1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport Series I Coupé (RHD) for sale in London
• Landmark Mazda sports car
• 1 of only 343 Series I models
• Recently restored to the highest standard
• One of the most desirable Japanese sports cars of all time
One of the best Series I models currently available, this particular Cosmo Sport has been fully restored by well-known enthusiasts in Japan. Works carried out included checking the engine and replacing all worn parts, and the car has been fully repainted in the original and correct white livery.
The front and rear bumpers, headlight rings, and side vents were re-chromed, and all other metal parts re-chromed or cleaned, while a new front belly pan was made in aluminium using the original as a pattern. All windows were removed and most of the rubber seals replaced. New carpets were made using the originals as patterns, and both the driver’s and a passenger’s seats were re-upholstered. Hubcaps were made from carbon fibre and then chromed and painted; the fuel tank was checked; and many rare original parts were renewed. New tyres were fitted also.
Over one year was spent on the restoration to bring this car back to the best possible condition. The rebuild was finished only recently and the car is in full working order. A set of reproduction tools and tool bag, a service manual, a copy of the ‘Introduction to Cosmo Sport’ book, some colour catalogue copies, and a restoration photograph come with the car.
The mounting enthusiasm for Japanese cars is bringing cars like the Cosmo to the forefront of collecting. With its uniquely attractive good looks, technical prowess and sheer rarity, it is of little wonder that the Cosmo – particularly in the rare Series I form as seen here – has become so sought after.
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 185km/h (110mph). The independent front suspension used ‘A’ arms and coil springs, while at the rear there was a leaf-sprung De Dion axle located by trailing arms. Disc brakes were fitted at the front, drums at the rear. Power reached the ground via four-speed manual gearbox. In July 1968 a more powerful and faster (128bhp, 193km/h) L10B version on a longer wheelbase was introduced.
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 Cosmo’s 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.
The limited-edition Cosmo was hand-built at the rate of one car per day; by the time production ceased in 1972, only 343 Cosmo Sport Series I models had been completed compared with 1,176 of the successor Series II 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. This is therefore an exciting opportunity to acquire one of these futuristic looking, ‘Jet Age’ rotary-engined sports cars.
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