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A Mazda ‘Cosmo’ Sport That Crossed The Ocean Sold For €103,500!

A Mazda ‘Cosmo’ Sport That Crossed The Ocean Sold For €103,500!

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TEXT: 長尾 循(NAGAO Jun)  PHOTO: Bonhams

  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams
  • Mazda Cosmo Sport sold for €103,500 (C) Bonhams

The Cosmo Sport has been active in France

Numerous motor auctions are held throughout the year, mainly in Europe and the USA. Among these, collectors from all over the world pay particular attention to Paris in the New Year. This is because a number of auctions are held at this time of year at different venues on different days.

First Japanese car with a rotary engine

Although the dates vary each year, the Retromobile is the world’s leading historic car event, generally held in Paris from the end of January to early February. It is a major annual event that is truly an infusion of the history and traditions of European car hobby culture, and is also known as the official auction of the auctioneer Art Curial, which is held at the event every year.

And to the delight of historic car fans and collectors, the famous auctioneers RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams will be holding their auctions during the Retromobile, also at different venues in Paris. The schedule of these auctions is such that the dates do not overlap, so it is possible to visit all the auction sites if one is so inclined.

The one introduced here is from the Bonhams auction held on 1 February 2024 at the Grand Palais Ephemere near the Eiffel Tower. Incidentally, Bonhams is the world’s oldest and largest auction house, founded in England in 1793. This year, the company again prepared nearly 100 historic cars for the auction in Paris, but our attention was drawn to the Mazda Cosmo Sport, which was the only Japanese car on display this year.

As you know, the rotary engine was developed and successfully commercialized by Mazda (then Toyo Kogyo) in Hiroshima, Japan, and in 1967 it was installed in the first-ever two-rotor sports car, the Cosmo Sport, which went on sale.

Since then, Mazda has continued to nurture the rotary engine, gaining performance and reliability that surpassed that of its German parent company, NSU/Wankel, and eventually reached the pinnacle in 1991 with the four-rotor 787B, the first Japanese car and the only rotary engine car to win the Le Mans 24-hour race. The roots of the Cosmo Sport can be traced back to the Cosmo Sport.

A rare car imported new to France

To show the practicality and durability of the rotary, the Cosmo Sport boldly took on the Marathon de la Route 84-hour endurance race in 1968, and despite being a first-time entrant, it finished the race in fourth place.

This time, the only surviving one of the three imported at the time, chassis number L10B-10769, is being auctioned. This car is a 1970 model, a later model (L10B) with a longer wheelbase and more powerful engine than the earlier model (L10A), produced in 1967.

In addition to being in good condition to begin with, the car underwent a full restoration in 2015. A rotary engine specialist was invited from Japan to overhaul the engine. The mileage at the time of sale was 73,500 km, which is quite low mileage considering the age of the car.

They have previously ‘appeared’ at various exhibitions and classic car events, including displays at the Le Mans Motor Museum and the Mazda stand at Retromobil, as well as in numerous media outlets, including magazines and television. The miraculous Cosmo Sport, complete with the original manual, spare key, key ring, and on-board tools, sold at auction for 103,500 euros.

Hopefully, it will remain in this condition for a long time to come, as a storyteller in the history of the Mazda Rotary.

translated by DeepL

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