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 PalBenglatof 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!
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.
Snow is falling outside TLCB Towers today, so here’s a VW buggy built to race in the desert. No we couldn’t think of a Christmas link. And we’re really cold.
Anyway, this Speed Champions style ‘Baja Bug’ comes from regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott, it’s rather excellent, and there’s more to see at his photostream. Click the link above and pretend you’re somewhere hot. Unless you’re already somewhere hot, then you can just click the link.
Yes we’ve opened this post with a fart joke. Named after a hot wind, Volkswagen’s Scirocco took the successful Golf GTI recipe and coupe-d it, creating a quick and light front-wheel-drive two-door.
Like the Golf GTI on which it was based, the Scirocco was an excellent car, but it would be even more excellent if it were rear-wheel-drive (ah, now the title makes sense! Ed.). Cue Danifill of Eurobricks, who has built this rather neat looking Volkswagen Scirocco MKII, fitted remote control drive and steering via bluetooth (thanks to a BuWizz battery), and sent the power to the rear wheels.
Of course that is an easier way to build an RC Lego car, but it also means Danifill’s Scirocco can drift! There’s more to see at the Eurobricks forum here, where you can watch a video of Danifill’s RWD Scirocco getting far more sideways than the real car ever could.
Short things are sometimes good things. Shortbread for example. Being short-listed. Skirts. Salma Hayek. OK, we’re getting off track, but this Volkswagen T1 Camper ‘Shortie’ by 1saac W of Flickr is definitely a good thing, and you can see more of it at his photostream just a short click away.
Volkswagen’s T1 ‘Transporter’ has been many things. Hippy camper, fire engine, pick-up, and covered van, the versatile VW has been used for all manner of tasks, however not – to our knowledge at least – as a medium duty dropside truck.
Thank the miserable 1200cc-1600cc air-cooled engine for that. Still, if you’re going to turn a T1 into a truck, you’re going to need to move the rear-mounted engine anyway, so upgrading it is going to be the least of your problems.
Flickr’s Tony Bovkoon has done just that though, with his lime green wooden drop-sided T1 hot rod truck, complete with a mid-mounted engine that is presumably somewhat beefier than the tiny flat four that originally hung out the back.
We’re not sure what to make of Tony’s VW T1 hot rod truck arrangement but you join us in pondering its existence at his Flickr album by clicking here.
How do you see where you’re going when your dragster’s pulling a wheelie? Krass & Bernie have the answer, with their patented Beetle Dragster! A piece of automotive artwork from George Trosley in the ‘CARtoons’ magazine, Krass & Bernie’s creation was powered by both a huge mid-mounted V8 and the engine from a Volkswagen Beetle, which we don’t suspect is adding much.
Canter-levered out the back, with a precarious chain linking the Bug’s engine to the rear wheels (which are kinda the Beetle’s front wheels), the Volkswagen’s shell becomes a level cockpit when the dragster’s front wheels are pointing at the sky. Genius! We think…
This brilliant recreation of Trosley’s unique design comes from Brick Flag (making his second appearance today), and he’s even built cartoon hot rodders Krass & Bernie to go with it. Head to a very tilted drag strip somewhere in a CARtoons magazine via the link above!
The lovely LEGO Creator 10252 Volkswagen Beetle set has spawned several B-Models from the blue bricks found within it. Nathanael Kuipers (a previous set designer for LEGO no less!) has created another, and has made instructions available for owners of the 10252 set to recreate it for themselves. Drawing on several classic pick-up truck designs from the late ’30s to the late ’40s Nathanael’s B-Model captures the style of the time wonderfully and there’s more to see of his 10252 B-Model (including a link to building instructions) on Flickr here.
LEGO’s 10252 Creator Volkswagen Beetle set is not the first source of parts we’d think of when designing a truck. Resolutely rounded, and with a surfboard on the roof, it is a most un-truck-like vehicle. However that hasn’t stopped Flickr’s Serge S from designing this superb cab-over truck using only the parts found within the 10252 set.
So good is Serge’s design that had he not included a note to the parts source within the description we’d have published this without ever knowing the origin of its pieces. Head to Serge’s photostream via the link above to see more of this remarkable Alternate, and if you own the Creator Volkswagen Beetle set give it ago yourself and see how versatile LEGO bricks can be!
The Elves, driven by hunger and a strict ‘find us a bloody car’ policy have started to return to TLCB Towers. They’ve come up trumps too as this most excellent Volkswagen Käfer (or Kaefer) Racer comes from Lino Martins and is his first car for almost two years. Pictured alongside the Hot Wheels toy it’s based on, Lino’s heavily modified Beetle features a removable body, a mid-mounted V8 engine, and official LEGO decals. See more on Flickr at the link.
Porsche and Volkswagen have history as long as the two companies’ existence. A shared dark past links the Beetle and the 911, the 1980s 924 was powered by a VW van engine, and more recently Volkswagen have bought Porsche outright, adding the brand to their ever-increasing and possibly slightly evil empire.
But before ‘dieselgate’, some of the largest fines and lawsuits in corporate history, and an ongoing criminal investigation, Volkswagen and Porsche collaborated to create something rather more charming than breathing difficulties and lung cancer. This is that collaboration, the slightly odd but utterly wonderful VW-Porsche 914/916.
Launched in 1969 the VW-Porsche 914 was produced until 1976, with 120,000 made during that run. A flat-4 engine powered the Volkswagen version, whilst it was joined by an optional flat-6 in the Porsche, giving the two ‘914/4’ and ‘914/6’ names depending upon the engine specified, with power ranging from 75 to 110bhp.
This gorgeous Technic recreation of the Porsche 914 comes from newcomer Wilbert Engels who has built the ’70s oddity beautifully in Lego form. Wilbert’s model includes working suspension, steering with Ackermann geometry, pop-up head-lights, a removable roof, adjustable seats, a gearbox, and a choice of both the flat-4 and flat-6 engines that powered the real cars.
Today we can add a mini-figure camper to that impressive roster thanks to previous bloggee de-marco and this lovely 4-wide iteration of the classic van. Complete with a front mounted spare, surfer-dude mini-figure and the pre-requisite roof-mounted surf board there’s more to see of de-marco’s Volkswagen camper on Flickr, where there’s even a link to video instructions.
Take a look via the final link in the text above, plus you can click the other links that preceded it to read our past inane gibberish on the subjects of air-cooled Volkswagens, vloggers, and terrible ’80s synth-pop.
Volkswagen’s Beetle is a surprisingly capable off-road machine. Lightweight and with the engine mounted directly over the driven wheels, the humble bug makes for an excellent platform, as countless beach buggies and even military vehicles based upon it testify. Flickr’s ianying616 has kept his mods light, as his Technic off-road Beetle is still definitely Beetle-shaped, but we think it’s all the cooler for that. See more on Flickr at the link.
Whilst in the U.S the answer to every car based question seems to be ‘Miata’ (and rightly so), in Europe it seems to be ‘Golf’. Well, it used to be – now it might be more ‘bland crossover SUV’ – but there are about fifteen Golf-based versions of those so in a way the answer is still ‘Golf’.
It’s mostly decades of clever marketing as the Golf isn’t really any better than a myriad of other hatchbacks, but somehow it’s still the default choice.
Back in the mid-’70s though, the Golf really was way ahead of the competition, thanks to sharp styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro, front-wheel-drive, and the fact that it didn’t fall apart like every other car of the era.
This near-perfect Model Team replica of the Volkswagen Golf Mark 1 comes from Serge S who has captured the classic hatchback brilliantly. There’s a realistic interior and engine bay, opening hood, doors and boot, and there are even instructions available too. Click the link above to get to the default answer c1976.
Once the preserve of smelly hippies, the Volkswagen Transporter Camper has unfortunately now become the default vehicle of insufferable YouTube/Instagrammers promoting #vanlife and #adventure (but mostly themselves), all whilst never being further than fifty feet from a Starbucks’ free WiFi.
Still, that’s not the Transporter’s fault, and today we’re successfully dodging all of the T2’s millennial baggage because, despite the real Volkswagen wheels, this incredible van has been built from 400,000 LEGO bricks by Certified LEGO Professionals Rene Hoffmeister and Pascal Lenhard in just 6 weeks!
Weighing over 1,500lbs/700kgs and measuring 16ft long Rene Hoffmeister and Pascal Lenhard’s creation is an exact 1:1 scale replica of Volkswagen’s iconic 1960/70s T2 Transporter Camper. There’s even a superbly replicated interior inside the working sliding door, complete with a kitchenette, a functional pop-up roof, and some groovy artwork on the walls. And with no insufferable YouTubers around there’s not an all-natural-vegan-organic-peace-crisp-packet in sight!
Rene and Pascal’s amazing life-size T2 Camper is on show now at the F.re.e Travel and Leisure Fair in Munich (alongside a few real ones), and if you fancy your own LEGO Volkswagen Camper (although a bit smaller) you can check out our review of the official LEGO 10220 Creator Expert Volkswagen Camper set here.