ford Mustang set included this.
10271 does include an engine that’s a pretty accurate representation of the original one, with some interesting part usage including a black head piece and a flower. The designer also did a great job at the rear of the car, where the real 500’s curved panels are replicated with straight elements, but the whole panel sits on hinges so the shape of the model is a faithful representation of the original car.
Bag 1 finishes with the seat holders being attached to the floor along with the gear shifter, the handbrake and some other accessories, and finally the basic structure of the front bumper.
The front seats follow, built after the rear ones, and there’s a very interesting piece used to connect them to the floor (centre). I’ve never seen this brick before, although I have to admit I’ve never built a Unikitty or Nexo Knights set where it is also available.
Next comes the dashboard with the fuel tank behind it, including a steering wheel with a cool printed Fiat logo. The doors follow and are actually quite complex with lots of details; I really like the ice skate piece as the door handle. There are again some clever building techniques used to connect the different curved parts, and the result is very nice with the doors opening well, despite a small but acceptable gap at the top.
The next item is the rear window, which is quite interesting because it’s actually a regular window used in many City sets, but this time fitted sideways. It might be confusing at first sight as the bottom doesn’t have the same smooth surface as on the top, but when it is built into the model this won’t be visible.
Finally with bag 3 we finish the front of the car with the brick-built logo and another printed tile. The front wheel arches have a similar structure to the rear ones, connecting with hinges to the rest of the body.
After the hood the curved side windows are added, which first appeared in the Manchester United set introduced recently. The roof includes a fabric sunroof, and although the structure appears a bit flimsy before putting it in place it works well.
The final components fitted are the spare tyre, license plates, (with a choice of three, one for Italy, one for Denmark, and one for Germany), the luggage rack (with suitcase), and lastly with the shiny metallic wheel covers the car is finished.
So here’s the finished car! I’d say the overall shape is a faithful representation of the original one, considering the limitation of the available bricks. The colour is an interesting and unusual choice, I wasn’t a fan at first sight but it definitely looks better than the standard LEGO yellow.
I read some complaints online about a few missing details, the most frequently mentioned of which was a missing side view mirror. It is quite interesting because if you have a look at the old photos in the instruction manual, the cars shown don’t actually have a side view mirror. In fact the original car did not have a factory installed side view mirror, it being an optional accessory that only became obligatory in Italian law in 1977. (Plus Italian drivers never use them anyway – Ed.)
So, what is my conclusion? I think the Fiat 500 was a great choice for the Creator Expert line, it is truly an iconic car and the LEGO version is instantly recognizable. The added extras are also really nice, enhancing a great building experience for a reasonable price. My only complaint is the lack of steering – after the excellent 10265 Ford Mustang I was really hoping to see a functional steering wheel in the next Creator Expert car as well.
Italy, no stranger to maniacal despots itself, had a nice little business selling its old products to scumbag dictatorships in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The most famous of these is probably the Polski-Fiat 126, built under license in Poland alongside the Italian made, and actually quite good, Fiat 126.
The two cars were almost identical in the 1970s, with the Polski version using a few lower specified components but otherwise being indistinguishable save for a little ‘p’ on badge.
The Italian-made 126 ceased production in 1980 after an eight year production run, however the Polski-Fiat version, with its Communist standard long waiting list (with Poles largely dependent upon coupons from the Government to buy one), survived for another twenty years, by which point it really was a turd.
This wonderful model of the Polski-Fiat 126 isn’t a turd at all though, being a thoroughly excellent recreation of the humble Polish peoples’ car. Built by previous bloggee Dornbi of Flickr it captures the real 126p beautifully (and is pictured above alongside an equally good communist counterpart Trabant).
Head to Poland (via Italy) sometime in the 1980s at Dornbi’s photostream by clicking on the link above.
They’re the questions we receive here more than other (apart from your Mom calling to find out if we’re free); “Where can I buy this?” / “Are there instructions?”.
We’ve reviewed a range of books here at TLCB (see here, here, here and here) that aim to answer the questions above, providing parts lists and building instructions to enable readers to create real-world vehicles from LEGO bricks. Today we have another, kindly provided by publisher ‘Brick Monster‘ who have a range of both instructional books and downloadable building instructions available at their website, offering everything from BrickHeadz to dinosaurs.
Fast Bricks: Build 6 LEGO Sports Cars!
Overview: Brick Monster’s latest publication, entitled ‘Fast Bricks’, details the step-by-step building instructions and complete parts lists for six real-world sports and performance cars. Each car is designed to match LEGO’s old six-wide Speed Champions scale which, whilst less detailed than the new 8-wide standard, should mean both a plentiful parts supply and that fewer parts are needed.
The book follows the now familiar format that we’ve come to expect from instructional publications, offering a brief (and really well written) introduction to each car, along with a few key statistics – although in this case they are about the model itself rather than its real world equivalent.
Instructions and Print Quality: The bulk of the book is taken by the step-by-step instructions, which are clear and well laid out. Minor sub-assemblies are used every so often and all parts added are highlighted by a contrasting brightly-coloured outline, which is very nice touch. A ‘Bill of Materials’ ends each section, along with the alternate colour schemes available for each build. Unfortunately we have no images of these available to show here, which is something that Brick Monster should look into so that they can showcase this content.
‘Fast Bricks’ is not the glossiest book we’ve reviewed and nor is it printed in the highest quality, but it’s well suited to its purpose, where ultra high quality paper can actually be a hinderance to following building instructions, however beautiful the product looks. On the other hand one area where higher print quality would have been useful was in the instructions for C8 Corvette pictured on the cover, where the dark blue bricks chosen are hard to distinguish against the black lines that surround them. This is never an issue with official LEGO sets and highlights just how good LEGO are at both designing and mass-producing the building instructions found in their products.
The Models: It’s the Corvette that is probably the best model within the book, although all feature a range of excellent building techniques that newer builders may appreciate learning.
However, unfortunately for us in some cases the builds are not particularly recognisable as the car they are purported to be. We could have ten guesses for the Mazda MX-5 and Lamborghini Huracan and we wouldn’t have guessed correctly, with other models having only a passing resemblance to their real-world counterparts.
It’s a shame, because – whilst not really offering anything new – the layout, instruction designs, descriptions, and parts lists of ‘Fast Bricks’ are all pretty good.
Verdict: We wouldn’t have thought there was a need for yet another building instructions book, however the constant requests we receive here at The Lego Car Blog indicate that – as usual – we know nothing, and there remains a significant interest in step-by-step instructions for models.
We’re not sure that any book is the best medium for providing step-by-step instructions anymore, with digital downloads performing the job just as well, but nevertheless ‘Fast Bricks’ take on the book-based instructional formula is another competently engineered addition, utilising well-judged techniques and instructional designs to walk readers from a pile of LEGO bricks to a finished sports car model. We just wish the models found within it looked a bit more like the cars they’re supposedly based upon.