I used to think I was the only one who did this; you look at a Star Wars vehicle and imagine its Earthly counterpart. For example, the Millenium Falcon could be a Ford Falcon, Obi-Wan’s Jedi Starfighter could be a Jedi Starliner and Darth Vader’s TIE-Fighter could be a bitchin’ 70’s era Econoline with shag carpeting, beef jerky dispenser, lava lamps and a Boris Valejo space-wizard airbrushed on the side. Right? Well, it worked better before I put it to writing. Anyway, LEGO car guru and real-life car guru Peter Blackert clearly thinks of this stuff too as evidenced by this terrestrial 1939 Buick Y-Job concept made into Luke’s Landspeeder. There aren’t a lot of these lying around so I had to Google the vehicle but once I did, I can see how Peter saw the retro-futuristic shape of the Landspeeder. This computer render, in my opinion, perfectly melds the swooping curves of both designs.
Doing this sort of thing is a fun and imaginative exercise but if you prefer to keep your Landspeeder designs true to the movie, then try your hand at building the official UCS Luke’s Landspeeder LEGO set that has come out recently. Installing a beef jerky dispenser in the dash would only sweeten the deal.
I believe “totally stoked” is the correct medical term used to describe some of us when LEGO came out with the 10271 Fiat 500 set. It’s an iconic little car, which would have been exciting enough but heart palpitations reached critical max when it was realized the set would be primarily comprised of a rare light-yellow color. This meant builders could come up with our own lemony-bright creations in due time. Australian automotive engineer Peter Blackert loves a challenge. (You have no idea!) An Instagram follower asked him to do this and he answered the call of duty using only parts from a Fiat 500 set (or two) to build this 1935 Auburn 851 Boattail Speedster. The doors open and I particularly love that the convertible top works using the same canvas part from the set.
When Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Cybertruck recently the world let out a collective sigh of…what the hell were you thinking? Elon himself even uttered an unpublishable expletive when a shatter-proof test didn’t go as well as planned. While the electric pickup indeed boasts some rather impressive stats, (like winning a tug-of-war with a Ford F-150, ranging 250-500 miles without charging and doing 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds) the overall angular design resembles something out of a bad 80’s movie. Quickly the jokes and memes flourished with a common theme being a kid could have drawn it. I’m pretty sure ten year old me made quite a few concept drawings that were similar to it. No stranger to dreaming up concept automotive designs both in childhood and adulthood is Ford engineer and prolific LEGO car builder Peter Blackert. While he is also aware of the jokes, Peter is an opportunistic builder who sees the positive in a lot of things, even this Cybertruck.
As odd as it may be, Peter captures the shape very nicely as evidenced by this particular digital render.
Just for fun, Peter has also rendered a Classic Space version!
Admittedly, the Cybertruck is like nothing else Tesla has to offer. Elon and his companies specialize in shaping the future and, according to him anyway, the shape of the future is a throwback from the 80’s. After getting over the initial shock, some, including Peter, have warmed up to the design. Should we trust his instincts and follow suit? As an automotive engineer and a passionate, prolific LEGO car builder Peter surely knows a thing or two about automotive design and what the future may hold.
This build by Peter Blackert is a throwback to the culture that sparked drifting and made the Toyota AE86 an iconic phenomenon. It’s said that, to date, Toyota AE86’s inflated price is not only because of its rarity but also because of its cult following from fans seeing it featured in the Japanese manga Initial D in the mid-90s and its appearance into the anime scene in the late 90s. The AE86 was popular for its capability to drift with its relatively lightweight and rear-wheel drive combination and also the main premise of the legendary stories in the aforementioned manga. In LEGO, the 10-stud wide design gives it a lot more room for design language compared to the regular 6-stud wide designs from the Speed Champions series from LEGO’s own take on popular cars.
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.