Tag Archives: New York

Yellow Tinted Glasses

The world’s most vibrant cities have often been defined by their public transport system. London’s red Routemaster bus, Tokyo’s Toyota Crown with its amazing self opening doors, Hong Kong’s wonderful Star Ferries, and – perhaps most iconic of all – New York City’s yellow cabs.

Checker sedans and Ford Crown Victorias were long part of NYC’s street furniture, and were big, softly sprung, and almost ridiculously inappropriate for taking one or two people a short distance at a low speed.

Despite their thirst, pollution, and unnecessary size, to a tourist they were somehow rather wonderful, however recently (and probably rightly) their days were numbered.

Today few cities have their own bespoke taxis. The cost of developing or adapting a vehicle for just a few thousand sales a year is too great, thus New York’s yellow cabs can now be one of any number of mainstream vehicles that are about as interesting as a white sock. Even if they’re yellow.

Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg, whose glorious classic Checker NYC cab appeared here a few days ago, has now updated his brick-built taxi fleet inline with New York’s recent changes, building this excellent (and incredibly boring) Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

We’re sure that Toyota’s large SUV makes a far better taxi than the Ford Crown Vics and Checkers that preceded it, but when it’s the very same car used to collect Tommy and Ashleigh from school, it’s somehow not better at all.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s NYC Highlander at his ‘LEGO NYC Taxis’ album on Flickr, where you can also find his Lego recreations of a few other real-world yellow cabs that might not be as good, yet are somehow better in every way.

Check Mate

New York had the coolest taxis. Built from the late ’50s until the early ’80s, the Checker A9-A12 was as synonymous with NYC as the Black Cab was with London. However with awful air quality both cities have since replaced their taxi fleets with standard passenger hybrids like the Toyota Prius, which are far less polluting, but far less soulful too. It makes us think that perhaps their could be a market for retro-fitting an EV powertrain to a classic cab – we’d be the first to hail a ride. Until then we’ll look wistfully at this beautiful classic Checker cab by regular bloggee Ralph Savelsberg, and try to forget what would be coming out of the tailpipe…

Interceptor Utility

American police cars are cooler than those we have in TLCB’s home nation. Oh sure, we have the occasional fast pursuit car (which include some surprisingly awesome models), but it’s mostly economy hatchbacks. Not so in the USA, where police cars have names like ‘Charger Police Pursuit’ and ‘Interceptor’. It’s the latter we have here, a Ford Explorer with an Ecoboost V6, all-wheel-drive, and a bar on the front for ramming criminals. Ralph Savelsberg is the builder and there’s more to see of his excellent NYPD Ford Interceptor Utility by clicking here.

Do Your (Super) Duty*

The emergency services are the everyday heroes that have been thrown into the spotlight both during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, and in the subsequent protests, riots, and social disorder that seems to be infecting Western society as much as the disease the proceeded it.

It’s a hard enough job to do without having bottles thrown at you, but sadly that’s what’s happening, despite the fact that the emergency services will work just as hard to save the bottle thrower as the innocent bystander in the event they’re needed.

This superb FDNY ambulance comes from TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg in his trademark Miniland style. Based on a Ford Super Duty extra cab, Ralph’s model replicates the livery and details of the real ambulance beautifully, and he’s included a neat paramedic figure too. There’s more of the build to see at Ralph’s photostream – click the link above to dial 9-1-1.

*Today’s excellent title song

Taxi!

Lego New York Taxi

This TLCB writer was not impressed by the Ford Crown Victoria taxi he experienced in New York. Bumpy, not actually that big inside, and probably getting around 8mpg, it seemed a bizarre choice for the congested and awful roads of NYC.

More recently most New York cabs are Toyota hybrids, which seem a far more sensible choice, but we’d still pick this over both the Crown Vic and an anonymous modern appliance.

Based on no one particular classic cab but taking design cues from all of them, Flickr’s Redfern1950s has created a stunning looking ’50s taxi complete with suicide doors, bench seating, and a huge trunk for some old-timey suitcases.

Stick your hand out and hope this picks you up rather than a ratty old Crown Vic via the link above.

Lego Classic Taxi

Build-a-Classic

Lego Taxi

The single most received message we get here at The Lego Car Blog (besides texts from your Mom of course) is ‘Can I have instructions for [insert model here]?’.

Normally the answer is no, but today we can answer with a yes. And then some. Because not only has Flickr’s de-marco made instructions available for his lovely 5-wide classic taxi and pick-up truck, he’s even written a parts list and made a video for each model showing the building steps!

Head over to de-marco’s photostream via the links above and fill your boots!

Lego Pick-Up Truck

Ladder 13

Lego Seagrave Marauder II Fire Truck

The Lego Car Blog Elves like fire trucks. An Elven discovery of this (admittedly superb) Seagrave Marauder II with Aerialscope ladder-boom by Flickr’s sponki25 means we now have every Elf in TLCB Towers running around making ‘NEE-NAW!’ noises. Thanks sponki.

Lego Seagrave Marauder II Fire Truck

It is a class build though, being a perfect mini-figure scale replica of FDNY’s actual Ladder 13 truck, complete with custom reflective stickers, some very accurate-looking mini-figure fire-fighters, and of course an enormous rotating Aerialscope boom…

Lego Seagrave Marauder II Fire Truck

…which – just like your Dad watching Desperate Housewives – extends quite a long way. Clever techniques and ingenious parts usage is in abundance throughout the build and there’s more to see over at sponki25’s photostream. Click the link above to dial 9-1-1, whilst we go and find some headache relief pills and Mr. Airhorn…

Lego Seagrave Marauder II/Aerialscope Fire Truck

Blue Comet

Lego Blue Comet Steam Train

Operating from the late 1920s until the early 1940s in New Jersey, the Blue Comet pulled carriages between New York and Atlantic City, taking just three hours to complete the journey (including a ferry crossing to Manhattan Island), and able to reach speeds of over 100mph. This magnificent recreation of one of America’s most beautiful locomotives comes from Flickr’s Cale Leiphart who has faithfully recreated not just the locomotive, but the tender and carriages too. An extensive gallery of superb images is available to view at Cale’s photostream – click the link above to buy your ticket.

Lego Blue Comet Locomotive

Free Plowing*

Lego Mack TerraPro DSNY

New York is a city where summers are hot and winters are freezing. This means a variety of civil service vehicles need to be deployed to cope with the swing in the weather; bins need emptying a lot in the heat and roads need clearing of snow in the cold.

New York’s Sanitation Department seems cleverer than most though, as someone there had the genius idea of fitting their refuse collection trucks with a snowplow. The trucks need to navigate the streets to collect refuse anyway, so why not have them clear the snow at the same time?

This brilliant Town-style replica of a snowplow-equipped Mack TerraPro refuse truck used by the New York Department of Sanitation comes from Flickr’s sponki25 and it not only looks the part but it’s packed with neat features too. There’s more to see at sponki’s photostream – click the link above to check it out.

Lego Mack TerraPro DSNY

*Insert appropriate ‘Your Mom’ joke.

 

New York New York…

Lego Ford Crown Victoria NYC Taxi

…has crummy taxis. The Ford Crown Victoria is big on the outside yet small in the back, inefficient, uneconomical and hugely polluting. None of things you want from a vehicle that spends its time threading through congested city streets with a paying customer in the rear seat. Still, the Crown Vic is designed to run for ever and thus it became the default choice for cabbies and police departments across America back when gas was cheaper than water.

This stunningly accurate replica of the iconic Crown Vic in New York City Taxi livery has been built by Flickr builder and TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist, and it’s as good as anything you’ll see in a Legoland theme park. You can hail it for yourself at Ralph’s photostream via the link above.

Emergency in New York

Lego FDNY

These two FDNY vehicles are the work of TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist) who has recreated brilliantly the Seagrave ladder truck and Ford F350 ambulance common to the emergency crews of Manhattan. There’s more to see of each on Flickr – click this link to make the jump.

Yacht Club

Lego Motor Yacht

Because millionaire mini-figures need to get from Long Island to Manhattan too.

JBIronWorks has built one of the more luxurious ways to commute to Wall Street with his beautiful recreation of the 1929 motor yacht ‘Mohican’, and it looks the perfect bath-toy for TLCB executive jacuzzi.

The real classic yacht is currently up for sale for a cool $1million, but if that’s a bit out of your reach you can pretend with JB on Flickr. Money can’t buy you happiness anyway. Although it can buy you a $1million motor yacht.

New York New York

Lego Chrysler New YorkerThis wonderful Model Team 1968 Chrysler New Yorker was discovered by one of our Elves on MOCpages. Featuring opening doors, trunk and hood, plenty of detail, and yet still robust enough for an Elf to zoom around the office without fear of breaking it and being thrown outside by the ears, it’s the perfect blend of playability an aesthetics. Jonathan Derksen is the barista responsible, and you can see more of his New York classic on MOCpages here.

White Knight

Sanford Quint Fire Truck

As red as a firetr…. Wait, that’s not right

This creation has just thrown our entire perception of vehicle colouring out the window. What’s next, a green Ferrari? Anyway, despite Lego Fire Museum Inc‘s obvious lack of red bricks, they’ve done very well with the white pieces they had available. This mini-figure scale pumper is a 1970 Sanford Quint, based on a Ford C series truck chassis. They were a popular apparatus, and some are still in service in the Northern United States. To see more of Lego Fire Museum Inc’s rescue services fleet visit MOCpages at the link above.