Classic Volkswagen Bulli pop-top camper van built up to life size from Legos
One of the world's most beloved and iconic vehicles has gotten a modern refresh, of sorts. An all-new VW T2 camper van debuts this week in Germany, with a bit of a twist: it's made from 400,000 little Lego bricks. You probably don't want to spend the night inside out in the windy wild, but the realistic toy camper van is every bit as large as life and even features a pop-up roof.
Featuring twice as many Lego pieces as the world record-size Lego teardrop trailer unveiled in 2015, the newly revealed Lego project is modeled after the VW T2a camper van, built between 1967 and 1971. The Lego camping bus stretches over 16.4 feet (5 meters) in length, weighs 1,543 lb (700 kg) and is believed to be the largest Lego camper ever made.
There's no indication that the new Lego project has the type of working equipment seen on the Lego teardrop, nor that it actually drives like the more recent Lego Bugatti Chiron, but the van does include authentic details inside and out, looking very much like the classic VW it appears alongside.
The T2 Lego project was undertaken by Rene Hoffmeister, one of only twelve officially certified Lego model builders in the world, and his colleague Pascal Lenhard. After using 3D images to create a plan and secure the precise number of bricks they needed, the duo worked hard to bring the Lego van to life over the course of six weeks.
The build didn't quite run smoothly, start to finish. The bricks dried up toward deadline time, and Hoffmeister and Lenhard had to scramble to get it done. They took to working long days and weekends to make it happen.
"Essentially, we would have needed a nine-day week," recounts Hoffmeister. "However, as they don't exist, the only option was night shifts."
They wrapped it up just in time, and their magnificent Lego creation makes its debut at the F.re.e travel and leisure fair in Munich this week. It stands 9.8 feet (3 m tall) to the peak of the pop-up roof and measures 6.2 feet (1.9 m) wide. Along with that Westfalia-style roof, lifelike details include the sliding door and the fully outfitted camper interior complete with dishes in the sink. The duo also made sure to give the sidewalls and windows the strength necessary for long-lasting structural stability.
Though it's winter throughout the Northern Hemisphere, it's a good week to start thinking about summer travel and camping. The F.re.e fair begins on Wednesday, and visitors will be able to see the Lego T2, actual working Volkswagen camper vans, and plenty of other motorhomes and camping trailers. Meanwhile, over in Birmingham, UK, the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show kicks off on Tuesday. Visitors to this show can take in the UK debut of Volkswagen's all-new Grand California, among other highlights.