Tag Archives: rally car

Suzuki’s Peak

If you’re of a certain age (like this TLCB Writer) then you will absolutely know this car.

Playstation’s Gran Turismo 2 ruled racing games in the late ’90s. Populated with all manner of awesome mostly-Japanese cars from the county’s car-building zenith, pixilated racing glory could be yours at the wheel of an Impreza, a Skyline GT-R, a Supra, an RX-7, or a multitude of other machinery.

Of course you had to work your way up through a soup of crappy Suzukis and Daihatsus to get to the good stuff, but even they had some late ’90s monsters available in digital form. OK, Daihatsu didn’t, but Suzuki did; the mighty Escudo Pikes Peak.

Based on the humble Vitara (although it resembled the Vitara about as much as this TLCB Writer does Ryan Reynolds), the Escudo Pikes Peak produced almost 1,000bhp from a mid-mounted bi-turbo V6, and could do o-60mph in 3.5 seconds. On gravel.

Built for one race (the Pikes Peak…), the Suzuki Escudo won the 1995 event in the hands Nobuhiro Tajima, before he returned in the mid-’00s to win a further six consecutive Pike Peaks with Suzuki, by which time the Escudo was already a legend with an entire generation of Playstation owners.

This instantly recognisable Speed Champions homage to the iconic Gran Turismo 2 star and Suzuki outlier comes from Sergio Batista, with custom decals and bespoke wheels maximising the realism (far beyond what 1999 gaming graphics could manage…).

Building instructions are available and you can re-live your youth at Sergio’s photostream via the link above.

Stick it to ’em

The Lego Car Blog regularly chastises LEGO for their increasing and often unnecessary use of stickers in sets. Said sticky pictures have been dubiously deployed to create details that should be constructed from actual LEGO pieces, until that is, they inevitably peel off and you’re left with no details at all. We hate them.

So here’s a creation covered in a veritable butt-ton of stickers…

No, we’re not consistent. But nuno_g_teixeira’s be-stickered recreation of the 1981 Monte Carlo rally-winning Renault 5 Turbo is glorious.

Underneath the beautifully accurate decals, custom 3D-printed wheels, steering wheel and Recaro seats applied by Nuno is Lachlan Cameron’s brilliant Technic Renault 5 Turbo road car that appeared here last month.

Nuno’s fantastic rallyfication of Lachlan’s design replicates the rally-winning Renault in spectacular detail, largely thanks to the incredible period-correct livery of which you can see more at Lachlan’s photostream. Maybe stickers are alright after all…

High Five

It’s not just Chrysler from an earlier post this week that went mad for a bit. The French have a history of going berserk, automotively speaking, with even Renualt – who currently manufacture nothing but boring crossovers – having moments of insanity. This is their best.

The Renault 5 was an excellent city car. Front-wheel-drive, well packaged, safely slow. Not a rally car then. But Renault wanted to go rallying, and thus they took their aforementioned econo-box, removed the engine, turbocharged it, and then put it back in where the rear seats used to be. And let it power the rear wheels instead.

The result was the Renault 5 Turbo, a wild mid-engined super-hatch designed to go rallying, with just under 5,000 across two generations also produced for the road. Road cars made a healthy-for-the-time 160bhp, but in rally trim the R5 Turbo could make almost 400bhp (from just 1.4 litres!), and won the Monte Carlo Rally at the first attempt in 1981.

The spectacular Technic model pictured here is a recreation of the road going R5 Turbo, as built by TLCB Master MOCer Lachlan Cameron (aka Lox Lego). Featuring remote control drive and steering, LED lights, working suspension, opening doors, front trunk and tailgate, and – of course – a mid-mounted engine, Lachlan’s creation captures Renault’s moment of madness brilliantly, and there’s a whole lot more of it to see at his ‘Renault Turbo R5’ album on Flickr.

Click the second link above to make the jump to all the images, and the first to read how Lachlan creates his amazing models like this one.

Maximum Five

Renault are weird. They’ve made wonderful cars, dull cars, terrible cars, and this… a supermini with a mid-mounted 1.4 litre turbo that produced – in race trim – around 380bhp. Back in the early ’80s!

That remarkable figure propelled the Renault 5 Maxi Turbo to the top step of the podium on its maiden event, at the 1981 Monte Carlo Rally.

This WRC success was to be relatively short-lived though, as the arrival of Group B and all-wheel-drive meant the Maxi Turbo was quickly outclassed on anything that wasn’t tarmac.

When an event was on tarmac though, the little Renault continued to be a formidable racer, finding success for the next two decades.

This lovely Speed Champions recreation of the legendary ’80s rally car was found by one of our Elves on Flickr, coming from Fabrice Larcheveque who has updated (and beautifully presented) a model he first created several years ago.

Authentic bespoke decals, a realistic interior, life-like engine bay, and even a roll-cage make for an exceptionally detailed Speed Champions creation, and there’s more to see – including a link to building instructions – at Fabrice’s ‘Renault 5 Maxi Turbo’ album on Flickr.

Click the link above to take a look and maybe recreate the 1981 Monte Carlo Rally on your desk at home. Not that we’re doing that right now of course, we’re much too grown up…

Theory of Evolution

LEGO’s Speed Champions range has evolved a bit over the years. Jumping from six studs of width to eight has upped the realism, as has a the more widespread use of decals, allowing for the recreation of real-world liveries and sponsorships.

Previous bloggee Fabrice Larcheveque has moved with the times as well, updating his Peugeot 206 T16 rally car to fit LEGO’s latest Speed Champions aesthetic, with it looking rather wonderful a as result.

Fabrice’s original 205 T16 featured on this site half a decade ago, and The Lego Car Blog has evolved a bit since then too, with the standard of presentation required to appear here considerably higher than it was back then. The incompetent writing and woeful site management remain though…

Fabrice’s significantly upgraded and perfectly presented Peugeot 205 T16 is available to view on Flickr, where building instructions are now available too. Click here to join the evolution.

High Five

Renualt’s humble 5 was a shopping-car favourite in the 1980s. And a joke by the 1990s. Now that most have been thrown away though, they are properly cool. Particularly in ‘Turbo’ flavour, from back when a whole model could simply be called ‘Turbo’ and nothing else, as it was clearly the most important bit.

Cue Darren Thew’s wonderful Renault 5 Turbo rally car, in tarmac ‘Tour de Corse’ specification, and sporting some fantastically accurate decals (which the Elves seem to really like too for some reason).

Blending Technic and System parts beautifully, Darren’s Renault 5 includes a detailed interior, complete with roll cage and harnesses, plus a highly accurate dashboard and controls, whilst under the opening hood is superb replica of the 5’s four-cylinder engine, including the famed forced-induction component that the whole car was named after.

It’s a brilliant build and one that’s definitely worth a closer look. Spool up your turbo and head to Corsica in the 1980s by clicking these words, plus here’s a bonus link of the real Renault 5 Turbo Tour de Corse winner in action.

The Last Good Lancia

Lancia’s current range of one solitary ugly car is probably the most pathetic of any car manufacturer alive today. But it wasn’t always like that.

Back in the 1990s Lancia was still, er… troubled, but nevertheless capable of absolute magic, and this was one of their most magical moments.

The Lancia Delta HF Integrale was the final evolution of a humble (and rather good) hatchback that started life way back in the late 1970s, eventually becoming a turbocharged all-wheel-drive rally homologation special.

The HF Integrale is now a seriously sought after car, which Eurobricks member Pingubricks has recreated beautifully in Model Team form. There are opening doors (no mean feat considering the wide-arch bodywork), an opening hood under which sits a detailed engine, and a realistic interior too.

An impressive suite of further imagery can be found at the rather underused Eurobricks ‘Scale Modelling’ forum; click the link to jump to see more of Pingu’s brilliant brick-built homage to one of Lancia’s finest moments.

One Time Winner

This is a BMW M3. The first BMW M3 in fact, back when it was light, agile, and powered by just four cylinders.

Built as a homologation special for touring car racing, the E30-series M3 was not intended to compete at the highest level of the World Rally Championship, what with that being dominated by the four-wheel-drive Group B cars from Audi and Lancia.

However, for just one rally, in 1987, the E30 BMW M3 was untouchable. The Tour de Course is a tight, all-tarmac rally held on the island of Corsica, and it’s just like a (very long) touring car race. All-wheel-drive and enormous power didn’t matter, as Bernard Béguin proved by taking a start-to-finish victory in his BMW M3, the first and only time BMW has won a WRC event.

This incredible brick-built replica of the Rothmans-BMW M3 rally car is the work of Dennis Glaasker (aka bricksonwheels), who has recreated the 1987 Tour de Corse winner with astounding realism.

Around 2,000 LEGO parts have been used, detailing the exterior, rally-spec interior, and inline-4 turbocharged engine under the hood, with fellow previous bloggee JaapTechnic assisting Dennis with the build by designing the stunning replica Rothmans-BMW livery.

The result is one of the most life-like creations of the year so far, presented beautifully to Dennis’ usual impeccable standard. There’s more of this astonishing creation to see at Dennis’ ‘BMW M3 Rally’ album on Flickr, and you can find out more about how he creates his amazing creations such as this one via the Master MOCer series by clicking here.

C3-R2

This post title refers not to some Star Warsy droid (we’re not Bricknerd), but rather this; the spectacular-looking Citroen C3 ‘Rally2’.

‘Rally2’ is the second tier of the World Rally Championship, with cars a little less powerful (and less expensive) than the WRC top class, and a little closer to production spec.

Confusingly these ‘R2’ cars are classified as ‘R5’ in the regulations, which makes no sense to us at all, but whilst they tend to be a bit slower than the full-fat WRC machines they nevertheless compete on the same stages over the same distances, occasionally beating a few WRC cars in the process.

This is Citroen’s latest ‘Rally2’ entrant, based upon their new C3 road car. Powered by a 1600cc turbocharged engine driving all four wheels, the C3 will face similarly-specified entrants from Skoda, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Ford, and sister-brand DS.

The incredible Lego replica of the C3 R2 pictured here was commissioned by Citroen themselves, coming from Martin Vala, who has recreated their latest ‘Rally2’ car in astonishing detail.

Opening doors reveal a remarkably life-like interior, complete with a full cage, realistic dashboard, pedals, and seats, whilst the superbly replicated exterior is enhanced by some brilliant decals that accurately recreate the real car’s livery.

Martin’s model has been photographed and presented beautifully too, and there’s more of the build to see at his ‘Citroen C3 Rally2’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump to the complete gallery of immaculate images.

Lancia Delta HF Integrale – Picture Special

The most remarkable Italian car manufacturer is not Ferrari. Lancia’s story is one of incredible technical innovation, fantastic racing cars, an appalling corrosion scandal, and now – effectively – their death at the hands of a parent company that really should try harder.

However even during Lancia’s painful decline they still produced the best cars in the world. This is one of them, the amazing Delta HF Integrale.

Based on Lancia’s 1980 ‘European Car of the Year’-winning family hatchback, the HF Integrale added turbocharging and all-wheel-drive, and in doing so became the most successful rally car in history. By the time it was retired the HF Integrale had won six consecutive Constructors World Championships (a record that is still unbeaten), fuelling the sales of over forty thousand road-going versions.

These two incredible recreations of the HF Integrale are the work of newcomer Zeta Racing, and they are – without doubt – some of the best Technic Supercars that we have ever published.

Each is spectacularly detailed both inside and out, merging both Technic and System parts to create an almost unbelievable level of realism. Stunning period-correct decals add to the authenticity, yet the exteriors – astonishing though they are – aren’t the most impressive aspect of Zeta Racing’s builds. For that you need to look underneath…

Hidden within each build is some of the most brilliant Technic engineering we’ve seen, with both Deltas qualifying for ‘Technic Supercar’ status, with working steering, gearboxes, highly detailed transversely-mounted inline 4-cylinder engines, and working suspension. But the functionally does not stop there.

Each model is also fully remote controlled thanks to LEGO Power Functions motors, operating the drive, steering, gears, and – if we’ve interpreted the images correctly – equipping Zeta’s creations with working brakes too.

It seems that in Zeta Racing we may have found our favourite new builder of 2020, and if you agree you can take a look at both his white and black Lancia Delta HF Integrales via the links, where you can also add yourself to his current ‘follower’ count of one (which is only us at present).

Zeta Racing has also uploaded several other astonishing Technic Supercars alongside these two incredible HF Integales, mostly of the Italian hatchback variety, which we’ll be publishing here over the coming days. Check back here for more soon, including some you may never have heard of…

Forest Pigs

Rallying was big business in the 1980s. With few rules making for wild cars, the WRC attracted as much attention as Formula 1, and Porsche wanted a piece of it, despite the unlikely suitability of their road-going products. Of course Porsche had a plan; their incredible all-wheel-drive 959, which would have been ideally placed for the WRC’s top-tier Group B once it was finished.

Unfortunately for Porsche the banning of Group B meant the 959 never got the chance to properly compete (although this did mean that the car raced in Paris-Dakar instead, becoming one of the most wonderful and weird winners in the event’s history), but before then Porsche still wanted a rally car whilst the 959 was in development. Cue the 911 with a giant wing on the back.

The 911 of the 1980s was of course only rear-wheel-drive though, meaning that the SC/RS version homologated for rallying stood very little chance against the all-wheel-drove competition in the WRC, but it was still a quick car. Switching to the lower-spec European Rally Championship proved smart, where Porsche’s stop-gap rally car was prepared by Prodrive and took several wins.

These two spectacular recreations of the Porsche 911 SC/RS come from TLCB Master MOCer Dennis Glaasker aka Bricksonwheels, who has faithfully recreated the ’80s icon in astounding detail. Each 1:14 scale model replicates a real version of the 911 rally car, with the famous Rothmans and Belga team liveries brought to life in incredible realism thanks to fellow previous bloggee JaapTechnic’s decal-producing wizardry.

Opening doors and engine covers reveal an interior and engine as beautifully recreated as the stunning exteriors, and there’s loads more to see of both 911 SC/RS models at Dennis’ ‘Porsche 911 SC/RS in Lego (1:14)’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to head to a forest in Belgium sometime in the 1980s.

Rally Classic

A Technic Supercar must contain many things. It must steer, include an engine driven by the wheels, a working gearbox, and suspension. This tends to make them rather large and parts intensive, but not so this one, which features all of that (and more) in a model about 1/4 the size of most of the Supercars we feature here.

Built by 1980SomethingSpaceGuy of Eurobricks, this ‘Vintage Rally Coupe’ packs in so much technical goodness we’re beginning to think that LEGO themselves need to step up their game a bit. A V4 engine up front is driven by the rear wheels via a working gearbox, all four wheels are suspended (with a period-correct combination of independent shocks up front a leaf springs at the rear), the steering wheel turns the front wheels, and the doors, hood and hatchback all open.

In summary, it’s glorious; a proper old school Supercar, just a whole heap smaller. And we absolutely love it. See more at the link above, it’s well worth your click.

Lancia-Italia Fulvia HF Rally Car | Picture Special

It’s not often that TLCB Team are stunned by a model brought back by one of our smelly little workers. We are of course experienced professionals, experts in Lego creations, and with a wealth of building talent ourselves. Oh, sorry – that’s the Brothers Brick – we’re still as incompetent as ever, but nevertheless it takes a lot to genuinely excite us, so blasé have we become through years of blogging. Today however, we are all spectacularly impressed, thanks to All.About.Lego and his amazing Technic Lancia Fulvia HF rally car.

Built for the current Eurobricks small car contest, this incredible recreation of one of rallying’s all-time-greats not only looks absolutely wonderful (and superbly accurate, despite being the difficulty of being a Technic build), it features more working functionality than models five times its size. So much in fact, that this tiny Lancia really is a Technic ‘Supercar’.

A working V4 engine is driven by the front-wheels (yup, the fronts, as per the real Fulvia and we have no idea how All.About.Lego has managed it), whilst a rear-mounted gearbox (technically a two-speed transaxle) can be controlled via the cabin gearstick.

Working leaf-spring suspension and functioning steering feature too, completing the Technic ‘Supercar’ necessities, plus the model features opening doors, hood and trunk, as well as an accurate period livery complete with superbly replicated decals.

It’s a phenomenal build and one that will start a riot here in TLCB office if it doesn’t win the Eurobricks Small Car Contest. Head to Flickr or the Eurobricks forum to see more of All.About.Lego’s spellbinding creation and LEGO, make this a set please! We’ll buy eight.

Lancia-Martini Historic Rally Team | Picture Special

It’s time for something rather special here at The Lego Car Blog; this is Bricksonwheels’ phenomenal Lancia Martini Historic Rally Team, formed of a a ’92 Lancia Delta Integrale Evo, an ’85 Lancia 037, and – proving Martini’s racing livery can make literally anything cool – a Fiat Ducato van, complete with tools, spares, and equipment. And each is amongst the finest examples of Lego model-making that you will ever see.

With expertly recreated liveries courtesy of fellow previous bloggee JaapTechnic, Bricksonwheel‘s creations are near perfect replicas of the stars of Lancia’s greatest era. And a Fiat van, but that’s a near perfect replica too.

Each model is built from around 2,000 pieces and includes fully detailed suspension, engine and interior, with every aspect constructed with mind-bending attention to detail.

There’s much more to see at Bricksonwheels’ Lancia Martini Historic Rally Team album on Flickr by clicking the link above, you can see the Delta Integrale’s individual appearance here at TLCB last year by clicking these words, and you can read Bricksonwheels’ interview as part of the Master Mocer Series by clicking here to learn how he creates amazing models like these.

Orange Squash

The Lego Car Blog Elves are, we think, immune to the Coronavirus. Not that we’d really care, but the little turds could bring it into TLCB Towers, so it’s a relief to know their DNA is sufficiently different from ours. Which shouldn’t really be a surprise looking at them.

However, whilst they can’t catch the deadly respiratory disease, they can still cause carnage amongst their own kind, as was proven today by one of their number at the controls of this; apachaiapachai‘s ‘Tangerine’ Technic rally car.

Powered by a single L Motor, but boosted by a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery providing up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own system, apachai’s creation is ludicrously fast, with the Elves caught on the floor no match for its speed.

Fortunately it’s also quite a low, so before long several were wedged underneath and the rampage was brought to an end, but not before quite a lot of Elven bodily fluids had got onto the carpet.

We could be mad at apachai for that, but a) it’s not his fault our workers are hell-bent on annihilating one another, and b) his creation is so damn cool! Looking like a mashup of many late ’80s – early ’90s rally cars, and with opening doors, hood and a roll cage inside it’s not just a riot to drive but looks thoroughly excellent too.

That said, we are going to have a go driving it (once we’ve wiped the front clean), so whilst we do that you can take a look at apachai’s remote control Technic rally car at the Eurobricks forum via the link above, where you can also find a video showing just how quick this thing is!