When Austin/Morris launched the Mini in 1959, other car manufacturers couldn’t believe the ingenious packaging of Alex Issigonis’ masterpiece.
They also couldn’t believe how Austin/Morris were building it for a profit, and thus Ford bought one to take apart to see how they had done it.
What they found was definitely ingenious packaging, but also that the Austin/Morris profit was literally unbelievable, in that they, well… weren’t making any.
The British car industry was a weird place.
Austin/Morris corrected this rather crucial issue with a price rise (not that their incompetence would disappear of course, causing the companies to do so themselves eventually), and the Mini became one of the best selling small cars of all time, along with becoming a design icon.
If you fancy taking a classic Mini apart yourself as Ford did you can now give it a go, thanks to Pixeljunkie‘s ‘exploded’ Mini Cooper, instructions for which are available so you can explode your own!
There’s more to see at Pixel’s photostream, take a look via the link above, whilst we rue not titling this post something along these lines…
It’s blue Smarties all round today as three Elves returned to TLCB Towers, each with a blue town-scale creation. It turns out all three are the work of the same builder, Flick’s de-marco, who is becoming a regular on these pages. Each has been constructed in LEGO’s classic ‘Town’ style (a favourite here at TLCB) and recreates a well known(?) real-world vehicle in mini-figure scale.
The first of de-marco’s build is perhaps the most true-to-life, a classic Dacia 1300 from a time when the Romanian brand was independent from Renault, but also simply built discontinued Renault products (and fairy badly at that…). It turns out that the Dacia 1300’s ugly blocky sloping shape is perfect for recreation from angular LEGO bricks and the result looks remarkably close to the real thing.
de-marco’s second Town vehicle is a classic Austin/Morris Mini in British police ‘panda car’ specification. LEGO’s ‘Maersk’ blue with white doors and a single blue light (using a piece from LEGO’s 9V lighting sets) works a treat, even if the car looks a little long for the famously small classic car.
Lastly de-marco has built something a little larger, in the form of this excellent Kamaz drop-side truck. As with all three creations the details are spot on, yet simple enough to fit into a Town scale build, and there’s more to see at de-marco’s photostream via the link. There are also video instructions available for each build – you can find a link to these under each image in de-marco’s photostream should you wish to jazz your own Town up with some iconic classics!
As viewers of BBC’s Top Gear will know, the Morris Marina is fit only for death-by-piano. But what you may not know is that the Morris Marina wasn’t actually that terrible. Underneath it was in fact a Morris Minor, a car widely loved by the motoring public. How fickle the winds of fate have been to those two stalwarts of the British auto industry.
This convertible version of the British classic is the work of TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg. You can see more of his Lego recreation via his photostream, and you can check out a much more massive Minor (and one that’s far more our bag) here.
It’s been a week without any cars here at The Lego Car Blog, but the Elves sure have made amends today. This glorious 1960 Morris Minor 1000 is the work of friend of TLCB and one of our Master MOCer builders, the incredible Nick Barrett. Nick’s work has featured here countless times over the last two years, and today’s creation takes Lego vehicles to a new level of realism.
Months in the making, Nick’s latest creation is based upon a real 1960 Morris Minor 1000 nicknamed ‘Bluebell’ that he used to own in the 1990s. Under the unusually textured – and incredibly accurate – full-stud bodywork lies some truly inspirational Lego engineering. Working steering, suspension (live axel four link at the rear), opening (and locking) doors, bonnet and boot-lid, a working handbrake, adjustable seats, four speed gearbox and even motorised operational windscreen wipers all feature in a triumph of clever packaging.
Underneath the beautifully curved bonnet sits a fully detailed Austin/Morris A-Series engine operated by a Power Functions motor that drives the rear wheels through the four speed gearbox. Featuring a working crank and pistons, camshaft, pushrods, rockers and valves it’s undoubtedly one of the greatest engines ever built from Lego. Nick has even made it easily removable so it can function as model and educational aid in its own right.
Nick has included a wealth of photos and further information on this astonishing build at both his Flickr and MOCpages accounts. You can see all the images and join in the discussion by visiting either of the pages linked above, plus you can read what happened when we interviewed Nick earlier in the year for The Lego Car Blog’s Master MOCers Series by clicking here.
Raw power! Ok, maybe not raw power. Er… Reasonable economy!
Another ‘not a car’ post, but this time it is car-related, honest. This little plastic thingumy is a 1:6 scale BMC A-Series engine, as fitted to all manner of dinky British cars for over 50 years. This wasn’t because it was the world’s greatest engine by any means, rather because the British were too lazy to bother replacing it. Still, they now have a thriving car industry, proving that such thriftiness is well judged and commendable. Is our sarcasm filter on? It is? Oh good. Anyway, this little power-plant did do sterling service in some well loved vehicles, including the Austin/Morris Mini, Morris Minor, Morris Marina/Austin Allegro… wait, maybe not that last one. Nick Barrett, a TLCB regular, is the mechanic behind it. See more, including a video of the engine working, on MOCpages.