How would a Lego world for humans look like?

The Volkswagen Type 2 is one of the German automaker’s most enduring designs and was even kept in production in Brazil until 2013. Volkswagen sold countless numbers around the world and, while the T2 generation isn’t as cute as the original T1, it has its place in history. At the Leisure and Travel Fair in Munich, Germany, the T2 made an unexpected appearance in Lego form, proving that making full-scale recreations of cars out of thousands of Lego bricks is now a thing.

The second generation of Volkswagen’s world-renown compact multi-purpose van debuted in the Summer of 1967 and was kept in production until 1979 for the American and European markets. The Argentinian market enjoyed the T2 as late as 1986 while over in Mexico you could buy a new T2 up until 1994. However, the T2 was most popular in Brazil where Volkswagen built it at the São Bernardo do Campo plant until 2013 when the production officially ended with a run of 600 Last Edition vehicles.

A Camper Van Ready for Your Plasticky Adventures

They say you can build anything out of Legos, as long as you have enough bricks and imagination to bind them together in a way that enables you to create what you have in mind. Case in point, the realistic-looking appliances inside this 1/1 scale model of the second-generation Volkswagen Type 2 (T2) Camper Van. If you’re asking yourself why would somebody build an otherwise somewhat boring-looking vehicle like the T2 out of Legos it’s because it was an exhibit at the, the largest fair of its kind in Bavaria.

The exhaustive recreation was built using 400,000 Lego bricks by master Lego builder Rene Hoffmeister and Pascal Lenhard. The former is behind the 1000steine-land even in his native Berlin.

This event dedicated to European Lego builders, according to the Lego website, "has been attended by more than 10,000 LEGO fans" in the past five years.
Volkswagen Presents Lego T2 Camper Van And We're Already Dreaming Of A Life-Sized Lego World
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Hoffmeister and Lenhard worked six weeks on this project and made use of three-dimensional imagery to calculate how many bricks they need and what types of bricks. In the end, they realized they needed a ’few’ more transparent bricks for the windows, 20,000 of them to be precise. There’s a happy ending to this story, though, as the two Lego builders managed to put everything together in time and the T2 is on display at the show until February 24th.

The model measures over 197 inches in length and is 78.74 inches tall when the extending roof section is down, popping it up adding some extra 39.37 inches.

By comparison, a genuine T2 (regardless of the application, be it a Camper, a Transporter, or a Bus) measures 177.5 inches in length, is 76.4 inches tall, 67.7 inches wide and features a 94.5-inch wheelbase.

Volkswagen Presents Lego T2 Camper Van And We're Already Dreaming Of A Life-Sized Lego World
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In spite of the tiny size differences, the Lego replica is tediously accurate. The headlights and fog lights are made out of transparent blocks with a light source behind them. There are even green transparent blocks for the hazard lights on the sides, and the wipers are also partially made out of Lego bricks. The sliding door of the T2 was also faithfully reproduced and, once opened, you are welcomed inside the perfect vehicle to take on a vacation to Legoland!

There are two green benches in there, a camping stove, a hygiene kit complete with a toothbrush and toothpaste, and even an old-school-looking radio with its own Lego batteries. Look to the right once you’re inside and you’ll spot the sink with some dishes, cups, and other things laying around as well as some ’paintings’ on the walls and even a tiny spiderweb!

Volkswagen Presents Lego T2 Camper Van And We're Already Dreaming Of A Life-Sized Lego World
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The whole thing weighs little over 1,500 pounds which makes it about 1,250 pounds lighter than the real T2 Camper Van parked right next to it at the show.

Talking about the real T2 that was introduced in ’67, it was first available with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, boxer engine that developed 47 horsepower. The engine itself was between 0.5-liters and 0.4-liters bigger than the usual ones fitted to the original Type 2, and it also offered double the power in comparison to the early T1s. The T2 featured half-shaft axles that replaced the Beetle-based swing axle rear suspension with transfer boxes of the T1. As years rolled by, a number of other engines became available including a 1.8-liter, inline-four, gas engine. The biggest engine offered on the T2 was a 2.0-liter mill with hydraulic valve lifters that featured Bosch L-Jetronic electronic fuel injection on the examples sold Stateside. In fact, after 1975, all American T2s ditched carburetors.

Out of the two Lego building experts that created this astonishing model, one of them is no stranger to piecing together large-size Lego cars. Pascal Lenhard was tasked back in 2013 with the build of two 1/3 scale models for Ford’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He built both the GTE-spec Ford GT that actually went on to dominate and win the GTE-Pro class at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1966 Ford GT Mk. II in the livery that was worn by the race-winning example driven by New Zealand’s Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon. These 1/3 scale models required between 30,000 and 40,000 blocks to be built, so a tenth less than the number of bricks needed for the life-sized T2. Then again, the T2 is a more complex build and, anyway, it represents a much larger vehicle than the 40-inch tall Mk. 2 and its modern brethren.

Volkswagen Presents Lego T2 Camper Van And We're Already Dreaming Of A Life-Sized Lego World
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As amazing as those builds were, a number of other 1/1 scale creations that have made some waves on the internet in the past few years top them. For instance, back in 2017, we learned that Lego took 1,590 hours to design and build an accurate replica of the 2017 Ferrari SF70H F1 car driven in real life by Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. The end result features 349,911 Lego bricks and weighs 1,250 pounds.

This creation easily trumped the McLaren 720S that was built out of Legos and presented at the Goodwood Festival of Speed that same year. The 720S only required 267,300 pieces to be completed. However, it still took the 10 Lego builders 20,000 hours to complete the project and the car weighs 3,500 pounds, about 330 pounds more than one running and driving 720S that can reach 62 mph from a standstill in 2.9 seconds, go on to a top speed of 212 mph (thanks to all of its 710 horsepower) and devoid your wallet of $296,175.

Volkswagen Presents Lego T2 Camper Van And We're Already Dreaming Of A Life-Sized Lego World
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All this being said, arguably the single most awe-inspiring automotive Lego build is the running (!) 1/1 scale Bugatti Chiron. Granted, the Lego version doesn’t have 1,479 horsepower, but it can seat two people, and it can move via motors from the LEGO Power Function platform.

Lego put to use over 1,000,000 individual parts for this build which recorded a few firsts: it was the first full-scale Lego car that moved by itself and the first to use load-bearing parts built purely out of LEGO Technic bricks.

The engine itself was assembled from 2,304 LEGO Power Function parts, 4,032 gear wheels, and 2,016 cross axles. The brick-macking company says it puts out about 5.3 horsepower and 68 pound-feet of torque, enough for a top speed of 12 mph which, frankly, sounds a bit scary! The Chiron weighs less than that 720S because it’s partially empty on the inside to allow for passengers to actually sit in it and tips the scales at 3,307 pounds, over 1,000 pounds lighter than the actual $2.9 million Chiron.

Volkswagen Presents Lego T2 Camper Van And We're Already Dreaming Of A Life-Sized Lego World
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Now, you’re probably bored of seeing supercars or F1 cars built out of Legos, and you’re thinking, ’Hey, didn’t they make anything that could echo with the little guy? Something in the vein of that T2?’ Well, they have! In March of last year, news arrived of a 1/1 scale Lego-ized Toyota Camry.

Ryan McNaught built it using some 500,000 lego bricks. It took him eight weeks to complete the red model, and he used spec sheets from Toyota to get the job done. The total build time, about 900 man hours, is equal to the time it takes for Toyota to build 40 real Camrys!

Another more recent Lego build was this Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss presented at the Chicago Auto Show. This too is red and, as Kirby pointed out in the article, the only extra thing it needs is the 5.3-liter V-8 engine. Eighteen builders spent over 2,000 hours to complete the truck that devoured some 334,000 bricks. As with other automotive Lego builds, the Silverado has working lights and other nice touches like the replicated Trail Boss logos on the sides of the bed.

Volkswagen Presents Lego T2 Camper Van And We're Already Dreaming Of A Life-Sized Lego World
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In the end, this shows that all we need now is for someone to build a 1/1 scale city out of Legos for people to drive about in their Lego-made cars.

As a (rivaling) toy company used to yell in its theme song, life in plastic can be fantastic.

Oh, and if we’ve gotten your appetite for building through the roof, there are options if you can’t afford to pay a 15-strong team of professionals to build you a life-sized model. For instance, you can go for this Lego Technic 1/8 scale Bugatti Chiron that will set you back $350. Then there’s the famous orange Porsche 911 (991) GT3, one of the most complicated Lego Technic sets money can buy. It’s also $50 cheaper than the Chiron and, as you probably know, it’s a safe build as it’s undergone a crash test.

Further reading

1950 Volkswagen Type2 T1
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Volkswagen Type2 T1

Read our full review on the 1950 Volkswagen Type2 T1.

The Full-Scale McLaren 720S Made Out of Legos is at the Petersen Automotive Musem
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McLaren already has a full-size Lego 720S.

LEGO Technic Seriously Created a Life-Sized, Functional Bugatti Chiron
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Check out this full-size Lego Bugatti Chiron.

Lego's Genius Knows No Bounds With Life-Sized Ferrari SF70H
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Or this full-sized Ferrari F1.

Can't Afford a McLaren Senna? Here's a cool Lego you can buy
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Can’t Afford a McLaren Senna? Here’s a cool Lego you can buy

LEGO and Dodge's Latest Collaboration Gives Our Mini Figs a Pair of Pony Cars to Play Around With
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LEGO and Dodge’s Latest Collaboration Gives Our Mini Figs a Pair of Pony Cars to Play Around With

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