Tag Archives: ralph savelsberg

The Long Way Home

This return journey will be familiar to anyone with an extended period of Land Rover ownership in their vehicular history.

Actually that’s not entirely fair; whilst classic Land Rovers (in this case a Series III) will break, they do only require electrical tape and a piece of string to fix. Clearly the owner of this one forgot to bring their string…

Ralph Savelsberg is the creator of this excellent MAN TGS AA recovery truck (along with the lovely Series III Land Rover it’s recovering), which includes a working under-lift, sliding platform, tilting cab with four opening doors, and some beautifully authentic decals.

It could only be more realistic if the Land Rover Series III on the back was replaced by a Range Rover Sport. And that’s definitely not a car that’s repairable with electrical tape and piece of string.

Pre-Raptor

Today’s instrument of brick-built death is this, the Lockheed/Boeing YF-22, a 1990s prototype that would eventually become the formidable F22 Raptor, beating the more interesting looking Northrop/MocDonnell Douglas YF-23 to the contract.

Two YF-22s were built, and regular bloggee Ralph Savelsberg has added a third, with this stunning Lego recreation. Spectacular surfacing, an opening cockpit, working landing gear, and some explodey weaponry make this well worth a closer look, and you can do just that via the link above.

Soporific Sedans

Is there anything more automotively dreary than an American full-size sedan?

OK, American mid-size SUVs, which have almost completely replaced the sedan market, are the new pinnacle of blandness, but we’re not sure that even they can eclipse a grey Ford Crown Victoria.

This Lego version of the wheeled white space comes from Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg, who somehow managed to complete it without falling asleep during construction.

Ralph’s Ford Crown Vic joins some other tediously drab sedans in the corner of his garage, and there’s more to see of it and them at his photostream via the link above, all of which are perfect for something that’s coming soon here at The Lego Car Blog…

I Predict a Riot…

There’ll be no tenuous Christmas links in this post! No, this writer is altogether more gloomy, as COVID sweeps back across Europe, several nations have imposed strict lockdowns once more and – as is the want of a small but very vocal minority – that will mean some noisy protests. Because the main aim of this global conspiracy is clearly to stop people drinking in groups larger than six.

Sigh.

The Dutch look prepared though, at least if Ralph Savelsberg‘s Mercedes-Benz Vario riot van is anything to go by. Wonderfully constructed, Ralph’s riot van features opening doors, some really trick building techniques, and pair of suitably protected riot police officers.

Join the protest against, er… masks, maybe – we’re not sure – via the link above!

*Today’s title song.

Every Wagon

The Suzuki Wagon R was roundly mocked when it arrived in TLCB’s home nation in the late 1990s. These days though it’s, well… still roundly mocked, but we think Japan’s kei cars deserve to be taken seriously outside of the country that created them.

After all, as the population rises and urban dwelling intensifies homes have become smaller. Appliances have become smaller. Even chocolate bars have become smaller. So why not cars?

Oh yeh, because size somehow signifies social importance, and f*** the planet. Sigh.

This is the Wagon R’s successor, the Suzuki Every Wagon, and whilst the name is undoubtedly silly, we’d happily take one of these over a BMW X7. We could probably take three of them for a BMW X7 and still have room left over to be honest…

This one comes from previous bloggee Ralph Savelsberg, and there’s more to see of his kei creation at his photostream. Click the link above and think small. It’s all you really need anyway.

Re-iMaersked

LEGO have had a few promotional partnerships over the years, many of which appeared long before branded sets became commonplace in the line-up.

One such promotional set was 1985’s 1552 Maersk line Truck and Trailer, which – thanks to certain peculiar fringes of the Lego community – is now worth a silly amount of money. But only to those same peculiar fringes of the Lego community, so we’re happy to ignore both it and them.

Still, Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg decided to reimagine the 1552 set and has made it rather more appealing to boot, using modern parts and techniques to update the over-priced oddity.

ReiMaersk yourself in one of LEGO’s first branded partnerships at Ralph’s ‘1552 Reimagined’ album via the link above.

Bōsōzoku!

Japan’s ‘Bōsōzoku’ scene is a sub-genre of car culture that we really don’t understand, but that we’re really glad exists. Ralph Savelsberg is too, having created this magnificent Bōsōzoku-ed Nissan Skyline C110 complete with a wild bodykit, skywards exhausts, and a cool-looking Japanese character to drive it. See more on Flickr at the link.

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.

Jam Van

British police vehicles don’t wear the myriad of different liveries that feature across the United States. All feature the ‘battenberg’ chequered design, named after the famous Victorian cake that shares the same pattern, and it does look quite cool. Even on an embarrassingly unthreatening 1.6L Astra or Focus.

However until recently The Metropolitan Police (who look after the thirty-two London boroughs, counter-terrorism, and the Royal family) did have a distinct colour scheme, wearing a livery based upon a simple lunchtime snack rather than an English cake. We’re not sure why British police forces design their vehicles after party food, but we’re all for it.

Anyway, this previous-generation Metropolitan Police Ford Transit does wear the now-replaced Met Police ‘jam sandwich’ livery, which has been recreated rather wonderfully by regular bloggee Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist, complete with a British police officer (aka ‘Bobby’). Said officer is a little out of date now as British police don’t wear their ‘custodian helmets’ when driving, but they do still put them on to beat you with their baton, what with that being a special occasion.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s Metropolitan Police ‘jam sandwich’ Ford Transit on Flickr, and you can take a bite via the link above!

Express Gass

Talking of big boring boxes, here’s a Chevrolet Express Conversion Van. No amount of tinted windows and stickers down the sides could make us want to ride in this hateful pile of American misery, but Ralph has made his (excellent) Miniland recreation of the Chevy Express rather more exciting by the addition of a tow hitch, meaning his beige box of bricks can tow an altogether more interesting Chevy…

Hooked up to the Express is a trailer carrying this magnificent ’57 Bel Air ‘gasser’, complete with a supercharger poking through the hood and a flame paint job, both of which have got the Elves very animated. A cast of unique-looking characters is on hand to make sure she’s runnin’ right and there’s more to see of the Bel Air gasser (and the Express van we suppose) at Ralph’s photostream – click here to make the jump!

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

Sprinting to Save

The world’s emergency services battle to save us every single day, with the current Coronavirus pandemic highlighting in particular what an incredible job they do. Of course they need the tools to do the job, and that’s what they’ve got in the Netherlands with their Mercedes-Benz Sprinter ambulances. Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg is the builder behind this one, recreating both the converted van and its complicated Dutch chevrons over EU-mandated yellow paint job with brilliant accuracy. Opening doors reveal a life-like interior too, and there’s more of Ralph’s Sprinter to see at his photostream – click here to call an ambulance.

Unfortunate Acronym

Subaru Tecnica International had an unfortunate acronym in much of the world. They didn’t change it though, unlike Toyota who renamed the MR2 in France to avoid phonetic embarrassment. Still, aside from standing for an unfortunate side affect of unprotected relations, STI meant some excellent machinery, including this 2000’s Impreza WRX STI recreated by Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg in his trademark style. Click the link to make the jump to his photostream see more.