Tag Archives: Japan

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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Unfortunate Acronym

Subaru Tecnica International had an unfortunate acronym in much of the world. They didn’t change it though, unlike Toyota who renamed the MR2 in France to avoid phonetic embarrassment. Still, aside from standing for an unfortunate side affect of unprotected relations, STI meant some excellent machinery, including this 2000’s Impreza WRX STI recreated by Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg in his trademark style. Click the link to make the jump to his photostream see more.

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Old School Cool

LEGO’s new 42111 Fast & Furious Dom’s Dodge Charger set revealed here last month will bring one of the franchise’s most iconic cars to bedroom floors all around the world. There is another car from the movies which is just as famous though; Brian’s bright blue Nissan GT-R R34.

Found by one of our Elves on Brickshelf, this is spiderbrick’s Technic recreation of Brian’s R34, built in a gloriously old-school style that matches the 1990s car with the bricks that were around at the time.

Merging classic Model Team and Technic styles, spiderbrick’s R34 GT-R includes all of the necessities for it to earn the ‘Technic Supercar’ title, including a working straight-six engine, a 5-speed gearbox, independent suspension, all-wheel drive, and all-wheel steering.

There’s loads more to see at spiderbrick’s Brickshelf album by clicking here, you can read our review of LEGO’s own awesome 1990s all-wheel drive supercar set by clicking here, and with LEGO now in partnership with both Universal’s ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise and Nissan, perhaps an official R34 Nissan GT-R set isn’t too far away?…

 

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My Fair Lady

This beautifully presented Datsun 240Z ‘Fairlady’ could be yours! Well, not this one; it’s owned by builder SP_LINEUP, but he’s also released his superb restomod classic Datsun as a kit available to buy. The model includes opening doors that reveal a wonderfully detailed interior, and an opening hood under which lives an accurately replicated RB26DET engine. See more of SP’s stunning Datsun 240Z at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

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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…

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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…

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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

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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.

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