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Toyota Announces US Winners of Dream Car Art Contest

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Toyota Dream Car Art Contest US Winners

Judges Dave Kunz (left to right), Bryan Benedict, Mike Groff, and John Valadez check out this year’s entries

Every year since 2004, Toyota Japan has held its annual international Dream Car Art Contest to encourage children and young teens to bring their creative ideas to life on paper by imagining the future of mobility. The contest has been open to children in the US for the last five years, and Toyota has just announced the US winners in three age categories.

The winner of Category 1 (Under 8 Years) was Daniel Hanxiang Zhou, age 7, from Ann Arbor, Michigan. His design, titled Toyota Fun Car.  Category 2 (8-11 Years) winner Wenxu Zhong, age 11, also of Ann Arbor, created an image called Whale Car. Finally, the winner of Category 3 (12-15 Years) was 15-year-old Carolina Montoya of Wasco, California, with her drawing titled Astronomical Toyota Car. Each category also named Silver and Bronze winners. In addition to the overall winners, Toyota named the top 32 finalists by state.

The contest was judged by a panel of 12 experts, ranging from actor, comedian, director, and art collector Cheech Marin (of Cheech and Chong fame); to Susan Sunborn, curator and director at the Toyota USA Automobile Museum.

Toyota Dream Car Art Contest US Winners

Judges Bryan Benedict (left to right), Mike Groff, and Cheech Marin

“If you take a look at the artwork these kids created, you see that not only have they designed a dream car, many have incorporated their dream car into an ideal future environment and society,” commented Cheech Marin. “These are more than aspirational, they are inspirational. These are true pieces of art.”

Fellow judge Bryan Benedict, senior staff designer at Hot Wheels, agreed: “The best part about being a Hot Wheels designer is creating our very own versions of our dream cars for fans everywhere. I was amazed by the creativity of designs submitted in this year’s contest and how these children solved real-world problems in such imaginative ways.  It’s very encouraging to see a new generation of designers create concepts for the car of their dreams.”

These three finalists will compete with children from countries across the globe, with the top 30 overall World Winners receiving an all-expenses-paid trip to Toyota City, Japan for an official awards ceremony.