If you say ‘family saloon made in 1960s Britain’, chances are the car in question is not a very good one, even by the standards of the time. But if you say ‘LEGO car made by Chris Elliott‘, it’s almost a dead cert that it’s a bona fide classic. While they were by no means perfect, there is a certain charm about cars of this vintage, which Chris has captured wonderfully. The front grille – a custom-chromed Wolverine claw – is immediately recognisable as a hallmark of Wolseley cars, and indeed Chris says the Wolseley 1500 was the main source of inspiration. There’s a hint of Ford Cortina in there too, and maybe even something sporty like a Triumph TR4. The shaping is great, and along with the chrome parts really helps to sell this as a typical late-20th-century British classic. The only inauthentic thing is the build quality. It’s far too high for this to have come out of a Leyland or BMC factory!
I wish the car-truck still existed in the US. These were the El Caminos and Rancheros from the fifties to the eighties. They, like the mullet, are a timeless classic that could only be operated if the radio was tuned to classic rock and the driver wore either no shirt or one without sleeves. A six-pack of Schlitz was sometimes included. Australia, as it turns out, kept that beautiful dream alive right up until 2017 with the Holden Ute. Here we see a stunning LEGO example built by Chris Elliott. It’s the 1971 Turbo Coupe Utility, making it precisely as old as I am. Frankly, I’m not sure if my paint job and luster have held up as well as this beautiful machine. While my chrome is also not as shiny, my ability to air-guitar to Iron Maiden is still legendary, so that’s something.
Not to make this all about me but if you really want to go back in time, check out an old offering of the 1971 Ute from yours, truly. Chris tells us his version received the “Staff Favorite” award at Brickfair Virginia 2022. Bravo! Here it is posed next to it’s major award.
Architecture and LEGO have gone together for a long time. From Modulex in the 1970s to the more recent LEGO Architecture series, the LEGO group has given us plenty of iconic buildings and skylines. This microscale model of the Hungarian Parliament Building, created by Chris Elliott as a gift for his mother, makes use of various elements to emulate the Gothic Revival style of the original. The spires and arches are achieved with bull horns, claws, and inverted fang plates, while cones and bars are used as towers. The ornate central dome’s features are creatively modeled using an eight-side modified hinge plate with fangs held by bar clips. The symmetrical front façade looks out from the eastern bank of the Danube, which Chris has captured with blue plates and clear tiles running the length of the model.
The north and south lawns frame the western side that houses the official main entrance. As on the other side, inverted fang and teeth plates are used to capture the curved details of the original building’s architecture. Grill bricks are partially recessed below the ground line, creating the effect of lancet windows of different sizes around the building.
I think it is quite touching and inspiring that Chris made this for his mother, an immigrant from Hungary to the United States before the iron curtain fell. I’m sure it was a gift that she cherishes. Feel free to check out some more incredible architecture-inspired builds we’ve covered in the past.
Some vehicles are more than meets the eye. While this 1959 Salem Ameriliner Library Bus by Chris Elliott doesn’t change into a walking, talking robot, it has been transformed on the inside, from a passenger carrier to mobile library with a fully detailed interior. Even without the interior, the bus is a beautiful creation. The combination of slopes used on the roof place it indisputably in the 1950s, and the other details are seamless: doors on their side as luggage compartment doors and zip line handles as side view mirrors.
If you’re not impressed by the exterior, open it up and be prepared to be blown away. The interior of this bookmobile is spot on to the last detail. It starts with enough books to actually be called a library, stowed everywhere they could possibly go: on the walls, in the luggage compartment, and even in the floor. There’s even a comfy couch in the back to curl up with whatever good book you’ve found on the shelf!