VIDEO: Watch classic Mazdas rally across Europe

Earlier this year Mazda Germany found three classic cars, fixed them up, and sent three celebrities on a 3,100-kilometer rally across Europe. The cars, an SA22 RX-7, NA MX-5 Miata, and a rare European market 929 wagon, endure a lot of abuse, and not entirely related to driving. The series eventually begins to include goofy, non-car “challenges” to make for reality show-style footage. Still, there’s plenty of video of classic Mazdas traversing some of the most beautiful roads on the old continent.

When we last checked in with the series, the competitors had found their cars. Social media influencer Tobias Wolf had found an old first-gen RX-7 and customized it with stripe decals inspired by the Group B RX-7 rally car. In Episode 6, stuntwoman Miriam Höller fixes a misfire in her Miata and decorates it in preparation for the rally. Alas, the style is somewhat European, with racing stripes and a racoon tail antenna topper.

Episode 7 sees automotive journalist Bernd Volkens trying to get his 929 running. It needs some serious work, but out of the three this is the most interesting car to us. It’s essentially a Luce Legato wagon, but the third-generation Luce was never offered in the US. What’s more, the wagon body style of this generation wasn’t even offered in Japan, making it a European-only rarity.

In the eighth installment, the rally finally begins. The teams must drive from Aschau, Germany, to Alessandria, Italy. Amazingly, there seems to be another rare Mazda unrelated to the official Mazda Deutschland entrants in the grid, a white 808 wagon. The RX-7 is the first to experience mechanical issues, as it vapor locks in high elevations.

In the ninth installment, the teams drive from Alessandria to Saint Raphael, France. During the drive, they face an Amazing Race-like challenge, in which they must cover a small distance in a wheeled conveyance that is not a car. While much of the episode is devoted to this silly stunt, the cars cover some of the most stunning roads in the world as they charge through the Alps.

In Episode 10, the teams drive from Saint Raphael to Pamplona, Spain. The 929 overheats and the RX-7 breaks a belt, but otherwise the mechanical issues are minor. The teams must complete a tire change challenge on an ND Miata, in which they have one hand zip-tied to a partner.

In the final leg of the rally, the teams must go from Pamplona to Amsterdam. The cars don’t experience any mechanical troubles, but sadly end the race festooned in ridiculous costumes. The teams are given 50 euros to decorate their cars and themselves in themes, and do it with gusto. Miriam Höller is the winner, and receives 30,000 euros to for charity.

If you don’t think you can watch all the episodes, Mazda Germany has helpfully put together a “best of” video that summarizes the whole season. We just hope that 929 finds a good home at the end of this adventure.

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3 Responses to VIDEO: Watch classic Mazdas rally across Europe

  1. Mark Newton-John said:

    And I thought Toyota Crown wagons were rare.

  2. Mark Newton-John said:

    Yay, my college German comes in handy!

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