Original Year
# of pieces
Cars & Trucks: 4x4's
Aircraft: Helicopters
60 (L)x16(W)x19(H)
Steering, hatch, winch,
crane, rotors
Other Views

8286 3-in-1 Car

iso revolve
Click the image to download the LDraw file of this model.
Model by Benjamin Wendl

At first glance, you might assume the title of the 8286 "3-in-1 Car" refers to the three interrelated models: car, trailer, and helicopter.  But it could just as easily refer to three modes of transportation: land, sea, and air because the car is amphibious.  Either way, the largest Tech Play model of 1996 gives you plenty of features.  Besides the three models, this set also came with 2 Technic figures, one of the only sets to do so.  The individual models themselves are not particularly innovative, but combining three of them in the same set had not been done since 8872 and that was at a much higher price point.  As a Tech Play model, this is still quite easy to build and the features are simple and straightforward.  Additionally, the model is particularly robust and can survive some rough play with ease.

The amphibious car features a boat shaped hull and some rear props in addition to the 4 large tires.  The helicopter fits nicely on the trailer and can be piloted by one of the figures.


The front wheels can be steered using a "hand of god"wheel at the top of the vehicle.  The wheel drives through a set of bevel gears.  A pair of 8 tooth pinions then drive the gear rack.

The steering mechanism itself uses control arms a rack gear to form a 4-bar linkage as shown.
steering    steering
Click for an animation of the steering in motion.
The hatch opens using a simple lever at its upper pivot.  It uses a fascinating 4-barlinkage of unequal lengths, so the shape of the canopy changes shape as it opens as can be seen in the animation.  The steering wheel can also pivot up to make it easier to remove the figures.
Click for an animation of the hatch in motion.
This set employs a couple of removable modules which can be transferred between models.  In the first image, you can see the tiles and pins at the back of the vehicle which comprise a standard mounting point.  The winch and crane arm shown in the second image are among the modules as is the camera on the helicopter.  The trailer also has a mounting point though it is empty by default.  Any module can be placed on any mounting point, although some of them obviously wouldn't work such as the huge crane on the side of the helicopter.

In this image you can also see the propellers.  They are purely manual and not connected to any gear system.
mod1    mod2
The simple winch is mounted to the front of the car by default.  Rather than a worm gear, it uses a ratchet and pawl system energized by a rubber band to hold position.  Rotation is via a direct crank of the spool.
winch    winch
Click for an animation of the winch in motion.
The crane is mounted to the rear of the vehicle by default, but can also be put on the front or on the trailer.  A simple knob wheel turns a worm gear which lift the arm directly attached to a 24 tooth gear.  A metal hook hangs from the end of the arm.  The purpose of such a crane is not immediately obvious, but I choose to think it is for rescue or salvage operations.
crane    crane
Click for an animation of the crane in motion.
The very simple helicopter has a camera mounted to one side and on open modular mounting point on the other.  The single seat chopper has a 3 blade main and tail rotor which are driven simultaneously by a crank on the side.  They are geared up 3:1 so turn quite quickly.
heli    heli
Click for an animation of the rotors in motion.
The trailer is very simple indeed but does feature pendular suspension on the tandem rear axles.  It also has an unused modular mounting point.
Click for an animation of the trailer suspension in motion.
The two figures which come with this set are unique and exist nowhere else.  They are identical except for different colored helmets and have an Orca logo on their chests.
Wheels and Tires
This set uses 4 of the large 49.6x28 VR rubber tires and wheels for the car, 4 of the small 30.4x14 VR tires for the trailer, and some old standard wheels for the heli.

Other Views

Top View
top view
Side view
side view
Front View
front view
Back View
back view
Computer Render

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