Thursday, July 30, 2009

1968 Mazda Cosmo

Now this is a cool old Mazda.

Here in the US, we think of the RX-7 as Mazda's first sports car. Nope. Mazda built the Cosmo in 1967 and 1968

The Cosmo was a hand built, rotary powered sports car introduced by Mazda in 1967. According to Mazda fans, it was the first twin rotor production car (NSU fans disagree. Mazda, by the way, licensed the rotary engine design from NSU). It was built for the Japanese market and very few have made their way to the US. (One article I saw said that there are now just 2 in the US, out of a total of 6 that were imported - all privately - over the years. It didn't say what happened to the other 4) The total number of Cosmos built was somewhere around 1500.

Even if the engine wasn't so unique, this car would still be cool to own. The styling is typical 1960s Japanese craziness. There are straight lines and curves going every which direction. The taillights are split by the bumper. There are vents in the fenders. It's pointy, square and round all at the same time. It looks as if Mazda tried to take one styling cue from every sports car ever made and put it on the Cosmo. It's completely insane, but somehow looks cool in a retro way.

The interior is sedate. The dash looks well laid out and could have easily been at home in any classic British roadster.

This car is located in Japan. The asking price is $43,000.00. That's a lot of money, but when you consider that it's a very exclusive hand built car, it seems reasonable.

Click here to see the eBay listing for this 1968 Mazda Cosmo.

Jay Leno owns a Cosmo and wrote a short article about it for Popular Mechanics. You can find it here.

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