Ah concours d’elegance, an age-old tradition in the world of classic automobiles. It’s an aristocracy long impenetrable by anything but the most time-tested and pedigreed works of art. Mazda just made history by taking home wins at not one but two major concours in the US, including a first-ever preservation class award by a Japanese vehicle. We are now firmly in the age of Japanese classics.
That preservation class win, the HVA/FIVA Award, along with the National Automotive Heritage Award were bestowed upon none other than the 1967 L10A Cosmo Sport 110S from Mazda’s Heritage Collection at the 2017 Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance.
HVA stands for the Historic Vehicle Association, the world’s largest historic vehicle owners’ organization and the North American representative of FIVA, Fédération International des Véhicules Anciens or the international federation of historic vehicles.
Having spent time with this particular gem of a historic Mazda — one of 343 L10As produced —we can attest that it is one of the best original condition classics we’ve seen. Houndstooth seating, wooden steering wheel, aviation-style gauges, that yellow metal air cleaner with the original blue “M” logo, all with authentic patina. It is a gorgeous piece of automotive history.
What could be an even larger-than-life piece of automotive history compared to an L10A Cosmo? You guessed it, the 787B that won the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans. Almost exactly two months earlier at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, the 787B took home first place award in its class, a truly legendary race car recognized at one of the top concours in the US.
These wins are notable because they represent a watershed moment for the acceptance of Japanese cars in the classic car world. However, they must taste particularly sweet for the Hiroshima carbuilder because 2017 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Mazda rotary engine. Omedetou, Mazda.
Images courtesy of Jeremy Barnes/Mazda.