The first production Mazda to use the Wankel rotary engine, the Cosmo was a stylish grand touring coupe inspired by European GT cars. Named Cosmo due to the international cultural enchantment with the space race, the Mazda Cosmo was first shown at the 1964 Tokyo Motor Show, after which 80 pre-production 110hp Cosmo's were produced between 1965 and 1966.
Full production of the 110S Cosmo began in 1967 and a factory entered Cosmo finished fourth in the gruelling Marathon De La Route - a mind-boggling 84 hour endurance test around the 28km Nurburgring. Beaten only by a pair of Porsche 911s and a Lancia Fulvia, Mazda's first foray into international motorsport had put the Cosmo and the rotary engine on the map. Yet only 343 110S Cosmos were produced before in July 1968 the Series II Cosmo went on sale. It had a more powerful 128hp version of the 982cc twin-rotor 10A engine, power brakes, 15-inch wheels and five-speed manual gearbox.
Visually changes included a larger grille under the front bumper with two additional vents either side, while for improved ride and handling, the wheelbase grew by 15inches. Capable of over 120mph, just 1,176 Series II Cosmo were made before production stopped in 1972.
Imported from Japan in component form this Series II Cosmo is fresh from an extensive restoration and is the flagship of the Mazda UK Heritage fleet.