Aichi: Japan Contest Winners See Fantasy Car Designs Realized in Miniature

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Yui Hoshino, second from left, Ryota Sugiura, third from left, and the creators of the model cars

OBU, Aichi — The winner and runner-up in a car design contest have been awarded models based on their imaginary vehicles.

The Dream Car Contest is an annual competition administered by Obu, Aichi Prefecture, to encourage elementary schoolers to find joy in making things. The models were produced by designers at Toyota Industries Corp.’s Nagakusa Plant, which assembles Toyota’s RAV4 compact crossover SUV in the city.

Fifth and sixth graders from nine elementary schools in the city took part in the contest — now in its 29th year — with some 1,212 sketches submitted.

First place went to Yui Hoshino, 12, a sixth grader at Obu Elementary School, for her “Dryer Bazoo Car.” The fantasy vehicle is designed to dispel cumulonimbus rain clouds and has giant dryers installed on both sides of its body.

Ryota Sugiura, 12, a sixth grader at Higashiyama Elementary School, placed second with his “Oh! Grape Car.” The envisaged automobile uses a grape leaf to generate wind power and comes equipped with shelves full of local grapes and a shaved ice machine shaped like an igloo.

“The car’s sparkling body is so cool,” Hoshino said of the model she received during the presentation ceremony at Obu City Hall on Feb. 17.

Sugiura was equally enthusiastic, saying, “I’m really surprised at how real my car looks!”

The head of the plant’s design office, Masakazu Kawasaki, said, “We strived to capture the textures [of the designs] and the characteristics of the creators.”