Building what seemed a simple Lego model, my quest to build a Lego version of Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce turned out have some unexpected difficulties. It took countless rebuilds, a few instance of needing new colours of existing parts, and one small car chase.
Like the Moon Buggy model, the inspiration to build the Rolls Royce Phantom III came from a single Lego model. In this case it was the Scorpion Tracker car from Lego’s Adventure series. Or to be more specific, it was the grille from the Scorpion Tracker. Unlike the Moon Buggy, I didn’t immediately tear the Scorpion Tracker apart to build the Rolls. It was a year or so later after the original model’s parts had all found their way in to the various bins that house my Lego parts.
The Lego Adventures Scorpion Tracker
On a rainy weekend afternoon while digging through my parts I came across the grille again, that’s when I seriously started to attempt to build Auric Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce.
And as is usual for my Lego models, the Rolls went through several stage before it was completed. Even a partial rebuild after I started working on this article.
Again like the Moon Buggy, not many parts of the Scorpion Tracker are actually in the final model. Not even the original grille survived; a dark grey version of the part was substituted. The only survivor were the axles and windscreen. The tan spoked wheels were also replaced with their dark grey counterparts and the tyres replaced with the slick tyres that Lego sets used in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
The Rolls model itself turned out to be more complicated than its outer looks would have one believe. Although it is for the most part built with fairly standard Lego pieces, within the model the body of the car switches from 3-studs wide to 4-studs wide with the middle section using tiles turned on their sides in order to accommodate a right-side steering wheel within a area not normally wide enough for the steering wheel piece. All of the support for changing widths and directions of the bricks need to take place within the hidden parts of the car.
The most difficult part of the Phantom III for me to build was the boot. It wasn’t as much that it was difficult to model (though the final version did take a bit of trial and error), it was more that I had difficulty finding good pictures of the rear of the true Rolls from the movie. The day after spending a quite unproductive evening searching the Internet for a proper picture of the back end, I came upon an extraordinary stoke of good fortune, driving back to work from lunch I noticed pulling out of the car detailer in the building next to my work was one Rolls Royce Phantom III. I had never actually seen one of these before in real life and here is one just a block from me. Just as I got excited and started to get a look at an actual boot of a Phantom III, a Metro Bus turned on to the street.
The chase was on.
Deciding not to count the traffic violations I was about to break, I shifted my Jeep Libety down, floored the accelerator pedal, and sped down the street. I took the passing lane to get past the bus. Just as I had just pulled even with its back end, a light blue VW Golf turned on to the road in front of me, next to the bus. I was blocked from passing the bus and getting a good look at the Rolls. At that moment, the Rolls turned on to a cross street and I was in the wrong lane to follow. Again downshifting, allowing the Liberty’s whining engine to slow it, I cleared the bus and some other Oldsmolbuick that had taken station behind it just at the last possible second to make the turn the Phantom had without smashing into the cars in the oncoming lanes.
I sped around a custom Mini Cooper that I normally would have slowed to look at and finally pulled safely behind the Rolls. And finally got a decent look at the back of the masterpiece brought to life the Rolls Royce company nearly 70 years ago. I thought about trying to get in front of the Rolls and get a good look at the rest of the car but then thought those that drive Rolls Royces most likely don’t like strange cars chasing them and then circling them.
In hindsight, the chase didn’t bring as drastic of a change to my Lego model as was worth the effort and the laws broken since my whole goal on my Lego models is to capture the spirit of subject rather than attempting to match every detail. It did however bring me satisfaction with the boot on my next rebuild. And it did help me capture the spirit of the Phantom.
The instructions are in PDF format and can be viewed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Hopefully anyone attempting to build the Rolls will find the instruction booklet self-explanatory, and as always a complete parts list is on the last page. Just as a note: Because of a limitation of the program I use to generate the instructions, some of the yellow bricks may appear to some to be a slightly darker yellow. Rest assured there is only one colour of yellow used.
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