Zoom-Zoom; Mazda’s Heritage Collection, Part I.

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Recently I was allowed access to shoot a selection of Mazda’s Heritage Collection vehicles at their newly completed Australian headquarters in the Melbourne suburb of Mulgrave. I originally came across several photos of the cars through Japanese Nostalgic Car and had to see if I could take a closer look for myself…

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The first two cars featured in this two-part series tease passing enthusiasts as they are located just behind the modern steel and glass façade fronting a busy main road and are viewable from the street. I’ll start with the rarest of the two; an L10B Cosmo. Badged as a Mazda 110S on models exported out of Japan, the Cosmo was a two-seater sports coupe powered by a two-rotor 110hp engine. Series I & II Cosmo’s were built by hand with production numbers for the two combined totalling 1,519, It’s not certain how many of these first generation Cosmo’s exist today in Australia, but with only one existing in the UK and only two thought to exist in the U.S, I’d bet it certainly wouldn’t be many.

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The lines of the Cosmo are futuristic almost; yet don’t look over exaggerated or ridiculous. The whole car just flows so beautifully, inside and out, nothing is over done or trying too hard, just classic Japanese style and function.

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Below: Even the smallest of details were not overlooked. Items such as the washer jets are in themselves a tiny piece of art, whereas on most cars these days the jets are hidden as a part of the wipers.

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Below: Low-back leather and cloth bucket seats are sporty yet elegant.

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Up next is a Mach Green SA22c RX-7. The RX-7 was first built in 1978 and designed by Matasaburo Maeda, lead designer at the time for Mazda Japan. The SA/FB model RX-7’s were built at what was the beginning of a long running fascination by Japanese car manufacturers with pop-up headlights – something that would remain and be incorporated into many Japanese designed cars all the way through to the early 2000’s.

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Like the Cosmo above, the RX-7 was also rotary powered and the streamlined sleek lines of the new model was a big change from the larger and more boxy lines of its predecessor, the RX-3.

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Above: The RX-7 on display at Mazda sits on original 13” Waffle wheels.

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Above: The brown leather and suede interior is a nice compliment to the metallic yellowy green of the exterior. 

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Above: The FB appeared to have an aftermarket exhaust – but I could be wrong on this.

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The RX-7 line remained in production until 2002 before being replaced with the RX-8 in 2003 – which was ironically designed by Matasaburo’s son, Ikuo.

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Also on display alongside the 110S and Sa22 is the 250,000th NA MX-5 built, finished in Classic Red and fitted with 5 speed manual. It’s amazing how modern the NA still looks today, not bad for a car first released in 1989.

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Alongside the NA was the current model ND MX-5, as well as several current model CX series SUV’s.

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Click Follow or keep a watch out for Part II coming early next week.

I’d like to thank Tony Mee for this opportunity, and I’d also like to extend my thanks to John Robinson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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