Tag Archives: Japan

Box Clever

Japan has two car markets; one for ‘normal’ cars like Corollas, Crowns and suchlike, and the other – the kei class – for vehicles such as these two.

Designed to ensure that car ownership in Japan’s tight streets and congested cities doesn’t completely break the road network, kei cars must measure less than 3.4m in length, 1.48m in width, and have an engine no bigger than 660cc (if powered by an internal combustion engine).

Denoted by their yellow number plates, kei cars benefit from lower taxation than regular cars, but they must comply with reduced speed limits too. Although that’s probably so they don’t fall over.

Over one in three cars sold in Japan are in the kei class, and the specs can be wild, with turbocharging, all-wheel-drive, and even convertible sports cars available.

Most kei cars however, look like these two; a box measuring exactly 3.4m long and 1.48m wide, precisely maximising the interior space within the permitted exterior dimensions.

The Daihatsu Move Canbus and the Honda N-Box Slash pictured here are both the work of Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg, who has constructed them in his trademark Miniland style.

Each packs as much detail as possible into a tiny package, which is appropriate, and there’s more of each build to see at Ralph’s photostream. Click the link above to see what’s inside the box.

Bōsōzoku!

Japan’s ‘Bōsōzoku’ scene is a sub-genre of car culture that we really don’t understand, but that we’re really glad exists. Ralph Savelsberg is too, having created this magnificent Bōsōzoku-ed Nissan Skyline C110 complete with a wild bodykit, skywards exhausts, and a cool-looking Japanese character to drive it. See more on Flickr at the link.

Tokyo Drift

None of the ‘Fast and the Furious’ movies are works of cinematic genius, and the third instalment ‘Tokyo Drift’ ranks below even the franchise average. However we do remember it was eminently watchable, mostly because of Nathalie Kelley, but also thanks to the ace Japanese machinery* used throughout the film.

This was our star car, the magnificent Mazda RX-7 VeilSide Fortune, as recreated here brilliantly in Technic form by ArtemyZotov of Eurobricks.

Built to full Technic Supercar specification, Artemy’s VeilSide RX-7 includes working steering, independent double wishbone suspension, a 4-speed sequential gearbox, and an incredible working recreation of the car’s twin-rotor wankel engine.

There are also opening doors, hood and trunk, working locks, plus a detailed interior and engine bay, and there’s much more to see at the Eurobricks forum, including a link to building instructions. Head sideways through the streets of Tokyo via the link above, and you can view a rundown of the features within Artemy’s stunning Mazda RX-7 VeilSide model in the video below.

YouTube Video

*And a Volkswagen Touran for some reason.

Wangan Midnight

If there’s an unmodified R32 Skyline GT-R in existence, we’re yet to see it. And so to today’s creation, which has also cast OEM originality aside in order to create something rather more special. Which does mean it features a few non-LEGO parts, but seeing is the real car upon which it’s based features a few non-Nissan ones, we think it’s alright.

Built by Gray Gear of Eurobricks, this Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 recreates the car from the Wangan Midnight cartoon, including custom wheels, a replica straight six engine refitted with a single-shot turbo, and a few bodywork parts not officially produced by LEGO, seeing as they don’t come in black.

The model also features a working six-speed gearbox, all-wheel-drive, all-wheel independent suspension, functioning steering, plus opening doors, hood and trunk. There’s more to see for all of that at the Eurobricks forum via the link above, whilst we fall deeper into the Wangan Midnight YouTube rabbit hole.

Striped Skyline

It’s an entirely Technic day today here at The Lego Car Blog, starting with this; LoMaC‘s neat Nissan Skyline R34, complete with a working six cylinder engine, steering, and opening doors, hood and trunk. Oh, and some Shelby-esque racing stripes, which means it gets the Elves’ seal of approval. Building instructions are available and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link.

300 ‘Z’s


Nissan’s current range of vehicles is about as interesting as a Brothers Brick parts cataloguing evening. Still, it used to be more noteworthy, particularly in the ‘90s when the brand made several sports cars and sports sedans, including this, the 300ZX.

This excellent Speed Champions style recreation of the 300ZX comes from regular blogger SP_LINEUP and there’s more to see at his photostream. Click the link above to view a Nissan that won’t send you to sleep, a maybe dream their rumoured new 400Z heralds a sports car return.

750

Another day, another Elf returns to TLCB Towers, and this time with something delightfully simple. Entitled ‘A Japanese 4-Cylinder 750cc Motorcycle from the 1980s’ this is tango-zero‘s Japanese 4-cylinder 750cc motorcycle from the 1980s. There’s only one image, it’s slightly grainy, and we love it. Head to Brickshelf via the link above to see it in full-size, alongside a few other lovely Model Team motorbikes from the same builder.

Japan’s First Supercar

This is the Toyota 2000GT, Japan’s first supercar, and surely one of the most beautiful cars ever made. Produced from 1967 to 1970, the 2000GT was developed in collaboration with Yamaha, a relationship the two firms have maintained ever since. Only a few hundred units were built, including two special convertible versions for the James Bond movie ‘You Only Live Twice’, and the car was raced extensively, setting multiple speed and endurance records in the late 1960s.

Toyota 2000GTs command an enormous sum today, but thanks to Matthew Terentev you could still get your hands on one, as his stunning Technic version is currently on LEGO Ideas vying to become an official LEGO set. Matthew has recreated the GT’s incredible bodywork superbly too, with his model every bit as swoopily gorgeous as the real thing. Working steering, the coolest pop-up headlights on a car ever, and a detailed engine and interior also feature, and there’s more to see at Matthew’s ‘Toyota 2000GT’ album on Flickr here, where you can also find a link to vote for it on LEGO Ideas.

Scooby Doo

This cartoonesque (hence the title) Subaru Impreza WRX STI was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today. It comes from previous bloggee Fuku Saku who has created the GC8 version of the car that featured in the Japanese phenomenon ‘Initial D’. There’s much more of Fuku’s Impreza to see at his Flickr album – click the link above to make the jump!

Zupra II

Toyota have been fiddling with their BMW-platformed A90 Supra, most notably by jumping power by around 10%, so it finally surpasses the old A80 version. SP_LINEUP has been fiddling with his A90 Supra too, and it looks even better in white than it did in blue. Instructions are available and you can find them and more of SP’s brilliant Speed Champions creations via the link above.

Blue Monday*

We round off today’s creations with one of our very favourite vehicles ever, the Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40. Created by TLCB Regular Simon Przpiorka (aka SP_LINEUP) this gorgeous 1:24 Lego replica of the legendary 4×4 evolves his previous tan version with the addition of a bright blue paint job, one of the FJ’s most iconic hues, and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link.

*Title song. Naturally.

Japfest

The Elves have been working hard lately, and we have a bumper haul for you today. These are two of their finds, both ’90s Japanese sports cars, both roughly Speed Champions scale, and – most importantly – both with pop-up headlights.

SP_LINEUP‘s modified Nissan 240SX (above) and dazzz99‘s Honda NSX (below) capture the details of their real-life counterparts brilliantly, and remind us of a time when Japanese cars were at then top of their game.

Click the links above to head back to the ’90s.

Mod My Mazda

OK, we’ll come right out with it. This incredible 1:8 scale Mazda RX-7 with RE:Amemiya bodykit isn’t strictly, entirely, 100% LEGO. But that’s only because LEGO don’t make all the parts in the right colours. Builder Gray Gear has therefore used a few clone brands to complete his creation, with the white wheel-arches and white pins not part of LEGO’s range. Switch them for orange and black respectively though, and Gray’s Mazda can be built with genuine LEGO parts.

However it seems almost appropriate that Gray Gear’s model uses a few non-genuine pieces as his RX-7 also features an RE:Amemiya bodykit, which isn’t exactly a Mazda factory option…

Underneath that wild exterior Gray has created a working two-rotor engine, replicating the unusual set-up of the real RX-7, which is hooked up to a functioning 6-speed gearbox. Working steering, all-wheel independent suspension, and opening doors and hood also feature, and you can see more of all of the above at the Eurobricks discussion forum where further images and a video displaying the model’s features can be found.

Gray is also considering making instructions available should you wish to create his RX-7 RE:Amemiya for yourself. You’ll have to build it in orange if you want to use purely official LEGO pieces, but we think it’ll look rather excellent if you do! Head to Eurobricks via the link above to take a look and pester Gray for those building steps…

Ken & Mary

This is a 1970s C110-series Nissan Skyline GT-R, known as the ‘Kenmeri’ because the advertising campaign for the C110 Skyline featured a couple called Ken and Mary. Yes, really. Still, Nissan’s marketing department were to take British old people’s names literally soon after, with the ‘Silvia’, ‘Gloria’, and even the ‘Cedric’.

Back to the C110 GR-R, which was only sold for 6 months – and only in the Japanese domestic market – before the oil crisis of 1973 ended sales at less than 200 units. High performance cars were looked down upon in Japan during the crisis and the Kenmeri was quickly pulled from production, making it an incredibly rare car today.

TLCB regular Jonathan Elliott has added one more C110 GT-R to the list though, with this brilliant 7-wide Speed Champions style recreation of Nissan’s rarest Skyline variant. Jonathan has captured the real car beautifully there’s more to see at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

A Greater Godzilla

Here at TLCB we whole-heartedly welcome the addition of Nissan to the LEGO Speed Champions line-up, and hope it leads to a few more partnerships with Japanese auto makers (Honda or Toyota anyone?). However the first officially licensed Nissan set – the 76896 Nissan GT-R NISMO – is not LEGO’s best effort, with more detail derived from decals than actual bricks. Still, if we were 7 we’d absolutely love it.

Cue previous bloggee Simon Przepiorka, now known as SP_LINEUP, who has constructed his own 8-wide Nissan GT-R, and it’s superb. With not a sticker to be seen SP has successfully captured all of the GT-R’s design hallmarks in wonderful accuracy, and his model features opening doors and an opening hood too.

There’s much more of SP’s brilliant Nissan GT-R NISMO to see at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump to an altogether better GT-R.