My interpretation of the famous '57 Chevy Bel Air from the cover of the Ultimate LEGO Book. I wanted to build this ever since getting the book in 1999, and now I've finally done it!
About this creation
I'll start you off with a couple of sloppy cell phone photos. The first one is just the result of a long, boring afternoon...
A few days later, and it's almost starting to resemble a car of some kind....?
9/24/2012. Now, that's more like it!
I'm not sure if I want to include the spare tire cover from the original Legoland version or not...
2/18/2013. I've offset the curved bricks on the front by half a stud to stay accurate to the original. Says the person who can't decide on the original's spare tire cover.
Complicated. Enough said.
The completed interior. Simple but cool.
The rear view mirror on the driver's side is still one of my favorite details.
Here's where things get even more complicated. We're going to go back in time to October of 2005, when my family and I took a long road trip out west to visit relatives. Of course we had to do plenty of sightseeing along the way, and one of the many places we stopped was Legoland California. I had gotten the Ultimate LEGO Book for Christmas several years before, so I knew to be on the lookout for some familiar car models. The following photos are just a few of the MANY that we took.
Might this be the same red convertible from the cover of the book?
Maybe. Just maybe. Ever since getting this book so many years ago, I've always wanted to build my own version. And now I think I finally have the skills and experience to do just that!
The end result should looking something like this.
Update: March 10th, 2013. Guess where all this chrome's going.
Oh. That was obvious...
The exaggerated hood and trunk areas. I think the Legoland designers did this on purpose so the car wouldn't look too "flat".
Shortly after adding the chrome, I was able to finish the hood spears. Then I made some final tweaks to the dashboard to look more like the cover car.
Update: March 11th, 2013. The last few parts I needed arrived today. And this was the result.
Try to spot all the minifig cutlery.
I'll admit there's a little bit of guess work involved in the rear of the car. I couldn't find any pictures of the original's posterior regions, so I modeled it after a die cast replica I had instead.
The 1957 Chevrolet is one of those rare cars that looks like it's flying, even when it's not moving.
Some more rare chrome pieces that I'm VERY glad to have found!
The ridiculously complicated front end assembly. The whole thing slides out in one piece once the front bumper is removed.
This bit has been the source of some very nasty headaches over the past few months.
Update: March 14th, 2013. The transparent 1 x 4 tiles that form the trailing edges of the windshield were 1 plate too high, so I lowered them. It's a pretty subtle change, but I think it helped a lot to improve the shape.
Special guest appearance by Blue Fury. (Model Team 5541)
Normally I wouldn't post pictures of an official LEGO set. But these cars just look awesome together!
And 98% of the Chevy isn't my design either, sooooooo...
After. Double duh.
1. This is only the second 12-wide car I've ever posted here.
2. It's the heaviest car model I've posted here. Solid bricks all the way through.
3. The original might just be the most recognizable LEGO car in the world, thanks to its place on the cover of the Ultimate LEGO Book.
4. I decided 13 1/2 years ago that I wanted to build this, and I've just now finished it. That's my longest gap between between decision and completion. I was only 6 when the book came out, okay?
5. My parents totally didn't catch me making "vroom-vroom" noises with it in my bedroom floor this morning.
6. According to the book, each "Legoland style" car this size takes about 20 hours to design, and each contains around 500 pieces.
7. Never before have I been so proud of something that I made with LEGO.
I hope you enjoyed this post, because this has been an extremely long and frustrating build. But the end result is definitely worth it. The Black Mamba II was the last project I completed as a TFOL. And this one is my first as an AFOL. Well then... high-fives all around?
VERY well done. I just recently went to Legoland Windsor in England and they only had the red convertible and it was so broken by weathering that it was almost unrecognizable :( I am working on a larger one of my own based on the open 57 Chevy project, hopefully it will be done before the end of the year, keep an eye out for pics.