Hope, perseverance drove restoration of classic Toyota(修復初代クラウン披露 福島トヨタ「復興の思い重ね実現」)

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Fukushima Toyota Co. President Kensuke Sato and employees pose with a first-generation Crown they restored.(披露された初代クラウン。佐藤社長(手前右)と整備に携わった社員ら)

 FUKUSHIMA - Fukushima Toyota Co. has completed a yearlong project to restore a classic car with the aim of encouraging reconstruction efforts in disaster-stricken Fukushima Prefecture.
 The company revealed the restored first-generation Toyota Crown last month. The vehicle was unveiled to the public in the prefecture after completing a 430-kilometer journey from Aichi Prefecture to Tokyo in August.
 "Having put our thoughts and hopes for reconstructing Fukushima into the project, we finally made it come true," said Kensuke Sato, Fukushima Toyota president. Sato spoke on Sept. 12 at the company's car allocation and maintenance facility.

 福島トヨタ自動車(福島市、佐藤健介社長)は12日、同社が1年をかけて修復し、8月に愛知県―東京都間約430キロを走破した初代クラウンを同市の同社配車整備センターで県内初披露した。会見した佐藤社長は「福島復興への思いをプロジェクトに重ね合わせ、実現できた」と思いを語った。

 To commemorate 60 years since the first Crown series went on sale, Toyota dealers nationwide took part in a yearlong project to restore Crown models from different years.
 As part of its own project to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Fukushima Toyota, the company in August last year began to restore a Crown Model RS31 that had been in storage for about 20 years.
 To participate in the restoration of the car, which originally went on sale in 1962, 36 engineers and sales staff members were chosen from applicants within the company.

 クラウン誕生60周年を記念し、全国のトヨタ自動車販売店が修復に挑んだ。同社も福島トヨタの創立70周年記念事業の一環として、昨年8月に同社が約20年保管してきた1962(昭和37)年式RS31型クラウンの修復を開始。社内公募で集まった同社の技術者や営業担当者ら36人が携わった。

 According to Sato, 64, it was "one of the top five nationwide restoration projects" in terms of difficulty. Almost every part, from the body to the engine, had to be replaced. Some parts had to be made from scratch.
 The restored Crown was given a new sheen with a red-brown coating of paint that was unavailable when the car was originally produced.

 「(修復の難しさは)全国で5本の指に入るほどだった」(佐藤社長)という修復は困難を極め、部品を一から作り直すなど車体からエンジンまでほぼ全ての部分を修復。ボディーには当時のクラウンにはない濃い赤茶色の塗装を施し、当時以上の輝きを取り戻した。

 When the restoration work began last summer, the car, with a 1,900 cc, 90 horsepower engine, was partly corroded, with many parts unusable after extended exposure to rain. But 54 volunteers managed to restore the original style of the car's body by reworking steel and using their skills.

  排気量1900cc、90馬力で、昨年8月に修復を開始した当初、長く雨ざらしとなっていた車体は腐食し、原形が分からないパーツも多かったという。しかし、54人の有志メンバーが鉄板を加工するなどして、当時の姿と走りをよみがえらせた。

 "The young and veteran workers were challenged by the project because they didn't even have a drawing of the car to refer to," Sato said. "The project symbolized the handing down of technical skills to younger generations - a task that all dealers face."
 The restored car is being displayed at various dealerships in Fukushima Prefecture.

  佐藤社長は「図面もない中、若手からベテランまでが修復に当たった。販売店の課題でもある技術伝承という点でも象徴的なプロジェクトになった」と語った。修復された初代クラウンは、県内の販売店などで披露されている。

 An engineer's dream
 Fukushima Toyota employee Kinzo Shishido was in charge of repairs to the body of the car. "One of my dreams as a car engineer came true," he said with a smile.
 Shishido, 60, reached retirement age in January. He currently works as a temporary employee. Restoring the first-generation Crown, which had been stored on company grounds, had been a longtime dream of his.

 「いつかは動かす」
 初代クラウンの修復作業で、車体やボディーを担当した福島トヨタ自動車の宍戸金蔵さん(60)は「(自動車の)技術者としての『夢』の一つが実現した」と笑顔で語った。  宍戸さんは今年1月に定年を迎え、現在は嘱託職員。長く社内に保管されていたこの初代クラウンは、技術者として「いつか動かしてみたい」と思う一つの夢だったという。

 Shishido, who became a core member of the restoration team after volunteering to take part, drove the car across the finishing line in the journey from Aichi Prefecture to Tokyo.
 "Through the work to restore this car, once again I could appreciate the quality of the highly skilled engineers of that era," Shishido said. "I'm glad we worked on this project with my colleagues including young engineers."

( Translated by The Japan News )

 昨年8月に始まった全面修復に手を挙げ、作業の中心の一人となった。愛知県―東京都の走破ではゴールでハンドルも握った。「修復作業で当時の技術力の高さを改めて感じることができた。若手も含めてみんなで修復に取り組めたことがうれしい」と振り返った。

 【 2016年9月13日付ほか・福島民友新聞掲載 】