My LEGO® adventure started back in 1977 when I got the "First" LEGO® Supercar, the 853 Car Chassis. Although simple by today's standards when it comes to building, to a 3 year old child it was the greatest thing ever. I built and rebuilt the model dozens of times including the alternate model.
Seeing the gears turn and rotate the crankshaft had me hooked.
Building with gears and simple mechanisms at an early age helped develop and expand my mind and outlook towards things that most people take for granted in everyday daily life. I believe that children who build with LEGO® Technic at an early age develop "Common sense" that can boost them when they start on their journey through school and also give an advantage over kids that play World of Warcraft 24/7.
1980 was an exciting year for me because there were 2 sets released that year that really had me going crazy from the first time that I had seen them in stores.
One of them was the 8858 Engine set that offered building instructions for 4 different types of engines and the other was the awesome 8860 Car Chassis.
The 8860 set was the first set that featured Working Suspension as well as an improved and somewhat detailed 4 cylinder engine. It also had a somewhat improved transmission over the 853 set. And the first Differential box. I can still remember gazing in awe at the set in stores when it was first released.
By the time the 8865 Test Car set came out, 8 years had passed and I had gone through quite a few different Technic sets as well as quite a few Space sets to fill the Void, but I was 14 and was starting to get into other things(Mostly trouble) and LEGO® was getting pushed back into the corner. I remember convincing my younger brother to get the 8865 set just so I could build it.
I was blown away by the 4 wheel independent suspension as well as the flip up headlights and 3 speed transmission. But this would be the last set that I would build as a teen... Enter the Dark Ages.
I graduated in 1992 and was working full time as a Kitchen Manager at 50 hours a week, so Lego building was out of the question. Until I caught wind that LEGO® was bringing out yet a 4th Super Car. At that time I had no type of internet access what-so-ever, so I just searched around.
Then one day I got a my first LEGO® Catalog in the mail and there it was... The New 8880 Supercar. An awesome V8 Engine with New style smaller cylinder heads and pistons, a fantastic 4 Speed transmission that used the new driving rings that produced a smooth style shift without having to worry about gears and axles slipping or moving that plagued previous supercars.
The Model also had All-Wheel-Drive as well as All-Wheel-Steering. I was shocked. I immediately called and ordered the set. About a week later there was the box on my front porch waiting for me when I came home from work late at night. I took a shower as I felt that I needed to be properly prepared before I even opened the packing box. Could this model actually be as cool as it looked in the magazine? No, it was actually better than I could imagine. I was again hooked on LEGO®. But my building time was very limited due to the fact that I just turned 21 and was working almost everyday. 5 more years would pass before I would fully be back into LEGO® again. And the model that did it for me is still my favorite set that LEGO® released.
In 1999 LEGO® Released their 5th Supercar. The Super Street Sensation. I picked this set up at Toys-R-Us for $99. When I bought this set, there were at least 15 of them on the shelf and I wanted to buy them all, but sadly they all were not in my budget. While this set did not have quite as many features as the previous 8880 set, it did set a new standard for a LEGO® Supercar.
It featured easy to use instructions and parts that were separated into module boxes. First you started by building the chassis, then the rear suspension, then the front, and then the AWESOME new 5 speed transmission that featured for the first time, a working reverse gear.
This model also featured many new "Studless" parts and it could easily be customized and upgraded with a larger engine, different body-style and such. Not to mention the coolest wheels that any LEGO® set ever had. I also had internet access at this time and began to see what real building was all about. Enter the man that inspired me to build.
When I first saw the pictures of this car, I thought they were the rumored 3rd version of the 8458 Silver Champion. I then learned that the actual 3rd version of that model couldn't touch this design. This design was not done by anyone from The LEGO® Company at all. It was by a man named Nathanaël Kuipers.
To say that I was blown away by what I had seen this guy doing is an understatement. He was designing some of the most incredible cars out of LEGO® that I had ever seen. And more impressively, he was doing them with only one or two sets. 8458 Silver Champion and 8466 Offroader sets to create the incredible GT car that you see here. He has done many alternate models for sets that are better than the actual set model itself. This is another Supercar that he did using those same 2 sets.
Does the man have talent?
Apparently so as he ended up working for The LEGO® Company and designed some great models.
The design is quite amazing. I am proud to say that I am good friends with Nathanaël and while some may disagree with me, in my opinion, he is the best LEGO® designer on the planet.