Hiromu Naruse the "Meister"

Hiromu Naruse
Hiromu Naruse, for some people this name means absolutely nothing, for most JDM enthusiasts, it merely mean everything. It is without any doubt safe to say, that this man had contributed more to Toyota than any other person. He took part in every single revolutionary vehicle that came out of Toyota to this day, you name it. Starting from 2000GT in 1967 which was Japan's first supercar, and finishing with Lexus LFA, which is Japan's last supercar, and these are not even the best creation of Toyota that were touched by his wisdom and knowledge. Throughout his long career he was give an epithet of "Mesiter" or master in German, which was well deserved and even European automakers gave homage by calling him that.
Naruse-san immersed into the world of Toyota Motor Corporation in 1963, initially considered for an accounting position in the company, he landed a job as a company mechanic, looks like fate had other plans. As a mechanic he worked on cars such as Toyota Sports 800 and Toyota 1600GT, and in 1967 he helped create a car that revolutionized the world's perspective of Japan, Toyota 2000GT, which later lead to the creation of a custom build Toyota 7 for Japanese Grand Prix. 2000GT was the first Japanese car that could rival the European supercars and was strongly compared to Porsche 911. As a chief mechanic and in charge of motorsports development, he was transferred to Switzerland, as Toyota was begging it's infiltration of the European racing scene. Now as a chief mechanic, he worked on one of the most successful production vehicles , Toyota Celica, after which he had hand in every single Celica generation made. Narusa was the test driver for several other successful creation like iconic sports car Toyota Supra, Toyota MR-S and Lexus IS, he even put his time into the newly eco-conscious movement of the Japanese automakers, the second generation Prius.
Toyota 2000GT
Regarded by himself as the "best development ever" did not come until Naruse-san was well over 60. The Lexus LFA he loved the most, and at nearly 70 years old he test-drove his prototype 1.5 million euro edition extensively on the Nürburgring, where he logged the most hours out of any Japanese driver ever. He was the chief of the Gazoo Racing team that participated in the 24 Hours Nürburgring, where LFA won its SP8 class. He put an immense amount of work into the development of LFA and is considered to be the "godfather" of the vehicle. Naruse was also a personal driver for Akio Toyoda, the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation.
Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition

The appalling accident occurred on Highway 410 on Wednesday June 23rd, near the Nurburgring racetrack that automakers use to test their vehicles. The LFA that Naruse drove came into oncoming traffic and collided with a BMW, which resulted in the total-loss of both vehicles,. Naruse-san and the unknown passenger with him were pronounced dead, and both occupants of BWM listed in critical condition. How ironic that his demise was at the place that he spent most of his time and inside the car that he put most and last of his hours, he was 66. Naruse-san influenced not only Toyota's development, but all the JDM scene, and is responsible for a lot of things enthusiasts appreciate that came out of Japan. His obstinate approach to test driving will be lacked at Toyota, and his vigorous character will never be replaced.

The video below is created by Lexus as a tribute to pay homage to Hiromu Naruse.

[Source: Autoblog]
[Source: Winding Road]

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