James Garner, actor, car enthusiast, and Mazda spokesman has passed away at the age of 86. He will be missed.
In the 1966 movie Grand Prix, Garner played a Formula 1 racer driving for the fictional Yomura team, which was closely based on Honda’s F1 efforts.
Mr. Yomura himself, based on Soichiro Honda, was played by Toshio Mifune of The Seven Samurai fame. This led in turn to Mifune being made team captain of the debut race of the BRE Hino Samurai team in Japan.
20 years later, he would become a spokesperson for Mazda, but in the US, not Japan, like so many other American actors.