Tag Archives: Vintage Car

French Thunder

Lego 1905 Darracq 200hp

The French don’t often get much credit for their automobiles. Least of all here at The Lego Car Blog, even though France pretty much invented motor racing, the world’s most famous race is held there every year, and of course they’re (sort of) responsible for the world’s fastest production car too. Well today we put that right, with one of the most amazing cars from the early years of motoring.

Powered by a 200hp V8, the Darracq LSR was little more than a enormous engine bolted to two girders, an approach that we like the sound of very much. It set the Land Speed Record in 1905 at almost 200km/h and it still exists today, regularly tackling the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb almost completely sideways, despite coming from a time long before drifting was a thing.

This neat Technic replica of the monstrous French racer comes from Nikolaus Löwe of Flickr, and it’s genuinely about as technically advanced as the real car, which isn’t hard. Take a closer look at one of the forgotten heroes of motor racing via the link above.

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Insert Obscure Reference

Lego Vintage Car

This is the 1927 Csikós Bismuth Sport Coupe, and it’s one of the strangest automotive stories of the 1920s.

Founded by a Hungarian monk in 1919, Csikós started by producing gear assemblies. A chance meeting with Giovanni Agnelli – the founder of FIAT – on a skiing trip in Italy saw the two bond over a mutual hatred of Communism and love of starfish, and an agreement was made to exchange FIAT engine technology for Csikós gears.

The result was Csikós’s first car, based loosely on a FIAT 501. Moderate success at home and in Italy gave the company the confidence to design their own car from scratch and the Bismuth was launched a few years later. Powered by a supercharged inline-4 of 3.7 litres, the Bismuth had a top speed in excess of 70mph and found fame with the Federation il Automobile Racing de Turin (FART).

Such success was short-lived though, as the company’s founder was killed in a freak land-yacht accident just four years later. Without leadership vehicle production slowed until the factory was requisitioned by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Today the factory is gone, replaced by Hungary’s national aquarium where – in memory of Csikós – the starfish tank still bares their company name.

1927 Csikós Bismuth

Except we made all of that up.

Flickr’s Chris Elliott is the inventor of the 1927 Csikós Bismuth Sport Coupe, and now that we’ve completely butchered whatever backstory there may have been you can see more at Chris’s photostream by clicking the link above! We’ve had a lot of sugar today.

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Blackfish

Lego Nautilus Car

Today’s post features a car that is the exact opposite of everything in the staff car park. Extravagant, opulent, unnecessary even… Redfern1950s’ latest creation has more common with TLCB Executive Washroom and Sauna than with anything we’re driving.

It comes of course from the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which was, frankly, not very good. Not so the car, which was built for real in all of its twenty-two foot glory from the remnants of a Ford Cargo truck. It was so real in fact that it really drives, it’s road legal(ish), and a replica recently came up for auction on eBay, although our budget wouldn’t stretch to it.

Lego Nautilus Car

Redfern’s incredible Model Team recreation of Captain Nemo’s ‘Nautilus’ swaps the original white for black (looking a million times more sinister as a result!) and features opening doors and hood, under which is a suitably enormous V12 engine.

There’s a whole lot more to see of this amazing build at Redfern’s photostream – take a look via the link, plus you can see how the original UK-made movie car was built by clicking here and view the recently sold American replica by clicking here.

Lego Nautilus Car

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Fine Vintage

Lego Mercer 5 Sporting 1920

LEGO’s Speed Champions sets have brought some of the most exciting new and classic real-world cars to Lego fans in brick form. From modern McLarens to classic Mustangs, the range covers about 60 years of motoring greats. But what if it went back into the annuls of automotive history just a little further…

These three gorgeous Speed Champions style vintage cars come from Flickr’s Łukasz Libuszewski, who has done a wonderful job recreating their largely-forgeotten shapes in our favourite Danish plastic.

Lego 1928 Cadillac

The first (top, in red) is a 1920 Mercer 5 Sporting, built by the American motor car company that manufactured high performance cars from 1909 until the Great Depression put them out of business in 1925 some 5,000 units later.

The second (above, in green) is also a vintage American, but from a company that survived the depression era and is still making cars today. Founded in 1902 Cadillac are one of the oldest car companies in the world and have been owned by General Motors since 1909. The model pictured above dates from 1928 and Łukasz has used some ingenious building techniques to recreate the cycle-wings and carriage-type body typical of the time.

Lego Lancia Lambda 1922

The final of Łukasz’s three vintage builds (above, in brown) comes from the other side of the Atlantic and Italy, where Lancia have been producing cars since 1906. Lancia are now sadly a shadow of their previous greatness and today produce just one car (an ugly Fiat knock-off), making us fear that they’ll be gone altogether before long.

This 1922 Lambda was the polar opposite of their hateful modern offering, a revolutionary design that pioneered independent suspension, the world’s first unitary body, and that produced almost 70bhp from its four-cylinder engine.

The Lambda has been recreated beautifully by Łukasz in the model pictured above and there’s more to see of it the other excellent vintage Speed Champions cars shown here by visiting his photostream – click here to see some of the finest cars of 1920s.

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Deutschland Duel

Lego Technic Großer Mercedes 770

Iiiin the red corner, representing West Germany, driven by Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring and Pope Pius XI, and powered through the 1930s by eight cylinders and a supercharger, it’s the Großer Mercedes 770!

Aaaand in the beige corner, representing East Germany, driven by peasants, and powered through the 1950s… and 60s… and 70s… and 80s… and 90s… by two cylinders and hope, it’s the Trabant Combi!

Two very different yet very German cars today, represented by two very different but very excellent Lego creations.

Above we have the Großer Mercedes 770, built by Aleh of Eurobricks in Technic form and absolutely packed with amazing technology. Aleh’s recreation of one of Mercedes-Benz’s most opulent vehicles includes Power Functions drive and steering, an inline-8 engine hooked up to a three-speed+R gearbox, working all-wheel mechanical brakes powered by a Medium motor, all-wheel suspension, LED lights, and SBrick bluetooth control.

At the other end of the automotive scale we have this wonderfully replicated Model Team style Trabant Combi, resplendent in an authentic hearing-aid beige and built by fellow TLCB debutant Dan Falussy. With opening doors, hood and hatchback plus folding seats, Dan’s homage to the world’s finest cotton car (yes really) is about as well equipped as the real thing, and very probably better built.

There’s more to see of each model on Eurobricks (as well as Flickr in the Trabant’s case) via the links above. Take a look and choose your winner!

Lego Trabant

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Bananarama*

Lego Desert Clipper

LEGO produce all manor of weird and wonderful pieces these days. Take the humble banana for example. Usually a neat accessory for a Town market or a man in a gorilla suit, LegoGallifrey of Flickr has deployed the tropical fruit in use as mudguards for this rather wonderful looking ‘Desert Clipper’ concept. There’s more cunning parts use elsewhere in the build too – check it out at LegoGallifrey’s photostream here.

*Today’s musical link. Click at your own risk.

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It’s a Gas!

Lego Gas Station 1920s Bugatti

Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74) is becoming a regular at The Lego Car Blog with his beautiful vintage motoring scenes. This wonderful Bugatti Type 35 has appeared here before, pictured being unearthed in an elderly farmer’s barn. This time Andrea takes us back to the when the car (and farmer) were a little younger, with this brilliant historic gas station scene. We’re not sure the Bugatti would be a new car, even in this era, as something much more recent seems to be poking out of the garage, but nevertheless we’re willing to bet that the Type 35 caused a bit of a stir at the Shell Service. There’s more to see of Andrea’s gorgeous build on Flickr – click here to step back in time, or here for today’s title song.

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75875 Rewound

Lego Hot Rod and Pick-Up 75875

LEGO’s 75875 Speed Champions set is a neat officially-licensed product, complete with a modern Ford F-150 pick-up and a retro Ford Coupe hot rod. Previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott is feeling even more retro though and he’s reworked the set backwards by around 40 years to create a 1970s F-150 and a 1925 Ford Model-T racer. Step back in time at the link above.

Lego Hot Rod and Pick-Up 75875

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Party Animals!

Lego Ford Model T Party Animals

Things are getting wild down on the farm! This menagerie of drunken farm animals doesn’t look dissimilar to the last party we had here at TLCB Towers. If you replace the Ford Model T with a wheelie chair. And the farm animals with a near-comatose TLCB staff writer. And the riotous abandon with remorseful crying. And ‘party’ with ‘drinking alone’.

Anyway, enough about this blogger’s Friday night, this wonderful scene comes from Paul (aka Brick Baron) of Flickr and it was built for this year’s BrickCon Lego convention. There’s more to see of his colourful party animals at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump!

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Barn Find Bugatti

Lego Barn Find Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix

It’s every petrolhead’s dream to unearth an amazing classic car, unknown to the world for decades, hidden away in an unopened garage, workshop or barn.

It’s TLCB Master MOCer Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74‘s dream too, so he’s decided to build his very own barn find, depicting the moment a farmer reveals the old Bugatti racing car that’s been sleeping untouched for half a century beside his hay.

This particular barn find would be sure to raise some global interest, with Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix’s fetching around $1.5million at auction. Do you think he’ll sell it? Head over to Andrea’s photostream to ask the farmer really nicely.

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Class A

Lego Ford Model A

This gloriously sinister scene comes from Pixel Junkie of Flickr, whose Ford Model A convertible and muted grey street gives us the shivers. Of course the driver could be on his way to pick up his girlfriend from work and take her for ice cream, but it’s more interesting to imagine something much darker…

Whatever is going on there’s more to see at Pixel’s photostream via the link above, where there are some lovely details to be found including the use of spears and daggers as metalwork plus a beautifully simple yet instantly recognisable postbox.

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B-Model

Lego Ford Model B Hot Rod

This lovely hot rodded ’32 Ford Model-B ‘3 window’ coupe appeared on Flickr over the weekend, built by previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott. Featuring some very cunning parts orientation there’s more to see at Jonathan’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

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Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton – Picture Special

Lego Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton

This astonishing creation comes from one of our very favourite builders, TLCB Master MOCer and published author Dennis Glaasker aka BricksonWheels. It’s a 1935 Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton, one of the most expensive and luxurious cars ever made.

Lego Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton

With a supercharged 6.8litre straight-eight engine producing 320bhp (a huge figure for 1935) the SJ Phaeton cost around thirty times that of a regular car, and today commands a price well into the millions. Driven by movie stars and the social elite, just 36 Duesenberg SJs were made before the Great Depression and the Second World War put an end to the production of super-luxurious vehicles.

Lego Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton

Dennis Glaasker’s incredible Lego recreation of the 1935 SJ Duel Cowl Phaeton is a near-prefect replica of the original car, and contains over 5,000 pieces, many of which have been professionally chromed, and 5,200 pieces in both open and closed roof configurations.

Lego 1935 Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton

A host of brilliant images are available to view via Dennis’ Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton Flickr album, plus you can read more about the build at the Eurobricks discussion forum and you can read our interview with builder as part of the Master MOCers Series by clicking here.

Lego 1935 Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton

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Cream Tea

Lego Vintage Roadster

This glorious vintage roadster by Flickr’s Galaktek was discovered by one of our Elves today, and we’re pretty sure it is absolutely not their cup of tea. Smooth, restrained, classy… literally none of the qualities that our Elven workforce would choose in a vehicle. But the discovering Elf knows its masters rather well, because it is absolutely our cup of tea. TLCB Staff are a civilised bunch you see.

Lego Vintage Roadster

Unusually coloured in cream and tea hues, Galaktek’s roadster looks the perfect car in which to take a jaunt to the country club for a, well… cream tea. The closest this TLCB writer is going to get to that vision is drinking a can of Red Bull alone in the stationary cupboard, so whilst he partakes in a slightly tragic but harmless fantasy you can check out more of Galaktek’s model at his photostream via the link above.

Lego Vintage Roadster

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In the Bank

Lego Brooklands 1935

It’s time for some history here at TLCB, because we are – at heart – complete nerds.

The world’s first purpose-built racetrack (or what’s left of it) lies not far from TLCB Towers. The Brooklands race circuit opened in 1907, built partly for manufacturers of the newly emerging auto-industry to test their cars, and partly because driving really quickly is bloody good fun.

Measuring just under 3 miles long the Brooklands track was built from uncoated concrete banking, which in places reached 30ft high, and was simply unimaginably steep, far steeper than any modern banked circuit. With no safety barrier at the top and cars routinely getting airborne over the bumpy concrete the spectacle was incredible, and crowds topped a quarter of a million in the circuit’s hay-day.

The outbreak of the First World War saw Brooklands requisitioned by the War Office, as the site also included an aerodrome, becoming the UK’s largest aircraft manufacturing centre by 1918. The end of the war saw motor racing return the the track, alongside the continuation of aircraft manufacturing, but when Hitler decided that Germany hadn’t quite finished with Europe yet motor racing at the track ceased for good.

During the Second World War the Brooklands site became the hub of Hawker fighter and Wellington bomber manufacturing, amongst other aircraft, and the track’s survival as a piece of British heritage sadly, but necessarily, came second to the war effort. Trees were planted on the track to disguise it from German bombers, and whole sections ripped up to expand the runways.

By the end of the war the track was in a poor state, and the site was sold to Vickers-Armstrong to continue operations as an aircraft factory, at one time laying claim to being the largest aircraft hanger in the world. However as the UK’s aircraft manufacturing industry declined the Brooklands site was gradually sold off, becoming a business park, a supermarket, and the Mercedes-Benz World driving instruction track.

Today not much of the original circuit remains, but what does is managed by the Brooklands Museum, who are endeavouring to preserve possibly the most important motor racing, aeronautical and war-time manufacturing site in the world. A recent heritage grant aims to return both the aero-buildings and the famous Finishing Straight to their former glory, and a section of the incredible concrete banking is still standing. You can even take a car on it if you’re feeling brave.

If you’re in the UK and you get the chance to visit the Brooklands Museum we highly recommend it, but for our readers further afield you can get an idea of the insanity of the vintage racing that once took place there courtesy of this lovely scene recreating Brooklands circa-1935 by Flickr’s Redfern. There’s more to see of his 1930s Maserati, its racing counterpart, and his wonderfully recreated Brooklands banking his photostream. Click the link above to step back in time.

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