This magnificently obscure vehicle is a 1910s Holt 75hp Caterpillar, a part-track tractor produced by the company that would later become the world-renowned Caterpillar brand. Powered by a 23 litre 4-cylinder gasoline engine, and weighing 10 tons, the Holt Caterpillar was quite fantastically slow, but was reliable and could haul almost anything almost anywhere.
With war raging in Europe and limited photos of the newfangled British ‘tanks’ operating in the mire, Holt even converted one of their 75hp Caterpillars into a ‘tank’ as a PR exercise to parade to U.S citizens with the phrase ‘America First’ painted on it, dubiously attempting to take credit for something they had nothing to do with. Make your own Trump link…
This charming replica of the Holt 75hp Caterpillar (in conventional tractor form) comes from previous bloggee Nikolaus Löwe (aka Mr_Kleinstein), and includes BuWizz controlled drive and steering, as well as accurately reflecting the bizarre exterior of the original.
There’s more to see of Nikolaus’ Holt 75hp tractor at his photostream via the link in the text above, and if you think this is weird here’s a bonus link to the ‘tank’ version, which might just be the oddest thing you see today….
No, not your Mom’s old movies, but this rather lovely steam tractor by Flickr’s Nikolaus Löwe. Working ‘chain’ steering, a spinning flywheel, and other old-timey steamy things are all included, and there’s more to see at Nikolaus’ photostream. Click the link above for more steamy blue action.
It’s the late 1920s and steam powered road vehicles are pretty much over and done. There are a still a few being built though, primarily for applications where their monstrous torque was required; usually for pulling things along, pulling things over, or pulling things that powered other things.
Cue the Foden D-Type, a steam-powered logging tractor that enabled us to write a poo-based title, which is pretty much the main reason it’s appearing here. We’re not a classy blog.
The model is though, coming from previous bloggee Nikolaus Lowe, and it featuring a variety of technical functions including steering, a working ‘steam’ piston engine, and chain drive to the rear differential.
A extensive gallery of excellent imagery is available and there’s more to see of Nikolaus’s huge steamer on Flickr – click the link above to lay a log.
It’s been over a hundred years since steam rollers were built, and yet in TLCB’s home nation we still call road rollers ‘steam rollers’ over a century later. No we don’t know why either. Anyway, this one is a steam roller, being effectively a giant kettle with a big metal drum attached to the front, powered by burning lumps of fossilised wood.
It comes from previous bloggee Nikolaus Lowe, who has done a tremendous job building this beautiful and fully functional Model Team/Technic c1910 steam roller, complete with working rope steering, rear ripper, drivetrain pistons and valve gear, and even the weird centrifugal spinning thingy that steam-powered vehicles always seem to have, the purpose of which remains a mystery.
A wealth of superb imagery is available to view at Nikolaus’ ‘Steam Roller’ album on Flickr, where you can also find details on how to vote for this model to become an official LEGO set. Click the link above to go rollin’.
After the violent events that occurred here in TLCB Office yesterday we’ve been nervously awaiting the next remotely controlled Lego creation that the Elves would find. Fortunately for all concerned (except the Elf that found it), this Daniel Best steam traction engine by Flickr’s Nikolaus Löwe managed to do no damage whatsoever.
Despite its BuWizz battery, Nikolaus’s creation is heroically slow, and therefore accurately represents the real contraption from the early 1900s which had a top speed of… 4mph.
However such glacial velocity allowed us to view the magnificently recreated pistons and rods that Nikolaus has faithfully recreated, which all do their things thanks to well concealed Power Functions motors. The Elf at the controls was less impressed, and after watching its find trundle across the floor squashing precisely no-one, ran off in disgust.
It’ll be back for its meal token reward soon enough, but if you like this build as much as we do there’s more to see on Flickr. Click the link above to head very slowly across America in 1905.
Today at TLCB we’re trumpeting this glorious traction engine and trailer built by previous bloggee Nikolaus Löwe (aka Mr_Klienstien), who has opened up his own steam-powered amusement arcade!
Frogger, Time Crisis, and Sega Rally probably aren’t included, (and we’re not really sure what a steam powered amusement might consist of. Well, we had someideas but they’re definitely not right), but you can see more of the beautiful traction engine that would power them along with the trailered living accommodation that accompanies it at Nikolaus’s ‘Showman’s Engine ‘ album on Flickr.
Now that the title has pulled in a few people expecting to see something rather different, here’s a traction engine. This Case steam tractor comes from Nikolaus Löwe (aka Mr_Kleinstein) of Flickr, and not only does it look rather wonderful (unless you’re here hoping to see something else of course), it features remote control too, thanks to LEGO’s ace Power Functions system. Head to Nikolaus’ ‘Case Steam Tractor’ album via the link above to see more.
This is an 1857 Blackburn Agricultural Engine, and steampunky as it may appear, this really was a working* steam-powered traction engine, complete with a boiler and two-cylinder steam engine mounted inside the enormous front wheel.
Recreating this Victorian oddity is Nikolaus Lowe, who has not only replicated the Blackburn’s remarkable appearance, he’s included Power Functions motors so that his version can trundle around too. Only it’s likely geared much higher than the real thing was, as Nikolaus’ model is much too fast for a steam traction engine. This may not be Victorian-authentic, but it sure pleased the Elf that found it…
Sitting atop its find, the aforementioned Elf trundled into the Elves’ cage room and simply flattened those that were milling about on the floor, so evenly and precisely they could have been cookie cut-outs. Thank the Blackburn’s huge heavy drum for that neatness. Pressed Elves do not produce wine as it turns out, just vomit and other bodily fluids, so we’ve got some cleaning up to do. Whilst we get on with that you can check out more of Nikolaus’ amazing machine on Flickr – click the link above to take a look.
*No proof exists today, but there is a photo of an updated version from the 1860s, so we like to think this really did work.
We’re much too mature to link this post with today’s other one, however tempting it is. If your mind has connected the two though, that’s on you…
Now we’ve got that out of the way, on to the vehicle. This is an 1870 Batho 25-ton road roller, a prototype that would become the world’s first mass-produced road roller (‘mass’ being a relative term we suspect).
It’s also both the oldest (we think) and most unusual vehicle that this site has ever featured, and it comes from previous bloggee and weird-vehicle extraordinaire Nikolaus Löwe, who has based this exquisite recreation of the 1870 Batho on a scale model of the original vehicle.
Working steering and a considerable quantity of old-timey cogs and gears are present and correct (they’re for-real cogs and gears too, not any of that steampunk nonsense), and there’s lots more to see of Nikolaus’s remarkable model of a remarkable machine at his Batho 25-ton Road Roller album on Flickr – click the link above to see more of his impressive steamer.
Before the internal combustion engine took over as the dominant technology, early vehicles were powered by all sorts of stuff. Electric – weirdly – was widely used (so things are coming full circle and perhaps Tesla aren’t that revolutionary after all), as was steam, which featured in everything from small(ish) runabouts to enormous tractors, or ‘traction engines’.
Unlike electric, steam vehicles probably aren’t going to make a comeback, but we do still like to see a nice traction engine. Yeah, we’re a bit sad. So does Flickr’s Nikolaus Lowe though, and as such he’s built this splendid mini-figure scale ‘Showman’s Engine’, completely with a wonderfully be-hatted showman at the controls. Head to Nikolaus’s photostream via the link above for more details.
We’re not sure what’s got into The Lego Car Blog Elves this weekend, but they’re bringing back builds of a very classical nature. From the inventively old to the actually old now, and two absolutely beautiful Technic steam tractors from Flickr’s Nikolaus Lowe.
An unusual choice for a Technic build we think these – somewhat oddly – qualify for ‘Technic Supercar’ status, being equipped with working steering, brakes, piston and valve gear, and a two-speed transmission.
Head over to Flickr for the complete gallery of images, where you can also find a link to vote for Nikolaus’ design on LEGO Ideas, whilst we figure out how the Elves have been watching ‘Downton Abbey’.
The Lego Car Blog is normally full of Porsches, hot rods and fighter jets, but not today! Today we’re bringing you something much classier. And much older too…
Traction engines were the tractors of the late 1800s-early 1900s, effectively self-propelled steam engines for the roads that could pull immense loads. Very slowly, but immense loads nonetheless. The arrival of the internal combustion-engined tractor saw traction engine use decline massively, but many do still survive to this day. In fact this TLCB writer passed one close by to TLCB Towers recently that was comfortably towing both an enormous wooden caravan trailer and a Land Rover Defender behind that. Very slowly.
This superbly rendered turn-of-the-century traction engine comes from newcomer Bricked1980, and whilst it’s not our normal fodder we absolutely love it! Constructed in LEGO’s newer hues of dark green and gold, Bricked’s model features authentic chain steering, a spinning flywheel, much plumbing accoutrement, and a drawbar trailer full of assorted old-timey stuff. Which it will pull, very slowly.
Suggested to us by a reader there’s much more to see of Bricked1980s brilliant mini-figure scale traction engine design at both Eurobricks and Flickr, where you’ll also find a link to the model on the LEGO Ideas platform.