In the event you’re a automobile fanatic planning a visit to Japan anytime quickly (and you need to, if just for the hilariously tiny Kei automobiles zipping round), take time to go to the southeastern coast of Honshu island, particularly town of Hiroshima (sure, that Hiroshima). Amongst different issues, town is dwelling to Mazda Motor Company, and inside its sprawling headquarters and manufacturing unit amenities sits a museum full of among the most delightfully bizarre motorized creations ever to return from the Land of the Rising Solar. Listed below are eight nice causes to make the pilgrimage:
Felix Wankel could be proud: An evolutionary lineup of rotary engines on the Mazda Museum in Hiroshima, Japan.
1: Each rotary engine in a single room
From its early single-rotor experimental engines to the ultimate Renesis powerplant, Mazda’s trademark Wankel designs are lined up in all their glory. There’s even an exploded mannequin to point out how remarkably easy the rotary is, regardless of all these spring-loaded wiper seals.
No introduction wanted: The Le Mans-winning No. 55 787B on the Mazda Museum in Hiroshima, Japan.
2: 787B with its engine on show
Mazda stunned the world with its Le Mans-winning 787B in 1991, and that No. 55 automobile is on show within the museum together with its superb 700-hp four-rotor race engine. small Japanese producer conquered the world’s greatest endurance race — and did it with such a bizarre engine — stays a excessive level in motorsports historical past.
The rear-engine Bongo van.
Three: One phrase: Bongo
Sure, I am a fan of forward-control compact vans, however throw JDM quirkiness into the combination and it makes these oddball designs much more lovable. The early Bongo in Mazda’s assortment seems like a scaled-down Toyota van from the ’80s blended with Tonka-truck design simplicity. In line with one Mazda spokesperson, the Bongo was so in style within the years after its introduction that “bongo” turned the generic Japanese time period for a small van.
Mazdago (aka Kind DA) Three-wheeled powered rickshaws.
four: The three-wheeler that began all of it
Japan’s transition to motorized transportation took varied distinctive varieties, and one of the vital profitable was the Mazda Kind DA three-wheeled truck, aka “Mazdago.” This compact cargo-hauler began manufacturing in 1931, and it was one of many first automobiles produced in Hiroshima following the 1945 atomic bomb assault.
The 1975 Cosmo AP proves Malaise Period automotive design was alive and nicely in Japan.
5: ’70s malaise within the Cosmo AP
In the event you thought the Japanese lacked a solution to the Chrysler Cordoba, you could not be extra mistaken. Rendered in interval maroon with an identical bordello-red crushed-velour inside, the Cosmo AP seems to be the awkward love youngster of an early Datsun 200SX and a ’73 Plymouth Satellite tv for pc. Apparently a handful had been offered right here because the RX-5, and sure, I would like one.
With an out there Three-rotor Wankel, the Eunos Cosmo was a novel tackle Japanese luxurious.
6: ’90s luxurious within the Eunos Cosmo
Bearing the ovoid traces of the 1990s Mazda Millenia period, the rotary-powered Eunos exhibits what a Mazda luxurious flagship might have been if it’d made it to the States. It is each bit as opulent because the Infiniti and Lexus designs of the period, however the Eunos by no means escaped Japan. The museum automobile even has the uncommon three-rotor 20B engine.
The Mazda Museum tour concludes with a stroll alongside the meeting line.
7: Watch Miatas getting constructed
Automobile factories are cool locations to go to, and Mazda’s Hiroshima plant is exclusive within the number of completely different fashions rolling down the identical line. The day of my go to, I watched an MX-5 RF, CX-5, CX-Three and Fiat 124 Spider, in that order, screwed collectively by the identical of us, and from my vantage level, they appeared to know what they had been doing. You get to see an lively nook of the plant, together with the loading docks from which Mazdas are shipped everywhere in the world.
The Genbaku (atomic bomb) Dome in Hiroshima, preserved as a reminder of the bombing.
eight: Hiroshima is an exquisite metropolis with an necessary message
Mazda’s hometown, lush and vibrant at this time, is healthier referred to as the primary metropolis ever subjected to nuclear assault. The preserved Genbaku dome together with town’s Peace Park and atomic bomb museum are required visiting for anybody within the space. The shows, statues and memorials are shifting reminders of the realities of nuclear battle, and so they preach a easy message that transcends politics: No extra Hiroshimas.