Tag Archives: Van

#vanlife

Ergh, #vanlife.

Once the preserve of smelly hippies and families who liked to sleep in a field, the humble camper van has transformed into some kind of sustainable-living fashion statement, despite the fact that the occupants are literally burning oil with every unnecessary YouTube video uploaded following their drive to the nearest Starbucks. But if they only eat ethically-sourced all-natural vegan peace-crisps then it’s all OK…

This cheery mini-figure enjoying #vanlife has himself a 6-wide Volkswagen T3 Westfalia camper, complete with a brilliant pop-up roof, sliding door, and a fully fitted interior. Built by PalBenglat of Flickr it could only be more realistic if said mini-figure had a beard and a top-knot.

Join him trying to access the free WiFi at the nearest Starbucks via the link above!

VeeDub WooWoo

Ah, LEGO’s ‘Light & Sound’ system. Before Control+ Apps, Code Pilots, and third-party SBricks, a simple 2×2 brick with a little battery in it that went either ‘Niiii!’ or ‘Wooo!’ depending which way it was turned was the only thing available. And it was marvellous. If a little annoying for every parent of a child that owned one.

Ralph Savelsberg has dug out his thirty-year-old LEGO ‘Light & Sound’ bricks to fit them to his thoroughly modern Miniland scale Dutch police Volkswagen Transporter, and they duly give it ‘Niiii!’ and ‘Wooo!’ abilities as well* as they did to models three decades ago!

Ralph hasn’t left it there either, installing a Power functions remote control drivetrain to his Transporter, cunningly concealed in the back.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s excellent ‘Niiii’-ing and ‘Wooo’-ing Dutch police van on Flickr. Click the link above to annoy your parents.

*’Well’ is a relative term.

Pink Bits

If you’re new to this site and were expecting to see something else based on the title, sorry; here’s a Lego van instead. But it is built from pink bits.

Two shades of pink in fact, which recent previous bloggee Brick Flag has used in the creation of this rather excellent 1960s Dodge A100 van.

The Dodge A100’s story is a similar one to the Ford Econoline that appeared here earlier in the week, being designed to combat the influx of imported Volkswagen Type 2s. Like the Ford, the Dodge was available in pick-up and van body styles, featured a three speed gearbox (three!), and an inline 6-cylinder engine. A V8 was also available, although we have no idea why.

Brick Flag has taken the hot rod route with his superb A100 van, fitting his creation with lowrider suspension and a custom pink paint job, and there are further images available to view on Flickr. Click this link to see more pink bits.

Tim’s Van

This is Tim, and this is his 1965 Chevrolet Sportvan, complete with vintage slot-mag wheels, flat-black paint, a modded 230ci inline-6, shag carpet interior, and more than a little rust*.

Previous bloggee Tim Henderson really does drive this ’65 Chevy van in real life, having owned it since 2003. He now has a Lego version too, and there’s more to see of this lovely little build on Flickr. Click the link above to read more.

*The office Rover 200 shares precisely one of Tim’s Van’s features. Can you guess which one?

From Land to Landfill

The Earth is undergoing a considerable change. Of course it has always changed, thanks to a variable climate and the evolution borne from it, however until recently it’s been in a period of beautiful stability that lasted tens of thousands of years. And then mankind started chopping everything down, digging everything up, and burning it…

The result is a climate changing at a rate that is way beyond the pace that life can adapt to survive, and once the permafrost melts and releases the methane trapped within it, we’re on a one-way train to doomsville.

It’s not too late though, as nature has a remarkable ability to heal itself if given the chance. One way we can limit the damage is to consume less, whether that’s energy, material things, or food. Food production, particularly meat, is the single largest contributor to the destruction of our wilderness. Buying local, and not eating the meat from intensively-farmed, chemical-filled, miserable animals, is both better for us and the planet upon which we live.

Cue Chris Elliott‘s Japanese mobile greengrocer, bringing locally grown produce to your door in a converted minibus. Chris’s beautifully detailed creation includes a range of brick-built veg, breads and pastries, a burst of pink flowers down the side, and even LED lighting. Plus there’s not a battery-farmed chicken in sight.

Reducing consumption doesn’t necessarily mean buying less, as at present an average of 219lbs of food is wasted annually by every American, equating to over a third of all U.S. food production.

Throwing less away, and recycling it when we do (even food), means less chopping down, less digging up, and less burning. Cue Jonathan Elliott‘s excellent Dennis Eagle garbage truck/bin lorry, which is where what we discard usually ends up. Jonathan’s bin lorry captures the real thing superbly, and there’s even a working lift mechanism at the back.

Sadly it only has black and grey bins, but change them for green and blue (or whatever the recycling colours are where you live), and we might just avert the looming catastrophe yet. Click the links above to follow the food from land to landfill, and ask yourself if there’s a better way…

Jam Van

British police vehicles don’t wear the myriad of different liveries that feature across the United States. All feature the ‘battenberg’ chequered design, named after the famous Victorian cake that shares the same pattern, and it does look quite cool. Even on an embarrassingly unthreatening 1.6L Astra or Focus.

However until recently The Metropolitan Police (who look after the thirty-two London boroughs, counter-terrorism, and the Royal family) did have a distinct colour scheme, wearing a livery based upon a simple lunchtime snack rather than an English cake. We’re not sure why British police forces design their vehicles after party food, but we’re all for it.

Anyway, this previous-generation Metropolitan Police Ford Transit does wear the now-replaced Met Police ‘jam sandwich’ livery, which has been recreated rather wonderfully by regular bloggee Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist, complete with a British police officer (aka ‘Bobby’). Said officer is a little out of date now as British police don’t wear their ‘custodian helmets’ when driving, but they do still put them on to beat you with their baton, what with that being a special occasion.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s Metropolitan Police ‘jam sandwich’ Ford Transit on Flickr, and you can take a bite via the link above!

Three-Way

This is a Hako Multicar, a common sight on European city streets, and with a fairly rubbish name until you realise how literal it is. The only surviving nameplate from the East German IFA, Multicar have been building small versatile platforms for over eighty years, with everything from floor buffers to armoured military vehicles emerging from their German factory.

However, even a single Multicar model can be multiple, er… cars, as proven here by this superb Technic Multicar 4×4 built by Sthrom (aka Blaz62). Like Multicar’s real vehicles, Sthrom’s creation is capable of switching between several purposes, with a single chassis and cab able to be equipped with multiple attachments.

Sthrom’s Multicar chassis is filled with proper Technic functionality, including all-wheel-steering, all-wheel-suspension, and all-wheel-drive with locking differentials, hooked up to an in-line 4-cylinder engine underneath the tilting cab. The front of the cab is fitted with a multi-purpose mount, allowing a range of equipment to be attached, whilst at the rear and even broader range of machinery can be added.

Sthrom’s model can be deployed to three different uses, with a mobile crane/cherry picker (often seen deployed for street light repair), a container truck/skip lorry, and a snowplough with grit spreader. Each attachment includes a wealth of realistic functionality, all operating mechanically via hand-operated linear actuators, levers, and bevel gears.

It all adds up to being one of our favourite Technic creations of the year, and there’s loads more to see of the Sthrom’s Hako Multicar, including the chassis and each attachment separately, at Bricksafe, the Eurobricks forum, and via the excellent demonstration video below.

YouTube Video

The Duflo

This TLCB Writer doesn’t often post Duplo creations here at The Lego Car Blog because he’s big boy and he can use the small bricks. He’s even built a 7+ set almost all by himself, Dad just had to help a little bit.

However he is posting a Duplo build (kinda) today because a) it’s awesome, and b) it’s awesome. Flickr’s Edward Lawrence has combined a Duplo van body with standard LEGO system pieces (and the surfboard from the Creator 10252 Volkswagen Beetle set) to create the ‘Duflo’, and it is, as mentioned above, awesome.

There’s more to see of Edward’s ‘Duflo’ mashup at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump!

The Van


Almost every car manufacturer makes vans these days, however in Europe there was a time when there was pretty much just one; the Ford Transit.

So ubiquitous was Ford of Europe’s product that for decades the words ‘van’ and ‘Transit’ were interchangeable, like ‘vacuum cleaner’ and ‘Hoover’, or ‘hot tub’ and ‘Jacuzzi’.

Those days are long gone with the Transit now one of many, but Flickr’s Jonathan Elliott remembers a time when the Blue Oval had van market domination with his wonderfully pretty 6-wide Mk1 Transit.

Jonathan has captured the original Transit beautifully and there’s more to see at his photostream here.

Express Gass

Talking of big boring boxes, here’s a Chevrolet Express Conversion Van. No amount of tinted windows and stickers down the sides could make us want to ride in this hateful pile of American misery, but Ralph has made his (excellent) Miniland recreation of the Chevy Express rather more exciting by the addition of a tow hitch, meaning his beige box of bricks can tow an altogether more interesting Chevy…

Hooked up to the Express is a trailer carrying this magnificent ’57 Bel Air ‘gasser’, complete with a supercharger poking through the hood and a flame paint job, both of which have got the Elves very animated. A cast of unique-looking characters is on hand to make sure she’s runnin’ right and there’s more to see of the Bel Air gasser (and the Express van we suppose) at Ralph’s photostream – click here to make the jump!

Lancia-Martini Historic Rally Team | Picture Special

It’s time for something rather special here at The Lego Car Blog; this is Bricksonwheels’ phenomenal Lancia Martini Historic Rally Team, formed of a a ’92 Lancia Delta Integrale Evo, an ’85 Lancia 037, and – proving Martini’s racing livery can make literally anything cool – a Fiat Ducato van, complete with tools, spares, and equipment. And each is amongst the finest examples of Lego model-making that you will ever see.

With expertly recreated liveries courtesy of fellow previous bloggee JaapTechnic, Bricksonwheel‘s creations are near perfect replicas of the stars of Lancia’s greatest era. And a Fiat van, but that’s a near perfect replica too.

Each model is built from around 2,000 pieces and includes fully detailed suspension, engine and interior, with every aspect constructed with mind-bending attention to detail.

There’s much more to see at Bricksonwheels’ Lancia Martini Historic Rally Team album on Flickr by clicking the link above, you can see the Delta Integrale’s individual appearance here at TLCB last year by clicking these words, and you can read Bricksonwheels’ interview as part of the Master Mocer Series by clicking here to learn how he creates amazing models like these.

A Real Foodie

All the best food comes out of the back of a food truck. Also all the worst food, but the jeopardy is half the fun! This beautifully constructed food truck comes from November Juliett who has used a range of clever building techniques throughout the build, particularly the SNOT (Studs Not On Top) bodywork, has found brilliant new use for some lovely early Technic wheels, and has built a detailed (and operable) serving hatch.

Place your order on Flickr via the link above, and hope November’s food truck is one of the good ones, otherwise…

A Real Defender

As has been mentioned before, we’re not sold on Land Rover’s new Defender. Which means it’ll likely sell phenomenally well… We are sold on this though, John O’Shea’s perfect digital recreation of the classic Land Rover 2A 109 that first appeared here last year.

John has since rendered the best version of his design yet, because this is what a Defender should look like. OK, not in America where Defenders are fetching astronomical sums of money, or in the UK’s cities where they’re all black with tinted windows and LED lights, and have never gone up so much as a curb, but out in rural Britain where Defenders work for living.

The British countryside is full of Defenders that look like this one; battered, seized exposed screw heads, roofs green with mould, and patches over patches on the chassis. Somehow we’re not sure the new version will look like these in 30 years. Mostly because it probably won’t last that long.

John’s beautifully rendered 2A 109 van manages to capture all of the shediness of the thousands of Defenders carrying equipment, sheep, and farmers across the British Isles brilliantly, and there’s more to see of his stunning render at his photostream. Click here to take a closer look.

You Say Tomato, I Say Yamato

This is a Toyota Quick Delivery Hybrid, as used by Japan’s ‘Yamato’ delivery company. Plus there are some monks for some reason*.

Built by TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg, the Quick Delivery (it does what it says on the tin we suppose!) is not our usual fodder, but it’s a most excellent build. Ralph’s trademark blend of superb techniques have allowed him to recreate the odd asymmetric Toyota brilliantly, including its sliding cab doors and a fully racked cargo area.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s Yamato-liveried Toyota Quick Delivery Hybrid on Flickr via the link above, you can hear today’s title song by clicking these words, and you can find out what that *asterisk is referring to by clicking here.

Other Runners

Blade Runner wasn’t all about the ‘Spinner‘. Largely forgotten, the movie featured several vehicular oddities that appeared alongside the famous hovercar, each managing to look both futuristic and decidedly sheddy at the same time. Flickr’s keiichi kamei remembers two such designs, the ‘Armadillo‘ van and the ‘Deckard‘ car, each shown here in both civilian and civil service roles.

Previous bloggee keiichi has recreated the designs wonderfully in mini-figure scale, with some ingenious building techniques and custom decals used to enhance the models’ accuracy. Head to the futuristic time of November 2019 (yes, Blade Runner is now set in the past!) via the links above.