Mazda Maniac: Built to Last
Not many people can say they bought their first car before they could drive, but Stefen Neuteboom did just that back in 2009. Inheriting a hand-me-down car from a relative might be the norm but the Dutch car salesman was certain that his first drive was going to be a Mazda – and a classic one at that.
“I was just 16 and working at my local Mazda dealership when I heard an owner of an ultra-rare Mazda 818 was thinking of selling. He had bought the 818 in 1973, but had left it standing for more than a decade when I first went to see it. Amazingly, the engine fired up instantly and I knew I had to have it. Since then I have cleaned the engine and repainted the body. It’s now perfect and almost too good for the road. It’s even on display at the Mazda dealer I work for.
“Will I ever sell it? It’s tempting with all the new Mazdas I get to drive, but my car is almost irreplaceable, there are only 10 Mazda 818s left in the Netherlands.”
Driving stories on the great & challenging roads and journeys
Stories about the craftsmanship and design evolution of Mazda
Visions and philosophies of Mazda engineers
The spirit of Mazda owners, collectors, clubs and aficionados around the world
Mazda brand heritage and history