Dome Co. Ltd.. ( Japanese:株式会社 童 梦, Hepburn system: Kabushiki Kaisha domU, German: " childhood dream ") is a 1978 officially in Takaragaike to Kyoto registered Japanese company for the development, design and construction of racing cars, vehicle parts and prototypes for the automotive industry. Since 1987 is the headquarters Maibara ( Shiga Prefecture ), with two subsidiaries ( Dome Magic Carbon and Dome tunnel ) in the same city and a European office in Chessington, a suburb of Kingston upon Thames in the British county of Surrey. President of the parent company is the racing car designer and founder Minoru Hayashi. Dome was known primarily through collaboration with Honda and its subsidiary Mugen since 1996 in the development of the racing version of the Honda NSX for the former Japanese GT Challenge and a championship for the team Mugen -Dome in 2000. Positive external effects reached Dome through various prototypes and small series production of the sports car project, Dome -Zero, as well as stakes in the 24 - hour race at Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series in collaboration with the British engine builder John Judd.
Hayashi was built in 1965 with the Karasu his first race car based on the Honda S600, numerous other individual productions followed under the label Hayashi Racing. In 1975, the dome project was launched in parallel with the construction of racing cars. According to the company was at that time the goal is to build a small and lightweight mid-engine sports car, in the experience of the race car designs should be included. In the spring of 1978, just under 910 kg heavy prototype Dome Zero was presented with a 140 -hp 2.8-liter engine from the Datsun 280Z at the Geneva Motor Show, the same year was the official founding of the company. Until 1979 the designers had developed the first prototype to a second pre-production model called Dome P-2 for a production-ready sports car and presented it in the U.S. at the Chicago Auto Show and the Los Angeles Auto Expo. Derived from this, the company produced two copies of the racing version Dome Zero RL that were used in 1979 in Le Mans. Both cars were driven by British Le Mans connoisseurs, but reached because of technical problems (fuel supply, cylinder head gasket ) not the goal. Since neither the Dome -Zero nor the Dome P -2 in Japan got a street legal, the sportscar project was then adjusted, but lived on the basic design forth in the RL and RC racing car series continue that regularly in the following years Le Mans drove and the company name dome made increasingly known. Another project started in 1988 in collaboration with the fashion manufacturer Wacoal Corporation and was presented in 1990 at the Tokyo Motor Show under the name Jiotto Caspita. A planned series production its not found but instead because of a lack of interest. The project was finally completed in 1993. Only three copies of the model were assembled in the years 1988 and 1990.
Formula 1 project
By his own account had Minoru Hayashi from the beginning to the long-term goal Formula 1 in mind, he had not yet reached so far (as of October 2007). Concrete tests in 1996 and 1997 to install a Japanese Formula 1 team with exclusive Japanese techniques failed. Further steps on the way to a Formula 1 involvement were the opening of a UK office in December 1999, as most Formula 1 teams operate from the UK, and the construction of the wind tunnel Dome tunnel in 2000 Maihara ( merged later Maibara ) in which the aerodynamics of vehicle models at a scale of 1:2 can be tested. This device is referred to by Dome as " indispensable for a Formula 1 constructor ". To accompany originated in 2001 in Mishima ( Shizuoka Prefecture ), the subsidiary Dome Magic Carbon for the development and production of parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic; also an important element in the construction of modern Formula One racing car and its monocoque. Was started in 2004 to summarize the various dome activities in Japan in a new company headquarters in Maibara, which was completed in late 2005.