Like most hobbies, once you start to learn about LEGO you find that there can be a shocking amount of complexity behind just about every aspect. Sure, you can just sit back and enjoy the great photography and clever building that Faber Mandragore accomplished with Roadster Hot Rod. But let’s dig a little and peer into those murky depths. We can start out easy; the air filter in the car is a neck ruffle. An unusual choice, in that the element originated in the Collectible minifigure theme. Those sure look like steering wheels repurposed as the front wheel rims, inside tires introduced in 1959 and not produced since 1977. And is that a bucket handle forming the steering wheel? Each of these parts has a history in other sets and contexts that’s there if you want to go looking for it.
But the deepest cut of LEGO history? Those exposed orange-ish bricks in the background are Modulex. Those are tiny architectural planning bricks that LEGO spun off as a side line back in the 1960s. Incorporating them into a standard LEGO creation is never easy, but it’s done here in a seamless fashion. Well, neglecting that the seams between the bricks are what helps unify the whole wall, anyway. *sigh* You know what I mean.
The LEGO Store Gift With Purchase (GwP) offer for the month of June revives an old classic from the archives, reissued in a smaller form factor. The Hot Rod was originally released back in 1995 as the 5541 Blue Fury under the Model Team theme and reissued again in 2004 as the 10151 Hot Rod. This unique set of wheels comes free with purchases over US $85 | CAN $85 | GBP £85 and the offer is valid from 1st to 21st June 2020 (or while stocks last). We’re taking a quick look at this miniaturised version of the classic for you to decide if this is one to add to your collection.
Click to read the full review of the Hot Rod
With a bit more than a week left until Christmas, Santa will need to up his game if he wants to deliver toys to all the good children of the world (except, of course, those who don’t have Santa in their holiday traditions). Thankfully Ian Ying has a solution with this extra blingy Rudolf Hot Rod. It has all the horsepower (or deer-power) needed to get the job done and there is enough custom and official LEGO pieces in shiny chrome to make any hot rod enthusiast’s heart go pitter-patter. The red-nosed deer skull hood ornament offers a clue as to what became of Rudolf. Good riddance, I say! I just wish it had more trunk space. I don’t know about you but the list of toys I want is quite long and I’ve been such a good boy this year…at least on the books anyway. Also it seems this Santa bears a striking resemblance to this Wilford guy.
Sometimes I wish I was born sooner, but if I were I might be soiling adult diapers and yelling obscenities at the TV by now, so I’m fine being the age I am, all things considered. Had I been a bit older though, I would have seen this whole “Showrod” phenomenon first hand. Showrodding pioneers such as George Barris, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, and Tom Daniel (of Monogram Models fame) changed the definition of what a car could be with their flamboyant, over-the-top showstoppers. Certainly there is still car customization going on nowadays but nothing matches the heyday of the Showrod phenomenon in the 50s, 60s, and early 70s. There are very few car builders on the planet building this style of Showrod and even fewer people creating them in LEGO. One such LEGO artist, however, is Andrea Lattanzio who has replicated Tom Daniel’s “Paddy Wagon” with masterful build techniques and stunning photography.
To say I am impressed by this would be an understatement. I think the correct words I’m looking for are awestruck and quite a bit humbled. Everything from the C-Cab’s signature profile, to the gleaming custom chrome bits to the aggressive stance to its superb clean backdrop, even the font used are all the mark of an artist with a profound knack for presentation. With what looks like houses reflected in the rear hubcap, it would seem Andrea’s secret to stellar presentation involves, at least in part, natural outdoor lighting and a clear day.
Click here to learn the history of the term
When I saw this image I said to myself-there’s something vaguely hot rod-ish about that church. Then I said, maybe I’m just a crazy car-guy instilling my crazy car-guy values into everything I see. Quit being weird and move on with your day! Because that is the kind of dialogue I have with myself. Then I read the title “Mechanical Church” and thought, “the fact that it looks kinda-sorta like a hot rod was totally Alego Alego‘s intent!” Who is crazy and weird now? Still me, probably, but at least in this case I have been validated. By using two engine cylinders and a radiator grille for a door it looks like the builder could lift the church from the grounds and install it in a hot rod, and the results would look pretty cool. If you do this Alego Alego, I suggest you call it “Holy Roller” or “Holy Roadster”. Brilliant idea or no?
Having built a car or two(hundred) myself, I get a kick out of it when someone else does this good a job showing the automobile some love. This one may be unique because we might be dealing with a young builder here, or at least someone with a cool, supportive mom. Carrie Kokoska is not the builder, however, she just created a new Flickr account to showcase these photos on behalf of her oldest son. “The Bend City Auto Garage” gets its inspiration from an old pharmacy in their local town. We are looking at a builder who is passionate about LEGO and working at his grandpa’s garage, where he restores vintage cars. The posters and stickers both inside and out were designed by the builder’s mom, making this truly a family project.
See more of this highly detailed garage and vintage car
Next to towering skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty, New York City has also long been identified with streets full of yellow taxicabs. LEGO car builder Pixeljunkie chose to represent a classic Checker cab, complete with its characteristic black and white checkerboard-style trim. While the car itself looks great, it is further enhanced by the gritty scenery which includes a knocked over trash can. Meanwhile, the irritated-looking minifig driver sitting cross-legged adds an extra dash of personality.
If you love the Checker cab, you will probably also enjoy Pixeljunkie’s chopped Model A Ford hot rod. It packs some serious muscle in the engine and behind the wheel, and the whitewall tires give it a strong sense of style.
In American car culture, the rat rod has come to symbolize rugged individualism. You might think of it as the automotive equivalent of a cowboy. Over the course of seven months, Manuel Nascimento built a LEGO Ford Model A rat rod. Manuel’s Model A oozes personality, with its “rust brown” patina, chrome trim and chopped, lowriding body. His model captures the subtle curves and angles of the real car. I’m particularly impressed with how the sides slightly slant upward.
Manuel’s rat rod is as impressive mechanically as it is visually. The car is equipped with power functions motors for moving, steering, and the ability to raise and lower the rear. Because the engine is exposed, you can also see it in action. Manuel chose to highlight these features in the following video.
See this gorgeous Model A rat rod in action
Builder Pixeljunkie’s latest creation is a charming old auto shop where a group of builders works to restore a classic car to from its barn-fresh state to a splendid showpiece. A series of images transcribe the journey, beginning with the mottled and rusted car and a simple blueprint of what might be.
Throughout the scenes, the workshop is packed full to bursting with intricate details that bring the scene to life. Surrounding the crew is all the detritus common to a mechanic, from tools and dusty equipment to overflowing waste bins and parts shelves. This shop truly feels lived in. Continue reading
Who hasn’t imagined cruising down the main drag in a custom hot rod? Whilst doing it for real might prove beyond most people’s budgets, maybe we can take a leaf out of ianying616‘s book and at least create a LEGO version of our dream automobile. This black and silver vehicle is an intimidating beast, all hunkered-down suspension and gleaming chrome highlights amidst the black and grey. The monochromatic colour scheme doesn’t just look mean, it reduces distractions, keeping the focus of attention on the smooth lines of the bodywork and the details of that hulking engine.
Not content with furnishing this beast with working steering and suspension, the builder has also given it a pristine interior, complete with nicely upholstered seats, dashboard instrumentation, gear stick, and handbrake…
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!
Austrian LEGO builder Sanel Lukovic has been building a large-scale diorama depicting hot rod culture. The scene has a lovely vintage vibe, and Sanel displayed it recently at LEGO exhibitions in Slovenia and Croatia.
The diorama includes a fully brick-built street surrounded by a diner, hot rod garage, biker bar, and gasoline station. Let’s take a closer look!
See more of this detailed LEGO diorama after the jump