We hadn’t heard of Julius and Clancy before, but a quick Google reveals the cartoon critters by Paul Frank are every bit as terrifying as Brickbaron‘s brick-built versions.
Horrific though they undoubtedly are, so are most children’s TV characters (we mean, just look at a Teletubbie), and their message is a sweet one, as evidenced by this catchy tune – which maybe a few politicians should watch. Plus cheaply animated kids cartoons are a lifesaver for parents the world over, however disturbing the protagonists may be.
Anyway, back to the creation; Julius and Clancy are in a tuk tuk for some reason, which Brickbaron has presented beautifully. Built using a range of excellent techniques there’s more to see of Julius and Clancy’s tuk tuk taxi ride on Flickr, where we’re sure a wholesome song can’t be too far off…
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.
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…
Black Cabs are absolutely not fast. They are filthy smog spreading abominations though, and fortunately London has had enough and decreed only EVs and PHEVs now qualify to become Black Cabs. Fortunately the newly-renamed London Electric Vehicle Company, now owned by Geely (Volvo’s deep-pocketed owners), have built a new black cab fit for the 21st century, and it’s a delight. Plus it’s not poisoning us all like the last Black Cabs were, with a 1.5 litre Volvo petrol engine never driving the wheels, instead providing a range extension to the EV batteries.
Whilst we won’t mourn the loss of the soot-spewing old taxis, TLCB favourite and Master MOCer Redfern 1950s seems to, having created this ‘V8 Drag Car’ that to us looks a lot like an old Hackney Carriage (the technical term for London’s cabs) with an enormous V8 shoved in it.
It sure wouldn’t meet London’s new licensed-hire emissions rules, but we bet it’d get us across London a heck of lot faster. Actually that’s not true, crossing London is about as quick on a push-bike as it is in a Porsche, but it would be more fun! There’s more to see of of Red’s ‘V8 Drag Car’ (aka ‘Hackney Rod’, as named by us just now) at his photostream, plus you can learn how he creates brilliant models like this one at his Master MOCers interview via the link in the text above.
The first Vietnamese Grand Prix was due to take place this year. Sadly it, along with most other sporting events, has been cancelled due to Coronavirus, although it did seem a slightly odd choice for a Formula 1 venue. With much of the population using bicycles or mopeds to move about, a Formula 1 car must have felt like a world away. But maybe that was the point.
This is a far more common Vietnamese vehicle, the humble Xích Lô pedal rickshaw, complete with a foldable canopy and a comfy rear-facing chair. This incredible Lego version comes from Hoang H Dang (aka Know Your Pieces) who has deployed a simply breath-taking array of ingenious building techniques to recreate Vietnam’s taxi. From the wheels to roof, the frame to the tree, Hoang has used a fantastically intricate combination of tubes and clips to create his Xích Lô and you can see more of his stunning build at his photostream via the link above.
Many cities and countries are known for having an iconic taxi. London has the Black Cab, although it’s now vastly outnumbered by Prius Ubers, New York had the Ford Crown Victoria, until it was replaced by Nissan vans, Camrys and the Prius, and Mexico had the Volkswagen Beetle, now superseded by boring Asian boxes including, you’ve guessed it, the Prius. There’s a theme here…
Fortunately (and perhaps ironically) Japan still has its iconic taxi cab, the Toyota Crown Comfort, complete with its amazing automatically opening rear doors. Built right up until 2017, the Crown has served as Japan’s taxi for over two decades. It’s finally being retired though, replaced by a bespoke Toyota taxi design that will probably end up becoming even more iconic, and which owes more than a little to its London counterpart.
The Comfort will be around for a while yet though, weird doors and all, and you can hail a ride in Ralph Savelsberg‘s brilliant Miniland scale replica via the link above.
This hovering Checker taxi was found by one of our Elves today, who – after watching two compatriots munching on yellow Smarties (they’re the best kind) yesterday – is now happily eating a yellow candy reward. It has Eric Teo of Flickr to thank, who has simultaneously gone retro and sci-fi with his flying classic cab. Click the link above to hail a hovercab.
1997’s ‘The Fifth Element’ had it all; alien opera, robotic turkeys, Milla Jovovich, a malevolent cosmic entity, and – of course – flying yellow cabs. This is Bruce Willis’ hover taxi and it comes from Davdup of Flickr who has done a superb job of recreating it in Model Team form. There may not be a super-hot-saviour-of-the-universe in the back seat, but it’s got everything else. Click the link above to hail a ride 250 years in the future.
One of the most iconic vehicles in the world, London’s ‘Black Cab’ has remained visually unchanged for over sixty years. First built by Austin, which became British Leyland, and then by a succession of smaller specialist companies, the ‘Black Cab’ has ferried tens of millions of passengers around the streets of Britain’s capital.
This particular ‘Black Cab’ is an Austin FX4, a design first launched in 1958 that lasted right up until the late 1990s. Powered by various diesel engines the FX4, despite being a rather lovely vehicle, turned London’s air into a soot-filled soup, so thankfully they were banned from service in recent years (and their replacement is a far more air-quality friendly plug-in hybrid).
This brilliant Miniland-scale rendition of the old Austin FX4 comes from Peter Blackert aka Lego911 of Flickr and you can hail it for yourself via the link above. Just don’t breathe in what comes out the back…
This TLCB writer was not impressed by the Ford Crown Victoria taxi he experienced in New York. Bumpy, not actually that big inside, and probably getting around 8mpg, it seemed a bizarre choice for the congested and awful roads of NYC.
More recently most New York cabs are Toyota hybrids, which seem a far more sensible choice, but we’d still pick this over both the Crown Vic and an anonymous modern appliance.
Based on no one particular classic cab but taking design cues from all of them, Flickr’s Redfern1950s has created a stunning looking ’50s taxi complete with suicide doors, bench seating, and a huge trunk for some old-timey suitcases.
Stick your hand out and hope this picks you up rather than a ratty old Crown Vic via the link above.
The single most received message we get here at The Lego Car Blog (besides texts from your Mom of course) is ‘Can I have instructions for [insert model here]?’.
Normally the answer is no, but today we can answer with a yes. And then some. Because not only has Flickr’s de-marco made instructions available for his lovely 5-wide classic taxi and pick-up truck, he’s even written a parts list and made a video for each model showing the building steps!
Head over to de-marco’s photostream via the links above and fill your boots!
The Lego Car Blog staff might all have clothes slightly too small for them after Christmas but the Elves, locked up over the festive period, are hungry. Imagine the delight of the first Elf back then, when it was awarded not one but four meal tokens. Will it spread its four meals out, or binge on four dinners in one go? I think we all know the answer to that.
The cause of this Elven gluttony is Vibor Cavor (aka Veeborg) who has built four beautiful versions of the mid-1940s Chevrolet Fleetmaster. Clockwise from top left is a police fastback, a taxi sedan, a fire chief coupe, and a delivery-bodied ambulance conversion. Each model is wonderfully detailed inside and out, includes opening doors, hood and trunk/tailgate, and features hand-of-God steering.
There’s more to see of all four Fleetmasters at both Vibor’s Flickr photostream and MOCpage – click the link to check them out.
At least, that’s what your Mom told this TLCB writer. It’s a philosophy adopted by Flickr’s LEGO 7 too, who has constructed this charming micro-scale scene in which none of the vehicles are more than two studs in width. They’re all instantly identifiable though, with a taxi, police car, excavator, cement truck, ambulance, semi truck, coupe and bus all recreated brilliantly in miniature and placed within a clever modular roadway. There’s lots more to see of all the vehicles plus the neatly designed base at LEGO 7’s photostream – click the link above to check it out.
Apparently this futuristic artic tractor unit is a taxi. Whatever its function, it’s well worth visiting its creator’s Flickr Photostream to see more details and play features. The builder goes by the name of Gray Mini, though we can’t spot that particular vehicle amongst his models.
One of the greatest movies of all time – Martin Scorsese’s 1976 ‘Taxi Driver’ – created two very different but equally brilliant stars in Robert De Niro and a very young Jodie Foster. There was another star of course; the bright yellow Checker Marathon cab driven by De Niro’s Travis Bickle. Already world famous, the Checker didn’t need the movie to earn its notoriety, but it did probably become much cooler as a result. This perfect replica of the iconic classic cab comes from TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist, and you can see more here.