The story of Danish business Lego’s journey from its humble beginnings brought upon by the Great Depression of the 1930s is rather interesting. Fascinating still is the enthusiasm and the patience of devotees of these toy bricks.
A self-proclaimed Lego artist once recreated Michelangelo’s David from 16,349 bricks for an exhibition while another once built a life-size model of Santa Claus and his sleigh complete with nine reindeer using 700,000 Lego bricks. Lego has not escaped the attention and imagination of passionate builders who also have a love for cars.
However, what must rank as an epic test in commitment is the replica of the London Bridge made out of 5,805,846 individual Lego bricks to reveal the new Land Rover Discovery. It’s a Guinness World Record structure.
Beyond the historic availability of pint-sized Lego sets that people can use to construct some choice vehicles, the latest being the 2020 Land Rover Technic set, some individuals and companies have gone beyond the regular call to action — building full-scale replicas of cars, some of which can even be driven. Here are some of the most impressive life-sized car builds we’ve found.
In March 2019, McLaren in partnership with Lego debuted a full-scale, 467,854-piece Lego replica of a McLaren Senna which you can also climb into, sit in and listen to a simulation of the real supercar going at 335km/h. It took 10 people working 2,725 hours to click together all of the pieces. It weighs 1,518kg.
The Senna isn’t the only McLaren to have been realized in the toy bricks. Though it began as part of the Lego Speed Champions range of miniature model cars, the McLaren 720S was the British supercarmaker’s first full-scale build project, followed up by the Senna.
Now this is special. To prove the versatility of its product, Lego itself embarked on a remarkable mission to build a true copy of a 1:1 scale Bugatti Chiron using Lego Technic elements.
Nothing out of the ordinary here except: “We also wanted our car — for the first time ever — to actually drive and be powered by the same Power Functions motor technology we use in our standard model,” the company said.
The idea originated after Designer Aurelien Rouffiange and the team had just completed a 1:8 scale model of the Chiron and began to debate what the ultimate challenge for the Lego Technic building system would be.
After more than 13,000 man-hours, 2,304 Lego power functions motors, 4,032 gear wheels and 2,016 cross axles from the Lego Technic elements, a self-propelled Chiron made from over 1,000,000 Lego elements rose from plastic bricks. It was even tested on the same tarmac of the test track as used to develop the original Chiron in Germany by Bugatti’s official test driver and former Le Mans winner, Andy Wallace, and also features a functional rear spoiler and speedometer.
Some other famous car recreations in Lego include Ferrari and Renault F1 cars, a Porsche 930 Carrera, and a Porsche 911 GT 3 RS.