Friday, December 24, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 24: Tatra 815 PJ Africabus

For Day 24, a decidedly non racing vehicle has been offered, a Tatra 815 Africabus, a tour bus that in the Dakar was used as a journalist/photographer transport. I have seen these trucks in numerous background pictures of the bivouac and at special locations, but I am not too familiar with the specifics of the truck, I did find out that the nickname of this truck was Dachshund.

The model is on 2 sheets, one with the instructions and some parts, and one with just parts.

Thursday, December 23, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 23: Steyr Pinzgauer 6x6

Day 23 gifts us the Steyr Pinzgauer 6x6, this particular version was a support vehicle, distinguished by the background on the number sticker being blue instead of white, as the truck provided assistance to a motorcycle team for 1983, and in 1982 had to abandon the race as a competitor.

In the case of the model, you only get one version, the complex version to build.  You might find some visual similarities with the Volvo C303, both platforms are from the same time frame, late 1960s early 1970s, where many European militaries had home grown light and medium duty off road trucks. And both platforms became popular in the off road camping and cruising crowd, and still popular to this day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 22: Peugeot 405 Turbo 16 GR

From the 1990 Dakar, and for Day 22, we have the Peugeot 405 T16 GR, Grande Raid. #203 was driven by Ari Vatanen, and won 7 stages that year, and the overall classification. The 405 was also used to compete on Pikes Peak, and set records during the 2 years it competed, if you want to see the 405 in action on the mountain, check out Climb Dance, it is 5 minutes of driving artistry.

The model is a one pager, and has both versions you have come to love, easy and complex.

Monday, December 20, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 21: Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

Day 21 is probably my most favorite Dakar race car, even ahead of the Porsche 959, the Peugeot 205 T16,  was a great Group B rally car when it competed in the World Rally Championship in the mid 1980's.  After the banning of the Group B cars, Peugeot decided to turn their attention to the Dakar, and in 1987 lined up at the starting line of the Dakar with a 3 car team, including WRC champion Ari Vatanen.

You can build 2 versions of this Overall Dakar winner for 1987, in the easy and complex version. Advent 2021, Day 20: Mercedes Benz Unimog

Day 20 presents us with the #614 Unimog which won the overall Truck category in the 1985 Dakar. In every Dakar since 1979 there has been at least one Unimog at the start line, either as a race competitor or as a support vehicle for motor cycles or cars.
The Capito brothers from Germany had experienced the Legend of the Dakar in previous years, finishing the race on a motorcycle, and having to abandon the race due to mechanical issues, and ultimately victory in the Under 10 Ton class, and the overall victory in the Truck category, with Jan de Rooy in 2nd overall, 1st in the Over 10 Ton class, in the DAF 3300 named The Bull.

The kit version of the #614 Unimog consists of 2 sheets, one with parts, and one with building instructions.

Saturday, December 18, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 19: Hummer H1

Day 19 offers the Hummer H1 from the 1996 Dakar, which finished in 67th place of 71 cars and trucks that completed the Dakar that year, there was a support Hummer H1 as well, #405, which finished 68th, and was made into a Hot Wheels car as well and was written about in the February 19 1996 issue of Auto Week

The model is shared on two separate sheets, one for the easy version and one for the complex version.

Friday, December 17, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 18: Mercedes Benz G 6x6

Day 18 brings us a 6x6 Mercedes G from the 1986 Dakar, and another creation from Christian de Leotard, who I spoke about in my previous post. Christian was the driver of the Renault 5 6x6 and was the co-driver for one of his first 6x6 Mercedes G series.
The early years of the Dakar, anything goes, multi axle cars, Vespa scooters, Ugly Ducklings, in the mid 1980s you could see the weirdest racing vehicles lined up at the start.

For a bit of normalcy, you can just build your own 6x6 G-class Mercedes, one in easy and one in complex versions.

Thursday, December 16, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 17: Mercedes Benz 190 GE

Today's offer for Day 17 is yet another odd looking vehicle, a Mercedes Benz 190 GE, 6x6, designed by Christian de Leotard, who has developed other 6x6 Mercedes vehicles, G-class based conversions, as well as Range Rover and Renault.  Christian is proud to proclaim that all of his builds have finished the Dakar they were entered, without the need to replace major parts.

The model is of the 1986 entry, #421, and comes in both versions, complex and the easy build.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 16: Mercedes Benz 1932 AK

The offer for today is one of my most interesting vehicles that has raced in the Dakar, a Truck and Trailer.
Yes, you read that right, a Semi Truck, the year is 1985, the truck has Dakar provenance, having competed in 2 other Dakars.  #629, driven by Fran├žoise Morcrette, who was a hairdresser before setting off on the 1985 edition.  The truck finished the rally, but was timed out, basically arriving in the bivouac either at night, or just before the next day's stage start.
The two previous rallies saw this truck compete as a 4x4 Box truck, for the 1985 rally, the box was removed, and a fifth wheel was installed, and a trailer was hitched.

The kit consists of 3 sheets, 2 parts pages, one for the trailer and one for the tractor unit, and 1 page of instruction.

I am attaching a video of the Truck, so you can see it for yourself

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 15: Citroen BX Prototype

Day 15 brings the Citroen BX 4x4 prototype. #250, driven in the 1984 Dakar by Michel Mokrycki, who was also an engineer on the Jules sponsored Rolls Royce from the 1981 Dakar. Unfortunately #250 didn't make the finish in Dakar, the car has a rollover some 12 km(7.5 miles) before that day's stage finish line.

In the case of the model, you can reach the finish by completing one of two versions, easy or complex.

Monday, December 13, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 14: Volvo C303

Day 14 begets the Volvo C303 #331, finished in 20th place overall in the 1983 Dakar, and won the Truck category for Trucks under 10 tons. and finished 2nd in the general Truck classification. 

Unlike previous Truck models, you actually get 2 versions, easy and complex.

Sunday, December 12, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 13: Rover 3500

Day 13 brings us a Rover 3500, #149 from the 1983 Dakar.  Unfortunately Franco De Paoli, even using the running gear from a Range Rover, failed to reach finish line.

If you score, cut, and glue carefully, you will be able to reach the finish of this Rover, with either of the presented options, easy and complex Advent 2021 Halfway Point

So we are at the halfway point of Advent, time to summarize what we have been gifted. Usually at the halfway point in the Dakar, there is a rest day, but not this time.
We have race finishers, we have those who had to abandon the race, we have custom built vehicles, and we have vehicles which look like they just drove them off the car dealer's lot.

Day 1: DAF 2800 NTT "De Neus"

Day 2: Renault 21 Nevada

Day 3: Mercedes Benz 450 SLC

Day 4: ARO 242

Day 5: MAN KAT 8x8

Day 6: Jeep Cherokee

Day 7: Volkswagen T3 Syncro

Day 8: Renault Alpine A310

Day 9: FIAT Campagnola

Day 10: Renault/Saviem SM8

Day 11: VAZ/Lada Samara T3

Day 12: Lamborghini LM002

If you might have missed any of them, they are still all available, at

Saturday, December 11, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 12: Lamborghini LM002

Dakar 1988, #519, an all red 4x4 truck appears at the starting line, you spot a familiar logo, a gold bucking bull on a black ground, Lamborghini?!? 

What are they doing here? 

Well, they are going to race in the Dakar, at least attempt to race the Dakar. Depending on the accounts you read, they either finished 10th, or they dropped out, based on one report stating that despite lightening efforts, the truck was just too heavy, coupled with the monster Pirelli tires that the truck had, the team went through 24 sets of shock absorbers, and due to a lack of parts, abandoned the quest to Lac Rose, I am more apt to believe the fact they ran out of parts, because the Rambo Lambo was, and still is a heavy vehicle, just shy of 6000 pounds.

Fear not, it will only take a single sheet of your favorite paper/card stock to build this offered version of the LM002, in this case, unlike previous small vehicle sheets, the easy and complex versions are their own separate file. Download either one or both, and have fun building.

Friday, December 10, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 11: VAZ/LADA Samara T3

From the 1990 Dakar for day 11, we have the VAZ/Lada Samara T3. In the 1990 Dakar, the Samara finished in 7th place, and in 1991, piloted by the legendary Jacky Ickx finished in 5th place.  The racing version of the Samara didn't share much with its road going cousins, it used a 3.6 liter engine flat six and the running gear of a 959 Porsche.

In the case of the model, you won't have to borrow some bits from Stuttgart's best, a single sheet of paper will do you just fine. both the easy and complex versions are available for you to cut out, fold and glue together.

Thursday, December 09, 2021 Advent 2021, Day 10: Renault/Saviem SM8

On the 10th day of Advent, he gave to me, a Renault Saviem SM8, #225, 5th place finisher of the 1980 Dakar.

The SM8, a 4x4 platform medium duty truck produced for about 22 years by Saviem, and Renault.

In this case, you have to do the building, but on the bright side, you have less parts to contend with than with the original, 2 sheets, with instruction diagrams. Advent 2021, Day 9: FIAT Campagnola

On Day 9, we are treated with the FIAT Campagnola off roader, #174, which finished 19th in the 1982 Dakar. The Campagnola was inspired by the Willys Jeep, both in civilian and military version.

As for the model, at 1:100, you also get two versions, easy and complex.