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How one man built the LEGO Ford Barra

By Chris Thompson, 26 Sep 2018 Features

Meet the man building Aussie Ford engines from LEGO feature

Leo has a love of Fords and LEGO, and decided to put the two together

You might remember a LEGO Barra engine we wrote about back in early August, after a video of the miniature Ford engine surfaced.

If not, here are the basics: a Queensland man who we know as Leo has built a ‘functional’ model of Ford’s mighty 4.0-litre Barra Turbo, complete with moving pistons and a spinning turbo.

Even Leo himself admits it’s not perfect, but he did the whole thing without modifying any pieces and it would almost certainly look spot on to the casual observer.

We managed to track Leo down, and it turns out this isn’t the first – or last – engine he’s built.

“My first LEGO Barra was around 2010,” Leo tells us. “It was 1 brick wide x 4 long NA engine from my trusty BF Falcon.”

Leo, a self-described “true-blue Aussie” is still disheartened with the loss of our local car manufacturing industry, and celebrates what we have left through both the LEGO projects, and his own garage. He says his own BF was the inspiration for the first LEGO engine he built.

“This car was great. It went pretty hard for a NA six, never let me down, always had enough space for a family of five… and did a good burnout.”

It ended up leading to more LEGO builds, with each one gradually becoming more complex.

“Next LEGO engine was a 2-brick by 6-brick turbo Barra complete with intercooler and next a 3x9 turbo.”


“As they got bigger they required more detail and as I didn’t own a turbo I sourced the internet for turbo engine pics. This is where I found I was not the first to build a LEGO Barra.

“There it was, a blue FPV, bigger and better than what I was building. My project stopped.”

At this point it’s 2015 and Leo had just traded his car at the time, a “perfectly good, low kay FG” in for a new FGII XR6 Turbo. This served as the inspiration for his next build, which is the one we originally found and wrote about.

Leo says it’s about 17cm long, 12cm wide, and 19cm tall. It weighs about 320 grams, and consists of more than 650 pieces. Leo estimates it took more than 40 hours overall, and cost more than $150 due to needing to order specific parts to avoid modifying any.

He tells us he has another couple of engines on the way, so you can be sure you’ll hear about it. In addition to that, he’s entered the most recent ‘red’ Barra onto the LEGO Ideas website, where if it receives enough support, LEGO may consider implementing it as an official set.

We’ll keep you in the loop here at MOTOR – stay tuned.