Happy Hundredth: Mazda Rolls Out Commemorative Models

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
happy hundredth mazda rolls out commemorative models

While buying a new car has recently fallen in popularity in the Western world, taking a backseat to things like experimenting with rice in the kitchen, watching your neighbor’s dog through a sealed window, and repairing that antique pencil sharpener you bought 8 years ago, the business of selling cars continues.

In Japan, where social distancing measures (and the coronavirus itself) have thus far proven not as severe as in the U.S., there’s a lineup of special editions incoming from Mazda. U.S. customers, however, will have to wait in their homes for updates.

Mazda Motor Corporation blew out the candles on its 100th birthday cake back in the happier month of January, spawning a range of 100th Anniversary Special Edition models revealed Friday. Upper-level trims all, the models were developed “with an aspiration to look ahead, while also remembering and respecting the rich Japanese heritage that has guided the brand,” Mazda claims.

They were also developed with an eye on a particular car: the tiny R360 Coupe, a two-cylinder vehicle that bowed in 1960 with 16 raging horses under hood (that hood being where one would normally find a trunk). Modest in size and output, the R360 was the company’s first true passenger car.

As such, elements of the R360 appear on the 100th Anniversary vehicles — a group that seems to span the entire gamut of Mazda’s range. Among the additions are Snowflake White Pearl Mica paint and red accents that recall the R360’s original two-tone paint scheme. On the front fender of each ride, you’ll find a “100 Years 1920 – 2020” badge, while the wheel center caps carry the red-and-black anniversary logo.

Inside, both seats and carpet come in Mazda’s favorite color (red), contrasting nicely with the black dash, console, and doors. Headrests, floormats, and even the key fob carry the anniversary logo.

As for pricing or a timeline on when customers can get their hands on one, Mazda was tight-lipped. The automaker issued a disclaimer stating, “In the midst of the global crisis, U.S. availability of the 100th Anniversary Special Edition models has not been announced.”

[Images: Mazda]

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3 of 16 comments
  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Apr 03, 2020

    Just give us an honest to God Miata Coupe that we've been asking for for the last 30 years of the company's existence and slap some anniversary badges on it. Win.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 03, 2020

    I have a feeling that Mazda will be eventually owned by Toyota, like most other Japanese automakers. I hope it does not end up in hands of Nissan.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Apr 03, 2020

      I'd rather it go Nissan. Honestly it is the companies that a flirting with disaster that seem to hit the homerun from time to time.

  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
  • Vulpine The issue is really stupidly simple; both names can be taken the wrong way by those who enjoy abusing language. Implying a certain piece of anatomy is a sign of juvenile idiocy which is what triggered the original name-change. The problem was not caused by the company but rather by those who continuously ridiculed the original name for the purpose of VERY low-brow humor.
  • Sgeffe There's someone around where I live who has a recent WRX-STi, but the few times I've been behind this guy, he's always driving right at the underposted arbitrary numbers that some politician pulled out of their backside and slapped on a sign! With no gendarmes or schoolkids present! Haven't been behind this driver on the freeway, but my guess is that he does the left lane police thing with the best of 'em!What's the point of buying such a vehicle if you're never going to exceed a speed limit? (And I've pondered that whilst in line in the left lane at 63mph behind a couple of Accord V6s, as well as an AMG E-Klasse!)
  • Mebgardner I'm not the market for a malleable Tuner / Track model, so I dont know: If you are considering a purchase of one of these, do you consider the Insurance Cost Of Ownership aspect? Or just screw it, I'm gonna buy it no matter.The WRX is at the top of the Insurance Cost pole for tuner models, is why I ask.