When it comes to 1950s cars, the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air is especially popular. Plenty of LEGO fans have made examples of this classic car, but few come with a personal story. Builder 1saac W. decided to build the 1957 Bel Air that his girlfriend’s father has owned since high school. The real car is being restored, so 1saac W. decided to build the car in its current state. By his own account, this is why his LEGO car lacks whitewall tires. The minfigure-scale Chevy looks superb, with curves in all the right places and some intricate-looking geometry forming the fins.
The gas pump makes for a nice prop and was inspired by an example built by Norton74. Finishing off the car is the grille’s beaming “smile.”
Pixeljunkie continues to delight with his series of LEGO cars. This time, he turned to the Brass Era with a tiny 1915 Ford Model T roadster pickup. The Model T was the car that made driving more accessible to the general public, and Pixeljunkie’s model is a sharp-looking replica that conceals an amazing feature.
The thing that makes his car especially impressive is the incorporation of a working folding top. A stop-motion video showcases how smooth this feature is.
Just like his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, Pixeljunkie documents his Model T as if it were a restoration. Over the past few weeks, he has teased us with images leading up to the finished product. It all started with this group of mechanics carefully looking over a set of plans. Look carefully, and you’ll notice the one minifigure has a Ford tattoo on his arm. You might say it is a “FORDshadowing” of things to come!
2018 has been a big year for the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron. While the Chiron represents modern elegance, the Bugatti name has been associated with opulent luxury since 1909. One of the most coveted Bugatti automobiles is the Type 41 Royale, with only seven examples having been built between 1927 and 1933. ER0L has taken the Royale, shrinking it down into an adorable LEGO model. Erol has successfully captured the incredible length of the real vehicle, along with the iconic two-tone Bugatti color scheme. This particular version is the Coupe Deville with coachwork by Binder. During World War II, it was hidden in the sewers of Paris to escape confiscation by Nazi Germany.
From 1972 through 1994, Ford marketed the Granada (not to be confused with the U.S. Granada, which is a different vehicle) as a an executive car for the British market. Mateusz Waldowski built this slick LEGO version of a 1977 Granada MK1 station wagon, and it looks well-suited for any minifigure family vacation. In terms of accuracy, Mateusz has done a great job of capturing the overall shape of the vehicle. The grille is spot-on, and the five-wide half-stud offset technique used for the upper half of the vehicle helps emulate the subtle slant of the window pillars.
Mateusz put a lot of effort into detailing his station wagon, and the end result is enjoyable. It sports windshield wipers, a top-mounted luggage rack, clever door handles, and even custom chrome trim (represented by strips of silver decals). Another enjoyable feature is the tilt to the front wheels, which helps create the impression of steering. I almost want to take this adorable wagon on an overnight camping trip!
In continuous production from 1909 through 1929, the Ford Model T became an automotive industry leader in the U.S. and abroad. Even LEGO’s founding father, Ole Kirk Christiansen, reportedly owned a Model T and used it to transport wooden toys to market. Building a LEGO Model T in minifigure scale can be challenging, in part because of the body’s large number of curves and angular details. These issues have been expertly overcome by builder mmurray, whose 1920 Ford pickup is one of the best renditions of the T that I have seen. The builder makes clever use of the wheelchair wheel elements, which look at home on an early automobile and allow it to be built in such a small scale.
The Model T was available in a wide variety of body styles and, in the spirit of Henry Ford, mmurray has also built a roadster version. I can’t stop drooling over the level of detail in this tiny car. The running boards are simple yet tight, and the thin windshield helps sell the front end. However, it is mmurray’s ability to capture so many subtle angles in such a small model that makes his 1920 Ford feel authentic.
If these bite-sized Ford’s were to roll off the assembly line, I would be the first in line to buy one!
Back in the early days of motor transportation, the internal combustion engine was far from the only option. For one, electric cars were roaming city streets a century before Tesla made it “cool.” There were also plenty of steam-powered options from the likes of Stanley, White, and the aptly named Locomobile. Inspired by this era, Krzysztof Pusz built a pair of princely-looking LEGO steam cars. My personal favorite is this dark green coal-hauling machine. Clear 1×2 plates look surprisingly nice as smoke, and the wood-grain tiles are used to great effect in forming the truck’s tilted bed. Another nice touch is the absence of a steering wheel in favor of a tiller mechanism. A lot of early cars featured tillers, which were levers used for steering.
A second variation on the steam theme is Krzysztof’s appropriately named U.BER. If you were having an Edwardian night on the town and had a bit too much to drink, you’d better call an U.BER! The use of a bladed claw minifigure element for hood louvers is particularly noteworthy and makes for a “steamtastic” job well done.
When LEGO car builders come to mind, Peter Blackert is probably one of the most prolific. Over the past few years, Peter has churned out dozens of high-quality LEGO cars, and it isn’t unusual to see him share four or five new builds in a given week. Peter is well-qualified to be making brick-built cars because he works as an engineer for Ford Motor Company. Last year also witnessed the publication of his book, How to Build Brick Cars. Peter renders his digital models using POV-Ray, and his portfolio of LEGO cars is rich and diverse, consisting of a wide range of makes spanning over 100 years of production. Having looked through his models, we have decided to pick a car for each decade spanning the early 1900s through the 1960s. They look nice individually but, when grouped together, they help tell a story of the motor industry.
1900s – Curved Dash Oldsmobile:
At the turn of the Century, automotive design was still heavily influenced by horse-drawn transportation. This period also represented a mechanical gold rush, with tons of individuals and organizations attempting to make their mark on the industry. One of the most important contributions to the industry during this period was the assembly line, which allowed for cost-cutting mass production. Credit for this development is often given to Henry Ford and the Model T, but the Curved Dash Oldsmobile was America’s first mass production car. Peter’s version of the Curved Dash looks faithful to the original and looks wonderful with its top up or down.
Throughout America, a trip to the beach can often go hand-in-hand with a classic car show. People love the warm summer sun, the smell of the surf, and feeling the breeze blowing through their hair as they drive down coastal roadways. Taking this as inspiration, Norton74 has created a beautiful beach setting for two equally gorgeous hot rods. Early Fords are popular with hot rod enthusiasts, which is probably why Norton74 went with modified versions of a 1930s Ford V8 (left) and 1920s Model T (right). Thanks to the combination of curves and exposed engine details, the cars look both sophisticated and mean. They’re like the classic bad boy with the soft heart. A sign warns surfers to watch out for sharks, but I would probably be more worried about that sand washing up on the tile-built boardwalk. Scratch attack!
Back in 1947, French automaker Citroën debuted its H panel van. At the time, it was one of the wildest looking commercial vehicles on the market thanks to its sharp angle-laden front end. Rendering this detail in LEGO bricks would seem quite daunting, but OutBricks has managed to pulled it off (and in minifigure scale, no less). His version features the iconic corrugated body, and the front end has been cleverly emulated through the use of 4×2 wedge plates positioned in unusual angles. Meanwhile, minifigure ice skates are tilted to form the Citroën emblem.
What makes OutBricks’ build all the more impressive is that he has included working doors. There’s a side-mounted sliding door and tri-folding doors at the rear. Believe it or not, that’s how they open on the real vehicle.
His H1 even sports working suicide doors, a term used for doors hinged at the rear. Opening it reveals an upholstered interior. No expense has been spared!
When it comes to British antique cars, Sir Henry Birkin’s 1930 4 1/2 litre Bentley is perhaps one of the most iconic. Birkin’s car was known as the Blower, owing its name to that of the supercharged racing engine which was designed with the help of a former Bentley mechanic. The car has been portrayed through countless forms, from scale model kits to Matchbox cars and now, thanks to Bricksonwheels, a beautiful-looking LEGO model. Bricksonwheels has managed to pull off an amazingly accurate representation, with plenty of key details inside and out.
Pixeljunkie is back on the scene, turning once again to the pages of automotive history. You might remember us sharing his 1955 Buick squad car and luxurious 1930s convertible. This time, he brings us a French racing legend in the form of the 1928 Bugatti Type 37A. Back then the competition for consumers was fierce, and touting a car’s racing performance was used as a means of advertising. We have to give Pixeljunkie the Golden Cup for this one because it is every bit as epic as the car it is based on. The lovely blue and white color scheme, the shiny trim, the little windshield…I love it all.
Despite his ongoing thirst for speed, Pixeljunkie has since taken time out of his schedule to recreate a scene from the 1929 Monaco Grand Prix. There’s even a cameraman ready to photograph the fantastic finish!
Now that you are caught up on Bugatti’s heritage, what not race on over to our review of the cutting-edge Chiron?
A marriage signifies two people coming together to build a shared future, and what better metaphor than building that future with LEGO bricks! After the rings and vows have been exchanged, it’s time for the couple to drive off into the sunset. Why not end the momentous occasion by getting behind the wheel of a luxurious antique car made by Pixeljunkie?
Pixeljunkie has made some wonderful cars in the past, but this one is probably my favorite. Elegant curves, custom chromed elements, and the white body feel inspired by a classic Rolls-Royce. For me, the icing on the cake includes the whitewall tires, velvet red interior upholstery, and the bugle elements as car horns. You can almost hear them let out a piercing “Ahoogah!”
In the West, the process of getting married is sometimes known as “getting hitched.” In Pixeljunkie’s case, his minfig couple and car are both getting hitched. In this case, it is the car getting hitched to a cute little trailer. Sounds like the honeymoon consists of some serious camping. Thankfully, the bride’s veil probably also doubles as a mosquito net.
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