This is definitely the longest set name in LEGO Speed Champions history, right? The absurdity of this theme’s way with naming its sets to one side, 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette is the latest example of a single brand-pair of cars capturing two very different eras of motor design in a single LEGO set.
— Set details —
Price: £34.99 / $29.99 / €39.99 Pieces: 512 Minifigures: 2
— Build —
Within 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette comes the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette – one of the most iconic sports cars of the ‘Pony Car Wars’ era – and some grey race car of some sorts or other. Okay, that’s unfair to the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car, but it’s the pony and muscle cars that offer some of the most interesting designs in the LEGO Speed Champions range and it’s no different with the one included in 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette.
Not seen as a muscle car by particular definitions and standards, the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette still remains one of the most iconic and standout sports cars of the 1960s and 1970s era of pony cars, which were designed as ‘smaller, more affordable and compact, stylised coupes or convertibles’.
Always a sporty design, the 1968 Corvette marked the third generation of the vehicle and stands still today as one of the car’s most iconic designs, with the accentuated bodywork flowing over the thick, race-spec tyres, from a pointed front end with hidden headlights, through to a short back-end, complete with chrome bumpers all around. For all that was sleek in appearance, though, this was a pony car/would-be muscle car with all the extremes of power, noise and audacity, primarily thanks to a V8 engine under the hood.
An American icon that handled better than most other muscle cars of its time, the 1968 Corvette is a perfect addition to the LEGO Speed Champions range, even if the particulars of its more pointed bodywork do represent a design challenge in LEGO form. From many angles, the unique shaping of the Corvette is wonderfully captured in what you build in 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette, even if from other angles, the pieces on offer to the LEGO design team at this time are wider or flatter than is good for this vehicle.
It means that whilst building a LEGO version of the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette is as much fun as you would hope, the completed model lacks just that final layer of authenticity to really set it apart in the Speed Champions line. The compromises are small, though, and don’t really detract from what is otherwise a brilliant rendition of a classic car.
It’s certainly the vehicle that will pull in most of your attention from the pair that come in 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette, and that’s for initial impressions and, frankly, any lasting impressions too. Whilst the 1968 car does introduce angles and points of bodywork too specific to transform into LEGO form by 2021 design standards and parts availability (though again, we are being very specific with this criticism – the car is otherwise great fun!), the 2020 touring car Chevrolet Corvette C8.R does not. And yet, it is a far more compromised design.
The real-world vehicle, which took part in the 2020 touring car season, designed for endurance racing, could have made for a far more fascinating build in LEGO form, but for a lack of fundamental accuracy.
Where the real car runs to a point at the front end, the LEGO model is notably flat-nosed; where the real car has large air intakes on either door of one particular shape that really push the angle of each door inwards, the LEGO model has stickered flat doors with air intakes of a completely different shape (it looks like it has been based on a side-on view of the intakes); and where the rear wing of the real thing sits at close to the height of the cockpit but on a back end to the car that sweeps down, the LEGO model’s back end has no drop and pushes the rear wing up too high.
There are compromises to be had in any LEGO Speed Champions vehicle, but a great deal can be forgiven if the key and most identifiable aspects to a car are captured in the model that you build. Unfortunately, that’s not really the case for the LEGO version of the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car – all the design points that you immediately see in looking at the real thing are not to be found in the LEGO model.
It’s frustrating particularly for how the designs of some of the other vehicles in the Speed Champions line have demonstrated what is possible, and in some cases (such as the angled doors in the Ford GT Heritage from 76905 Ford GT Heritage Edition and Bronco R) achieve effects that would make the design of the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R far more authentic if applied here too.
The colour scheme, sticker selection and more specific details do help give the LEGO Chevrolet Corvette C8.R something to appreciate. But those details are being applied and worked across a larger frame that is too boxy for what it could and should otherwise be.
— Characters —
Two minifigures are included in 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette and each adds a level of authenticity to the vehicle they are paired with. Where the C8.R driver comes in 2020 touring car team-specific overalls, the 1968 driver is wearing a Corvette-themed leather jacket.
— Price —
Two-car LEGO sets demand interest in both vehicles to justify their price. Whilst it is a subjective consideration with most such sets, 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette more clearly falls short in value offered. The 1968 Corvette is as authentic as a LEGO model in 2021 can be, but the C8.R falls too short of 2021 design standards and does take away from the overall appeal of the set, and so too the fairness of the price.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette leans heavily on the 1968 Corvette to sell it. As expected and hoped for, an American icon translates wonderfully into LEGO form, even if some of the pointier aspects to its bodywork are beyond what’s available to LEGO designers in 2021.
There seems less to excuse the boxy design of the 2020-edition C8.R, though – it disappoints.
LEGO Speed Champions raises our expectations when it does things like switch to an eight-stud-wide car design and when it delivers sets like 76905 Ford GT Heritage Edition and Bronco R and 76902 McLaren Elva, which are so expertly put together that they have you dreaming of what’s next from the theme.
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
— FAQs —
How long does it take to build LEGO Speed Champions 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette?
It takes a little less time to build 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette than it does to say the set’s name – roughly 30 minutes per car.
How many pieces are in LEGO Speed Champions 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette?
76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette comes in at 512 pieces, which serves as a good price-per-parts ratio and places the set in the upper-mid-range of the theme.
How big is LEGO Speed Champions 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette?
There are two vehicles in 76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette. The Chevrolet Corvette C8.R measures 17cm long, 8cm wide and 4.5cm tall, whilst the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette comes in at 17cm long, 7.5cm wide and 4.5cm tall. The wing on the race car gives it that added width.