IRVINE, Calif. (September 17, 2015) – Sometimes, the best way to look forward is to take a step back to remember from where you came. Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) will be doing just that as it heads to the 11th annual Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. PDT in Long Beach, California, with five vintage cars and its two newest vehicles on display.
At JCCS, Mazda will be celebrating its heritage with “Jinba Ittai” as its theme—translated as “horse and rider as one,” a philosophy demonstrated with building lighter, more agile vehicles and defying convention to engineer better cars.
Mazda’s current “sixth-generation” vehicles adhere to this philosophy with efficient SKYACTIV Technology, but Mazda vehicles have subscribed to constant innovation long before there was a formal name for it.
At JCCS, MNAO will be displaying its two latest vehicles—the 2016 MX-5 Miata and CX-3 subcompact crossover—as well as important historic Mazdas that include:
- 1967 Cosmo Sport 110S – A grand touring coupe, this Cosmo Sport is one of three Cosmos brought to the U.S. by Curtiss-Wright for aviation research for rotary engine applications. It is one of two Curtiss-Wright Cosmos still known to exist and represents Mazda’s first foray into building a mass-production rotary car.
- 1972 RX-2 – Raced by Patrick Bedard and Don Sherman of Car and Driver in the ‘70s, this IMSA-prepared RX-2 drove to Mazda’s first wins on North American soil.
- 1988 323 GTX – Don’t let its looks fool you, this Mazda 323 GTX was a rally rocket for the road in its heyday. Weighing in at right around 2,600 lbs. and equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine under its hood, the 323 GTX was small but certainly mighty. All-wheel drive and a five-speed manual transmission came standard in all 1,243 of the 323 GTXs sold in the U.S.
- 1990 MX-5 – Since debuting at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, MX-5 has won hearts—and races—the world over. Cars colored red, white and blue ushered in MX-5’s world debut in Chicago. This is the red car of that original trio.
- RX-7 Spirit R LHD – The third-generation RX-7 officially left the U.S. in 1995, but its production continued in Japan until 2002. As a sendoff for the RX-7, Mazda built approximately 1,500 Spirit Rs for its domestic market. MNAO finished construction of the only left-hand-drive Spirit R in-house in Irvine with parts gifted by longtime RX-7 program manager Takaharu Kobayakawa. This RX-7 represents a rare glimpse of how the model line evolved after leaving U.S. shores.
Mazda’s presence at JCCS isn’t just about the cars, however. It’s about giving back to Mazda’s community through its “Drive for Good” program. Mazda Drive for Good was created in 2013 and sets itself apart with both monetary donations and Mazda associates donating service hours to charities around the U.S. For 2015, Mazda has allocated $4.9 million and 66,000 service hours.
At JCCS, Mazda will have an assortment of branded accessories and apparel available for suggested donations with proceeds benefitting United Way charity initiatives in Southern California.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.