Classic Mazda museum opens its doors

Classic Mazda museum opens its doors
Classic Mazda museum opens its doors

First museum outside Japan to be dedicated to classic Mazdas opens in Germany

Up to now, if you wanted to see a dedicated display of old Japanese cars you’d be pretty much obliged to buy a plane ticket to Japan. That’s all changed with the opening of the Mazda Classic – Automobil Museum Frey in Germany.

Based at Augsburg in Bavaria, the museum was dreamt up by local Mazda dealer Walter Frey. It will feature a rotating display of 45 vehicles covering not only Mazda’s official European models but also some extremely rare cars that never made it to Europe.

Walter Frey and his sons Markus and Joachim hope that it will become a mecca for classic Mazda meetings and other car events.

Star exhibits include a 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport, a 1969 Luce R130, and quite a few generations of RX-7, plus oddities such as a rotary-engined Parkway bus. There’s an example of Mazda’s first mass produced passenger car, the 1960 R360, along with a 1962 K360 three-wheeled truck, a 1966 Familia 1000 Coupé, a 1976 616, and the incredible gullwing-doored, mid-engined AZ-1 kei car.

All the cars are from the Frey family’s own private collection of Mazdas, many of which have been restored by Walter and his sons. The 45 cars currently on display are backed by another 75 or so that will be recycled through the museum.

Mazda has given the venture its official backing. “The first Mazda museum outside Japan represents a dream come true for the Frey family to share with the public its one-of-a-kind collection of vintage Mazdas from around the world,” said Mazda vice president Akira Marumoto. “Everyone at Mazda headquarters is very proud that the Freys are part of our organisation and have created something so extraordinary.”

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