Roads? Where this car is going, they don’t need roads…

For years large palm trees stood at the entrance to Tanabe Technical High School in Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture. However, in 2016 they suffered irreparable damage from pests and needed to be removed.

▼ Tanabe Tech in 2013

▼ Tanabe Tech in 2017

The principal of the school decided to replace these plants with something more permanent. For this he tasked the head of the mechanical department, Masato Takai, with erecting a monument that would greet visitors as a symbol of what Tanabe Tech was all about.

After consulting with his students, Takai and the kids decided to start with an automobile body and work from there. Shortly after, inspiration struck the department head. He figured; why just make any old car when they could make a vehicle that has stood for years as a symbol of both raw industrial arts and hope for the future?

And so, work began on the creation of a life-sized DeLorean time machine from scratch.

▼ A 2017 news report on the early stages of the time machine constructed from sheets of aluminum and steel

It was a heavy job, and required more work than a single school year could allow. So, the students passed on the work from year to year, each class picking up where their seniors left off. By the time the car was ready for installation some 500 students had put work into it.

In the meantime, Takai sought permission from Universal to use the likeness of the car as well as the unforgettable musical score to the Back to the Future movies. That’s because this monument was designed to not only stand in front of Tanabe Tech, but light up, rotate, and play music as well.

▼ A look at the progress the car made by 2019, after a tour of some other works by Tanabe Tech, such as a life-sized Iron Man suit made from sheet metal

Every three hours between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. the DeLorean activates its flux capacitor and rotates at a speed of what looks like 88 miles per year. This generates the roughly 1.21 hectowatts required to play the theme song to Back to the Future and make people feel like they were traveling back to the 80s.

▼ A 2021 news report on the installed and functioning DeLorean monument

Netizens were naturally delighted by the project and impressed by the student’s ingenuity, but some sticklers took issue with the choice of wheels.

“Tell me they all called the teacher ‘Doc’ while making this.”
“Did they make the wheels?”
“The quality is impressive. Great job!”
“Those wheels look like they’re from a Skyline.”
“Maybe I should transfer to Wakayama…”

Another concern is that a brightly lit musical car going off at regular intervals in a relatively quiet rural community of Wakayama might disturb the peace. However, according to reports, the locals are pleased with the monument and demonstrates the kids’ hard work and creativity.

I wonder if the neighbors would feel the same way, had they gone with the Doof Wagon from Mad Max: Fury Road instead.

Source: Asahi Digital
Top image: YouTube/Kikaken Channel
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