Mazda Museum Recounts Mazda’s History from Its Humble Beginning with a Motorcycle
Mazda’s history dates back to 1920 when it was first founded as Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd. Mazda’s transformation from cork to car manufacturer was triggered by a production of 6 prototype motorcycles in 1929, with 30 two wheeled motorcycles produced the following year. The year 1931 saw the production of a tricycle truck “Mazda-go”.
Such is a part of history recounted at the Mazda Museum, located on Mazda’s headquarters in Hiroshima. The Museum houses exhibits on Mazda’s product development and manufacturing; an upper deck has a “history exhibit” space where nearly 20 historic models are put on display.
(aka: 1931 Mazda Type DA)
The Cosmo Sports is probably the most popular model exhibited at the Museum. Launched in 1967, the Cosmo Sports is the world’s very first car powered by a 2-rotor rotary engine, described as a “flying” car. The model on exhibit at the Museum (pictured left) is an import model, which is evident from an emblem bearing 110S (an overseas name) instead of COSMO.
“Another popular model at the Museum is the R360 Coupe, launched in 1960 as Mazda’s very first passenger vehicle. At a time when most people could not afford to buy even a micro car, Mazda’s passion to make automobile a household commodity created a breakthrough micro car offered at 300,000 Japanese yen, which was an unbelievably low price back then. Assisted by radical pricing, the R360 Coupe immediately became a best-selling car in Japan.
“R360 Coupe” launched in 1960
Trophy for the 1980-1981
First Japan Car of the Year award
Another car on the popularity list is the Familia 1500 which debuted in 1980 – the winner of the prestigious First Japan Car of the Year award and the recipient of numerous awards in the U.S. and Australia.
The third-generation Enfini RX-7, launched in 1991, is another head-turner at the Museum. Taking full advantage of the rotary engine, the model was built with technologies fine-tuned for various race styles such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Other notable exhibits include the Savanna GT (pictured right) which celebrated Mazda’s 5 million cumulative total production units in 1972 and the AZ-1 with its famous gull-wing doors (the model was only sold in Japan).
Inside of Mazda Museum back in 1994
Final assembly line for R360 Coupe back in 1960
As has always been the case, the Mazda Museum is a place for any Mazda fan to travel back in time, enjoy encounters with models that mark milestones in Mazda’s history and find his/her favourite Mazda.
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