Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1962 Mazda R360 - Mazda's Micro Car

What the 360 was to Subaru (find my 360 post here), the R360 was to Mazda. It was their first "real" car.

The R360 has a 69 inch wheelbase (to put that in perspective, a new Mini Cooper has a 97" wheelbase), weighs just 838 pounds and has a rear-mounted air-cooled 356 cc V-twin engine that produces about 16 HP. Top speed is 58 MPH.
Interestingly, this R360 has an automatic transmission. (With a top speed of 58 MPH, the 0-60 time is irrelevant and incalculable, but you have to believe this car is achingly slow off the line, especially with an automatic transmission.). According to Mazda, this is the first Japanese car to be "equipped with a torque converter". At one point this car captured 64% of the Japanese micro car market.

The car being offered on eBay has just over 2200 miles on it. It's all there, but needs restoration.

This is not my type of car, but it's an interesting piece of history and a car rarely seen in the US (Mazda never exported it to North America).

Click here
to see the eBay listing for this Mazda R360 Coupe.

Microcarmuseum.com has a short article on the R360. Find it here.

No comments: