Tag Archives: Speed Champions

Scooby Doo

This cartoonesque (hence the title) Subaru Impreza WRX STI was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today. It comes from previous bloggee Fuku Saku who has created the GC8 version of the car that featured in the Japanese phenomenon ‘Initial D’. There’s much more of Fuku’s Impreza to see at his Flickr album – click the link above to make the jump!

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Supernova

We’re rounding out today with a simple Speed Champions style build that’s both beautifully executed and presented, proving just a handful of parts can create something special. Jonathan Elliott is the builder, his model is a classic Chevy Nova SS, and there’s more to see here.

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Espace F1

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.

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What’s in a Name?

‘Gran Sport’ itself is not a bad name. However it does have certain connotations that may be hard to live up to. You probably wouldn’t want to attach it to a lumbering barge of Americana with about as much sporting pretension as a fridge full of cake for example.

Still, that’s what Buick did – without a hint of irony – in 1973, attaching the ‘Gran Sport’ name to their third generation Century, a car with a three-speed gearbox and as little as 190bhp. In body roughly the size of a grocery store. Full of cake.

That said, the ’73 Century GS did look rather wonderful, at least compared to most of the other crap General Motors was building at the time, and Flickr’s Thomas Gion has done a splendid job recreating it in Lego form. Head to his ‘Buick Gran Sport’ album via the link to see more (and find a link to building instructions), whilst we go an eat some cake.

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Zupra II

Toyota have been fiddling with their BMW-platformed A90 Supra, most notably by jumping power by around 10%, so it finally surpasses the old A80 version. SP_LINEUP has been fiddling with his A90 Supra too, and it looks even better in white than it did in blue. Instructions are available and you can find them and more of SP’s brilliant Speed Champions creations via the link above.

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Blue Monday*

We round off today’s creations with one of our very favourite vehicles ever, the Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40. Created by TLCB Regular Simon Przpiorka (aka SP_LINEUP) this gorgeous 1:24 Lego replica of the legendary 4×4 evolves his previous tan version with the addition of a bright blue paint job, one of the FJ’s most iconic hues, and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link.

*Title song. Naturally.

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Japfest

The Elves have been working hard lately, and we have a bumper haul for you today. These are two of their finds, both ’90s Japanese sports cars, both roughly Speed Champions scale, and – most importantly – both with pop-up headlights.

SP_LINEUP‘s modified Nissan 240SX (above) and dazzz99‘s Honda NSX (below) capture the details of their real-life counterparts brilliantly, and remind us of a time when Japanese cars were at then top of their game.

Click the links above to head back to the ’90s.

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Striped Tomato

Undercover detectives need an understated, invisible ride. Something that draws no attention, that can slip by unnoticed. A Dodge minivan for example. Or a Toyota Corolla. Not a bright red Ford Gran Torino with a giant white vector stripe down each side.

Still, maybe things were different in the ’70, and Starksy & Hutch’s wheels still seemed to nab them plenty of crooks. Cue Pasq67‘s 8-wide recreation of one of TV’s most famous vehicles, complete with Starsky & Hutch mini-figures and ‘magnetic’ pot-plant flashing beacon. Oh, and a  giant white vector stripe down each side of course.

Head to Pasq’s Flickr album via the link above for all the imagery and click here for a nearly twenty-minute montage of the real Gran Torino in action!

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Ken & Mary

This is a 1970s C110-series Nissan Skyline GT-R, known as the ‘Kenmeri’ because the advertising campaign for the C110 Skyline featured a couple called Ken and Mary. Yes, really. Still, Nissan’s marketing department were to take British old people’s names literally soon after, with the ‘Silvia’, ‘Gloria’, and even the ‘Cedric’.

Back to the C110 GR-R, which was only sold for 6 months – and only in the Japanese domestic market – before the oil crisis of 1973 ended sales at less than 200 units. High performance cars were looked down upon in Japan during the crisis and the Kenmeri was quickly pulled from production, making it an incredibly rare car today.

TLCB regular Jonathan Elliott has added one more C110 GT-R to the list though, with this brilliant 7-wide Speed Champions style recreation of Nissan’s rarest Skyline variant. Jonathan has captured the real car beautifully there’s more to see at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

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A Greater Godzilla

Here at TLCB we whole-heartedly welcome the addition of Nissan to the LEGO Speed Champions line-up, and hope it leads to a few more partnerships with Japanese auto makers (Honda or Toyota anyone?). However the first officially licensed Nissan set – the 76896 Nissan GT-R NISMO – is not LEGO’s best effort, with more detail derived from decals than actual bricks. Still, if we were 7 we’d absolutely love it.

Cue previous bloggee Simon Przepiorka, now known as SP_LINEUP, who has constructed his own 8-wide Nissan GT-R, and it’s superb. With not a sticker to be seen SP has successfully captured all of the GT-R’s design hallmarks in wonderful accuracy, and his model features opening doors and an opening hood too.

There’s much more of SP’s brilliant Nissan GT-R NISMO to see at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump to an altogether better GT-R.

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Purple Porka

Some things don’t look good in lavender. Dogs for example. Anything modified by Mansory. Although that’s probably down to being modified by Mansory more than the colour. They could take a lesson from SP_LINEUP of Flickr, who has not only managed to tastefully modify a Porsche 911, it’s rockin’ a purple paint-job that looks, well… awesome. Head to SP’s photostream via the link for more purple perfection.

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Super-8

LEGO’s Speed Champions range has stepped up its scale to 8-wide for 2020, bringing increased realism to the line-up. Lego builders are taking advantage of this too, building creations in a matching scale with more detail than could be squeezed into a 6-wide build. dazzz99 has done just that, and is here making his TLCB debut with this excellent 8-wide hot rod. See more on Flickr via the link.

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Giulia GTA

This ridiculously pretty model of a ridiculously pretty car comes from Jonathan Elliott of Flickr. It’s an Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA, built between 1965 and ’69 and fitted with Alfa Romeo’s advanced twin-cam 1600cc engine and aluminium bodywork. This cleverness made the GTA a brilliant racer, but even if it wasn’t we’d still want one because look at it! See more of Jonathan’s 6-wide recreation of Alfa Romeo’s high-point at the link above.

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Fast Bricks: Build 6 LEGO Sports Cars! | Book Review

They’re the questions we receive here more than other (apart from your Mom calling to find out if we’re free); “Where can I buy this?” / “Are there instructions?”.

We’ve reviewed a range of books here at TLCB (see here, here, here and here) that aim to answer the questions above, providing parts lists and building instructions to enable readers to create real-world vehicles from LEGO bricks. Today we have another, kindly provided by publisher ‘Brick Monster‘ who have a range of both instructional books and downloadable building instructions available at their website, offering everything from BrickHeadz to dinosaurs.

Fast Bricks: Build 6 LEGO Sports Cars!

Overview: Brick Monster’s latest publication, entitled ‘Fast Bricks’, details the step-by-step building instructions and complete parts lists for six real-world sports and performance cars. Each car is designed to match LEGO’s old six-wide Speed Champions scale which, whilst less detailed than the new 8-wide standard, should mean both a plentiful parts supply and that fewer parts are needed.

The book follows the now familiar format that we’ve come to expect from instructional publications, offering a brief (and really well written) introduction to each car, along with a few key statistics – although in this case they are about the model itself rather than its real world equivalent.

Instructions and Print Quality: The bulk of the book is taken by the step-by-step instructions, which are clear and well laid out. Minor sub-assemblies are used every so often and all parts added are highlighted by a contrasting brightly-coloured outline, which is very nice touch. A ‘Bill of Materials’ ends each section, along with the alternate colour schemes available for each build. Unfortunately we have no images of these available to show here, which is something that Brick Monster should look into so that they can showcase this content.

‘Fast Bricks’ is not the glossiest book we’ve reviewed and nor is it printed in the highest quality, but it’s well suited to its purpose, where ultra high quality paper can actually be a hinderance to following building instructions, however beautiful the product looks. On the other hand one area where higher print quality would have been useful was in the instructions for C8 Corvette pictured on the cover, where the dark blue bricks chosen are hard to distinguish against the black lines that surround them. This is never an issue with official LEGO sets and highlights just how good LEGO are at both designing and mass-producing the building instructions found in their products.

The Models: It’s the Corvette that is probably the best model within the book, although all feature a range of excellent building techniques that newer builders may appreciate learning.

However, unfortunately for us in some cases the builds are not particularly recognisable as the car they are purported to be. We could have ten guesses for the Mazda MX-5 and Lamborghini Huracan and we wouldn’t have guessed correctly, with other models having only a passing resemblance to their real-world counterparts.

It’s a shame, because – whilst not really offering anything new – the layout, instruction designs, descriptions, and parts lists of ‘Fast Bricks’ are all pretty good.

Verdict: We wouldn’t have thought there was a need for yet another building instructions book, however the constant requests we receive here at The Lego Car Blog indicate that – as usual – we know nothing, and there remains a significant interest in step-by-step instructions for models.

We’re not sure that any book is the best medium for providing step-by-step instructions anymore, with digital downloads performing the job just as well, but nevertheless ‘Fast Bricks’ take on the book-based instructional formula is another competently engineered addition, utilising well-judged techniques and instructional designs to walk readers from a pile of LEGO bricks to a finished sports car model. We just wish the models found within it looked a bit more like the cars they’re supposedly based upon.

★★★

Buy your copy of Fast Bricks by Gilad Barlev and Brick Monster here.

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Red Rice

We’re not sure where the term ‘ricer’ came from in America, but today it’s defined as ‘Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements’, which means it seems to have transcended any xenophobic origins and can be used to describe any car modified in a ‘ricey’ way.

What we do know is that three favourites recipients of the term, at least according to the internet, are the Toyota Supra (specifically the Mk4 variant), the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and the Honda Civic, each of which has been recreated brilliantly in lightly-riced form by TLCB regular SP_LINEUP.

Each includes opening doors and hood, plus a detailed interior and engine bay, and some can be bought from SP in kit form too. Click the link above to visit SP’s photostream to see more of each build and the rest of his extensive back-catalogue.

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