Nothing says 1970’s automobile like a brown paint job, does it? Legostalgie has added to their growing collection of Eastern bloc runabouts with this Wartburg 353 Tourist, in authentically drab reddish brown. The Tourist is the estate version of the East German Wartburg 353, a model which has featured in Legostalgie’s collection before. The functionality that is typical of their models is present here: bonnet, tailgate and the doors all open, and the roof comes off to access the interior as well. The boxy shape is well represented and there are some neat parts uses here in the design! The hood ornament is a boomerang, but my favourite is the headlight panel. This uses wheel axle pieces to add some detail to the front grille. Not only does it look great, since these parts typically come in small car sets, there’s something a bit meta about them being used on a larger-scale car. If you ask me, that’s the best kind of clever parts use.
Growing up in Hungary in the early 2000s, we would make fun of old Soviet cars, relics of a bygone era. They weren’t so common in my childhood, but our parents and grandparents have seen them plenty. They were the first small, affordable family cars in a time where automobiles were barely making their way to the Eastern Bloc. One such car was the Polski Fiat 126p, which builder Legostalgie faithfully replicated in LEGO Creator Expert scale. Despite the distance from real 100% Italian Fiats, this appears as the uglier relative of the more iconic Fiat 500.
Legostalgie, being an expert in Eastern Bloc vehicles, really nailed the angular, boxy shape of the Polski Fiat. It’s a simple car, but with a strange angle in the black, and Legostalgie worked that out with SNOT. I’m particularly fond of the 2-cylinder engine in the rear. I remember my family owning such a car, and we had to get the engine started by poking it with a stick!