Tag Archives: Japan

My Fat Lady

The Nissan/Datsun 280Z/Fairlady Z was never quite as pretty as its 240/260Z predecessors. However previous bloggee SP_LINEUP aims to address this by making his 280Z Fairlady well… a bit fatter. Unlike your Mom however, SP’s Fairlady Z wears its wider bodywork superbly, with black arch extensions, a front splitter, and phat exhaust. There’s more to see of SP’s modified Datsun on Flickr – click the link above to make the jump.

FJ40

If there’s one 4×4 cooler than the Land Rover Defender, this is it. The Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 is an off-roading icon, and thus – like all things old and Japanese – it’s now worth about a million pounds.

However with the news that Toyota have become the latest auto manufacturer to partner with LEGO, we may one day see an official Land Cruiser set, which will be a far more attainable way to FJ40 ownership for this TLCB Writer, even with immense fame, glory and groupies that working for this site brings…

Until then though, regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott has created a Speed Champions scale Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 so good we doubt LEGO will do any better should they decide to produce one. And it’s yellow.

Glorious attention to detail and ingenious building techniques are in evidence everywhere you look, and there’s more to see of Jonathan’s brilliant FJ40 at his photostream via the link.

6-Wide Speed

Building an instantly recognisable vehicle from Lego bricks isn’t always easy, and it becomes increasingly difficult the smaller the scale becomes. That’s why LEGO have recently upped the size of their Speed Champions sets, to better capture the real-world cars they aim to imitate (with varying degrees of success).

Cue previous bloggee RGB900, who has not only constructed this immediately identifiable Honda NSX, he’s even managed to do so in the ‘old’ 6-wide Speed Champions scale. A few of the building techniques probably wouldn’t pass LEGO’s requirements for an official set, but there are no sticker-based cheats here!

There’s more to see of RGB’s excellent NSX on Flickr, and you can do just that via the link above.

New Sports Experimental

Honda’s current range of drab uninspiring boxes shows just how far a manufacturer can fall from their height.

Back in the 1990s Honda were on top of the world, winning Formula 1 races, building exceptionally popular cars most of which had a fun version, and even pioneering Hybrid technology before – for reasons unknown – looking that gift horse in the mouth.

All of which makes Honda’s current range of cars look narcoleptic by comparison. We mean, just look at this one.

No car highlights how far Honda’s slide into dismal mediocrity has come from than this; the amazing Honda NSX.

Built to be an everyday supercar, the NSX wasn’t massively fast (although little was back in 1990), but it was joyously engineered, comfortably beating Ferrari, Lamborghini and others in terms of its technical accomplishment.

Despite this, badge snobbery was just as prevalent in the 1990s as it is today, and the NSX was largely overlooked in favour of the established (and worse) competition. Not so now, where NSXs (and all cars from Japan’s heyday) are in serious demand, perhaps helped by the fact that Honda now make absolutely nothing exciting whatsoever.

This means that Honda’s spectacular engineering masterpiece is now way out of reach of us here at The Lego Car Blog, despite the vast fame and riches that blogging Lego models brings.

Cue TLCB debutant Pingubricks, who has recreated Honda’s finest moment brilliantly in brick form. Pingu’s Model Team NSX captures the design of the real car wonderfully, and there are opening doors, trunk, engine cover, and even working pop-up head lights via a lever in the cabin too!

There’s more to see of Pingu’s spectacular Honda NSX at the Eurobricks forum, and you can join us there via the link in the text above.

The Best Car Ever!*

*Well, according to The Straight Pipes at least.

Lexus are a curious car company. They make immensely dull econo-boxes like this, the ugliest car in the entire world, Jeremy Clarkson’s favourite car of all time, and then this; the stunning LC500, described by The Straight Pipes as the best car they’ve ever driven.

That might be going a bit far, but an atmospheric V8 in a car that looks like a concept from 2035 is quite a rare thing, so maybe they have a point.

This superb Model Team version of Lexus’ current flagship comes from previous bloggee Lasse Deleuran (aka gtahelper) who, um… owns one of Lexus’ dull econo-boxes. Still, his real-life Lexus CT200h is the same shade of red as his brilliant LC500 model, so they have at least one thing in common other than the badge.

There’s more of Lasse’s fiendishly complicated and utterly wonderful Lexus LC500 Coupe to see on Brickshelf, and you can take a look via the link in the text above.

SuperGreat

Unlike today’s other off-road truck post, this one certainly doesn’t have a bland name. The Mitsubishi Fuso SuperGreat FX 6×6 is an off-road military tow truck, depicted here in Technic Japanese Self Defence Force form.

All six wheels are driven by a Medium Motor, the steering is powered by a combination of a  Medium and a Micro Motor, whilst the crane rotation, elevation, extension, and outriggers are all controlled manually.

Leaf-spring suspension features too and there’s more to see courtesy of LXF (Brickshelf) / syclone (Eurobricks) via the links.

I Owe You a 10 Second Car

‘The Fast & The Furious’ has a lot to answer for. Terrible dialogue, questionable physics, and finding a way (any way*) to keep characters going throughout the series (however absurd) are standard action-movie faux-pas, but the film franchise has had a larger and more irritating impact on the minds of internet commenters.

What? The new Supra doesn’t have a 2JZ? Not a Supra! What? The new Supra doesn’t have 1,000bhp from the factory? Not a Supra! What? The new Supra shares parts with BMW? Not a Supra!

OK internet commenters, here goes; The A80 Supra is not the fastest most awesomest car ever made. It was fairly fat cruiser for fairly fat people, with an engine that you could also get in a Toyota station wagon. Putting ‘NOS’ in it won’t give it 1,000bhp, and to get that power you’d need the world’s laggiest single-shot turbo, making the car borderline undrivable on the street.

Right, now that’s cleared up, here’s the fastest most awesomest car ever made, with ‘NOS’ and 1,000bhp.

Brian O’Conner’s modified A80 Toyota Supra Targa has become possibly the most revered movie car of all time, setting the stage for a dozen mostly terrible ‘Fast & Furious’ sequels, blasting fourth-generation Supra values into the stratosphere, and creating an unsurmountable barrier of hype for any future cars wearing the nameplate.

This glorious recreation of O’Conner’s A80 Supra brings the iconic movie car to life in full ‘Technic Supercar’ specification, with working suspension, gearbox, steering, and a replica 2JZ engine.

More importantly builder spiderbrick has faithfully replicated the slightly weird livery, bodykit, roll cage, nitrous system, and huge rear wing found on the movie car to such perfection that we can almost hear Dominic Toretto breathing the word ‘family‘ for the six-hundredth time for no discernible reason.

There’s loads more of Spider’s ‘The Fast & the Furious’ Toyota Supra A80 to see at his Brickshelf album, including a link to a video showing the model’s features, plus engine and chassis images. Click the link above to live your life a 1/4 mile at a time…

*Bad guy turns good? Check. Back from the dead? Check. Bad guy turns good again? Check.

New Sportscar Experimental

Honda’s NSX broke new ground when it launched in 1990. Whilst not the fastest or the most exotic supercar, it brought reliability and usability to a vehicular segment that had – in some cases – completely ignored these attributes in favour of silly doors.

This of course meant that the NSX was seen as a bit boring at the time, or even ‘not a super car’, at all, but time has been kinda Honda’s experiment, and it has become one of the most revered and iconic ’90s cars ever, with prices exploding in recent years.

This puts the NSX out of reach for most of us, but fortunately regular bloggee SP_LINEUP has constructed one that’s far more attainable, and just as awesome looking.

A detailed interior behind opening doors, a beautifully accurate engine under an opening cover, and – get this – working pop-up headlights via a lever in the cabin(!) all feature, and there’s much more to see of SP’s superbly presented build on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump!

Mitsubishi Memories

Mitsubishi Motors make precisely nothing that we would ever want to buy, drive, or ride in.

That Mitsubishi’s recent emissions fraud in Japan meant their share price dropped low enough for the Renault-Nissan Alliance to buy them (and then confirm they were pulling the brand out of Europe altogether) only makes us pleased, because there’s less chance of us having to look at the back of one of these.

Which makes it all the sadder that Mitsubishi Motors used to make some rather excellent cars, such as the mid ’90s Galant, the weird FTO, and this, the Lancer Evolution.

With all four wheels driven by a two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, the Lancer Evo and its Subaru Impreza WRX rival were way ahead of the European and American competition in the ’90s, as demonstrated by Japan’s utter dominance of the World Rally Championship at the time.

Both Subaru and Mitsubishi developed their cars every year or so too, with the latter handily applying roman numerals to the nameplate so it was easy to see who had the latest version.

This particular Lancer is a ‘V’, which appeared for just one year exactly halfway through the Evo’s development. Previous bloggee Fuku Saku has captured the Evo V brilliantly, using some properly clever techniques to recreate the late ’90s performance car icon.

There’s loads more of Fuku’s build to see at his ‘Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V’ album on Flickr; click the link above to make the jump, and remember a time when Mitsubishi made more than just air-conditioning units. And this.

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.