Tag Archives: Lotus

Floatus

Lego Lotus Esprit Submarine James Bond

James Bond might be a dark and moody character these days (as he was in the books too), but there was a time when spying was a little more… extravagant.

The height of 007 ridiculousness was the late ’70s, when Bond went into space, spent more time on one-liners than actually secret agenting, and – in 1977’s ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ – drove a sports car underwater.

It was a ludicrous scene, but one that cemented both Bond and Lotus into vehicular film royalty. Bond’s Lotus Esprit S1, modified by Q-branch, featured some rather ingenious optional extras, and – as Q always somehow seemed to manage – they were exactly what was required for the mission. What luck eh?

This brilliant recreation of the iconic movie car/submarine was suggested to us by a reader and comes from Luis Pena of Flickr. Luis’ ‘Wet Nellie’ as it was called (stop sniggering at the back!) includes all the cunning features of Q’s finest creation and there’s more to see on Flickr. Dive in via the link above.

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Groundhog

Lego Lotus 79

As detailed in yesterday’s post, Ferrari are back on top after a few years in middle of the F1 pack, but there was a time when they barely won anything. And not because they had a bad car either.

Ferrari (and everyone else’s) woe was due to the utter dominance of one car, the pioneering Lotus 79, the first car to make full use of ground effect aerodynamics.

The first Formula 1 car designed using computer design aids, Lotus took downforce to an entirely new level, with the 79 producing 30% more of it than even their own car from the previous year. The suction generated by the 79 at speed was so strong that early cars suffered chassis fatigue and had to be strengthened to allow them to cope with race distances.

Lego Lotus 79 RoscoPC

The strengthening worked, and the cars went even faster in testing. Upon the 79’s debut at the 1978 Belgium Grand Prix Mario Andretti took pole by over a second, and won the race ahead of the next Lotus in second place by ten seconds, with Ferrari in third almost half a minute behind. In fact, so fast were the new Lotuses that Ferrari could only win if the 79s retired.

Lotus finished the season with 50% more points than the next nearest team, securing the 79’s position amongst Formula 1’s most dominant ever designs.

This spectacular homage to one of Formula 1’s greats is the work of previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC. Built eleven years ago, Luca has recently uploaded his model to Flickr, and despite its age Luca’s 79 is still one of the finest Lego F1 replicas you’ll see. Accurate decals, a working V8 engine, steering and suspension are all included, and there’s lots more to see at Luca’s Lotus 79 Flickr album by clicking here.

Lego Lotus 79

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Lotus 49B | Picture Special

Lego Lotus 49B

Modern Formula 1 is almost all about aerodynamics. The art of directing airflow around a car seems quite mundane today, but when Colin Chapman first added ‘wings’ to his Lotus 49B in 1968 in order to generate downforce it was a revolution.

As is often the way with innovation, the other teams first tried to ban the Lotus, and then copied it, including its innovative use of the Cosworth DFV engine as a structural component in the chassis, and much of Chapman’s design is still in standard use in F1 today.

Lego Lotus 49B

Chapman’s Lotus 49 won both the Constructor’s and Driver’s World Championships twice, and also lays claim to being the first ever Formula 1 car to feature a racing livery, again – normal now, but a revolution in the 1960s.

This exquisite recreation of one of the greatest (perhaps the greatest) Formula 1 car ever designed comes from previous bloggee Lucas Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) who continues to upload his extensive catalogue of beautiful historic racing cars to Flickr.

Luca’s 1968 Lotus 49B features working suspension, steering, and a beautiful replica Cosworth DFV V8 engine, and you can see more of the build as well as his other incredible creations by clicking the link to his photostream above.

Lego Lotus 49B

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Lotus 43 – BRM H16 | Picture Special

Lego Lotus 43 BRM H16

Race car building legend Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) has been building his stunning historic racing cars for the best part of a decade. He’s recently uploaded another one of his glorious creations to Flickr (where we hope many more will follow), and thus we’re able to publish it here. It’s also one of the weirder racing cars in Luca’s garage, although it might not look remarkable at first glance.

Any classic racing fan will know of the incredible performances of the Lotus F1 team. Led by Colin Chapman, and powered by the legendary Cosworth DFV engine, the partnership delivered four Driver and five Constructor World Championship titles. However, before the DFV was ready Chapman needed an engine to put into his new 43 Formula 1 car for the 1966 season. He turned to previous Championship Winners BRM, and their unique P75 H16 engine.

Lego Lotus 43 BRM H16

Yup, H16. Basically two Flat-8 engines stacked on top of one another, yet only 3 litres in capacity. Unfortunately the unusual design was unusual for a reason – reliability. Or lack of it.

Heavy, extremely complicated, and constantly breaking, the BRM engine in Chapman’s Lotus 43 caused it to retire from every race bar one during the 1966 season. However, that one finish was a race win at the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, showing that when it worked, the Lotus 43 was quick. Really Quick.

The following year in ’67 the new Cosworth DFV 3 litre V8 engine was ready, Ford added their sponsorship to it (in a stroke of marketing genius), and the year after that the DFV starting a Championship Winning streak that went unbroken for seven years.

Lego BRM H16 Engine

BRM’s mental P75 H16 engine was quickly forgotten, although the team continued to produce Formula 1 cars until the late 1970s, and Lotus forged on with a Cosworth partnership that was to become one of the most successful ever seen in the sport.

However, we think the Lotus 43 BRM H16 deserves a little recognition. It was a race winner after all, and for a brief moment two of Britain’s greatest F1 teams combined to produce something, well…  a little bit crap.

RoscoPC’s homage to that disastrous partnership pictured here was first built in 2010 and is now available to view in wonderful detail on Flickr. It features working steering, suspension, beautiful detailing, and – of course – a recreation of one of the maddest engines ever seen in Formula 1.

You can see all of the images of Luca’s incredible Lotus 43 build at his photostream via the link above, and if you’re curious to know what an H16 Formula 1 engine sounds like, click here…

Lego Lotus 43 BRM H16

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The Killer Years – Historic F1 Picture Special

Lego Lotus Ford 72D JPS

Every so often we receive a suggestion here at TLCB that makes the whole office stop what it’s doing (which today seemed to mostly be Google-imaging attractive Rio Olympics athletes) to gaze in wonder at the creation/s found. This was definitely one of those moments.

Lego Ferrari 640 Formula 1

These incredible Model Team classic Formula 1 replicas have all been built by newcomer Idihnab Szalab from Hungary, and he’s uploaded all four to MOCpages in one go. Each is an exquisitely detailed creation that perfectly captures one of the Formula 1’s most famous and iconic cars in Lego form.

Lego Williams-Honda FW11

From top to bottom Idihnab has built; the dominant 1972-75 Lotus-Ford 72D in John Player Special livery, Ferrari’s 1989 640, the double World Championship-winning 1986-87 Williams-Honda FW11, and lastly the beautiful Lotus-Ford 72C from 1970-71 in magnificent Gold Leaf livery.

Lego Lotus Ford 72C Gold Leaf

We can’t recommend paying Idihnab’s MOCpage a visit enough – click here to view all four incredible creations and to step back in time to Formula 1’s greatest era.

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Red Letter Day

Lego Cars

It’s been an uneventful few days here at TLCB Towers, as not a single Elf has returned with anything of note. Out of patience, we summoned Mr. Airhorn and chased any remaining Elves out of the office. When they’re hungry enough (which won’t take long) we’ll have some more models to blog…

In the meantime we can keep the cars coming thanks to some of your suggestions.

From left to right; Previous bloggee Alexander Paschoaletto‘s tidy Model Team Koenigsegg CCX, previous bloggee Rage Hobbit‘s remote control Technic Lotus Elise S, and newcomer Ben Smith‘s lovely Model Team Dodge Viper GTS.

You can see more of each of today’s submitted creations via the hyperlinks in the text above, and if you’d like to suggest a creation too you can do so via the Feedback page found in the main menu.

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For Your Eyes Only

Lego Lotus Esprit James Bond 007

The James Bond movie franchise is back to its very best at the moment, being dark, slightly brutal and a bit lonely. Which is exactly as it should be.

In the late ’70s to early ’80s though, the movies were an altogether different proposition, and had become almost a parody of themselves. The one bright spot in this ’70s ridiculousness was Bond’s car; the glorious Lotus Esprit Turbo.

There’s no way the British secret service would have ever selected Lotus as a provider of government vehicles of course, seeing as Bond would have spent more time fixing his Esprit than going anywhere in it, but it made for a very cool movie car. Especially when it was fitted with a few nautical modifications from Q-Branch.

This lovely mini-figure recreation of the iconic ’80s sports car complete with 007 himself comes from TLCB regular ER0L and you can join him on a secret mission on Flickr by clicking the link above.

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Not a Seven

Donkervoort S8A

This is not a Lotus 7. Or a Caterham 7. Or a Westfield 7. Or indeed any variation on the 7 theme that we knew of. It is in fact a Donkervoort S8A, which is a new one on us, but nevertheless it looks great in Lego form. Previous bloggee Vinny Turbo is on a roll, and you can see more of his latest creation here.

Donkervoort S8A

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Tonight on Top Gear… Picture Special

Lego TopGear Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond James May

 …Jeremy will be mildly offensive, James will wear a wooly jumper, and Hammond will indulge in some bad acting. But we’ll still love it.

BBC’s Top Gear began way back in 1977 as a fairly straight-laced motoring magazine, updating the great unwashed on the latest new cars and motoring news (remember; no internet in 1977!). The original show helped to launch the careers of many TV motoring journalists, including the brilliant Tiff Needell and Quentin Wilson, and of course a certain Mr. Clarkson and Mr. May.

Lego Top Gear Studio Jeremy Clarkson

Top Gear evolved during these first decades becoming more humorous and politically incorrect, helped largely by the arrival of Quentin and Jeremy whose reviewing style could make-or-break a new car. After a one particularly damning review Peugeot famously declared that they were removing all of their adverts from the BBC – but of course due to the unique way the BBC is funded, Top Gear and everything else broadcast contains no advertising at all anyway. Take that Peugeot!

Lego Top Gear Richard Hammond

In 2000 however, the BBC canned Top Gear and sold the production (but not the name) to Channel 5, and Fifth Gear was born. Most of the presenters moved across to the new show and we’ve had to read uninformed ‘This is Fifth Gear you dumb %$@£!’ comments on YouTube (when a video correctly shows old Top Gear) ever since.

The BBC held onto the name for good reason though. In 2002 Top Gear returned, with a new format, new presenters, and – for the first time – an actual studio! Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and Jason Dawe fronted this first season, before Jason was replaced by James to give us the genius line-up that has been in place ever since.

Top Gear’s new format has proved wildly successful, with over 350million viewers from 170 countries tuning in every week. And that’s not counting the re-runs showing every hour on Dave.

Lego TopGear Jeremy Clarkson

Such success has led to mistakes though, as Top Gear has become less genuine and more scripted over the years in a quest to recreate past (naturally occurring) glories. It’s also given the presenters an opportunity to make other programmes, and ‘Richard Hammond’s 5 O’Clock Show’ is an abomination that will be forever etched into a dark corner of the televisual hall-of-shame. Thankfully it only lasted a month, and James May’s independent presenting more than makes up for Hammond’s. James even built a house out of LEGO.

Lego James May TopGear

So what next for Top Gear? Well there are now live arena shows once a year, spin-offs for Australia, Russia, Korea, America and others, a new DVD each Christmas, and there’s a whole world of slightly crap merchandising. Andy Wilman (Top Gear’s producer) admits the show – at least in its current format – is probably nearer to the end of its life than the start, but we expect to keep watching for little a while yet. Onwards to season 22!

All of the photos in this post were produced by the exceptionally talented Stephan Sander, who has lovingly recreated Jeremy, James and Richard in brick form.  He’s also constructed superb Lego models of Jeremy’s Citroen Motorhome, a trio of Jaguar E-Types, three Ferraris, three Lotuses and the famous Top Gear studio – complete with a wonderfully diverse audience! We highly recommend a trip to Stephan’s MOCpage to see all the photos. Back to the studio…

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Super Sevens

Lego Caterham Super 7

Originally designed and produced by Lotus, the remarkable Super 7 has been in production for well over half a century. Caterham Cars bought the rights to the design in the mid-’70s and it’s been the mainstay of their business ever since.

A wonderfully simple car in real life, the Super 7 is actually fiendishly difficult to recreate from Lego; just working out how to let the front wings turn with the wheels gives us a headache. Carl Greatrix wasn’t phased though, and he’s recreated the British icon with such attention to detail it’s quite possible his models are of higher quality than many real Sevens built by Caterham customers.

Much as we enjoy building things we think we’d leave the construction of a real Seven to the guys in the Caterham factory. Likewise we’re fairly sure that the quality of Carl’s builds will take some beating. See just how good his pair of Super 7s are by clicking the link to Flickr above.

Lego Caterham Seven

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Hump Day Special – The Killer Years

Classic Formula 1 Lego

One of TLCB’s favourite groups, MOCpages’ Classic Race Teams, has gone quiet of late. However, MOCpages builder Greg 998 is single handedly keeping the theme going with his expanding garage of superb classic racing machinery. His work includes the Lotus 72, March Ford, Tyrrell 006 and Hunt’s 1976 McLaren shown here, as well as a variety of other historic Formula 1, CanAm and LeMans racers. Just iron your sheets Greg!

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Wedge

Lego Lotus Esprit

The Lego Car Blog veteran Senator Chinchilla is back, with one of the office’s favourite cars, the brilliant Lotus Esprit. The Lotus though, came from one of the least appetising eras of automotive design. In the late ’70s cars were designed with rulers, and only rulers, interiors were made entirely from nasty grey plastic, and reliability – until the Japanese arrived at least – hovered somewhere between crap and really crap.

Somehow though, Lotus took all this and created one of the most desirable cars ever made. Penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro and his ruler the Series 1 Esprit launched in 1976, featuring a small 160bhp 4-cylinder engine attached to a Citroen gearbox. Not a recipe for speed then, but it looked fantastic and drove brilliantly. And if you were James Bond you could even tick ‘amphibious’ on the options list.

Four years and two series later the Esprit finally got the power it deserved, through the addition of the newfangled turbocharger, and a legend was born. Senator’s Lego model of the S1 is where it all started though, and you can see all the photos of his excellent recreation via Flickr at the link above.

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Past Masters

Lotus 99T Ayrton SennaThese astonishing classic Formula 1 cars, uncovered on both MOCpages and Brickshelf, are the work of Lego-builder F1Fan.

The yellow Camel-liveried car above is a 1987 Lotus 99T, powered by Honda’s ferocious 900bhp 1.5 litre turbo and featuring active suspension. In the hands of the legendary Ayrton Senna the 99T recorded six podiums and two race wins during the ’87 season, allowing Team Lotus to finish third overall behind Williams and McLaren (and ahead of Ferrari). Sadly both Team Lotus and Ayrton would die during the 1994 season, perhaps the biggest loss of talent in a single year of Formula 1.

The blue car below is one of the most innovative and recognisable Formula 1 cars of all time, the remarkable six-wheel Tyrrell P34. F1Fan’s version is based on the previous work by RoscoPC, and updates it to replicate the car from the 1976 International Trophy race at Silverstone.

Interestingly both of these classic Formula 1 cars feature technology which is now banned, making them in some respects more advanced than even the championship winning Red Bull of this year. See both beautiful racing cars at F1Fan’s MOCpage or Brickshelf account via the links above.

Tyrrell P34 1976

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Lime Limey

English Epicness

English Epicness

What to say about this!? A wonderfully functional, but terrifically accurate model of the legendary Lotus Exige S; explosive in lime green it looks like the real thing. Created by the supremely talented Rolic, you can see more of this incredible English sports car on Flickr.

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Colin Gives You Wings!

Image

…Colin Chapman, that is, who had the bright idea of bunging half a helicopter blade upside down on one of his cars (fact) to see if his ‘downforce’ idea worked. The rest is history. Here’s the pioneering Lotus 49 in Gold Leaf colours, presented for your delectation by that master of studliness, MortalSwordsman.

The elves particularly liked the way you steer it, by twisting the driver’s head. Can’t think why…

Find it on MOCpages: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/335091 and enjoy!

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