The eighties: hair and shoulder pads were big, smoking was cool and greed was good. If you wanted to show off your financial success, the car to buy was the Porsche 911 Turbo. Because of the weight of its rear-mounted engine and the massive turbo lag, flooring the throttle pedal whilst driving through a slippery curve resulted in a fair few investment bankers wrapping their Porsches around a tree. However, in the hands of a good driver, these things were rally monsters. Dennis Glaasker brings us 1/14 scale LEGO models of two of these classic racers.
This pair competed in the 1984 Ypres Rally in Belgium. Henri Toivonen, with Ian Grindrod as his navigator, won the rally in the white and dark blue car in ‘Rothmans’ livery (a tobacco company). The red and white car failed to finish, though. Belgian racers Robert Droogmans and Ronny Joosten didn’t wrap it around a tree, fortunately. They retired from the race because their gearbox failed. There is much to love about the models. For instance, note how the B-pillars (the struts under the roof at the back of the doors) are sloped slightly aft, just like on the real car. Everything opens and the cars have realistic interiors, with racing seats and roll cages. Dennis recreated their colour schemes using a mix of different coloured parts and perfectly matching custom stickers. Best bit: those iconic whale tail spoilers.
Builder Joe Maruschak has got something to put a smile on your gigglemug, something to really blow your wig over. Everyone from wisenheimers to anklebiters can appreciate the swagger of this vintage race car with its inline 4 engine and old square pistons. You’d have to spend a bit of happy cabbage to get these macaroni pieces in black. And my favorite bit, a pond hopper as a hood ornament, is a gas. Be sure to peep this moving picture to see and hear the ratta-tat-tat of the engine. A hayburner like this is sure to take the egg at the racetrack. Now if you’ll pardon me, I got to twenty-three skidoo and see a man about a dog.
Everyone likes to watch a racecar speed around a corner at a break-neck pace, caroming nearly out of control, tires barely maintaining friction with the pavement. Add in a bit of ice and snow to reduce that friction to almost nothing, and the excitement increases. Builder Simon Pickard brings us a rally car in just that situation, seemingly mere seconds from sliding into a drift. I love the composition of the shot, with the beautiful movement implied by the curved road.
While the car is the MINI Cooper from Speed Champions set 75894 (be sure to check out our review), the setting for the vehicle is what sets this apart from the pack. The curvature of the road is the detail that catches the eye above all else, with the excellent tire tracks. Formed from tiles and plates arranged carefully, the path and the posing of the car give it all a profound sense of movement, especially with the 1×1 round plates kicked up by the skidding tires. My only quibble is that the front tires are still straight, when all of my highly technical race knowledge gleaned from watching Cars with my kids tells me that he should be turning left to go right…
It’s always impressive when a LEGO builder packs lots of details into a small-scale vehicle, doubly-so if the model also features interior detailing and an engine. So it must be “triply-impressive” when that interior provides a chassis for modular designs to be popped on top. That’s what Angka Utama has done with this latest LEGO creation, putting together a backbone under-chassis which — with a few minor modifications — can take a variety of shells on the top, radically altering the external styling.
For a tiny “seven wide” model this is pretty smart, with smooth curves and opening doors on the external shell, and a chunky engine and sweet bucket seats for the interior. But the star of show here has to be the modularity — here’s the same internal chassis, slightly tweaked to take a brash yellow Italian supercar look…
The Porsche 917 gave the German auto manufacturer its first win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970 and 1971, following the historic wins by the Ford GT40 in 1966. Talented LEGO race car builder Greg_998 has recreated both the 917LH in white with blue and yellow trim and the 917K in gorgeous Gulf Oil livery.
See more of these detailed Le Mans race cars