Mazda Basement Tour – Road Cars

The Mazda Basement Series

Click the links above to go straight to a particular tour blog.


The Street Cars

The Street Cars

Before I even get started, I have to put this warning.

There are NO Miatas in this post.

If you scroll down looking for Miatas, you’re gonna be upset. This blog post is about the Non-Miatas in the Mazda R&D Basement. I just took so many Miata pix that they need their own post. This one has something like 36 photos anyway.

Now, on with the cars.

Luce Rotary Coupe

Luce Rotary Coupe – click to view larger

The first road car you see is this beautiful Luce Coupe. I’m kicking myself for only taking one pic of it, but the Cosmo Sport next to it was just too mesmerizing.

This is one of TWO Luce Coupes known to be in the US. It’s one of less than 1000 ever made and the only FWD rotary engine car ever made by Mazda.

If only it had been sitting farther away from the Cosmo…

Hello pretty lady.

Hello pretty lady – click to view larger

Those eyes.

Those eyes – click to view larger

Dat ass.

Dat ass – click to view larger

I was smitten by this Mazda Cosmo Sport. I mean… obvious statements are obvious, but she’s just so beautiful.

I spent all of 10 minutes next to the car and it’s already a “she.”

She was made in 1967. The Cosmo was the first 2 rotor car in the world and was the halo car for Mazda for several decades. The 110S badge denotes that she was intended for export. In Japan she was just the Cosmo Sport.

I even snapped a pic of the plaque…

Cosmo Info

Cosmo Info – click to view larger

The most original Cosmo Sport in the world. Wow.

This car was bigger than life in person. Bigger than anything around her. Her spirit just radiated like an aura.

I could easily babble about only this Cosmo for an entire blog post, but there’s so much more in the Basement. I’ll photodump pix of my lovely white muse instead.

That blue was unreal.

That blue was unreal – click to view larger


Reflections – click to view larger

Cosmo interior

Cosmo interior – click to view larger

The most beautiful steelie ever.

The most beautiful steelie ever – click to view larger

She’s all class. I could quote song lyrics about her without any irony at all. This Cosmo Sport is just… flawless.

If only Sharka could have come down and chatted her up…

Reluctantly, I moved on.

Mazda GLC

Mazda GLC – click to view larger

Family tree

Family tree – click to view larger

The little yellow beauty is the Mazda GLC. Looks like a Great Little Car doesn’t it? Yeah, Mazda thought so too.

In 1978, Mazda put this little one out on the market. Then it evolved a bit into the 323, which you see parked next to it.

And that 323 evolved into my own family car, the Mazda 3.


Rallymaster – click to view larger

GTX Interior

GTX Interior – click to view larger

This is the ultimate version of the 323 – the GTX. It’s an all wheel drive turbo car with the same engine as the NA6 Miata. Of course, the Miata never came with the turbo on it from the factory.

I’ve been around many 323GTXs in my time being a Mazda fan, but never one this CLEAN. One this fresh. I know that all of the cars in the Basement are the best examples of them in the world, but this GTX seemed especially time-capsule-fresh.

Team Mazdaspeed.

Team Mazdaspeed – click to view larger

MS3 Prototype

MS3 Prototype – click to view larger

Mazdaspeed RX-8

Mazdaspeed RX-8 – click to view larger

Nice wheel choice.

Nice wheel choice – click to view larger

Around the corner sat these two Mazdaspeed test mules. The red car is the prototype Mazdaspeed 3 and the blue is the MS-RX-8 test car. Both have seen their share of wrench time and road testing.

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but I’m not that knowledgable about RX-8s. I’m pretty sure our tour guide Jacob said that this was one of the very few Mazdaspeed RX-8s ever made. That Mazdaspeed made some PARTS for the car, but never a full trim level car that you can order from a dealership.

I might have heard that wrong, but I’m surprised at it. I mean… I’ve got a Transformer of the MS-RX8 (the Shockwave Alternator in purple). It HAD to be a real car… right?

Moving on.

Mazda USCC Racer

Mazda USCC Racer – click to view larger

This was just sitting with the road cars. And with no livery? Holy god is it sexy! This is apparently the Skyactiv-D diesel race car that Mazda ran in 2016 without any stickers.

I think.

I had to do a google image search and guess at this because the tour group was nowhere near me when I worked my way up to this car…

Prototype Protege MP3

Prototype Protege MP3 – click to view larger

This is a beauty, isn’t it? This is the prototype for… one of the Proteges near the end of that car’s life. It was either the Protege 5 or the Protege MP3. Maybe both. I really dig the angles and aggressive lines. A shame it was not produced exactly like this en mass.


RePu – click to view larger


Grille – click to view larger

REPU interior

REPU interior – click to view larger

Style and class.

Style and class – click to view larger

Mazda has one of their Rotary Engine Pickups (REPU) in the basement. This one is somewhat newly acquired for them. They bought it from the original 1976 owner with low miles and in outstanding shape (I think I heard).

This car recently competed in JNC’s Togue California. The stickers are still on the floorboard.

I wish Sharka could compete in Togue California…


RX-7s – click to view larger

I bet you thought I was never gonna get here.


GSL-SE – click to view larger

That red interior!

That red interior! – click to view larger

This was one of the few window-up cars. Not sure why. The dark red interior was begging for my lens to lick it. Alas, I settled for peeking through the windshield.

1988 10th Anniversary.

1988 10th Anniversary. – click to view larger

Badge - click to view larger


This may have been the only FC road car in the basement? I’m not sure with that statement, but I think it’s correct. But it’s a beauty. A pristine 10AE parked between sisters.

There were five or six FDs…

Rotary Row.

Rotary Row. – click to view larger

These three cars were really something else. I’m sorry there’s not more pix of them. Parked right in front were things we weren’t allowed to photograph or post about (please don’t ask, they’re not very exciting secret things).

But these three…

First we have a pace car from… something. (Sorry FD fans, I was too blown away by the others). Next door is the only factory LHD Spirit R in existence. And on the far side is the last factory rotary engine car produced by Mazda in a beautiful RX-8.

Spirit R

Spirit R – click to view larger

Spirit R VIN

Spirit R VIN – click to view larger

Left Hand Drive.

Left Hand Drive – click to view larger

Mazdaspeed gauges

Mazdaspeed gauges – click to view larger

The Spirit-R was the final RX-7 produced by Mazda for their Japan buyers. It is (was) as epic as they could make it from the factory. Forged wheels, adjustable spoiler, extra power, special gauges – everything. But they were for Japan. That meant Right Hand Drive.

This one is the only factory Left Hand Drive Spirit R in the world.

Sure, it was made by hand out of parts bin stuff. They grabbed a standard LHD dashboard and other components. But the car was BUILT by Mazda. It’s very very special. It was another that really resonated in my little car lover heart.

Check out that VIN.

… I need an FD in my life.

I only have eyes for you.

I only have eyes for you – click to view larger

Strike that. I need her.

Next time: The Miatas of the Mazda Basement.

The Mazda Basement Series

Click the links above to go straight to a particular tour blog.

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  • GT-Alex says:

    LHD RX-7 Spirit R ? Now that’s pretty much a life goal.

  • Andrew says:

    I just read an article or watch a video on the LHD Spirit R. It was specifically built for a high up exec. in Mazda NA who wanted to have one to drive while in the states.

  • brontosaurus says:

    please buy an FD and start making gauges for them 🙂

  • Brad says:

    I still say that the FD is one of the very few cars that even decades later, looks like it could be new. Of all my favorite cars, it is probably the one that has aged the least. Some designs were just… right.

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