As most Brickset members will know, 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Technic range of products.
A few months ago images were released showing a modern version of the iconic 8860 Car Chassis which can be assembled using parts from three of this year's Technic sets. The instructions for Technic 40 year anniversary model became available a few weeks ago.
Read on as I review the Technic 40 year anniversary model as well as compare it with its original source model from 1980.
8860 Car Chassis
8860 Car Chassis was released in 1980 and marked a coming of age of the new Technic theme. It was a worthy successor to the original 853 Car Chassis as there were several improvements in its engineering.
The notable improvements in this car's design were:
- Functioning rear swing-axle suspension
- Ackermann steering geometry
- Fully adjustable bucket seats
- Three speed gear box with a brick-built stick shift plate
- Flat-four boxer engine
- Inclusion of a differential in the rear axle
For many Technic enthusiasts 8860 was their first large Technic set and it still commands a nostalgic place in memory lane.
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, VP Motorsports and GT Cars at Porsche reveals that LEGO was a big part of his childhood: he was given this specific set when he was 11 year's old.
8860 Car Chassis had a flat-four rear engine and only two seats. These two factors made this car shorter than 853 Car Chassis.
The fusion model
A smaller celebration model of 8860 Car Chassis is made from three of the 2017 Technic sets. Parts from 42057 Ultralight Helicopter, 42061 Tele Handler and 42063 BMW R1200 GS Adventure are used to make this model.
The instructions can be downloaded as a 138 page PDF file. The pages have the black and yellow hazard edging reminiscent of the earlier style of Technic instructions.
The Technic 40 year anniversary model has 566 parts. Brickset member App has created a custom parts list on Rebrickable which breaks down the parts by colour and category.
The 566 parts come from:
- Set 42057, 100 parts - 50% of 42057's 199 parts
- Set 42061, 136 parts - 52% of 42061's 260 parts
- Set 42063, 330 parts - 55% of 42063's 603 parts
The 566 parts represents 53% of the total 1062 parts available from the three source sets.
The original 8860 Car Chassis had 676 parts.
If you look at the comparative sizes of the two models, it is surprising that there is a reasonably similar number of parts but a significant difference in model size. This just shows how dense modern Technic models have become.
The completed model
The Technic 40 year anniversary model uses all three printed 3M beams; one at each end as show-room styled registration plates, and the third underneath the chassis near to the front axle.
The seats slide back and forth by moving the red lift arms under the chassis.
The seats are not symmetrical copies. The right-hand seat is built slightly differently as the 42061 Tele Handler has only three red 4x4 angular beams.
Milan Reindl, also known in the LEGO community as Grohl, designed this model. He has managed to capture the open-chassis look of the original LEGO Technic models and, in particular, the look of 8860 Car Chassis.
- In many aspects, 8860 Car Chassis is by-far a better designed Technic set than the flagship 853 Car Chassis from 1977. I am pleased that 8860 Car Chassis has been used as the source of the celebration set.
- The swing-axle suspension has been re-created effectively, but only has one shock per wheel.
- The flat-four rear engine has been re-created using the smaller modern circular pistons.
- The yellow cooling fan has also been replicated.
- Just like 8860 Car Chassis, the gearbox is linear and has two gears plus neutral; 8860 Car Chassis had three gear ratios though.
- The stick shift plate has been made using blue Technic connectors
- The signature parts that were introduced on 8860 Car Chassis were the 28-tooth differential body and 14-tooth bevel gears. Due to the three small sets used to make the celebration model, a differential was not available and is therefore missing.
- 8860 Car Chassis has the most adjustable seats of any Technic vehicle. The seats could slide back and forward and a ratchet mechanism allowed you to tilt the seats back. This celebration model only allows you to slide the seats back and forth.
- The steering mechanism is very basic in design. This is probably due to the limited selection of parts available.
Crowkillers' 8860 Revival
Paul 'CrowKillers' Boratko has been mentioned in the Brickset news recently over how he is using his fantastic MOC Technic car designs. In 2016, he posted on Rebrickable instructions for a modern version of 8860 using the latest Technic parts. The instructions for this MOC are free to download.
Compare Crowkillers' MOC to the original model.
Watch this space
Here are some of the images of Nick's MOC; there are more images of his MOC at MOCpages.
I can't help but think that later in the year there will be another celebratory offering from the LEGO Technic designers.
There are plenty of Medium Blue panels in sets 42066 Air Race Jet and 42070 6x6 All Terrain Tow Truck. 42069 Extreme Adventure has four wheel arch pieces although in purple colour. That set may also include street wheels for a B Model.
853 Car Chassis and 852 Helicopter could be combined together to create a station wagon or estate car. This has always reminded me of a Volvo station wagon of the 1970s due to their prominent square bumpers.
For what it is worth, 852 Helicopter is my favourite set from 1977. While I didn't own one at the time, it was easy to MOC it from the images found in the instruction books of other sets that I owned from that era.
Who knows, maybe there will be another fusion model hiding in some of the larger 2017 sets that will be revealed later in the year.
Thanks to App for creating a custom parts list on Rebrickable for the Technic 40 year anniversary model.
Thanks to Crowkillers for allowing me to use his images of his 8860 Revival MOC.
Thanks to TechnicNick for allowing me to use his images of his 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster.