QotW: How should Mazda celebrate its 100 birthday?

It’s not every day that a car company reaches 100 years of age. Of the Japanese companies still making cars today, only Daihatsu, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, and now Mazda have made it this far. It’s a momentous occasion that literally happens only once in a lifetime, if that, and deserves a celebration worthy of the moment.

How should Mazda celebrate its 100th birthday?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the worst JNC decision you’ve ever made?

It definitely seemed that most of the decisions on your worst decisions lists related to the selling of a JNC. Let that be a lesson. Never sell! Especially when buying the cars again appear to be ever more expensive propositions. Whether it ColbatFire‘s S30 Z, Lee L‘s Z31, Jan van Kleef‘s Suzuki Jimny, charlie‘s RA25 Celica, bert‘s AW11 MR2, eric‘s ’72 Corolla, or Jared‘s KE26 wagon. It was a litany of regretful sales. But at least they got to own those cars. A few, like banpei or pete240z, lamented never having bought the car in the first place. The winner, Steve, related a sense of palpable sense of lasting remorse. Hey, you didn’t get a Supra, but maybe these stickers will make up for it!

Most of the time, the QotW requires a little thought. But this one is a no brainer. It was the worst JNC decision I ever made, and in real time…

In 1999, I was looking to buy a new car when I found a brand new, leftover (’97?) Supra sitting in my local Toyota dealer’s lot. Looked like they had just found it and pulled it out of some deep, back corner of their lot and were prepping it to sell. Looked at the MSRP, which was around $30k, IIRC. Pearl white, black leather, non-turbo, solid roof, and M/T. I should have bought it, then and there.

But I convinced myself I wouldn’t qualify for a loan so, I PASSED ON IT. Stupid, stupid, stupid…

A week later, I received a letter from my credit union that said I was pre-qualified for a $50k auto loan. Rushed to the dealer but, of course, the car was gone. I did buy a 20th Anniversary Miata, a little later, for about $28k. It’s a fun car and all, but I STILL wish I had bought that Supra…

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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15 Responses to QotW: How should Mazda celebrate its 100 birthday?

  1. BlitzPig says:

    How? Cut 200 pounds off the Mazda 3, and let us have a manual gearbox and 2.5 litre engine on the mid line model, with an option for a sunroof.

  2. Banpei says:

    I think there can only be one answer to this question:

    * with a proper drivetrain and not as a hybrid car range extender…

  3. Daniel says:

    how to celebrate? being themselves, not giving up or betraying their ideals, challenging the rest with the rotary engine (rx vision maybe?) and kicking asses on le mans tracks once again.

  4. Lee L says:

    One Word – “REPU”

    Well, I know that’s next to impossible. But how about a small pickup? There are no real small pickups available nowadays. Even the Ranger and Tacoma are the size of a full-sized pickup from the 90s.

    I would love to see a new B-Series or similar small pickup with basic features-
    2 door
    bench seat
    1.5 gas or diesel

    I have no idea if they would sell, but I would love to see Mazda bring back the affordable, small, RWD pickup.

  5. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Announce the production of the RX-Vision.

  6. james says:

    All of these suggestions are great, but Daniel’s suggestion is the best one

  7. speedie says:

    I would love to see some lengthy ads on TV and the internet celebrating their history. I am often amazed when in conversation with people who claim to be car enthusiasts that they do not know Mazda was the first Japanese company to win Le Mans (or that it was a rotary). Then their is Mazda’s history of being a maverick in the engine arena with the rotary of course, but also the V6 KJ-ZEM Miller cycle engine used in the Millenia. I once had someone glassy eyed as I tried to explain to them how the Miller cycle worked. I am sure I would put them in a coma if I even mentioned HCCI technology. Great Company that needs to more well know.

  8. dankan says:

    I think the best possible celebration would be to have some fun with their history. It’s not easy in this more fiscally-conscious time, so I’m not going to demand any limited-production rotaries or anything, but some gestures would be nice.

    How about a 100th anniversary paint job available as a no-cost option across the line. I’d suggest that blue and white two-tone from the R360 at their celebration event. Make that available across the range. It’d look a hell of a lot better on their contemporary 3 than that dull as dishwater grey that they showed it in.

  9. Dave says:

    Mazda will celebrate its 100th anniversary by shocking us with the announcement of a new rotary “motor” befitting the 21st century: it is spun by tiny electromagnets, which pulsate in sequence to keep the Dorito spinning, up to 15,000rpm without the use of oil or apex seals because the carbon fiber rotor “floats” inside the housing, lubricated by non-clumping graphite.

    The asymmetrical movement of the rotors helps dissipate and equalize the inherently unstable dynamic forces of magnets, but that’s the beauty of it: Mazda has calculated that 6 rotors (no less) cancel out the harmonic frequencies that lead to unwanted vibrations, effectively reducing overall NVH by 78%. Without the need of heavy sound-deadening materials, the interior space opens up and the average vehicle weight is reduced by 45%.

    Because the electromagnetic rotary motor make an equivalent of 500hp and 500 lb-ft of torque at stand still, a 6-speed drive-by-wire, simulated manual transmission (I KNOW!) is required to step down ALL DAT POWAR.

    Where the “frunk” would’ve been in the new concept car is instead where the maze of step-down gears are, thus forcing Mazda’s engineers to make it RWD.

    Due to the anticipated-but-basically-guaranteed massive commercial success, Mazda signs up for Le Mans, WRC, and IMSA all at the same time with homologated models to follow. Mazda continues to participate in the DPi class as a gesture of goodwill, but fills the podium each time, just to rub it in.

    In a final nod to tradition, the new car is named…wait for it…Mazdaspeed RX-Cosmo3, soon to be followed by RX-Cosmo4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9—filling the compact coupe, large coupe, grand tourer, hatchback, sedan, wagon, and shooting brake categories. Mazda eschews the SUV category altogether—on principle.

    Stunned and humbled by Mazda’s ingenuity, and in an effort to boost Japan’s collective optimism following its bubble burst in the early ’90s, Toyota and Honda each donates the use of their biggest factories—free for the next 10 years—in order to produce said vehicles, in exchange for licensing the technology to revive the Land Cruiser, both S800s, and the S2000, respectively. They, too, agree to discontinue all CUVs, on principle.

    Last by not least (well, kind of least) Mitsubishi and Isuzu see the light and the error of their ways, and they convert their businesses to solely producing SEMA-conquering aftermarket parts for the new RX line.* **

    *I’m making all this up.

    ** I’m sorry, too.

    • Steven says:

      You know, I was with you up through the fifth paragraph. “Wow! Could this work???” “Would Mazda do it if they could??!!?” “Should they??!!?” “Is any of this even remotely possible??!!?” Then you started paragraph six and dashed my hooes… 🙁 🙁 🙁

      Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.

      Thanks 😀 😀 😀

  10. Ian says:

    Weekend in Vegas bachelor party style. Maybe have a rager at the Bellagio, catch a Celine Dion show and kidnap Mike Tyson’s tiger.

  11. エーイダン says:

    Easy, race an PHV Rotary at the next Le mans or GT Race.

  12. Erik V Stolburg says:

    I think Mazda should line up 100 rotors worth of race cars and rev them like a symphony of brap.

    PP could be the highs
    BP could be mids
    SP + Turbo mid lows

  13. Tom Westmacott says:

    The definitive Mazda is the RX-7, where the world-beating rotary – born of the never-say-die determination of the Hiroshima engineers – finds its ideal home in the pure, lightweight FR sports car. In this perfect marriage, each partner accentuates the strengths and flatters the weaknesses of the other.

    When you score a home run in the market, as the original SA22 did, the important thing is to keep the nameplate going. Porsche wouldn’t be without its 911 nor Chevrolet without a Corvette, and nurturing these names through the decades is what gives them value and meaning to people.

    So the best way for Mazda to celebrate 100 years of Hiroshima ingenuity would be to launch an all-new RX-7. Using the MX-5 platform, a single-turbo rotary and hybrid assistance with a smallish battery of no more than 100 kg, the lightweight chassis would let Mazda’s engineers offer a fuel-sipping default mode under 80 g/km of CO2, while engaging ‘Jinba Ittai’ mode would unleash full boost from the rotary, the electric motor torque-filling to ensure linear delivery of its considerable power. A new generation would learn the fun of squeezing themselves behind the wheel of an RX-7, combining 50/50 balance and double-wishbones with the joyful power of the smooth-spinning rotary.

    However, such a car won’t realistically be ready in time to celebrate the century. So in the meantime Mazda should take a leaf from how Nissan kept the Z legend alive during a lean period in the gap between the 300ZX and 350Z by sourcing, restoring and selling original 240Zs. Mazda should offer a factory full rebuild service for the legendary FD3S RX-7, offering cars that are fully rebuilt to factory 255hp specification. There are many straight, rust-free cars around; drop in a brand new 13B-REW, a full set of new solenoids and vacuum hoses for the sequential turbos, and it should be a fairly straightforward process for Mazda. The new-old RX-7 would bring Mazda’s biggest fans out of the woodwork. The associated parts program would let Mazda make a whole new set of parts available for existing owners, and the restoration work would be the perfect chance for Mazda’s old hands to pass on the rotary legacy by working alongside their millennial colleagues. Building on ever-growing interest in the nineties bubble era cars, this would help re-establish Mazda in public perception as a builder of serious sports cars as well as fun ones, the perfect celebration of 100 years in business and a great introduction to the all-new car.

  14. Xs10shl says:

    They should celebrate it by giving me free of charge a prefect replica of their 1969 r-100 race cars. I can think of no better way to celebrate 100 years. But I can think of more likely ways.

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