1965 karasu(カラス)
KARASU The KARASU was the real beginning of DOME's history.
In 1965, when I, a young Minoru Hayashi, was going through a serious "hunger" for making cars, Hiroshi Fushida, who was a classmate and later a Toyota works driver, called to tell me that Tojiro Ukiya, who was a mutual friend of ours and later a legendary Japanese racing driver, wanted me to remodel his HONDA S600 into a GT car.
I immediately saw Tojiro to make arrangements, and found that we had only 60,000 yen to spend (about US$170 at the then exchange rate), being about 200,000 to 300,000 yen today. Everybody was poor then, anyway. Since there was not much time left before the target race, we decided to focus on weight reduction and to aerodynamically improve the car's shape (mainly drag reduction, for there was no concept of "downforce" in those days), and fabricate a hardtop with a nose cone and fastback styling. I, then at 19 years of age, started fabrication from nothing; no money, experience, factory, staff, or time. After much difficulty I 'borrowed' a garage from a friend to use as a workshop, but was soon kicked out due to the overpowering odor of FRP. I had no choice but to try to work on the bed of a borrowed truck. Finally, having nowhere else to go, I decided to work in my room, where I sanded down FRP using a sander, causing the resulting white powder to cover the paintings of my father, who was an artist. This led to us quarreling. Under such circumstances and through such a process, which was anything but "racing car development," the car finally took shape the day before the race.
Halfway through the fabrication process, the S600 was taken to a different place for underbody improvement, meaning that the car was not available to me at the critical stage of alignment. Therefore I felt it would be almost impossible to mount the FRP parts I had fabricated onto the car, especially when I found there were misalignments of 2 to 3 cm. However, Tojiro managed to mount them by drilling into the body of his new S600 and we barely made it to the race, as is well known among Japanese racing circles.
Mounted on the white body, the messy FRP parts were eye-catching certainly, but in a negative sense. Noting this, Hirotoshi Honda, who became a friend of mine around that time and is currently President of Mugen Co., Ltd., said, "It'll be cool if it were anti-glare coated like a fighter plane!" and bought a can of flat black paint. We painted the whole car using brushes, somewhat hiding the roughness of the finish.
Owing to its coal-black appearance and its sharp nose, over the course of time the car came to be known as "KARASU", meaning crow. On its debut, the KARASU won its first race at the Suzuka Clubman Race.