Civic Type R’s chief engineer’s love for cars began with a toy Toyota Celica

Last week Tomica announced for its 50th anniversary that it would be collaborating with several Japanese carmakers for special edition toy cars. One of them was Honda, represented by the new FK8 Civic Type R. At the press conference Hideki Kakinuma, the chief engineer of Honda’s scorching hot hatch took the opportunity to describe how he fell in love with cars in the first place. Turns out, it was all due to a first-gen Toyota Celica Liftback.

The story was told in Japanese, but with the help of our friend Terry Yamaguchi the translation is as follows:

When I was in preschool, I used to stop by the toy shop near my house. There, I found Tomica and a bright, shiny, gold Celica. I went almost every day, just looking at it and longing for it.

Eventually, my mom bought it for me. The next day, I was so happy that I brought to school to show off. Unfortunately, it was lost at school by the end of the day. I was so sad.

When I was in university, I had a part-time job. One time I went far from home to visit the president of the company. He had a Celica Liftback just like the one I lost at school! I was surprised, and said, ‘That was the car I had been dreaming of since I lost it a long time ago,” and asked if I could buy it.

Soon after, I was able to have my own Celica. During university, I modified it a little bit and enjoyed driving. I was kind of a hashiriya.

It was a heartwarming tale, and one that many of us can relate to. It also goes to show, these little toy cars we love so much can have a tremendous impact on us, one that stays with us as we grow up. Or, even when we become chief engineer of a record-smashing sports car.

Images: Honda, Pinterest, YouTube.

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1 Response to Civic Type R’s chief engineer’s love for cars began with a toy Toyota Celica

  1. RainMeister says:

    Very nice story. Thanks for sharing this Ben. Many of us never grow up to be a chief engineer of a major car company, but we can dream about and be passionate of our love for cars through these small lumps of metal. Some of my friends don’t understand why I collect miniature cars at my age, but they spark the imagination and allow those of us not named Gates or Bezos to afford them vicariously; in my case with a collection of over 400 of these prized miniatures.

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