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LEGO Technic 40th anniversary model

As we discussed already in previous 2017 LEGO Technic reviews (see links at the end of this post), 2017 celebrates the 40th anniversary of the LEGO Technic line. To commemorate the event, all 2017 LEGO Technic sets come with a special 40th anniversary printed LEGO Technic beam that’s incorporated into each model. In addition, LEGO also released instructions for a 40th anniversary combo-model, which is an updated version of the #8860 LEGO Technic Car Chassis from 1980. 🙂

While the #8860 LEGO Technic Car Chassis may look crude by today’s standards, in its time it was a revolutionary model, displaying the capabilities of LEGO Technic, with a 4-cylynder reciprocating engine, 3-speed transmission, working rear differential, working rear suspension, functioning steering, and sophisticated reclining seats. It was a vast improvement over the earlier #853 LEGO Technic Auto Chassis from 1977 (see both sets below).

The updated version for the 40th anniversary combines pieces from three recent LEGO Technic sets; the #42057 LEGO Technic Ultralight Helicopter, the #42061 LEGO Technic Telehandler, and the #42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure motorcycle. If you have all three of those sets, you are fully equipped to build the anniversary model. If you don’t have all three sets, but you do have a decent collection of LEGO Technic pieces, you will need to look through the instructions step-by-step to see if you can build the model. Unfortunately, there is no parts-list published with the instructions, but I’m sure eventually enthusiastic LEGO Technic fans will put it together.

While the 40th anniversary set is not a boxed model, it’s nice to see that for the instructions LEGO included the familiar yellow and black striped border, which appeared on all LEGO Technic sets from the 1980s. A sweet touch, which those who grew up in the ’80s can appreciate.

Looking at the original and updated models of the car chassis, it is very interesting to see how building with LEGO Technic evolved through the years. You can see that the original model still uses mostly studded regular LEGO elements and only relies on specialized LEGO Technic pieces for the mechanical functions. The new model, on the other hand, is all LEGO Technic pieces, which gives it a smoother and rounder look.

Although the anniversary addition is completely different as far as parts-usage and building-techniques, LEGO stayed with the original color-scheme as much as possible. It would have been nice if the seats are all red, but since this is a combo-model from three different sets, it didn’t work out. However, I really like that they recreated the gray box from the front of the original vehicle, even though the pieces used are much different. (In the original model, the gray box served as a counter-weight for the engine.)

The 40th anniversary version of the LEGO Technic Car Chassis is smaller and more compact than the original model, however I don’t think this is a negative. It’s simply another feature that highlights the differences between classic and modern LEGO Technic sets.

While I’m not so much a fan of just displaying LEGO sets (I prefer the more interactive approach of building and playing), I think it would be worth displaying the #8860 LEGO Technic Car Chassis and the anniversary edition next to each other in a display-case. The pair is such a wonderful visual representation of the LEGO building system rooted in the past, yet constantly evolving to meet the needs of the present and the future.

If you would like to build the 40th anniversary LEGO Technic set, you can go the LEGO building instructions download page, and type in the set number of any of the three sets the combo-model is made of: #42057 LEGO Technic Ultralight Helicopter, #42061 LEGO Technic Telehandler, or #42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure. The instructions for the combo-model will be included as one of the downloadable PDF files for any of those sets. And if you don’t have the 2017 LEGO Technic sets yet, you can find them under the LEGO Technic section of the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? How do you like the 40th anniversary LEGO Technic set? Do you think it’s a good representation of the original model? Are you planning to build it? Or have you build it already? Feel free to share your thoughts and own review in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Håkan April 7, 2017, 10:58 AM

    Shouldn’t be too hard to put together a parts list, you just add all of these light blue panels with parts together…

    And I still have a lot of old Technic parts I inherited from my older brother, although I have trouble figuring out the system (and the modern system seems even harder).

    • admin April 7, 2017, 11:32 AM

      Yeah, Technic is not easy to wrap your brain around. But once you do, you can create some very realistic complex machinery. It really is amazing. I don’t have time right now to fiddle with the instructions to put together a parts-list, but someone at Brickset mentioned they will give it a shot.

  • Rob April 7, 2017, 11:23 AM

    I recently pulled out my box of old Lego elements from when I was a kiddo and was able to reassemble my Lego Chassis #853 (with a handful of pieces from other sets that didn’t get broken and some newer pieces I’ve accumulated as an AFOL.) I placed it next to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and it really is amazing the changes Lego has made from when I was a kid. Yet at the same time it was fun to reassemble the old model once again.

    • admin April 7, 2017, 11:36 AM

      Pulling out old LEGO is always such a wonderful feeling. Take good care of that old set. It was the beginning of an amazing history. 🙂

      • Håkan April 7, 2017, 12:03 PM

        I think I have all or most of 8853 scattered around in my collection, if I look… I don’t know at the meantime where my old manuals are, though…

        • Håkan April 7, 2017, 2:19 PM

          853… As it was known in Europe…

          • Rob April 7, 2017, 9:05 PM

            Ah, so that’s why there is the 853 vs 956 model number differences. I have model 956 to be exact.

  • brickmaster April 7, 2017, 12:22 PM

    I would love to display these two sets next to each other! Wonderful testimony to Lego’s long history. Would it be possible to change the sets to all red? That’s the only thing that bothers me.

    • Håkan April 7, 2017, 2:17 PM

      The bonus build? Likely. Or at least the bulk of it, if you go through the parts list.

      Lego has produced more than 5.000 elements in red, and you can see all of them on Bricklink. (Also red is Lego’s standard test color, so there are some unofficial red parts that have escaped the factories and found their way to collectors…)


      • Håkan April 7, 2017, 7:24 PM

        The gray box part 24116 is a pretty new part, though, and it isn’t available in red yet, it seems…

        • Håkan April 7, 2017, 7:38 PM

          If it’s a typo for “change the seats to all red”, it would probably be easier… Seems like basically every Technic beam has been released in red by now…

          • admin April 7, 2017, 8:25 PM

            Hm. sounds like brickmaster may have meant that. I actually automatically read it like that. Probably autocorrect. I’m sure brickmaster will be back and let us know for sure. 😀

            • brickmaster April 8, 2017, 2:37 PM

              Yes, sorry about that. It was a typo. I meant fully red seats, like on the original model.

              • Håkan April 8, 2017, 9:01 PM

                Another typo in the text, I guess… “Rare suspension” for “rear suspension”…

                • admin April 8, 2017, 10:25 PM

                  LOL. That’s funny. Had it fixed. 😀

  • Håkan April 19, 2017, 6:41 AM
    • admin April 19, 2017, 8:53 AM

      Thanks! That’s perfect! 😀

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