The Vehicular Art of. . .LEGO

A couple years ago I took my elementary-school-aged nephew from Hawaii to The Henry Ford Museum. As his father had grown up in Detroit, I figured that he’d be exceedingly interested (well, as much as someone his age could be) in the remarkable display of cars through the ages that are on display: Roper, Duryea, Holsman, Oldsmobile, LaSalle, Essex, Willys-Overland. . . .

Photo: The Henry Ford

Or at least keen on the car that pretty much started it all in all 50 states and beyond, the Ford Model T.


He saw a sign that said there was a LEGO exhibit. And he made a bee-line across the museum to where there was a LEGO-built city.

That was the highlight of his visit.

(Seconded only by the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.)

Lego is not only of interest to10-year-old kids. It is a phenomenon that has people of all ages doing things that are, in a word, remarkable.

And for those of us who are interested in automotive design, a new book, The Art of LEGO Scale Modeling by Dennis Glaasker and Dennis Bosman (No Starch Press), is nothing short of incredible.

The cover shows a Kenworth K100E with a Miller Industries Century 1140 Rotator (yes, they get that detailed). It was constructed by one of the authors (Bosman). It is more than 2.6-feet long. He had to build a secondary frame to support the rotator body. And the rotator crane has a working three-stage boom and two winches.

There are a variety of other vehicles that have been built by LEGO enthusiasts from Jordan, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Latvia, Spain, and the U.S. These range from the Lida L-1300 TC combine (a piece of agricultural equipment from a Belarus manufacturer) to a Caterham Super 7.

For anyone interested in vehicle design, this whimsical book is worth far more than its $29.95 sticker price.

The publisher, No Starch Press, says it publishes “the finest in geek entertainment,” and if you’re an automotive geek, not only does The Art of LEGO Scale Modeling provide wonderful images of vehicles made of LEGO, but a chapter on how you, too, can build your own.

(Of course, when my nephew asks my brother for 6,500 LEGO blocks. . . .)