Tag Archives: France

Seventies Cycling

Peugeot, like many car manufacturers, didn’t begin by making cars. The company’s earliest products were saw blades and coffee and pepper grinders, but it was the bicycles that followed that made the business famous.

A decline in cycling interest post-war forced the company to refocus on automobile production, but a resurgence in the 1960s, as the bicycle transitioned from a transportation method to a leisure activity, created a new market for Peugeot’s pedal-powered products.

The company capitalised on this, producing road and race bikes that became world famous, and demonstrated their leadership in the world’s toughest (and Frenchiest) cycle race; the Tour de France, winning the event in ’75 and ’77.

This lovely 6-wide recreation of Peugeot’s 1970s Tour de France support car, complete with boot-mounted bicycles, comes from previous bloggee PalBenglat, who has captured both the ’70s Peugeot 504 and the vintage building style of LEGO at the time wonderfully.

Clever techniques and excellent presentation are evident throughout the build, and there’s more of the classic Peugeot to see at Pal’s photostream. Click the link above to put on your jersey and head into the French mountains c1975.

Cartoon Traction Avant

This wonderfully cartoonish Citroen Traction Avant was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today. Constructed by KMbricklab, a wealth of clever techniques have been deployed to accentuate the classic Citroen’s features, and there’s a whole lot more of the model to see on Flickr. Click the link above to forward yourself there.

’80s Joyride

Volkswagen weren’t the only car manufacturer to attach the letters ‘G’, ‘T’ and ‘I’ to a family hatchback on the 1980s…

The Peugeot 205 GTI was an absolute sensation when it arrived in 1986. Powered by a 1.6 litre engine making 104bhp, and later a 1.9 litre making over 120bhp, the GTI was fast, fun, and wildly popular.

So much so that, like Volkswagen’s offering, quite a few people wanted to have a go even if they didn’t own one. Hot hatchback thefts rocketed, shortly followed by insurance premiums, and sales plummeted.

But Peugeot can’t really be blamed for joy-riding scumbags, and the 205 GTI is now a bona-fide classic, a high water mark for the brand that they are still to beat some four decades later.

This wonderful Technic recreation of Peugeot’s finest hour comes from TLCB Master MOCer Nico71, who has captured the 205 GTI magnificently.

Featuring working steering, functional suspension, a detailed engine under an opening hood, a life-like interior behind opening doors, and an opening tailgate too, Nico’s 205 GTI is about as visually realistic as it’s possible for a Technic model to be.

Plus best of all – like the aforementioned scumbags that nearly killed the hot hatchback genre altogether – you can have a go without having to do the work yourself!

Yup, Nico has made building instructions available too, with his design buildable in ’80s-appropriate red, black or white, and you can take a closer look – as well as a find a link to those instructions – at Nico’s Peugeot 205 GTI gallery on Brickshelf.

Click the link above to start our ’80s joyride!

Anglo-French Relations

The British and French don’t often collaborate. In fact over much of their history it’s been quite the opposite, with the two countries regularly trying to blow one another up.

These days (and post-Brexit) there’s just a simmering dislike that only manifests itself in sport and stealing one another’s scallops, but despite this there have been some notable (and remarkable) collaborations between the two nations.

The longest under-sea tunnel in the world, the world’s first supersonic airliner, and Kristin Scott-Thomas are all worthy partnerships, and back in the 1930s Britain and France worked together on cars too.

This is the Bugatti Type 41 Park Ward, a luxurious grand limousine from the golden era of coach-building.

Park Ward, better known for re-bodying Rolls Royces, created this beautifully opulent vehicle upon Bugatti’s fourth Type 41 (Royale) chassis for Captain Cuthbert W. Foster, a department store heir, in 1933.

Still to this day one of the largest cars ever built, the car now resides in a museum in France, where it’s worth more than all the scallops in the English channel.

Fortunately Flickr’s 1corn has created one that – at 1:25 scale – is rather more attainable, and there’s more to see of his wonderful brick-built Bugatti Type 41 at his photostream; Click the link above to take the Channel Tunnel and fight over some marine molluscs.

My Other Car’s a Pick-Up

This quirky classic cabriolet is a Panhard Dyna Junior, a car about which we know absolutely nothing besides that it’s French. And therefore probably weird.

Built by previous bloggee monstermatou, this lovely ’50s two-seat convertible is constructed from the parts found within the LEGO 10290 Creator Expert Pickup Truck set, and like its donor set includes working steering, opening doors, hood and trunk.

There’s more of monstermatou’s excellent alternate to see at his photostream on Flickr; click the link above to head to ’50s France.

The Other Jaguar

This is the EBRC Jaguar, France’s new armoured reconnaissance & combat vehicle, and – according to builder Jordan Parmegiani (aka ParmBrick) – it’s equipped with electronic IED countermeasures and missile alert systems, a 40mm cannon, two MMP anti-tank guided missiles, a 7.62mm remote controlled machine gun, and eight smoke grenades. Which all sounds marvellous, but more importantly, being French, just look at how many poles there are to hang a white flag on! See more of Jordan’s Jaguar at both Eurobricks and Flickr via the links.

Big Hero 6

This is a 1950s Berliet T100, a French-built, V12-powered 6×6 truck, with a gross weight of over 100 tons, and it was the largest truck in the world.

Four T100s were built between 1957 and 1959, with three flatbeds (as depicted here) designed to take enormous pieces of equipment off-road to serve oil and gas exploration in Northern Africa, whilst the fourth was outfitted as a dump truck for use in a French uranium mine.

The trucks were powered by a 29.6 litre Cummins engine, supplemented by a smaller Panhard engine used to power the steering and as a generator, and delivered a power figure of between 600 and 700bhp. One T100 was even fitted with an experimental gas turbine for a while, before it reverted back to diesel power.

Nico71’s incredible Technic recreation of the Berliet T100 includes both of these engines, along with a fully working replica of the T100’s 6×6 drivetrain, with three L Motors (one for each axle), all-wheel suspension, and a Medium Motor powering a compressor that can pneumatically lock all three differentials.

A fifth motor drives the steering front axle, with a final M Motor powering a winch mounted at the back of the cab, able to drag equipment up the T100’s ramp for transportation.

All six motors can be operated via bluetooth thanks to a third party SBrick controller, providing Nico’s 1:20 scale 3kg model with an accurate scaled-down representation of the real Berliet T100’s off-road ability.

You can see Nico71’s amazing creation in action via the video below, and you can read full details about both the build and the history of the real 1950s Berliet T100 trucks at Nico’s excellent website, where a complete gallery of images and 550-page building instructions can also be found.

YouTube Video

Ardennes ’44

It must have been beautiful but bleak navigating the Ardennes in 1944. Nicholas Goodman has depicted the scene beautifully, with his tank advancing through the mud and ice, wonderfully recreated in brick form. Head to Nicholas’ photostream for the full image, and – as we do from time to time – click here for the other side of war.

Delightful Sedan

We’re not sure what ‘DS’ stands for these days, as Stellantis (what?) seems be using the brand solely in an attempt to charge 50% more for some extra chrome attached to decidedly average Citroens.

Deeply Cynical’? Wait, that’s not an ‘S’. ‘Dollar Signs’ perhaps? ‘Devoid of Substance’? Whatever it is, it isn’t working.

However a long time ago Citroen did used to produce the world’s best luxury cars, leading the way with hugely advanced technology, styling, and comfort.

This is one such car, the magnificent 1950s-1960s DS19, a car with front-wheel drive, hydro-pneumatic self-levelling suspension (with variable ride-height), power steering, a clutch-less gearbox, and disc brakes. All in 1955.

This beautifully presented Speed Champions recreation of the DS19 comes from Jonathan Elliott of Flickr, who has replicated the iconic French design wonderfully, even tapering the bodywork from 7 to 6 studs wide along the model’s length.

Jump to ’50s French luxury via the link above, and for comparison you can find one of DS’s current offerings here, where you can mutter dejectedly at it. Because they’re Depressingly Sardonic. Ah, that’s it!

Silver Snail

Small cars are different depending on where you live. Today’s other small car, a revolution in gas-guzzling America, had an engine more than three times the size of France’s equivalent.

France was in a rather different place after the Second World War though. Well, it was in the same place as it is now, but economically and infrastructurally it couldn’t have been more different from America, thanks to seeing the worst of the conflict.

The country therefore needed a small, cheap, reliable car that used the minimum of materials and ‘could cross a ploughed field’, or – we suspect more relevantly – a road network blown to bits by years of war.

With a two-cylinder engine around half a litre or less, easy maintenance, and minimal material costs, Citroen produced nearly 4 million 2CVs over a forty year production run, and – effectively – remobilised France.

This brilliant Town-scale replica of the ‘tin snail’ captures the iconic peoples’ car superbly, and it comes form previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott of Flickr. A myriad of curved plates has been deployed to capture a shape that was easy to make in metal, but fiendishly difficult to create in bricks, and bar the inappropriate tyres (get yourself some ’80s Town tyres Jonathan!) the result is about as good as it’s possible to get at this scale.

There’s more to see of Jonathan’s Citroen 2CV on Flickr, where this build and a host of other brilliant Town vehicles can be found. Click the link above to make the jump.

My Other Car’s a Camper

You may not be familiar with Matra, but they’re probably the most important car company you’ve never heard of. Enormously successful on track, Matra won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1969, and the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1972, ’73 and ’74. They designed the first MPV, the first crossover, and – for a while – they made this, the delightfully weird three-seat Bagheera sports car.

Powered by 1.3 or 1.5 litre Simca engines, the lightweight Bagheera was faster than most other European small sports cars of the time, and cheaper too. It was a trend-setter in other ways however, being appalling built to the point of winning the ‘Silver Lemon’ award in 1975 for poorest quality, which when combined with a chassis without any rust protection whatsoever, makes the Bagheera a very rare sight today.

One Bagheera that won’t rust is this excellent Model Team version by previous bloggee monstermatou, who has constructed his entirely from the parts found within the Creator 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper set. Following his stunning Citroen DS19 built for TLCB’s Lock-Down B-Model competition, Monster’s Matra continues his weird-French-cars-built-from-LEGO-sets theme, and his run of incredible B-Model builds that you can find at his photostream.

There’s more to see of monstermatou’s Matra Bagheera on Flickr via the link above, along with a host of other ace alternates including the aforementioned Citroen, a Morgan built from a Mini, and a Fiat 500 constructed from the same Camper set as this classic French oddball.

My Other Car’s a Mustang

LEGO’s brilliant 10265 Ford Mustang set is one of the finest additions to the Creator line-up yet. That it has spawned so many B-Models too, is testament to how great a set it really is. In fact, it inspired this whole competition.

Joining a host of other builders to use 10265 as their chosen set in TLCB’s Lock-Down B-Model Competition, Flickr’s monstermatou has taken the Mustang in a very different direction, recreating one of the most technologically advanced and unusual cars of all time; the glorious Citroen DS19.

Despite using only the parts from the 10265 Ford Mustang set, monstermatou has replicated the DS19’s spaceship exterior absolutely beautifully, from the roof-mounted indicators to the hidden rear wheels. The superb realism doesn’t stop with the outside either, as behind the four opening doors is a brilliant interior with a working steering wheel, a detailed engine sits underneath the opening hood, and even the trunk opens too.

Things are getting tough at the top for the competition judges, and if you’d like to enter your own B-Model into the competition (where the winner and runner up will receive some awesome prizes) there’s still plenty of time; entries close on June 30th.

Until then you can see more of monstermatou’s stunning Citroen DS19 at his photostream by clicking here, where you will not only find a huge gallery of pristine images, there is also a link to building instructions so you can build it for yourself, plus monstermatou has a whole range of other incredible B-Models to view!

Electric Egg

Today’s title may sound like something your Mom uses on the bus whilst reading Mills & Boon books, but it is in fact a car so ahead of its time they only made one.

Designed by French engineer Paul Arzens in 1942, the ‘L’Oeuf Electrique‘ (electric egg) was an incredible looking electric two seater with a range of 100km at 70km/h. That’s comparable with today’s electric city cars. In 1942! Sadly it never got made, but fast forward to 2020 at in many parts of the world it would do very well indeed. Just not in our home nation because it’s not a generically bland SUV. Sigh.

Found on, er… The Brothers Brick (TLCB Elves won’t look us in the eye at the moment), TLCB debutant aido k is the builder behind this marvellous Lego recreation of L’Oeuf and there’s more to see of Yesterday’s City Car of Tomorrow at his photostream via the link.

French Fishing

Despite it being on the news every day in TLCB’s home nation for three years, this website has so far managed to avoid taking about Brexit. We’ll segway neatly to it today though, because a) something might actually happen this month (but probably not) and b) this lovely digital French fishing vessel by Flickr’s Edouard Clo provides a neat Brexit metaphor.

OK, first the elephant in the room – yes this is a digital ‘build’ (boo), but it’s also so well rendered that it’s really hard to tell – only an error/glitch in the image below (see if you can spot it!) gives the game away.

The detail is astonishing though, particularly as this is mini-figure scale, with a brilliant hull, a beautifully recreated deck, plentiful equipment, and some French fisherman stationed aboard ready to throw rocks at the English. And on to the segway…

You see one of the reasons the English narrowly voted for Brexit was the EU allows anyone from within it to bid for fishing rights, which means there are parts of the UK where fisherman are not allowed to fish in their own waters because the quota has been given to boats from another country, despite generations of fishing families living and working off those waters for centuries.

However this rule works both ways, with English boats plundering the French coasts of their precious scallops all year, when the French are only allowed to fish for them during certain months. This has caused some annoyance in France to put it mildly.

This one industry sums up both the greatness and folly of the EU; Everyone is in one big happy family, where everyone has access to everything. Except for when people aren’t really happy at all because generations of traditions and livelihoods have been sacrificed for a common objective. And that leads to people sometimes throwing rocks at each other.

Still, the UK and France have a long and noble tradition of antagonising each other so all we need now is for someone to build a mini-figure scale English scallop trawler to enable a fair representation of both sides. Until then grab some rocks and set sail to intercept the thieving English pig-dogs!

Mechanical Mehari

Citroen are not known for their off-roaders. Ok, these days all they seem to make are – like every car company – SUVs, but they’re about as good off-road as Kim Kardashian is at plumbing.

However Citroen’s roots are far more off-roady than you might think; one of the 2CV’s key objectives was to cross a field without breaking any eggs.

And that’s where this comes in; the delightful 2CV-based Mehari.

Produced from the late ‘60s the Mehari was designed as a utilitarian two-wheel-drive off-roader (although four-wheel-drive versions followed) for civilian and military use, and – just like the models we have here – it was made out of plastic.

The models we have here come from TLCB favourite Nico71, who has recreated the Mehari beautifully in Technic form.

Nico’s design features steering, a removable roof, opening doors, hood and tailgate, and – most importantly – an accurate recreation of the Mahari’s superb suspension system.

There’s loads more to see of Nico’s wonderful build at his website by clicking here, where full details, an extensive image gallery, and building instructions are all available.