• Container doors are opened, the LFA awaits

  • The (Toyota) forklift approaches, placing the forks under the pallet but not all the way. A chain is hooked from the forklift load apron to a  crossmember on the pallet, and the pallet is pulled off.  Slowly

  • The pink shipping pallet was designed by Toyota's logistics department in Japan specifically to transport the LFA, and are color-coded by region (e.g., Costa Rica got a single black pallet)

  • We were told that the car isn't shipped with protective film or a cover because its enamel paint takes weeks to dry, and its was decided to ship the car uncovered and clean it up on arrival than to let it sit for weeks in Japan to dry, or risk fabric or other foreign bodies getting embedded in the finish

  • Each container is cleaned and prepped to carry and LFA, and Toyota checks the condition of each container after unloading

  • A visual inspection of the car takes place. A few blemishes are found on this Pearl Blue LFA

  • The LFA is secured to the pallet race-car-style: with straps laid over the tires. High-tech suspensions lacking bulky members aren't exactly made to withstand the potential load factors involved in transporting a car

  • The front wheel braces, the fronts of which are welded, have their sides unbolted

  • The rear braces are bolted on in the rear and on the side. They are removed after the fronts

  • Specially designed ramps are attached to the rear of the pallet and bolted down, then the bolt is taped over. This is the only set of ramps that exists for the U.S. operation

  • A mat is laid down by the driver's side door and an office chair is pulled up. The worker dons gloves and shoe covers, opens the door and lays a fresh cloth over the sill

  • The passenger seat is leaned forward because the VIN is located on an etched steel plate attached to the carbon fiber floor underneath the passenger seat. Which means that, yes, any time anyone needs to get the VIN number, they need to look under the passenger seat

  • The LFA keys. Not as exciting as one might expect...

  • A plastic placard in passenger seat, signed by GM of the LFA's quality control process in Japan, explains how many miles were put on the car while it was being tested at Toyota's Higashi Fuji test track. This one was tested for 119 miles

  • He gets in, delicately, to pop the rear glass, then exits to raise the rear glass and get to the battery, which is under a panel in the cargo area. He lays another fresh cloth over the C-pillar and leans in to connect the battery

  • He gets in again and starts the car, pulls off the ramp to behind the yellow line, then gets out. Job done

  • Each pallet has a serial number, and once the Fujitrans depot has acquired five of them the bunch is sent back to Japan for the next five cars


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