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…
This is a Fuchs MHL 320 material handler, essentially a full size arcade claw game. It comes from regular bloggee Damian Z. (aka Thietmaier), who has recreated it with absurd realism using all manner of interesting Lego pieces.
The Fuchs is pictured here alongside a Renault Magnum (named after a gun, or an ice cream, or a condom, we’re not sure) hook-lift container truck, which is just as life-like – we particularly like the splendidly battered and rusting scrap metal container it’s carrying.
Each model is beautifully built and presented, and there’s more to see of the Fuchs MHL 320 and the Renault Magnum hook-lift at their respective albums on Flickr. Click the links to take a look.
It’s Valentines Day, and the office here a TLCB Towers is filled with piles of cards from our admirers.
Wait, that’s not right. We mean it’s filled with messages from ‘instructions plz’ enquirers. That and ‘Get cheap Cialis here’ comments which we have to delete by the dozen. We suppose that those are kinda Valentine’s-related though?
Anyway, in other tenuous Valentines-linked news, this is PleaseYesPlease‘s wonderful Renault Dauphine rat rod, which is based on a real-world car by Instagramer ‘Oxtaco’.
Oxtaco transplanted a Volkswagen VR6 motor in place of the tiny original 845cc Renault engine, giving his Dauphine a much bigger heart (see, Valentines!).
Plus there’s probably a joke about putting something large inside something small, but with this writer and your Mom it’s the opposite, and either way we’ll probably have to delete more Cialis comments.
There are more images to see of PleaseYesPlease’s lovely Lego recreation of Oxtaco’s VR6-engined Renault Dauphine on Flickr, some of which even include Valentines-appropriate pink blossom.
Click the link above to see more, whilst we forward the latest batch of ‘Cheap Cialis’ messages on to The Brothers Brick.
This is a Renault Magnum, famous for being the squarest object in the known universe. It comes from Damian Z (aka Thietmaier), and whilst it’s excellent, what’s more interesting is the dropside trailer and trailer-mounted forklift behind it.
Such set-ups are commonplace in Europe, with the forklift sometimes cleverly doubling as the rear lights, number plate holder, and bumper of the trailer.
Damian’s forklift is a Moffett M4, and it’s as beautifully built as both the trailer that it rides upon and the truck that pulls it.
There’s lots more to see of Damian’s superbly presented Magnum/Moffett combination at his ‘Renault Magnum AE’ album on Flickr, where further details (including the rather neat pallets and their patio tile cargo) can be found. Click the link above for a good rear forking.
This is a Renault Floride, named after – we assume – a toothpaste, and built only from the parts found within the LEGO 10242 Mini Cooper set. Flickr’s monstermatou is the builder behind it, who first came to our attention via his brilliant Lock-Down B-Model Competition entries, one of which came this close (holds fingers microscopically close together) to taking a prize position.
Following his other superb B-Model builds, monster’s Floride alternate beautifully replicates Renault’s 1 litre convertible built between ’58-’68, and you can take a look at all of the images at his photostream – click here to clean your teeth.
Renault were on top of their game in the mid-’90s; winning the Formula 1 World Championship with Williams, the BTCC with their rather pretty new Laguna, and running a two-wheel-drive Megane in the WRC. Plus they had the Nicole and Papa Clio adverts…
In celebration of the above (well, mostly the F1 thing), they built this; the Renault Espace F1. Taking the second generation of the Espace that defined the European MPV segment, Renault’s partner Matra shoved their 800 horsepower 3.5 litre V10 Renault F1 engine into the middle, creating an MPV that could do nearly 200mph and an immediate icon.
This instantly recognisable Speed Champions recreation of one of Renault’s finest moments comes from dazzz99 of Flickr, who has captured the ’94 oddity superbly, and there’s more of his creation to see at the link above.
Renault are doing better these days, making a range of boring SUVs and Crossovers that don’t fall apart every second Thursday. However they’re about as interesting a Brothers Brick parts cataloguing evening, and frankly we’d rather walk than drive any of them. Ok, maybe the Twingo‘s alright, but that’s because it’s really a Smart.
Not so this however. It’s called the Renault Diaoul and it comes from the mind of F@bz, which must be a very interesting place indeed. Inventive parts are visible in abundance, including some properly odd wheels and one of the most unique engines we think we’ve ever seen. There’s much more of F@bz’s concept to see on Flickr – click the link above to make the jump, and if you work for Renault maybe take some notes…
Formula 1 might finally have got with the times and moved to turbo-charged engines, but it’s not actually the first time forced-induction has been used in Formula 1 racing.
Turbo-charging first appeared in F1 as early as the 1970s (and forced induction in the form of super-charging featured in Grand Prix racing earlier even than Word War 2 – think about that when you next brag about your turbo!). This particular car was one of the best of that first Turbo Era; the astonishing Renault RE20.
Built by Carl Greatrix, this Model Team recreation of the late ’70s Renault is one of the most beautifully engineered Lego creations we’ve seen this year, and not just on the outside. Underneath the perfectly replicated bodywork sits one of the finest chassis and engines ever constructed from the humble brick. The extra photo below gives you an idea, but you really need to head over to Flickr to see just how good this creation is. You can visit Carl’s photostream here – it’s worth the click!
Just like the road car. Wait, no, that’s not right.
Renualt are in big trouble in Europe. Years of making technologically advanced but shoddily built cars, combined with the ongoing Financial Crisis, have left the company hemorrhaging cash.
And yet… their once poor relation, which started making Renault knock-offs in Romania (with even worse build quality than the French managed, which is quite something) is starting to come good. Dacia, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Renualt, are expanding away from their Eastern European roots and giving the big brands a bit of headache. Their cars are so cheap that there’s nothing to drop off, and the good stuff from Renualt (engines and gearboxes) remains.
To publicize their expansion Dacia have done what any good car manufacturer does; built a ridiculous race car and made it look a bit like a car you can buy in the showroom. Their Duster Pikes Peak racer is a formidable machine, and it’s been faithfully recreated in Lego by Eric Mohier. Eric submitted his model to TLCB himself, using our Feedback and Submission Suggestions, and now he’s on the blog front-page! See, we do read your comments!
Anyway, this slice of yellow magnificence comes from way back in 1995, when Williams and Renault were dominating F1, Shaggy was boombastic, and mobile phones were for playing Snake. Fitted with Renault’s spectacular race engine the F1 Espace became one of the stars of the first Gran Turismo game on the Playstation. The road car was also one of the stars of the school run, creating a whole new sector that’s only now disappearing thanks to the SUV. Marin Stipkovic has recreated the awesome 1995 one-off with some cunning SNOT and a big pile of yellow plates. Check out the full Espace gallery on MOCpages.