• Chunichi Shimbun


A group of volunteers in Aichi Prefecture has made a life-sized replica of the first-generation Toyota Corolla using thinned wood sourced from Toyota Motor Corp.’s namesake city.

Even with volunteer support from automobile-related companies, it took Mori no Present three years and 246 Japanese cypress trees from the city’s Mikawa Highlands to build the wooden replica.

“I want people to know you can make wonderful objects out of thinned wood,” said Nobuo Hazama, 77, who heads the group.

The wooden model, which symbolizes the city’s timber resources, manufacturing technology and volunteerism, was unveiled on Dec. 11 at Aste, a facility for volunteer workers in the city’s Honmachi district, where the group was working. Mori no Present has been making building blocks and benches out of thinned wood at Aste and donating them to nurseries and other places.

Aste used to be a workers’ center called Ikoi no Ie and was established in 1966, the same year the first Corolla debuted. The group came up with the idea of making a wooden, full-scale Corolla to commemorate the 50th anniversary of both the facility and the vehicle.

To create the blueprint, they first approached Aisin Seiki Co., a Toyota group company, to borrow a first-generation Corolla and asked Toyota for help taking 3-D measurements of the vehicle.

They got Sugiura-Kigata Inc., a Toyota-based company that has been making wooden car models for years, to create a drawing based on the data. They then carved the parts out of wooden boards and assembled them.

For the final touch, they installed glass panes that were actually used in a real Corolla as windows, with an inspection sticker reading “December 1982” still attached to them.

The group reproduced the model down to the last detail, including the front grille, functional doors and tires that actually move.

“This is the result of the hard work of our members and the companies,” Hazama of Mori no Present said.

The model will be displayed in the city and the group is considering taking it on a tour of Corolla dealerships across the country next spring.

This section, appearing Tuesdays, features topics and issues from the Chubu region covered by the Chunichi Shimbun. The original article was published on Dec. 9.

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