By on July 4, 2012

The results are in. There is a winner in the Where Am I Contest: After careful photoanalysis, TTAC’s independent and impartial one man jury declares PaulMorgan the winner of the Where Am I contest. Here is the post-game analysis:

The Best & Brightest have been super bright, and quickly narrowed-down the target area as Toyota’s Motomachi plant.  Somewhere in this plant, 170 men and women work on Toyota’s future. They make the Lexus LFA supercar, by hand. Their true mission is to develop the carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) technology for use in lightweight, high strength car bodies that can be made at reasonable cost in large quantities.

Mitchw, after struggling a bit with medical care facilities and Brazilians, had me speechless by picking the LFA assembly building a day early. However, Paul Morgan beat him to the secret door.

TTAC received unprecedented access to the LFA Workshop. In a 5-part series, LFA Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi and his crew will guide you through the 10 year history of the LFA, and will show you how CFRP can change the way future cars will be built. This series will be accompanied by never before published pictures that show the technology in extraordinary detail. This series will run from July 9th through July 13th. Mere mortals had to pay $375,000 to get access, along with an LFA. Journalists were not invited to the running series production. In a TTAC exclusive, you will see what is behind the door of the LFA Workshop.

The series begins at that door of the LFA Workshop, and the door was the ultimate target of the Where Am I Contest.

The final guesses were so precise that the winner could only be determined with the help of Google Earth. LennyZ had the right idea and actually could see the door, 73.85 meters away from his final position at 35° 4’26.59″N and 137° 7’48.00″E.

However, around the corner lurked PaulMorgan at 35° 4’29.64″N and 137° 7’48.56″E, which Google Earth shows as 61.89 meters from the target, beating LennyZ by a mere 11.96 meters. Congratulations, Paul. Tell us where to ship the iPad. You deserve it.

An amazingly large group of the Best and Brightest clustered their pins right around the place where the actual CFRP making takes place.  However, the LFA workshop is actually two workshops.

One for the CFRP making. One for painting and final assembly. The door in question happens to be in front of the painting and final assembly part, and not where the CFRP is being made. Sharp thinking on the part of juicy sushi, buddhaflow, Peerson, Mandalorian, MitchW et al. But as I said, sorry, wrong building.

I am sorry that did lead some astray. Their map of Motomachi is utterly wrong. Goes to show that one simply can’t believe anything anymore on the Internet. Above is the real and official map, with some stations of our inspection tour of the LFA workshop marked.

Congratulations to PaulMorgan!

All hail MitchW!

Praise for all who dropped pins in the general vicinity of Motomachi!

And stay tuned for The Making Of The Lexus LFA Supercar – a five part series. From July 9th through July 13th. Here, at TTAC.

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17 Comments on “Where Am I Contest: PaulMorgan Beats LennyZ By 11.96 Meters, Wins iPad...”

  • avatar

    Thanks Bertel and TTAC for a fun contest, and especially for the upcoming series! LFA fascinates me for exactly the potential to make carbon fiber tech more economical. When I saw the thin A pillars on an LFA at Monticello Motor Club, I thought here was Lexus laying down their marker. I can’t wait for the series at TTAC, and congrats to PaulMorgan!

  • avatar

    Bertel – why did Toyota give you this special privilege as opposed to other journalists? Should be an interesting series, hopefully other companies will give similar access in time.

    • 0 avatar

      It was a six months long process, and we finally succeeded. Basically, the Chief Engineers had liked the story about the LFA Diorama ( ) and thought it would be a great idea for me to see the stuff in real.

      Little did we know that it was so much hassle to get in. I finally did.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        Congratulations on your win and prize, Paul; may it serve you long and well.

        And I want to see more calendar shots from inside there, Bertel; it’s fun to see what animation icons are popular in the country which appreciates Tex Avery far more than us Yanks.

        A friend who worked on video games in Japan for several years was the driving force behind putting Princess Peach in a miniskirt for Mario Golf 64; his descriptions of how difficult that process was ensures I’ll believe whatever you say regarding any hassles experienced in touring the LFA plant.

      • 0 avatar

        There were absolutely no hassles “touring” the LFA Works. It wasn’t a tour anyway. It was an all day visit, starting at 8:30 in the morning and lasting into the later afternoon. I had a chance to interview Tanahashi and his key people. They were courteous and incredibly forthcoming.

        The hassles were in the six months before, and it was more a hassle to Toyota’s people than to me. There were countless meetings, memos, progress reports, hankos (approval stamps). With LFA production shutting down by the end of the year, I am sure there will be more media visits after the necessary hoops have been jumped through.

        TTAC thanks Toyota for the opportunity, and apologizes to Toyota for the hassles.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    Indeed, congrats to PaulMorgan, and thanks Bertel for a very fun contest

  • avatar

    Awesome news. Thanks in advance for the series, Bertel! I can’t wait! Your articles and Murilee’s junkyard finds are what keep me coming back to this site.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    Not being Jalopnik is what keeps me coming back here.

  • avatar

    Honestly, I hit this site up everyday for Bertel. Plus, as a die hard Toyota fan, you can’t get anything like this anywhere else. So I eat this stuff up – going back to re-read Bertel’s Toyota coverage several times!

    Keep up the great work and this contest was a great idea!

  • avatar

    Thank you for mentioning mitchw. Well it has been a blast, just got home from trouble shooting a water pump on a fire truck. My eyeballs burn so I may make more dents than sense! Otherwise I would have been singing praise earlier. PaulMorgan, congrats! , use it like ya stole it! (or like you would drive a given car :) (lord knows how I use given cars, and stolen is not the word one I would use. The FBI CIA.. insert three and four word agencies after me would indicate use! :)

    Thanks Bartel for the chance to play.

    Next contest for a Motion slate please.. my TC1100 is getting long in the tooth! A Ipad would have been nice.. but I would have given it away to someone on here anyways, or to my mum. Just to get a Motion slate with ports… I need them.

    Thank you all, love what this site is and the witty nature of every one of the users. But I must run again… I hear a Detroit 8V71 on the call box with my name on it.

    I cant wait Bartel to see the spread… it should be just epic. I still wanted to see JARI! In depth!

    Much love to all. Subi doo time.. I am off!

  • avatar


    Thanks Bertel and congrats to the winner.

    While looking for your hiding place on the internet, I found it interesting to read about Japan`s efforts to improve automobile efficiency through their private and government research centers.

    I am looking forward to LFA Works 5 part series.

  • avatar

    I wish I had known that the LFA was being designed so close to me when I was there in 2007. It would have been nice to catch a glimpse of an early prototype running around. I was at the building on the other side of the cafeteria from the body shop is. the windows in the cafeteria look out right at that building.

  • avatar

    Congratulations, Bertel, on pulling off this awesome scoop. Definitely looking forward to reading your series on the LFA Motomachi facility.

    Maybe Tanahashi-san can reveal more info on those baby blue and bright green LFAs recently prowling the Nürburgring beyond the official “this test was part of the many research activities Lexus conducts” line, such as why the tiffany blue one has the different exhaust system…

  • avatar

    Expect to be questioned ASAP by the NSA when returning to the USA.

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