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Mazda’s Underground Stash!

Mazda Race Cars

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

It isn’t uncommon for manufacturers to keep collections of their more interesting and historically important vehicles, but usually they keep these collections on display for the world to enjoy. Well it seems MazdaUSA has taken a bit of a different approach with their stash of important cars, as  they have them sitting in the basement of their Californian facility. These cars do get out every once in a while, but it’s usually to hit Laguna Seca or some other type of special event!

Mazda Miata M Coupe

While Mazda is a Japanese company, they have a long and important history here in the States. There’s no doubt that the brands most iconic car is the Miata and while there are plenty of people who hate on these cute little sports cars, there isn’t a car out there that has been used more in racing than the mighty Miata. This facility houses more than just a couple Miatas, ranging from the red, white and blue trio that debuted at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show to the lovely M Coupe that was shown at the New York Auto Show. If you are a Miata fan, this is the collection to see!

Mazda Luce and Cosmo

Oh and if you have a thing for the quirky rotary engine, they have lots of those in here. There’s a 1967 Cosmo, a Luce coupe, an Eunos Cosmo, countless RX-7 race cars and several of the incredible 787 based prototype race cars! I’d love to spend an afternoon just studying the evolution of the rotary engine from the original Cosmo all the way up to the R26 powered 787B. It would be an incredible experience to just get to see all of these special cars all gathered together!

Preproduction Mazda Miatas

It might be more dramatic to see this collection if they were all dusty and abandoned, but I’m happy to see that these cars are actually being maintained and not left to fall in disrepair. I’d say every one of the cars here has a special story, whether it has to do with racing or being the very first one on our shores! I only wish they’d let me come and drive each and everyone of them, especially if they’d let me take them all out on Laguna Seca. That probably won’t be happening anytime soon, so for the time being we can at least enjoy these great photos Myles Kornblatt took. You can see the rest of his photos and read more about this basement full of Mazdas here on BoldRide.

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Comments

  1. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty G Staff

    Talk about a bucket list visit, I would love to see this someday! Not to mention, Subaru’s and Toyota’s stash, too. Great story!

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  2. Paul

    I saw that pearl colored 1988 Mazda RX7 at the Bonneville Salt Flats n the early nineties, talk about fast beautiful car!

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  3. RayT Member

    I spent a weekend with the “M Coupe” back when it was new. Aside from an unavoidable rough edge or two — understandable on a one-off — it was a sweet little car. Underpowered, of course, but I wish they had put it into production. I’d say the fact that Mazda couldn’t build the regular convertibles fast enough to meet demand at the time worked against it.

    Pretty sure both Toyota and Nissan have similar stashes. I saw one (I think it was Nissan’s) and there were lots of racers and oddball JDM cars in addition to the normal old stuff in that warehouse.

    I wish the manufacturers who have old stuff salted away would set up proper museums where we could all have a look. But from a PR perspective, they might not appreciate people drooling over past machines instead of concentrating on the shiny new stuff!

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  4. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    Good to see this stash. It just makes sense for manufacturers who value competition as a way to promote their cars to keep a fleet of race and regular cars, especially if it’s Mazda, which owns Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

    And yes there has been hate for the Miata, the usual being the term “chick car”. Makes no sense, since there have been lots of cars in the past that had less power and performance but were never called chick cars. Lots of small sportscars come to mind. Then there is the fact that a prepared Miata will thrash lots of sporty cars on the track that don’t get called chick cars. Peter Egan wrote about an annual meet of the Mazda Club at a race track where the cars were fast and the competition was intense. He has owned two of them himself, and he is the car guy’s car guy. I think the term chick car is just an expression of a bad attitude toward women, and since women are some of my favourite people it has never sat well with me.

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  5. jim s

    that is a first year red suzuki RE5 motorcycle beside the cosmo in the 3rd photo. i would love to take a walking tour of that basement.

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