Nine-member Judging Panel included actor Cheech Marin and automotive designer Chung Lee of Calty Design Research, Inc.

TORRANCE, Calif., March 20, 2017 – In the future, there is nowhere cars won’t go. From underwater to outer space, cars will not only provide transportation, they can help people in need, they can monitor air quality, and they can provide entertainment. Those are the visions for cars of the future by nine U.S. youth announced today as the national winners of the annual Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.
Now World Contest Semi-Finalists, the artwork by these nine youth advances to represent the United States in competing against entrants from over 80 countries. In August 2017, the top 30 World Winners will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Toyota City, Japan, and participate in an awards ceremony, which includes a tour of a Toyota manufacturing plant. The nine 2017 U.S. Winners were chosen by a national panel of nine judges who viewed artwork by 35 U.S. finalists; the latter of which had been selected by nearly 1,000 Toyota team members nationwide from a pool of 90 U.S. semi-finalists. The judges were:
Cheech Marin, Actor, Comedian, Director, and Art Collector
Karen Ideno, Vice President of Product and Marketing, Toyota Financial Services
James McKeone and Kyle Hyatt, automotive journalists and co-hosts, podcast for Petersen Automotive Museum
Susan Sanborn, Curator & Director, Toyota USA Automobile Museum
Dave Kunz, Eyewitness News Automotive Specialist, KABC 7
Mark Simmons, Corporate Mgr., Communications, Government Affairs and Community Relations, TFS Chung Lee, Sr. Lead Designer, Calty Design Research, Inc.
Patti Lou Richardson, Artist and retired school teacher

“As a collector, when I view art, in addition to noticing artistic quality and techniques, I am often drawn to the emotions conveyed by the artist, which stir my own feelings," said actor and art collector Cheech Marin. "With artwork themes ranging from global warming to world hunger, it's evident that these kids are keenly aware of what’s happening around them everywhere today.”
"These young people have given me so much hope for the future in our profession,” said automotive designer Chung Lee. “I was not only blown away by the talent and creativity of their artwork, but the awareness of social responsibility in these young kids.”
“After six years of hosting the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in the United States, I’m still amazed by these kids,” said Mike Groff, President and CEO of Toyota Financial Services. “It’s so inspiring to see children from diverse backgrounds construct such an array of beautiful works of art.  These young artists put an incredible amount of thought, creativity, and talent into their visions of what the car of the future will look like.  They make me optimistic about the future – and how we can change in the world for the better.”

The Toyota Dream Car Art Contest is a worldwide contest presented annually, designed to inspire creativity in youth and imagine the future of mobility. Winners of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in participating countries worldwide are chosen from three age categories (under 8 years old; 8-11 years old; and 12-15 years old), with judging based on three criteria: artistry, uniqueness, and execution of concept. The first international contest was held in 2004 by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. This is the 6th year of the U.S. contest.
Here are the nine U.S. winners of this year’s national contest:
U.S. WINNERS – CATEGORY 1 (Under 8 Years of Age)
Gold: The Hope Car by Caleb Joshua Kuo, age 7; Montclair, CA
Our Adventure Car by Leon L. Du, age 7; Holmdel, NJ
Toyota: World Food Truck by Grace Sun, age 6; Livingston, NJ
U.S. WINNERS – CATEGORY 2 (8-11 Years of Age)
Gold: Toyota-Stop Global Warming Car by Lynn Sun, age 8; Livingston, NJ
Gift from Sky by Leah Choi, age 10; Los Angeles, CA
Multipurpose Space Car by Xiang Han Rocia Han, age 9; Rowland Heights, CA
U.S. WINNERS – CATEGORY 3 (12-15 Years of Age)
Gold: All-in-One Car by Timothy H. Kim, age 13; Glendale, CA
Without Music, the World Would be Flat by Christina Marie DeRosa, age 15; Tonawanda, NY
Imagination Rabbit Car by Molly Alicia McBride, age 15; Reedsburg, WI

FY17 U.S. Winners (9)                         
FY17 U.S. Finalists (35)                         
FY17 U.S. Semi-Finalists (90)



GOLD AWARD – Category 1
The Hope Car
Caleb Joshua Kuo, age 7
Montclair, CA

GOLD AWARD – Category 3
All-in-One Car
Timothy H. Kim, age 13
Glendale, CA

SILVER AWARD – Category 2
Gift From Sky
Leah Choi, age 10
Los Angeles, CA

BRONZE AWARD – Category 2
Multipurpose Space Car
Xiang Han Rocia Han, age 9
Rowland Heights, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 1
Unicorn Dream Car
Elaina Choi, age 6
Los Angeles, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 1
Rescues Car
Seowon Choi, age 7
San Jose, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 1
Camouflage Camping Car
Matthew Jaemin Hong, age 6
Menlo Park, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 1
Jube Car
Emily Tran, age 7
Arcadia, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 1
Park Inside Car
Jessie Zhou, age 7
Arcadia, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 2
Homework Car
Olivia Yelin Kong, age 10
Los Angeles, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 2
Toyota Dream Car Hopping, Running and Walking Through Nature
Anika Ahyoung Chung, age 10
Los Angeles, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 2
Fast as Lightning
Tamur Chen, age 9
West Covina, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 2
Toyota Omni Gen Sun Power
David Ha, age 8
Los Angeles, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 2
Peace Dream Car
Heather Choi, age 9
Los Angeles, CA
U.S. Finalist – Category 2
Home Car
Tiger Hua Ji, age 9
Arcadia, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 3
My Dream Car
Christopher Hayden Wu, age 15
Chino Hills, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 3
Accessible Car
Sarah Arim Kong, age 14
Los Angeles, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 3
Doggie Car!? Pet Car!
Kristy Lee, age 13
Los Angeles, CA

U.S. Finalist – Category 2
The Dream Guardian
Elizabet Davarachvili, age 11
Orlando, FL

U.S. Finalist – Category 3
Tactical Biorefinery in Motion
Charla Tang, age 13
Northville, MI

SILVER AWARD – Category 3
Without Music,
The World Would be Flat
Christina M. DeRosa, age 15
Tonawanda, NY

U.S. Finalist – Category 1
Toyota Kingdom
Avni Choudepally, age 6
Morrisville, NC

U.S. Finalist – Category 3
The Peace Maker
Anya Ive Chai, age 13
Plano, TX

BRONZE AWARD – Category 3
Imagination Rabbit Car
Molly Alicia McBride, age 15
Reedsburg, WI

U.S. Finalist – Category 2
Flying Vacation Car
Ryan Jae-suh Chun , age 10
Vienna, VA

U.S. Finalist – Category 3
Next Gen Mobile Hospital
Jaden Youngwoo Yun
age 12
Leesburg, VA

U.S. Finalist – Category 1
Space Travel
Katie An, age 6
Mukilteo, WA

U.S. Finalist – Category 3
Spreading Love to the World
Celine Lee Min, age 12
Bellevue, WA

GOLD AWARD – Category 2
Toyota: Stop Global
Warming Car
Lynn Sun, age 8
Livingston, NJ

SILVER AWARD – Category 1
Our Adventure Car
Leon L. Du, age 7
Holmdel, NJ

BRONZE AWARD – Category 1
Toyota: World Food Truck
Grace Sun, age 6
Livingston, NJ

U.S. Finalist – Category 1
Community Helper Car
Evan A. Wang, age 7
Edison, NJ

U.S. Finalist – Category 2
The Timelines
Andy Chen, age 11
East Brunswick, NJ

U.S. Finalist – Category 3
Magnetic Solar Car
Anni Yi, age 13
Plainsboro, NJ

U.S. Finalist – Category 3
Wish Giver Car
Eden Quan, age 14
Livingston, NJ


ABOUT TOYOTA: Toyota (NYSE:TM), creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to advancing mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 60 years, we’ve produced more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.6 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today. Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit

Justin Leach
(310) 468-5332


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2017 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest - Winners Collage

2017 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest - U.S. Judging Panel

National judges show their favorite artworks after voting for U.S. winners of the 11th Toyota Dream Car Art Contest: (l to r) Mark Simmons of Toyota Financial Services (TFS), Chung Lee of Calty Design, James McKeone of, Susan Sanborn of Toyota USA Automobile Museum, Kyle Hyatt of, Cheech Marin, Dave Kunz of KABC7, Karen Ideno of Toyota Financial Services (TFS). Photo: Rick Mendoza 

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