Tag Archives: Japan

Slightly Larger Skyline

Not all Skylines are equal… You may know the Nissan Skyline as the all-wheel-drive turbocharged supercar killer, but the reality is it’s much more than that. By ‘more’, we might also mean ‘less’ though, as this boring 1600cc estate car is in fact a Nissan Skyline.

The Skyline name in Japan (and elsewhere) is used on standard family boxes as well as the turbocharged monsters that were exported to Europe and America, which are based on these humble beginnings.

This particular Skyline is a C110 series, produced from 1972 to 1977 and marketed as the Datsun K-Series in some export markets. A GT-R version was available, fitted with a 2000cc straight-six, but most were 1600 and 1800cc inline-fours making well under 100bhp. The estate, as built here by previous bloggee Matthew Terentev, was a peculiar thing in that it had no windows between the C and D pillars, making it sort of a van. Until we looked this up we had assumed Matthew had chosen to blank off the rear windows to hide the Power Functions remote control components that he has fitted to his model.

As it turns out, his design is remarkably accurate and one that’s worth a closer look. You can do just that at his Nissan Skyline 1800 Wagon album on Flickr. Click the link above for the most boring route into Skyline ownership…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Almost a Corona

Toyotas don’t always have the most fortunate names. There’s the ISIS, the BJ, and the perfectly-acceptable-until-recently Corona. Which is now a deadly virus. Oops. The name Corona actually means ‘crown’, just like Toyota’s Corolla, Camry, and, er… Crown.

It’s the Crown we have here, which means essentially the same thing as Corona, but doesn’t evoke the ongoing mass morbidity of the elderly. This Lego version of the Crown comes from Ralph Savelsberg of Flickr who has recreated the Japanese saloon in Tokyo Police specification, complete with authentic decals and the odd raising light-bar on the roof.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s Toyota Crown police car at his photostream via the link above, which has gotta be better than a Corona. Probably not a BJ though…

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Acceptable in the ’80s

Some things were acceptable in the ’80s. Perms. Sexism. Straight lines. And turbos. Everything had the word ‘turbo’ written on it, even sunglasses. However the Honda City Turbo II did actually have a turbo attached to its little 1,200cc engine, giving it 100bhp. Nearly.

It was also designed entirely using straight lines, as was the minute Honda Motocompo folding scooter, a vehicle so small it could actually fit in the trunk of the City Turbo II, as proven in this magnificent ’80s commercial.

Despite being borne in the ’80s the Motocompo didn’t have a turbo, producing just 2.5bhp from its 49cc engine. Still, we bet even that was pretty terrifying. We’ll stick to the City Turbo II, which we’ve decided we really want in real life. But we are a bit odd.

These superb Model Team recreations of both the Honda City Turbo II and Motocompo scooter come from Dylan Denton, who has built each ’80s icon beautifully. Both models feature wonderful attention to detail (enhanced by accurately replicated decals) inside and out, and are absolutely worth a closer look.

Head to Tokyo c1983 courtesy of Dylan’s photostream via the link in the text above!

*Today’s title song

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Red Rice

We’re not sure where the term ‘ricer’ came from in America, but today it’s defined as ‘Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements’, which means it seems to have transcended any xenophobic origins and can be used to describe any car modified in a ‘ricey’ way.

What we do know is that three favourites recipients of the term, at least according to the internet, are the Toyota Supra (specifically the Mk4 variant), the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and the Honda Civic, each of which has been recreated brilliantly in lightly-riced form by TLCB regular SP_LINEUP.

Each includes opening doors and hood, plus a detailed interior and engine bay, and some can be bought from SP in kit form too. Click the link above to visit SP’s photostream to see more of each build and the rest of his extensive back-catalogue.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Creating Amazing

The current Lexus tagline might be pure marketing waffle, but it does link nicely to today’s creation. This is Lasse D’s stunning Lexus LFA, a model that first appeared here back in 2017. Built as a commissioned piece for Toyota Motor Europe, Lasse has refined his design (as shown by the white version below) and has now made instructions available, so you can build Japan’s amazing supercar for yourself. Head to Eurobricks via this link to see more images, a video of Lasse’s commissioned project, and to find that all important link to instructions!

Tagged , , , , , ,

The Answer’s Always Miata

Whatever the question, the answer is always Miata. Or MX-5 if you’re not American. Or Eunos if you’re in Japan. But you get the point. Light, reliable, fast enough, and able to go sideways, the Miata/MX-5/Eunos is very probably the greatest sports care ever made. This is SP_LINEUP‘s Speed Champions scale recreation of the second generation of Mazda’s iconic two seater roadster, and it captures the look of the real car beautifully, with opening doors, hood and a removable roof too. SP has made instructions for his design available should you wish to build your own and you can find these and further images at his photostream via the link above.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Crown

Many cities and countries are known for having an iconic taxi. London has the Black Cab, although it’s now vastly outnumbered by Prius Ubers, New York had the Ford Crown Victoria, until it was replaced by Nissan vans, Camrys and the Prius, and Mexico had the Volkswagen Beetle, now superseded by boring Asian boxes including, you’ve guessed it, the Prius. There’s a theme here…

Fortunately (and perhaps ironically) Japan still has its iconic taxi cab, the Toyota Crown Comfort, complete with its amazing automatically opening rear doors. Built right up until 2017, the Crown has served as Japan’s taxi for over two decades. It’s finally being retired though, replaced by a bespoke Toyota taxi design that will probably end up becoming even more iconic, and which owes more than a little to its London counterpart.

The Comfort will be around for a while yet though, weird doors and all, and you can hail a ride in Ralph Savelsberg‘s brilliant Miniland scale replica via the link above.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

You Say Tomato, I Say Yamato

This is a Toyota Quick Delivery Hybrid, as used by Japan’s ‘Yamato’ delivery company. Plus there are some monks for some reason*.

Built by TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg, the Quick Delivery (it does what it says on the tin we suppose!) is not our usual fodder, but it’s a most excellent build. Ralph’s trademark blend of superb techniques have allowed him to recreate the odd asymmetric Toyota brilliantly, including its sliding cab doors and a fully racked cargo area.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s Yamato-liveried Toyota Quick Delivery Hybrid on Flickr via the link above, you can hear today’s title song by clicking these words, and you can find out what that *asterisk is referring to by clicking here.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Godzilla’s Return

Nissan have joined LEGO’s awesome Speed Champions line-up for 2020 with a set that’s a bit… stickery. The official 76896 Nissa GT-R NISMO set will no doubt fly off the shelves, seeing as seven-year-olds a) love the GT-R and b) love stickers, but we’re not sure that using decals for even basic shapes such as headlights is really the point of LEGO. Flickr’s Simon Przepiorka (now known by SP_LINEUP) agrees, and as such has created his own 1:24 scale R35 GT-R with bricks* rather than sticky pictures. Matching LEGO’s own 8-stud wide Speed Champions sets, Simon’s Lego Godzilla looks far more appealing than the one you can buy, and you can take a closer look at his photostream via the link above.

*Save for a red pin-stripe and the fact that the images look suspiciously digital…

Tagged , , , , , ,

Vote for Smoke

It’s election night here in TLCB’s home nation, and here is a Toyota Corolla Trueno AE86 pictured in a full ‘Initial D’ drift. Is it swinging from right to left, heading perilously close to the cliff-edge, crashing-out, or gaining a conservative majority? OK, that last analogy didn’t work, but we’re quite proud of the first three! Previous bloggee Simon Przepiorka, now known as SP_LINEUP, is the builder behind this most excellent scene and you can cast your ballot, er… we mean see more of his brilliant drifting Initial D AE86 on Flickr via the link above.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Initial D AE86

Just like people, some cars are born into greatness. They might have limited talent and have achieved little, but a family name goes a long way (we’re looking at you Bentley Bentayga and Rolls Royce Cullinan). Others have become great, either through their own endeavour or through blind luck and a random affiliation. This is the story of the latter.

The Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno was a good car in the same way that most Japanese cars of the 1980s were; well priced, fuel efficient, and far more reliable than its American or European counterparts.

And that is where the story should have ended, with the AE86 just another Japanese compact quietly getting on with not breaking down or falling apart. But in 1995 the AE86 got a shot at fame. At ten years old it became the star of a Japanese comic called ‘Initial D’, in which 18-year old Takumi Fujiwara slid sideways up mountain passes delivering food behind the wheel of his father’s AE86 Sprinter Trueno.

By 1999 ‘Initial D’ had become an anime production, viewed not just in Japan but around the world, and Toyota’s humble hatchback – now long out of production – had become a megastar. The popularity of drifting has continued unabated, leading to the AE86 becoming one of the most sought-after and iconic Japanese cars in history.

This superb recreation of the Toyota Corolla AE86 as it appeared in ‘Initial D’ comes from Peter Blackert (aka lego911) of Flickr, who has captured the world-famous car brilliantly in Lego. His design appears in the new book ‘How to Build Brick TV and Movie Cars’, which includes building instructions for the Sprinter Trueno pictured here (along with many other iconic cars) so that you can create your own version at home for drifting around your desk.

Peter’s Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno model is available to view at his photostream via the link above, and you can find the book in which the instructions for this model features by clicking here.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bolt from the Blue

Those of you with good memories will known that Simon Przepiorka‘s excellent slighlty-larger-than-Speed-Champions-scale Honda S2000 has appeared at The Lego Car Blog before. Back in March Simon’s model featured here sporting an Amuse bodykit, about which we wrote “Whether you like that addition or not will be a matter of taste (TLCB Elves and TLCB staff differ somewhat here…)”.

Simon has now updated his AP1 S2000 for those of us who aren’t TLCB Elves (or aged seven), by removing the aforementioned bodykit, lightly modifying the fenders, and fitting a great looking black hardtop.

As before Simon’s Honda includes opening doors and an opening hood, under which sits an easily removable F20C engine, famous for its bolt-activated high-lift cam system and 9000rpm redline. He’s also made instructions available should you wish to build your own version of his design and you can find the link to them, plus see all of the superb imagery, at Simon’s Flickr photostream. Click the link above to take a closer look.

Tagged , , , , , ,

“You Can Push it Across the Finish Line… Or You Could Tow it”

This car as a lot to answer for. Arriving as a wreck in the first ‘The Fast and the Furious’ movie, prompting Jesse’s quote above, Brian’s MkIV Supra Targa became one of the most famous cars on the planet. At least with fourteen year old keyboard warriors.

‘The Fast and the Furious’ franchise has gone on, nine movies later and counting, to become Universal’s highest grossing franchise. With $15 billion in the bank and an untold number of terrible plot lines to continue (seriously, how many dead characters/bad guys are going to return/turn good and join the team?) it seems Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson will have a lot more cheques to cash yet.

The Supra meanwhile, took a (seventeen year) break, but now it’s back too (and has surely got to feature in the next movie?). The aforementioned fourteen year old keyboard warriors hate it, because it’s not the car from the first movie, but by all accounts the MkV Supra is actually bloody good.

Anyway, back to the first film – but far from the first Supra – and Brian’s modified MkIV, recreated here beautifully in Speed Champions-esque style by TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka, complete with the slightly silly livery made famous in the movie, an enormous wing, and whole heck of a bodykit.

There’s more of Simon’s Toyota Supra MkIV from ‘The Fast and the Furious’ to see at his photostream – click the link above to do a 1/4 mile in 10 seconds…

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Rocket Bunnied NSX

When tuning companies take their hammers to supercars they usually get it very wrong (see here, here and here, and try not to be sick), but there is one exception; Rocket Bunny. Founded in Japan by Tops Racing Arts Kyoto, Rocket Bunny kits are produced in a humble little workshop, with careful attention to detail and a few of very ordinary cars parked outside – the very opposite of the flashy (and hideous) European tuners above. The results have become world-renowned, and there are few tuning brands cooler than Rocket Bunny anywhere right now.

This brilliant Lego recreation of a Rocket Bunnied Honda NSX comes from TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka, who has not only captured the brand’s signature look to near perfection, he’s made instructions available so that you can too. Head to Simon’s photostream via the link above for the full gallery and to find the all-important instructions link.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Nissan Skyline R34 GTR | Picture Special

Is there a car more over-hyped by annoying children than the Toyota Supra? No. But this comes close. It is of course the Nissan Skyline GTR R34, a car made more famous than it already was by a certain once-quite-good-but-now-fudging-terrible movie franchise.

The R34 Skyline launched in 1998, lasting just a few short years into the early 2000s before the GT-R evolved to became a standalone model and Skylines went back to being fairly boring sedans. Power came from a twin-turbo straight-6 making ‘276’ bhp, which was sent to all four wheels via an immensely clever all-wheel-drive system, allowing the GT-R to slay far more expensive machinery at the track and turning average drivers into good ones overnight.

This spectacular Model Team replica of the late-’90s legend comes from TLCB Master MOCer and all-round car building genius Firas Abu-Jaber, who has not only recreated the GT-R R34 perfectly in its stock form but has also added the prerequisite tuning accessories that seem to accompany it, from big wings and bigger turbos to bodykits and NO2 canisters (if you think that should say ‘NOS’ go back to school).

There’s a whole lot more of Firas’s incredible Nissan Skyline GT-R to see at his Flickr album by clicking here, where a link to yes, instructions, can also be found, and a certain blue version from a once-quite-good-but-now-fudging-terrible movie franchise is also due to appear…

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: