The inline four-cylinder petrol engine is the most commonly fitted engine to cars the world over. The optimum balance between smoothness, power, efficiency, and er… cheapness, the inline-4 needs only one cylinder head, there are always two cylinders going down as two go up, and when mounted transversely it takes up little space.
Despite all those worthy attributes however, these days the inline 4-cylinder can be seen as a bit dull, despite the efforts of the world’s best engineers to liven it up. Back in the earliest days of motoring though, it was anything but.
Bentley’s amazing ‘Blower‘ racing cars used 4-cylinders, and so too did Fiat, who – in 1911 – fitted a four-cylinder engine to their S76 World Record Car of twenty-eight litres capacity. The result was quite fiery, and allowed the ‘Beast of Turin’ to hit an unofficial top speed of over 130mph.
It’s this car that Joe Maruschak‘s ‘Vintage Race Car’ most closely resembles, itself being fitted with a working 4-cylinder engine utilising LEGO’s suitably vintage square pistons and featuring pushrod-operated valves.
A hidden Power Functions motor brings Joe’s creation to life and there’s more to see of his mighty 4-cylinder racing car on Flickr via the link above.
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.
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.
We end today’s publications with this, a rather lovey looking vintage ‘convoi exceptionnel’ consisting of a six-axle truck, a low-loader trailer, and a fantastic mining excavator, on its way to supply coal to keep families warm over winter. Built by FiliusRucilo of Flickr each vehicle is wonderfully made and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link in the text above.
Thanks to Google for what is no doubt a seamless translation of the well known nursery rhyme…
Whatever that title actually says, we do have a mower to share with you today, which will indeed allow one man to mow his meadow. It’s been affixed to a vintage German Eicher EKL 15 tractor as built (rather beautifully) by Flickr’s Damian Z aka Thietmaier.
Damian’s Eicher tractor is packed with lovely building techniques, including a fantastic set of mudguards, front drawbar steering, a wonderfully detailed engine and a side-mounted mower attachment constructed from many mini-figure hands.
There’s more to see of Damian’s brilliant build at his Eicher EKL 15 Flickr album; head to the meadow via the link in the text above.
This gorgeous vintage racer was found on Flickr today, and not only is it a vintage vehicle itself, it uses some vintage LEGO parts too. The wonderful engine that you can see in these images an inline 4-cylinder built from LEGO’s original 2×2 square pistons that required a brick-built engine block. Newcomer Joe Maruschak has done a stellar job making use of these old parts, even including push-rod operated valves and a Power Functions motor to bring the engine to life. Head to Joe’s ‘Old Race Car’ album on Flickr to see all the photos and a video of the engine in action, and if you’d like to see what a real vintage 4-cylinder engine looks (and sounds) like then click this rather awesome link and turn your sound up!
‘Scuderia Ferrari’ have been around longer than you might think…
Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929, Scuderia Ferrari were winning races decades before their own cars would wear the famous prancing horse shield. The young Italian began his career driving for Alfa Romeo in 1920, winning the Coppa Acerbo in 1924. By 1929 Enzo took a step back from racing himself to manage the Alfa Romeo team, which became known as Scuderia Ferrari and wore the crest of Enzo’s friend Count Francesco Baracca, a logo which has now become synonymous with Ferrari cars.
Enzo’s partnership with Alfa Romeo gave his team access to the best racing car of the era, the glorious eight-cylinder supercharged P3, and they translated this into a string of victories. However by 1938 Alfa Romeo wanted to race under their own name, and an unhappy Enzo decided to leave to build his own cars. Mussolini had other ideas though, and racing was duly halted during the kerfuffle whilst Enzo’s factory was converted to build military tooling.
After the war ended Enzo Ferrari finally got the chance to build and race his own car under his own name, and… Alfa Romeo won absolutely everything – in 1950 Enzo’s Italian rivals won all eleven races. However in 1951 the unbelievable happened; the ex-driver-turned-manager beat his old team, winning the 1951 British Grand Prix and becoming the first team to break Alfa Romeo’s dominance in over a year.
Ferrari would compete in every Formula 1 Championship thereafter, making them the only team in the sport’s history to do so, whilst the once mighty Alfa Romeo exited Formula 1 just a year later.
This wonderful diorama containing one of Scuderia Ferrari’s first race-winning cars (even though it’s not actually a Ferrari) comes from previous bloggee and TLCB regular PixelJunkie, whose stunning recreation of the Alfa Romeo P3 – complete with Scuderia Ferrari crest – is one of the finest mini-figure scale vintage racing cars we’ve seen. There’s more to see of this Ferrari-before-Ferrari on Flickr at Pixel’s photostream – head back to the early 1930s via the link above.
For builders of a certain generation Dennis Bosman has performed a miracle of Lego reconstruction. The 8889 Technic Ideas book was published in 1984, just four years after the original 8888 book. 8889 showed just how quickly the parts available and building techniques for the Technic part of the Lego System had moved on. As well as step-by-step instructions for some builds (this writer’s favourite was the strange 6-wheeled vehicle) there were photos of additional models. Across two double-page spreads was a massive truck. How to build it though? This is what Dennis Bosman has done, using only contemporary parts. Click this link to travel back in time…
This magnificent DT-75 vintage Belarusian bulldozer comes from TLCB favourite Jakeof_, and it’s glorious! But then, we are sometimes a bit odd here at TLCB, as obscure pieces of agricultural machinery from behind the Iron Curtain shouldn’t really excite anyone. If you’re as sad as us though you can see more of Jakeof_‘s excellent recreation at his photostream via the link above.
This 1919 Kresowiec ‘armoured car’, based on a tractor plough chassis, is the absolute last place we would want to be in war-time. Horrendously slow, hugely unreliable, and a great big (and interesting) target for everyone to hit, we can’t image it was fun to be inside one bit. We’d have rather had a horse. Or this.
Anyway, the Kresowiec does make for an intriguing Lego model, especially when constructed by TLCB favourite Karwik. You can see more of this unusual vintage contraption at Karwik’s Flickr photostream via the link above.
Most of the gypsy/traveller vehicles that we see near TLCB Towers are not like these. New Toyota Hilux and Range Rovers with private number plates seem to be the preferred choice at the moment, but very occasionally we do see travelling done the traditional way.
These beautiful Polish gypsy wagons by Flickr’s Karwik remind us of a time when there was only one horse power available up front. Click here to go travelling.
We often post old-timey vehicles here at TLCB, but it’s a rare treat when we can post old-timey vehicles that have been built in an old-timey way!
These charming 6-wide Town vehicles were discovered by… er, The Brothers Brick*, and are the work of Flickr’s grubaluk. There are lots more photos of the individual models available to view on Flickr – simply click the link above to make the jump.
*Our Elves have been sternly reprimanded, the lazy turds.