Bugatti Barn Finds And Art Deco Daydreams Are Just Another Day In This Man’s LEGO Land
Perhaps you’re at the age when the LEGOs in your life belong to your children, your only interaction with the little plastic pieces now is to step on their sharp edges as they hide in the carpet’s piling. Painful for the parents as it may be to plant a bare foot on them, it’s hard to imagine a kid growing up without at least one set of bricks—no amount of Little Einstein iPad apps can foster creativity like a box of bricks waiting to turn into space ships—and then on top of the accessibility and possibilities presented to the younger generation, we also get kits like the incredibly thorough and complex GT3 RS, which we’ve featured on this site in the past. It’s great that the company’s products have such a wide demographic scope, but to me the point of LEGOs was never about the instructions.
Andrea Lattanzio agrees with the open-ended approach to building, and you may recognize some of his work we’ve shared in the past, like the modernist Esso station, the MOONEYES speed shop, and his Volkswagen service center. He’s not one to step back and look at his finished products for too long, and his output is pretty staggering for the work of an individual building these kits up from scratch. We’d like to share two of his more recent automotive pieces today, the pair illustrating two very different scenes.
The first is a classic barn find scenario, and the two brick-men have had quite the stroke of luck in exhuming an old car from an old barn. It’s a Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix faithfully reconstructed and wearing its trademark blue hue. There’s even a little farmer nearby, presumably the owner of this treasure, who is keen to show off the car with his loyal farm dog beside him. Whether or not the two car-hunters will take the poor guy for a ride in the figurative sense is to be seen! Perhaps he does in fact know what he has…
In contrast to the farm aesthetic and the pre-war French racer is the Art Deco Shell service station inspired by the real-life location in Tucson, AZ. It’s Andrea’s way of honoring the glory days of filling stations (maybe a bit odd to say that, but he’s not wrong in doing so), and this miniature recreation is full of so many details you’d think it was an officially-licensed set. The staples of the architectural movement are all there in the curved corners, the prominent tower, and streak of red around the rooftop. It’s an ode to a time when hot-rodders and their neighbors would congregate at the adjacent diner while the sounds of wrenching filtered in from the service station.
Both of these sets bring us back in time, and they do so in a unique way that’s lost in photographs and old films. Unlike those artifacts, these builds are a process of creation as well as memory. Interested in making your own Bugatti Type 35 like the one above? See below for building instructions.
You can follow Andrea Lattanzio’s brick-building by following him on Facebook, or flipping through his Flickr account. If you’ve got any tips on other automotive-themed LEGO builders you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you.