We have a bumper haul for you today! These wonderful classic creations all come from previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott, who has turned his considerable talents to building a range of beautifully photographed and presented vehicles spanning four decades.
From a Fiat Abarth 1000TC (top) via a 1950s panel van (below), a gorgeous 1960s supercar (above), and finally a superb replica of the iconic 1980s Audi quattro (bottom), each has been created using a wide variety of brilliant building techniques and some stunning attention to detail.
There’s more to see of each of Jonathan’s builds featured here, plus a loads more 6-wide vehicles that form his ace back-catalogue, by visiting his photostream on Flickr. Click the link above to take a closer look at the Abarth, ’50s van, ’60s supercar and Audi quattro and much more besides.
The elite team of Elves dispatched over The LEGO Company’s perimeter walls are one by one returning to TLCB Towers, clutching their discoveries stolen from the bowels of LEGO’s R&D department.
A couple may also carry a few bite marks (and some don’t return at all), but that’s why we employ mythical creatures, as there’s no way you’d get us to squeeze through an air-conditioning duct to escape a Danish Alsatian. We’re much too fat.
Anyway, the Elf that returned today came home clutching a new set that has got us very excited, the frankly brilliant looking 76897 Audi Sport quattro (with a little ‘q’) S1 rally car.
The quattro was not the first car to be fitted with all-wheel-drive, but it was the first to take the idea rallying, along with a unique 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that made a truly ridiculous amount of power, allowed thanks to Group B’s incredibly lax rulebook. The result was a car that won the World Rally Championship in ’82 and ’84, with every WRC manufacturer title claimed by an all-wheel-drive car thereafter.
The new 76897 set recreates the Audi Sport quattro S1 which finished second in 1985 season in the hands of Stig Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl, using LEGO’s new 8-wide template to bring more realism to the Speed Champions range. Constructed from 250 pieces, the Audi’s famous livery has been really well replicated, and for once the detail is brick-built rather than being applied by stickers. There are stickers too of course, and they look splendid, adding excellent period authenticity to the set.
Like all Speed Champions sets 76897 also includes a mini-figure driver, but annoyingly no co-driver, despite the 8-wide design allowing one to fit. This is no doubt due to cost, but is nevertheless disappointing from a realism point of view.
Despite this oversight we think the Speed Champions Audi Sport quattro S1 is one of the best products to come from the franchise yet, and – at an expected cost of around $20 when it reaches stores at then end of the year – there’s no cooler set for the money. We’ll just have to add our own second mini-figure to the model to complete it.
Earlier this week one of the automotive industry’s greatest talents passed away. Ferdinand Piech, the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, ex-chairman of the Volkswagen Group, and the man behind some of the most iconic cars ever made, collapsed in a restaurant in Germany. He was 82.
Sometimes controversial, there was considerable hostility between Piech and Porsche – the company founded by his grandfather – during his tenure at the top of Volkswagen, eventually resulting in Piech buying Porsche to oust their chairman. The Volkswagen Group has since faced the biggest scandal in its history (dragging Porsche into it the mire too), yet has also become the world’s largest automotive manufacturer by volume, with much of that down to Piech’s reign at the top.
Piech’s legacy is as astonishing one, including diesel engines for Mercedes-Benz, the amazing Porsche 917, the Bugatti Veyron, and this, the original Audi ‘UR’ quattro – the car that, whilst not the first, popularised the advantages of all-wheel-drive beyond off-roaders.
This cartoon-like Technic recreation of the legendary Audi quattro Group B rally car comes from Teo Technic and features remote control drive and steering, independent suspension, working headlights and – of course – all-wheel-drive.
There’s more to see of Teo’s Audi quattro at both Flickr and the Eurobricks discussion forum. Click the links to make the jump – and tip your hat to the man behind it and some of the other greatest cars in modern history.
Unlike today’s other wingsy post, the aero attached to this amazing-looking Audi quattro S1 E2 Pikes Peak is entirely functional. Built for conquering the formidable Pikes Peak mountain climb back when the surface was loose gravel, the Audi quattro S1 E2 needed as much downforce as it could get. Piloted by WRC legend Walter Röhrl, the S1 E2 reached the top of the mountain in less than eleven minutes, making it the first car ever to do so.
This wonderful replica of one of the most ridiculous racing cars ever built comes from Marc ‘Edge’ R.unde of Flickr, and he’s captured both the remarkable bodywork of the S1 E2 and the famous Audi Sport livery beautifully. See more at the link above.
Contrary to popular belief Audi were not the first to bring all-wheel-drive to performance cars. However their ‘quattro’ system undoubtedly brought all-wheel-drive performance into the mainstream, and it changed rallying forever.
Launched in 1980 the Audi quattro brought several innovative new technologies into one glorious package, including all-wheel-drive, turbocharging, and a delightfully weird inline 5-cylinder engine. Audi entered their new car in the World Rally Championship’s Group B category, winning the championship in 1982 and 1984, plus the Pike’s Peak Hillclimb too.
By 1985 a variety of all-wheel-drive turbocharged rivals had caught – and then overtaken – the rally pioneer, beating Audi at their own game. This led Audi Sport to chop a chunk of length from the quattro’s wheelbase and up power to a very unofficial 500bhp+. The Sport quattro was born, a comedically ugly machine that was devastating effective. Best of all due to the FIA’s homologation rules a few hundred Sport quattros had to be produced for the road, meaning you could buy your very own World Rally Car for trips to Walmart.
Suggested by a reader we have both the rally and road versions of the Sport quattro in today’s post, each brilliantly built in Speed Champions scale by previous bloggee Marc ‘Edge’. There’s more to see of Marc’s rally and road Sport quattros on Flickr – click the links above to head to a gravelly forest circa-1985.
Audi didn’t win last year’s Le Mans (the first time in years they weren’t on the top step), but only because sister company Porsche took the honours. They’ll be looking for a win this year though to distract the motoring press from that unfortunate fraudulent emissions business. This small-scale replica of Audi’s R18 e-Tron quattro comes from RGB900 of Flickr, and it’s a remarkably accurate recreation. See more via the link above.
A modern Audi might just be an overpriced Skoda driven by a sunglasses-wearing, tail-gating douchebag, but there was a time when to drive an Audi was the understated choice.
All that changed in the 1980s though, when the Ingolstadt firm decided to pair a revolutionary all-wheel-drive system with a brilliant turbocharged five-cylinder engine. Audi weren’t actually the first manufacturer to insert all-wheel-drive into a production performance car (that title goes to Jensen and their fantastic FF), but they were the first to do it for the masses(ish).
Audi entered their new car into the World Rally Championship’s recently formed ‘Group B’ category, winning two world championships and rendering all two-wheel-drive competitors obsolete overnight. No car without all-wheel-drive has ever won the championship since.
The Technic replica of that championship-winning Audi S1 quattro pictured here comes from Eurobricks’ dokludi, and it’s as brutally ugly as the real thing. It’s accurate on the inside too, with working steering, all-wheel-drive, gearbox, inline five-cylinder engine, suspension and a full roll cage.
You can see all the images and read full details of the build at the Eurobricks discussion forum – click the link above to make the jump.
There are a few vehicles that you don’t want to see looming in your rearview mirror. If you’re Mad Max, the first of today’s two creations is one of them; the lead chase car in Mad Max 2 ‘The Road Warrior’.
Today’s second creation is a from a brand that we’re all used to seeing in our rearview mirror, two feet from our rear bumper, being driven by a sunglasses-wearing douchebag who really must get to that next meeting asap.
Yes, Audi have become the manufacturer of choice for tailgating muppets everywhere, but there was a time when Audi’s class of driver was altogether different. Coincidentally it was back in the ’80s when Max was being terrorised by the vehicle above, and Audi stood for understated excellence.
It was the car below that really put the brand on the map, and – unfortunately – went a long way in adding Audi to the buying lists of the aforementioned clientele. It is of course the legendary early ’80s quattro with a small ‘q’. This neat Lego version has been built by Ben, and is available to view on Flickr.
Audi’s original quattro (without a capital letter) is currently seeing something of a resurgence in popularity thanks to a starring role in the hit BBC show ‘Ashes to Ashes’. However for those in the know the ’80s coupe has been a legend for 30 years.
Built back when Audi was a quiet, understated*, and slightly boring manufacturer of grey saloons the quattro came from nowhere to take the rally world by storm, and in doing so changing the sport forever. No two-wheel drive car would ever win the World Rally Championship again.
The quattro wasn’t actually the first all-wheel-drive production car (although Audi like to make us think it is), that honour goes to the Jensen FF, but it is probably the car that brought the virtues of four-driven-wheels to the masses. Now almost every manufacturer can count an all-wheel-drive model in their range.
This excellent recreation of Audi’s icon is the work of Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg, and you can see more of his Ashes to Ashes spec quattro here.
After nailing* a sci-fi post yesterday we’re back to what we know; cars. These two will be instantly recognisable to many of you, they are of course the legendary Audi Quattro S2 and Lancia Delta S4 from the monstrous Group B era of the World Rally Championship. Flickr’s Dario Minisini is the builder, and you can see more of his recreations of the fastest and most dangerous racing cars ever built at his photostream.
Most petrolheads know the Audi S1 Quattro: it’s one of the rally legends. This sleek looking 4-wide version by Starscream Soundwave does fulfil the expectations of a rally machine. Check SS’ work out by clicking on the link, and see the original Nils O’s version that inspired it here.
Another classic car from an axis power today; the stupendous Audi quattro Sport. Long before Audi became the preserve of outside-lane tailgating, bluetooth headset wearing cocks, they were a relatively niche manufacturer of dull saloon cars. Then they took a British idea (Google ‘Jensen FF’), applied it to their new coupe, took it rallying, and changed the automotive world.
Maks‘ Lego version is one of the last rally quattros, raced during the insane Group B era with a chunk cut out of the wheelbase to keep it competitive against a slew of new 4×4 rivals. View it and Maks’ other work on Flickr.