The seventies were weird. Inflation trebled, gas prices skyrocketed, everyone was on strike, and vans were adorned with murals for some reason.
The first three items on the list are making an inglorious resurgence in 2022, so we’re expecting the return of mural-adorned vans is imminent too. Flickr’s 1saac W. is one step ahead with this pair of wonderfully ’70s Dodge Street vans, each adorned with a celestial mural.
Head back to the 1970s via the link above, or just stick around for a bit, as the decade appears to returning for all of us.
This is a ZSD Nysa 522, a Polish communistical van based on the FSC Zuk, only a little nicer (hence our terrifically amusing title!). The Zuk was itself based on an FSO, which was based on a GAZ, making the Nysa the last link in effectively one long chain of Iron Curtain automotive misery.
Said Iron Curtain meant the Nysa 522 remained in production – unbelievably – until 1994, by which time the newly democratic Polish government could elect to import vans that weren’t based on the design of a Russian passenger car from the 1940s.
This lovely Model Team recreation of the ZSD Nysa 522 comes from previous bloggee and weird-Eastern-European-communist-era-specialist Legostalgie, who has captured its characterful styling beautifully. There are opening doors, including a clever sliding one on the passenger side, a detailed engine, and a lifelike interior, and there’s much more to see at Legostalgie’s ‘Nysa 522’ album on Flickr, where a link to building instructions can also be found.
Click the link above to take a look, and the link above that to see all of the weird-Eastern-European-communist-era vehicles from Legostalgie that have appeared here at The Lego Car Blog to date. All are fantastic, but we think this one is even a little Nysa…
This is the Volkswagen EuroVan, or the T4 Transporter to most of the world, produced from the early-’90s to the early-’00s, and available as a van, passenger vehicle, kombi, chassis-cab, pick-up and camper.
This one, being called a ‘EuroVan’, is the North American version, where the T4 Transporter was sold from 1992 and 2003, almost exclusively with VR6-power. In Europe we could get a 1.9 naturally-aspirated diesel with 60bhp, so really we think the ‘states should’ve got that one…
Anyway, this EuroVan comes from previous bloggee Danifill, who has recreated the ’90s Volkswagen brilliantly in Technic form. There’s remote control drive and steering via a BuWizz bluetooth brick, independent front and live axle rear suspension, working head and tail lights, and brick built VR6 engine under the opening hood.
There’s more to see at the Eurobricks discussion forum – make the jump to all the details, imagery, and a video of the van in action via the link in the text above.
Some vehicles are more than the sum of their parts. They’ve transcended their original purpose to become, and stand for, something more. The Volkswagen Camper, the Toyota Prius, and the DeLorean DMC-12 to name a few, but each of those is still, at the end of the day, just a car. A car wrapped up in a million connotations, but a car nonetheless.
Occasionally though, a vehicle transcends its original purpose by actually, well… transcending it. These are rarely the cool cars. They’re the forgotten ones. The vehicles whose job as a vehicle has long been superseded in order to meet the more immediate needs of the owner.
Cue TLCB debutant pan noda, and their simply wonderful ‘RV House’, depicting a dead camper, extended, adapted and remodelled, to become a far better abode than when it was still rolling.
Gorgeous detailing and presentation abounds and you can click the link above to take a closer look. It’s not #vanlife. It’s something a whole lot more.
Grey, ugly, and slightly depressing. Most Soviet items, whether architecture or vehicular, seemed to follow these designs rules, but at least the UAZ-452 got a good nickname.
‘Bukhanka’ means ‘bread loaf’*, and became attached to the UAZ-452 thanks to its slightly loaf-like aesthetic.
The 452 has maintained said shape since its launch in 1965, and it’s still being sold virtually unchanged today, even taking until 2011 to gain seatbelts and anti-lock brakes.
Used as a van, ambulance, pick-up truck, military vehicle, minibus, and countless other applications, the ‘Bukhanka’ is common sight across Eastern Europe, and has been recreated brilliantly in brick-form by previous bloggee PalBenglat.
Pal’s 6-wide ‘Bukhanka’ captures the design of the original wonderfully and there’s more to see at his ‘UAZ-452 Bukhanka’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to loaf on over.
*And not, as it turns out, when several gu… nevermind. Google carefully kids…
It’s the action movie favourite! Escalating explosions, an elaborate Michael Bay camera pan, and the hero shouting an expletive can only mean one thing, the SWAT team are here!
This TLCB Writer doesn’t live in America, so he doesn’t actually know what SWAT are or what they do, besides arriving late and looking cool in action movies, but he’d happily use de-marco‘s ace SWAT van to recreate said scenes in miniature in TLCB office.
There’ll be no tenuous Christmas links in this post! No, this writer is altogether more gloomy, as COVID sweeps back across Europe, several nations have imposed strict lockdowns once more and – as is the want of a small but very vocal minority – that will mean some noisy protests. Because the main aim of this global conspiracy is clearly to stop people drinking in groups larger than six.
The Dutch look prepared though, at least if Ralph Savelsberg‘s Mercedes-Benz Vario riot van is anything to go by. Wonderfully constructed, Ralph’s riot van features opening doors, some really trick building techniques, and pair of suitably protected riot police officers.
Join the protest against, er… masks, maybe – we’re not sure – via the link above!
TLCB theory of the day: Before long all new cars will look like this.
Every new car launched is seemingly an increasingly enormous SUV, or is ‘lower, longer and wider’ than the model it replaces. Take these trends to their logical conclusion, and you end up with a two-tier (literally) market of monster trucks and pancakes, and nothing in the middle. Which is probably a metaphor for the current state of political discourse or something.
Anyway, enough about the polarisation of everything, here are two classically shaped commercial vehicles from HCKP13, at opposite ends of the suspension spectrum, and there’s more to see of each on Flickr. Click the link above to play higher or lower.
This pot of Communist cream is a Barkas B1000, an East German forward-control van produced from 1961 until 1988, and powered by a tiny one-litre, three-cylinder, two-stroke engine.
Available as a pick-up, an 8-seat minibus, and – as pictured here – a panel van, the B1000 could carry a one-ton payload (probably very slowly), and proved so reliable and adept at doing so it was built virtually unchanged for nearly thirty years.
This charming Model Team recreation of the B1000 comes from previous bloggee and TLCB favourite Legostalgie, who has captured the East German workhorse beautifully in beige bricks.
Opening doors and a superbly detailed interior are included, and you can head to the other side of the Iron Curtain sometime in the 1970s via the link to Flickr above.
With LEGO revealing their new (and really rather excellent looking) 10279 Volkswagen T2 Transporter set, we’re wondering if they will gradually work their way through all the Transporters as if they’re binging on Jason Statham action movies.
Getting there first though, is regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott, whose superb 6-wide recreation of the T3 Transporter looks considerably more realistic than anything that occurred in the third instalment of the movie franchise.
If we were to ask TLCB Elves to design a car (and if we could understand what they’re saying), it would probably sound something like this; “A hot rod! And it’s red! And it’s got six wheels!! And a Ferrari engine! And rocket launchers!!”
Meeting all of the above (apart from the rocket launchers), is Tony Bovkoon, who has tapped into his inner-Elf to create this siding-doored ‘Wagon Hot Rod’, complete with six wheels and a Ferrari engine.
The crack team of Elven ‘volunteers’ fired over The LEGO Company’s HQ permitter wall tasked with uncovering this summer’s new sets had – we thought – all returned/been eaten by guard dogs, but no! Today one last bedraggled Elf returned home to TLCB Towers with a final new-for-2021 LEGO set, at it’s a great one…
This is the brand new Creator Expert 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van, LEGO’s officially licensed successor to the wonderful 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van that has been on sale for almost a decade (making it one of the longest serving LEGO sets ever).
Improving on the 10220 set is no mean feat – it achieved a full 10/10 review here at TLCB – and LEGO have certainly gone all-out, nearly doubling the parts count to a whopping 2,207 pieces.
Many of these are tiles too, as a new building technique deploys outward facing ‘SNOT’ to construct the bodywork in place of the original set’s traditional stacked bricks.
A fully detailed interior complete with a canvas pop-top, opening cabinets, a fridge, a stove (with all important tea pot), and a sink is included, whilst a brick-built surfboard (first seen on the 10252 Volkswagen Beetle set) along with two folding deck chairs ensure the T2 is suitably beachy.
Working steering, a sliding door, a brand new windscreen piece, and an opening engine cover add to the realism, whilst period-correct (and hippy default) ‘Peace’ and ‘Love’ decals ensure the model reflects the late ’60s – early ’70s era that still defines the T2 today.
Expect the new LEGO Creator Expert 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van to cost around $180/£150 when it hits stores later this year, and LEGO’s successful Volkswagen Camper story to continue for some time yet. A T3 set in 10 years’ time? We wouldn’t bet against it!
It may come a surprise to some of our readers, but not all Mercedes-Benzes are posh. Far from it in Europe in fact, where not only can you buy a compact Mercedes-Benz with a 1.5litre Renault diesel engine, the three-pointed star is a common sight in construction zones, fruit markets, and scrap merchants, where almost unfathomably battered Mercedes vans and trucks are put to work until they’re sent to the banger track.
Our European readers will therefore be very familiar with a vehicle such as this one, a Mercedes-Benz Vario crew-cab truck loaded with a variety of contructiony things in the bed, and with a cab full of old tabloid newspapers, drinks cans, and other assorted detritus.
This one comes from regular bloggee Damian Z. (aka Thietmaier), and it could only be more realistic if the cab included old tabloid newspapers, drinks cans, and other assorted detritus. Damian has both built and presented his Vario superbly, and there’s lots more to see of it, plus a mini-excavator, compressor, and a dump truck too, on Flickr via the link.
Orange lines are usually not a good look. They are today though, thanks to Tim Henderson and this lovely ’63 Ford Econoline van. Tim’s model is based upon the customised Econoline owned by his friend Rose who runs Custom Vanner Magazine, and there’s more to see of Tim (and Rose)’s tan lines on Flickr via the link above.