SOLD 02/17

1970 Mazda
Cosmo Sport Series II L B110 Coupe

Exceedingly Rare Series II Cosmo, Mazda’s Flagship Sports Car of the Era.

  • VINL10B-10900
  • Exterior ColorWhite
  • Interior ColorBlack Vinyl with Houndstooth Cloth
  • Mileage54600 Kilometers
  • Engine982 c.c. Twin-Rotor Wankel
  • Engine no.10A-2062
  • Transmission5-Speed
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ1946


1970 Mazda Cosmo Sport Series II L10B Coupe
s/n L10B-10900, Engine no. 10A-2062
White with Houndstooth Interior

Today, the Mazda brand is as recognizable as any of the major Japanese manufactures. While standard production cars were an economic necessity for Mazda, like Toyota’s 2000 GT, the company made interesting styling and technological departures, in this case, the Series II Cosmo. Featuring front disc brakes, a 128 horsepower Wankel (rotary) engine feeding power through a 5-Speed transmission, and a DeDion independent rear suspension assembly, the Cosmo was unique in its appearance, and technologically innovative.

Mazda Motor Corporation began production of passenger cars in 1960. Just four years later the Japanese firm exhibited its first rotary-engined prototype, having acquired the rights to produce NSU's Wankel-designed engines. In 1966, Mazda launched its first rotary, the Cosmo L10A, which went into production the following year. Mazda's top of the line flagship model, the Cosmo was powered by a twin-rotor engine displacing 982cc and producing 110bhp, which was enough to afford the pretty two-seater coupé with a top speed of 185km/h. In July 1968 a more powerful and faster (128bhp) L10B version on a longer wheelbase was introduced.

As with the Toyota 2000GT, the Cosmo was a comfortable grand touring car in road going trim. Mazda was keen to prove the model's competition abilities. Mazda additionally sought to prove the reliability of their Wankel rotary engine. To this end, the factory entered two cars in the 1968 Marathon de la Route, an 84-hour test of endurance held at Germany's famed Nürburgring circuit. The Cosmos ran near the top of the field during the entire race, with one retiring in the 82nd hour, the other going on to finish 4th overall behind two works-entered Porsche 911s and a works Lancia Fulvia 1.3 HF.

Production was limited, and when the Cosmo was phased out in 1972 only 1,519 had been made, of which 1,176 were the Series II L10B versions such as this particular car. In the world of collectible Japanese cars, the Mazda Cosmo ranks in the top tier alongside Toyota’s 2000GT and Nissan’s Skyline GT-R. Because the original Cosmo was generally intended for their home market, all were produced in right hand drive configuration, and sightings of these cars on American roads are almost nonexistent.

This particular example is a Series II Cosmo, featuring the higher horsepower engine, and 5-speed transmission. It was first registered in the Hiroshima Prefecture, Mazda’s home base, in 1970. Finished in white, the most popular color, over black vinyl with houndstooth cloth inserts, it is easy to see the appeal in these rare cars given their spaceship-like appearance and novel powertrain.

After passing through several custodians in Japan, this Cosmo received a major mechanical service in 2011, including rebuild of the Zenith carburetor, new spark plugs, fuel system cleaning, new front headlight and rear taillight lens frames, a new battery, and a thorough exterior and engine detailing. Outside of routine maintenance and mechanical refurbishment, however, the car is in substantially original condition. Among the features that have been added later are the wood rimmed steering wheel and a set of very rare Hayashi Racing wheels. Additionally, the rear wheel arches appear to have been adjusted slightly in a fashion which is in keeping with the bodylines on the balance of the car to accommodate slightly larger wheels. The car departed its homeland in 2015, and remains with its first US-based owner today.

Best described as having a nice driver presentation, s/n 10900 is generally solid, and fundamentally unrestored. There are paint flaws emerging from age, a few bubbles in the lower sheet metal, and it is evident upon critical inspection that the car was blue at one time. The dash has one crack above the gauge binnacle and some light soiling to the houndstooth, which is likely the original upholstery. Some of the ancillary equipment and switchgear could justify final sorting, as the tachometer, water temperature gauge, and headlights do not appear to be immediately operable. The car is however quite correct, and very complete, with its original emblems and badging in place, as well as its original “coat hanger” wiper blade arms which are also common to early Ferrari 275 GTBs, early Daytonas, and first Series Lamborghini Espadas.

The Cosmo is nothing if not interesting to drive, and they are actually quite well appointed despite their sports car angle. The Wankel engine has a pleasing harmonic note, and power is supplied in a linear fashion across the rev band. The 5-speed transmission has a light and feel to its standard H-pattern operation. The steering is also reasonable light, and the brakes are effective. Inside, the space-age cabin boasts air-conditioning, an operable map light, and on this car a Nardi wood-rimmed steering wheel, and other features which were clearly ahead of their time.

We cannot emphasize enough how rare an opportunity this is to acquire one of the most interesting and desirable Japanese sports cars ever produced. With the Cosmo’s Toyota and Nissan counterparts captivating the attention of a younger generation of buyers and soaring in value accordingly, Mazda’s space-age styled Cosmo is sure to follow suit.

Offers and interesting trades considered, up or down.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

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