Tag Archives: Italy

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.

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.

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

The Last Good Lancia

Lancia’s current range of one solitary ugly car is probably the most pathetic of any car manufacturer alive today. But it wasn’t always like that.

Back in the 1990s Lancia was still, er… troubled, but nevertheless capable of absolute magic, and this was one of their most magical moments.

The Lancia Delta HF Integrale was the final evolution of a humble (and rather good) hatchback that started life way back in the late 1970s, eventually becoming a turbocharged all-wheel-drive rally homologation special.

The HF Integrale is now a seriously sought after car, which Eurobricks member Pingubricks has recreated beautifully in Model Team form. There are opening doors (no mean feat considering the wide-arch bodywork), an opening hood under which sits a detailed engine, and a realistic interior too.

An impressive suite of further imagery can be found at the rather underused Eurobricks ‘Scale Modelling’ forum; click the link to jump to see more of Pingu’s brilliant brick-built homage to one of Lancia’s finest moments.

Itsa Me – Mario!

And Ima here to ruin your day!

No one wants to be blue shelled, but it looks like we’re going to be thanks to Cecilie Fritzvold‘s ‘Iron Builder’ entry. Mario’s kart might just be two wheels, a steering wheel, and an ‘M’ badge for all we can see, but so wonderfully edited is this shot it’s all it needs.

Join the race via the link above and cross your fingers for a Starman power-up!

Scorpion King

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.

Lancia Delta HF Integrale – Picture Special

The most remarkable Italian car manufacturer is not Ferrari. Lancia’s story is one of incredible technical innovation, fantastic racing cars, an appalling corrosion scandal, and now – effectively – their death at the hands of a parent company that really should try harder.

However even during Lancia’s painful decline they still produced the best cars in the world. This is one of them, the amazing Delta HF Integrale.

Based on Lancia’s 1980 ‘European Car of the Year’-winning family hatchback, the HF Integrale added turbocharging and all-wheel-drive, and in doing so became the most successful rally car in history. By the time it was retired the HF Integrale had won six consecutive Constructors World Championships (a record that is still unbeaten), fuelling the sales of over forty thousand road-going versions.

These two incredible recreations of the HF Integrale are the work of newcomer Zeta Racing, and they are – without doubt – some of the best Technic Supercars that we have ever published.

Each is spectacularly detailed both inside and out, merging both Technic and System parts to create an almost unbelievable level of realism. Stunning period-correct decals add to the authenticity, yet the exteriors – astonishing though they are – aren’t the most impressive aspect of Zeta Racing’s builds. For that you need to look underneath…

Hidden within each build is some of the most brilliant Technic engineering we’ve seen, with both Deltas qualifying for ‘Technic Supercar’ status, with working steering, gearboxes, highly detailed transversely-mounted inline 4-cylinder engines, and working suspension. But the functionally does not stop there.

Each model is also fully remote controlled thanks to LEGO Power Functions motors, operating the drive, steering, gears, and – if we’ve interpreted the images correctly – equipping Zeta’s creations with working brakes too.

It seems that in Zeta Racing we may have found our favourite new builder of 2020, and if you agree you can take a look at both his white and black Lancia Delta HF Integrales via the links, where you can also add yourself to his current ‘follower’ count of one (which is only us at present).

Zeta Racing has also uploaded several other astonishing Technic Supercars alongside these two incredible HF Integales, mostly of the Italian hatchback variety, which we’ll be publishing here over the coming days. Check back here for more soon, including some you may never have heard of…

I 4C a Failure

The Alfa Romeo 4C is not a good car. But it is gorgeous, so we still want one, if only to look at it. It’s also one of Alfa Romeo’s many recent failures, partly because the car wasn’t very good, and partly because these days buyers only seem to want an angry German saloon car with a twin-turbo V8, six million horsepower, and no driving feel or real-world relevance whatsoever.

Which is a mighty shame, because it means lightweight, small sports cars like the admittedly mediocre 4C and the thoroughly brilliant Alpine A110 are bombing commercially, and soon all we’ll have is angry German saloons.

This fantastic Model Team Alfa Romeo 4C comes from previous bloggee Noah_L, who has created one the most beautiful (and difficult to replicate) modern automotive shapes to near perfection from fairly basic LEGO parts. In fact the two flex tubes that form the bonnet and grille may be the neatest solution to the 4C’s shape that we have seen yet, and a technique we think we’ll start to see on all sorts of Lego cars in the future.

Noah’s model also includes a detailed interior behind the opening doors and an accurate recreation of the mid-mounted 1750cc turbocharged 4-cylinder engine under the rear hatch, and there are loads more stunning images to view at his Alfa Romeo 4C album on Flickr. Click the link above to take a look, which – to be honest – is all the actual 4C is really for anyway.

Lancia-Italia Fulvia HF Rally Car | Picture Special

It’s not often that TLCB Team are stunned by a model brought back by one of our smelly little workers. We are of course experienced professionals, experts in Lego creations, and with a wealth of building talent ourselves. Oh, sorry – that’s the Brothers Brick – we’re still as incompetent as ever, but nevertheless it takes a lot to genuinely excite us, so blasé have we become through years of blogging. Today however, we are all spectacularly impressed, thanks to All.About.Lego and his amazing Technic Lancia Fulvia HF rally car.

Built for the current Eurobricks small car contest, this incredible recreation of one of rallying’s all-time-greats not only looks absolutely wonderful (and superbly accurate, despite being the difficulty of being a Technic build), it features more working functionality than models five times its size. So much in fact, that this tiny Lancia really is a Technic ‘Supercar’.

A working V4 engine is driven by the front-wheels (yup, the fronts, as per the real Fulvia and we have no idea how All.About.Lego has managed it), whilst a rear-mounted gearbox (technically a two-speed transaxle) can be controlled via the cabin gearstick.

Working leaf-spring suspension and functioning steering feature too, completing the Technic ‘Supercar’ necessities, plus the model features opening doors, hood and trunk, as well as an accurate period livery complete with superbly replicated decals.

It’s a phenomenal build and one that will start a riot here in TLCB office if it doesn’t win the Eurobricks Small Car Contest. Head to Flickr or the Eurobricks forum to see more of All.About.Lego’s spellbinding creation and LEGO, make this a set please! We’ll buy eight.

Small Supercar

This brilliant little Technic Ferrari F40 was discovered by one of our Elves today, and it continues the run of excellent small-scale supercars being generated by the Eurobricks Small Car contest. Built by previous bloggee paave it features a wealth of functionality that you’d normally expect to find in a model much larger, including a working V8 engine, steering, pop-up headlights, and opening doors, front truck and clamshell engine cover. There’s more to see at the Eurobricks forum and you can make the jump there via the link above.

Fabulous Forty

This post’s title can be found on any number of slightly tragic birthday cards for those hitting their forth decade, but who are still drinking like they’re twenty-three. Ferrari’s 40th birthday was far classier. A present to themselves, they created this; the carbon fibre, twin turbo-charged F40, and in doing so produced one of the greatest supercars of all time.

This incredible replica of Ferrari’s fortieth birthday present is the work of ZetoVince of Flickr, who has recreated the iconic late ’80s supercar in stunning detail. Taking the wheels, but little else, from the official Creator 10248 Ferrari F40 set, Zeto has upped the realism considerably, with a huge array of ingenious building techniques used to accurately recreate the real car.

Further images of ZetoVince’s beautiful Ferrari F40 are available to view at his Flickr photostream – click the link above to make the jump and join the party.

Not Everything in the ’70s was Brown

Cars in the 1970s tended to look like this. Or this. Or this. Or this. And then the Lamborghini Countach came along, from space.

Launched in 1974 the world hadn’t seen anything like it, and the car instantly became a cult bedroom wall icon. It’s fortunate however, that most people know the Countach from a poster rather than from driving one, because they would probably be rather disappointed.

Why not stick to this then, Jerac‘s incredible Model Team replica of the 1970s icon. Jerac has captured the Countach’s wild shape to perfection and he’s even made instructions available so you can build your very own. Which means you can own a Countach for the looks without having to drive one, which really is what the car is all about.

Head to Jerac’s photostream via the link above to find of all his superb images plus a link to building instructions too.

ZondaRRRR

The Pagani that sounds like it was named by pirates, the Zonda R was the Zonda’s finale; a track-only, fifteen-run special edition that was effectively a test-bed for what would become the Hyaura. You’re unlikely ever to even see an R, let alone drive one, so 3D supercarBricks has the next best thing in thus stunning brick-built replica. Now updated with a blog-worthy image there’s more to see at 3D’s ‘Pagani’ album on Flickr – take a look via the link above.

Creator Expert 10271 Fiat 500 | Set Preview

An Italian LEGO set that isn’t a supercar! LEGO’s successful line of officially licensed sets has been a properly exciting shift in the brand’s strategy, bringing real-world cars to bedroom floors everywhere. Beginning with Ferrari, a host of brands have joined the line-up, with fellow Italian supercar manufacturer Lamborghini one of the most recent new additions.

However despite Ferrari being the first car maker to partner with LEGO, their parent company Fiat have been oddly absent. Perhaps Fiat’s current range of distinctly mediocre offerings doesn’t lend itself too well to models that people would want to buy. Fiat 500L anyone?

However Fiat’s back-catalogue is far more interesting, with the original 500 being one of the most loved and well known classic cars of all time. A perfect candidate to be recreated as a Creator Expert set then, joining contemporaries such as the Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle.

LEGO’s new 10271 Fiat 500 set brings the iconic Italian city car to life in brick, with 960 of them forming the 500’s famous silhouette, many of which appear in this gorgeous primrose yellow hue for the first time.

Bespoke period-correct Fiat decals, opening doors hood and engine cover, a detailed interior, and a boot-mounted travel case all feature, as does – weirdly – an easel with a Fiat 500 painting placed upon it. Now if only the painting had an easel in the background of its Fiat 500, which of course would depict a Fiat 500 with an easel in the background… A thought that like that can break your brain.

Despite the moderate piece count the new 10271 Fiat 500 set will be one of the smaller models in the Creator Expert range, measuring 24cm long and 11cm wide – suitably befitting of the original car’s tiny dimensions – and will cost around $90/£75 when it goes on sale in March of 2020. In a line-up that was perhaps becoming a bit supercar-heavy, we think the addition of something small, slow, and classic is a fantastic choice. Top marks LEGO!

Light Artillery

Lego SPA TL17

This is an SPA TL.37, a light artillery tractor built by a subsidiary of Fiat during the Second World War for Royal Italian Army. Powered by a huge 4-litre 4-cylinder engine, with four wheel drive and four wheel steering, able to climb a 40-degree slope, and capable of 40km/h whilst pulling 75 or 100mm artillery pieces, it looks like a seriously fun vehicle for gadding about in the desert. Unfortunately for the Axis Powers their gadding about in the desert did not go well, but that’s not exactly the fault of SPA TL.37. There’s more to see of this one courtesy of Rebla of Flickr – click here to take a look.

Lego SPA TL.37