Bringing alive the illustrious history of an unconventional carmaker from Hiroshima, the first Mazda museum in Europe – and indeed the only one outside Japan – opened its doors on 13 May in Augsburg, Germany.
Frey’s Mazda Classic Car Museum, a project from local Mazda dealer Auto Frey with the support of Mazda Germany, spotlights the carmaker’s almost 100 years of defying convention. The centrepiece is an exhibit of 45 vehicles – vintage Mazdas officially sold in Europe as well as models only available elsewhere, including a number of rarities from the Frey family’s extensive private collection. The facility, fittingly located in a refurbished Augsburg tram depot dating from 1897, is also equipped with an expansive event area, restaurant facilities and a gift shop.
The models on display, which include a 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport, 1969 Mazda Luce RX87 and 1992 Mazda RX-7, the top-selling rotary powered model in history, demonstrate how long Mazda has been combining innovative technology with stunning designs in the name of driving joy.
Other highlights include a 1960 Mazda R360, the company’s first mass-produced passenger car, a 1962 Mazda K360 three-wheeled light truck, a 1966 Mazda Familia 1000 coupé, a 1976 Mazda 616, the first model officially offered in Germany starting in 1973, and the Mazda AZ-1, a distinctive mid-engined lightweight sports car from 1992.