Tag Archives: Speed Champions

Anglo-American

Despite a politically strained relationship at present, the United Kingdom and the Unites States of America can achieve great things when they work together. Here are two of the greatest, the magnificent Ford GT40 and AC Cobra.

Both cars were designed in the UK, but powered (and funded by) Ford USA, and both dominated racing in the 1960s. These two brilliant Speed Champions style models of the Gulf Racing GT40 and Cobra 289 are the work of previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott who has captured each car beautifully.

There’s more to see of each build at Jonathan’s photostream – click the links above to take a look at the complete image galleries for both cars.

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The Trouble with Tesla

Tesla. If there’s one car company you cannot criticise on the internet due to frankly fanatical supporters it’s Elon Musk’s electric automotive brand. Here goes…

Tesla were not actually founded by the creator of Paypal back in 2003, but Musk has pretty much led the company ever since, from it’s first car (the Lotus Elise based Roadster) to its position today as the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer. This is a simply astonishing achievement, particularly as it’s Tesla that have brought EVs to the mainstream, forcing the established car manufacturers to take EVs seriously. The raft of new EVs about to reach the market are in large part due to Tesla proving the business case.

They’ve also brought a sense of fun to the often staid motor industry, with models that literally spell ‘S3XY’, a drive mode named ‘Ludicrous’, whoopie cushion seats, and host of other mischievous features. Plus the Tesla Model 3 is the safest model ever tested by the Euro NCAP. And yet, would this TLCB writer buy one?…

Nope.

For all Tesla’s technical innovation and engineering brilliance the company’s primary function is to build cars, and they’re shockingly bad at it. Designs that use four times as many parts as they should (making repairs complicated, eye-wateringly expensive and slow), risible paint quality, panel gaps that  you could drive another car through, and chronic unreliability plague Tesla’s range. As the company tries desperately to meet demand (and to make money) the ‘finished’ cars are far from it, recreating the ownership experience of a 1970s British Leyland.

Whether Tesla can, or even wants to, sort these issues out is debatable. However what isn’t is that Mercedes-Benz, the Volkswagen Group, BMW, and many more besides wouldn’t be scrambling to go electric if it weren’t for Musk and what all started with an electrically-powered Elise. Which means when this writer is driving an EV he’ll be able to give a nod of thanks to Tesla, even though his car probably won’t actually be one.

Oh yeh, this neat digitally rendered Tesla Model 3 comes from Robson M of Flickr and there’s more to see at the link!

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75895 Speed Champions Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 | Set Preview

It’s a new set day here at TLCB, as LEGO have revealed their latest officially-licensed entry into the Speed Champions line-up from old favourite Porsche; the most excellent looking 75895 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0.

If 75895 looks familiar that’s because it is, as LEGO have recycled the design from 2018’s 75888 set, but Porsche have been recycling the 911’s design for decades now so if anything that makes it more authentic.

Featuring 180 pieces including a new-if-slightly-douchbaggy-mini-figure (wearing luxury car-branded clothing is never OK), 75895 includes rubber tyres, a removable windshield to give access to the cockpit, bespoke ‘Porsche’ and ‘Turbo’ decals, and a set of cones which – this being a 1970s Porsche – you can run over as you career off the road in a snap-oversteer/turbo-lag induced moment.

The new Speed Champions 75895 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 set will cost around $15 when it reaches stores in August of 2019 and we like it very much. Thumbs up LEGO.

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Slice of Lime

The retina-searing slice of lime is a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS and it comes from serial bloggee Simon Przepiorka, who is probably going to need his own shelf in TLCB Archives at the rate he’s going. With an opening hood, detailed engine, and some very cunningly applied stickers, Simon’s Chevy is about as accurate as 1:24 scale gets. Head over to Simon’s photostream via the link above for more photos of the Chevelle and his incredible back-catalogue of small-scale cars.

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Party Like it’s 1990

Few cars of the 1990s had as much impact as this one. Honda’s NSX shocked the world upon its launch at the start of the decade. A mid-engined supercar from the makers of the Civic, priced at just over half that of a comparable Ferrari 348. Sure it made ‘only’ 270bhp – a figure beaten by a Hyundai i30 these days – but it weighed little, being the first mass-produced car with all-aluminium bodywork, and the V8-powered Ferrari only had 30bhp more.

Honda continued building the NSX right up until 2005, although only around 18,000 were made in that entire production run. Today the NSX is worth substantially more than the Ferrari it undercut at the time, making it, and many other Japanese icons from the ’90s, properly profitable investments.

Fortunately for those of us who can’t afford the real thing serial bloggee Simon Przepiorka has a brick-built solution in the form of this superb small-scale Lego recreation. Simon has captured the NSX’s aesthetics brilliantly, and there’s even a detailed interior and engine behind the opening doors and engine cover.

There’s more to see of Simon’s fantastic Honda NSX at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump to when Honda were at the very top of their game…

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Apple Sauce

Apple weren’t always the tech giant that they are today. Back in 1980 at the dawn of the home computer era, and for the next 25 years, they were a small nerdy company making nerdy things for nerdy people.

However Apple did manage to break free form their nerdiness briefly with their sponsorship of the Porsche 935 K3 racing car run by actor Paul Newman at the 1980 Le Mans 24 Hours, which (perhaps unintentionally) practically writes its own to pork and apple puns.

This wonderful homage to the forgotten Apple Computers Porsche 935 K3 comes from serial bloggee Simon Przepiorka, who has captured both the car and its rainbow livery brilliantly in Speed Champions style.

Both Porsche and Apple have gone on to much bigger things since 1980, one almost pioneering the sports-car-turned-SUV craze (boo) and the other managing to sell basically the same phone for ten years at increasingly ludicrous prices (also boo).

We’ll stick with Apple and Porsche c1980 then, and you can too via the link above.

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Little Red Corvette

From one of America’s worst 1960s vehicles to one of its best. The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was something of a revolution for US sports cars when it arrived in 1963. This is the C3 iteration that launched a few years later, with about 58 different V8 engine options (seriously, just look at this list!), the same slightly dodgy handling, and ridiculously good looks. This lovely Speed Champions-esque version of the iconic American sports car comes from previous bloggee ZetoVince who designed it for the ‘How to Build Dream Cars with LEGO Bricks‘ book reviewed here last year. Head to ZetoVince’s photostream via the link above for more details, and you can read our review of the book in which it features by clicking the final link in the text.

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Striped Horse

The Lego Car Blog Elves like pretty much anything with a racing stripe as, in their minds, it adds at least 40bhp. They might be on to something too, as Ferrari’s 458 ‘Speciale’ increased the base Italia’s output by around that figure when it launched in 2013 with improved aerodynamics, forged wheels, and – most importantly – a centre-stripe. This excellent 1:24 Lego homage to the famous Italian supercar comes from TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka and there’s more to see of his 458 Speciale, complete with stripe, at the link above.

Lego Ferrari 458 Speciale

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Rain Reign

This gorgeous creation comes from TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka, and it’s a 1:24 replica of the Porsche 935 in K3 specification. The 935 was launched in the mid-’70s and raced successfully well into the 1980s, with perhaps its greatest moment being a remarkable Le Mans 24 Hour victory in 1979, where the 935 beat even the prototype racing cars in the pouring rain to take the outright win. Simon’s superb Lego replica captures the 935 K3 brilliantly and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.

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GT4586

Lego Toyari GT4586

Ok, this might be digital, but it’s too cool not to post! This is a GT4586. What’s that you ask? The 4.5 litre V8 engine from a Ferrari 458 fitted inside the engine bay (mostly) of a Toyota GT86. The result is one hell of a drift car, and it’s street legal too, as builder/racer Ryan Tuerck demonstrates in this rather excellent video. Sadly the real car is no more following an accident, but TLCB favourite Simon Przepiorka has brought the Toyrari/Feryota back to life in Lego form with this awesome-looking render. Make the jump to see more via the link!

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Green ‘Gator

Lego Porsche Cayman R

OK, a cayman isn’t quite an alligator, but they are both green. Or something. Anyway, here’s a most excellent Porsche Cayman R in a retena-searing lime green, and it looks the business. Built by TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka (who is due here tomorrow too with something very cool) it’s a superb recreation of Porsche’s fastest mid-engined coupe, which is no easy feat given the shape of the real car. Cunning techniques abound and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.

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The Boss

Lego Ford Mustang Boss

LEGO’s new 10265 Creator Expert Ford Mustang revealed here last month looks like it could be one of our very favourite sets that the company has ever produced. But for a whole lot less you could have your own ’60s Mustang Fastback that looks every bit as gorgeous as the 1,400-piece set. TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka is the builder behind this wonderful 8-wide ’69 Mustang ‘Boss’ Fastback and there’s more to see of his brilliant small-scale version of the iconic classic pony car on Flickr via the link above.

Lego Ford Mustang Boss

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Hachi-Roku

Lego Toyota 86

The Toyota 86/GT86 / Scion FRS / Subaru BRZ is a rather wonderful machine. Light weight, low grip, rear-drive and very sidewaysy, it’s the antidote to this. And this. And this. And this. Which means most people aren’t interested in it and in the not too distant future cars like the 86 will probably be no more.

Simon Przepiorka is interested in the 86 though, and thus has built this most excellent Lego version, complete with opening doors, posable ‘steering’ and a plethora of cunning building techniques to create the svelte shape. There’s more to see at Simon’s 86 album on Flickr – click here to make the jump.

Lego Toyota 86

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Miami Vice

Lego Ferrari Daytona Miami Vice

Ferrari didn’t allow Miami Vice to use their cars, because they are – famously – dicks when it comes to their brand protection. The producers decided they wanted Ferraris anyway, and commissioned Corvette-based replicas to create their desired movie cars. We’re not sure who had the last laugh there, the Miami Vice production company or Ferrari, who received marketing for free without even having to lend out a couple of cars.

This neat replica of a replica of a Ferrari Daytona Spider in Miami Vice black on Magnolia spec comes from previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott, and a rather splendid job he’s done too. See more at the link above.

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Muscle Car Double

Lego Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Founded in the late 1920s, mis-managed into administration, and then closed down in the last decade or so, Plymouth and Pontiac are best known in recent times as victims of the Big Three’s sorry tale of arrogance, greed and incompetence.

But before all that there were some good times. Really good times. In the late-’60s to early-’70s the muscle car was in a golden age, and both Plymouth and Pontiac were riding the crest of that wave.

Plymouth’s Barracuda (above) launched in the mid-’60s with a range of engines beginning at just 100bhp, yet by 1970 it was making up to 425bhp from an enormous Hemi V8. Unfortunately 425bhp didn’t sit really suit the market once the oil crisis hit in 1973, and production ended shortly afterwards, but if anything that short life has helped the ‘Cuda become one of most sought-after muscle cars in history.

General Motors were also in on the muscle car action in the 1960s, bringing – via their Pontiac brand – the GTO (below) to market in ’64. By the 1970s they too were making over 400bhp, with stock cars delivering 13.4 second 1/4 miles times straight from the forecourt. Like Plymouth the oil crisis put an end to that, but in its hay-day the Pontiac GTO sold almost 100,000 units annually, despite its slow steering and ‘amazingly inadequate’ brakes. The roads must have been a fun (if slightly terrifying) place!

Lego Pontiac GTO

The two superb Speed Champions versions of the Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda and Pontiac GTO pictured here are the work of Thomas Gion, who has faithfully recreated both cars in just 6-studs of width, capturing the styling cues of each brilliantly.

Today both brands are gone, but the legendary cars they created in the 1960s and ’70s mean they won’t be forgotten for some time yet.

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