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Since the engine they had was 1500cc, the car would naturally be made within these limits, but also to make the interior roomier and improve the drivability, some extra width was desired. Therefore, all the car makers went to the Ministry of Transport and petitioned to get the regulation changed; even the chief of Engineering at Toyota, Hanji UMEHARA, focused on getting this done. At that time, they expected it to be quickly accepted. In development for at least a few years, the RS model was designed with the future in mind and they decided to make the width 1680 mm [66 inches]. Luckily, the following year, the width for small cars changed to 1680 mm.
The design was started with those guidelines, but no matter how much time Nakamura worked on it, Eiji TOYODA was a little worried, and he said he was going to add an assistant. With that, the Engineering chief, Hanji UMEHARA, recommended Body Design chief clerk Tatsuo HASEGAWA
Hasegawa, who started at Toyota in June 1947 (Showa 22), designed advanced cab-over
-type buses, and his abilities were highly valued. He would later be the chief engineer of development for the first Corolla model, then the manager of product development; he is an engineer that helped Toyota become as successful as it is today. He graduated in Aeronautical Engineering from Tokyo University in 1939 (Showa 14), and started work at Tachikawa Aircraft Company. At 27, he became the chief engineer for the design of the “Ki-94
” fighter, designed to fight the American B-29 bomber. At the time, he was the youngest head designer.
After the war, Tachikawa developed electric cars under the name Tama Motors [ pictures of the car here
], and later merged with Fuji Seimitsu and formed Prince Motor Company, and with the turmoil after the end of the war, Hasegawa quit from Tachikawa Aircraft Company. Later, the leader of Tama Motors saw Hasegawa doing well at Toyota, and he always said that not leaving to go there was the mistake of his life.
Eiji called a meeting with the head of engineering, UMEHARA, and also the section chief, Tatsu INAGAWA, to talk with Nakamura. Inagawa thought that Hasegawa would succeed him, and he was opposed to them taking away Hasegawa, because he was vital to body planning.