MAZDA COSMO 110 S
MODEL HISTORY Although founded in the 1920s, the company that would become Mazda Motor Corporation did not commence series production of passenger cars until 1960. Only four years later the Japanese firm exhibited its first rotary-engined prototype, having acquired the rights to produce NSU’s Wankel-designed engines. In 1966 Mazda launched its first rotary, the Cosmo L10A, which went into production the following year. Mazda’s flagship model, the Cosmo, was powered by a twin-rotor engine displacing 982cc and producing 110bhp which was enough to endow the pretty two-seater coupé with a top speed of 110mph.
While the Cosmo was a comfortable grand touring car in road-going trim, Mazda was keen to demonstrate its competition capabilities, and at the same time allay any fears about the reliability of their Wankel rotary engine. To this end, the factory entered two cars in the 1968 Marathon de la Route, an 84-hour test of endurance held at Germany’s famed Nürburgring circuit. The Cosmos ran near the front of the field during the entire race, with one retiring in the 82nd hour and the other going on to finish 4th overall behind two works-entered Porsche 911s and a works Lancia Fulvia 1.3 HF.
Production was limited, and when the Cosmo was phased out in 1972 only 1,519 had been made, of which 1,176 were the Series II L10B version. In the world of collectible Japanese cars, the Mazda Cosmo ranks in the top tier, alongside its high-performance Toyota and Nissan competitors, the 2000GT and the Skyline GT-R.
EQUIPMENT Series 1.5, RHD, Hub caps, Trim rings, Wing mirrors, Power antenna, Sony cassette stereo under dash, Rear parcel shelf speakers.
EXTERIOR This fabulous little sports coupe appears as if on the move standing still, with a dynamic pair of swage lines and grille slats framed perfectly by distinctive chrome fixings front and rear. Having been treated to a full respray in January of this year the car presents in charming custom orange – a suitably period colour that comprehensively accentuates the cars flowing lines.
Bright work has survived very well indeed, framing the windows and screens nicely whilst mirrors and door handles show in excellent order. More recently the front headlight lenses have been replaced and and bumpers re-chromed.