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‘Full-Size Choro-Q’ Series Designed By Akira Toriyama Of “Dragon Ball”

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TEXT: 長尾 循(NAGAO Jun)  PHOTO: 近藤浩之(KONDO Hiroyuki)

The phantom prototype ‘2010’ remained!

By the way, at the launch event held in early 2002 before the Q cars went on the market, two models were displayed: the ‘2010’, which incorporated the image of a ‘future sports car’ into the Choro-Q design language, and the retro-futuristic ‘Modern Times’.

The 2010 and Modern Times unveiled at the presentation were prototypes only and were never marketed in their original form. The futuristic 2010 was renamed Qi with a more Choro-Q-like rounded design, and was the first of the Q cars to go on the market.

It was thought that the 2010, which was built as a complete show model, would never appear on the market, but Mr Mizuguchi found out several years ago that only two 2010s produced at the time were still in existence and negotiated with the people involved. His enthusiasm finally led him to acquire a 2010.

The 2010 had been sitting in a warehouse for about 20 years since its launch in 2002, with damage to various parts, but Mr Mizuguchi restored it with his own hands, replacing all the batteries with new ones and repairing damaged parts, and in 2023 he was able to acquire the number.

The ‘Modern Times’ prototype of the ‘QQ’

The Modern Times, which was unveiled at the same time as the aforementioned ‘2010’, at the 2002 launch, was renamed QQ and launched as the third Q car, but the prototype Modern Times is presented here.

Officially, it is only an original design, but one look at its retro-futuristic appearance and you can tell that it was based on the Rumpler ‘Tropfenwagen’ presented at the Berlin Motor Show in 1921. This model boasted a streamlined design and a Cd value of 0.28, an astonishing figure at the time, and was also featured as the car of the future in the film “Metropolitan”. Combined with the car’s name, which seems to have been inspired by a Chaplin film, this is a full-size Choro-Q with a real sense of humor.

This one was also acquired by Mr Mizuguchi after he negotiated its acquisition from rotting away in a warehouse with the ‘2010’, and many consumable parts were replaced, including the battery, and the damaged body and interior were repaired to complete the restoration. 2023 and the number was obtained.

The QVOLT, the last Q car, of which only nine were produced

The QVOLT was the last mass-produced production model of the successive Q cars produced by Choro-Q Motors. All previous Q cars were designed in-house, but the QVOLT, as mentioned above, was designed by manga artist/designer Akira Toriyama.

Akira Toriyama, who was already known as a nationally popular manga artist at the time thanks to the huge success of “Dragon Ball”, fully demonstrated his passion and sense for mecha, and is said to have spent more than a year working on the design, which was outstandingly perfect, even compared to previous Q cars.

The appearance is reminiscent of the show rods of the American West Coast, and the chrome parts cleverly placed in various parts are also effective. The unstable aspect ratio of the moped car on which it is based is emphasized by the long grille and single eye light like the Ford Edsel of yesteryear, achieving both a ‘Choro-Q feel’ and an ‘Akira Toriyama taste’.

Although the car was not inexpensive at the time of its launch, priced at 1.99 million yen (Approx. 14,000 USD), it was introduced in “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine, and due to the rarity of being limited to just nine units worldwide, it was said to have sold out immediately after its announcement.

This unit is chassis number “1”. It was the same chassis that was used for the QVOLT catalog photo shoot, with the autograph of ‘Toriyama Akira’ on the bonnet. The car is currently in good condition and participates in events in the neighborhood. Of the nine cars produced in total, Mr Mizuguchi is aware of only six at the moment.

translated by DeepL