There are some real gems here.
Bentley just celebrated its 100th anniversary and in 2020, Mazda will do the same. To celebrate its centenary year, Mazda has posted nearly 400 photos showing nearly all of the important vehicles built over the past 100 years. We've chosen some of our favorites here.
100 years ago in 1920, Mazda wasn't even thinking about building cars. It wasn't even called Mazda yet. It was a Hiroshima-based cork producer called Toyo Cork Kogyo Co. until an industrialist named Jujiro Matsuda took over the company in 1921. Matsuda transformed the company into a tool producer first, then a vehicle manufacturer. The first vehicle was a three-wheeled truck called the Mazda-Go produced in 1931. Even back then, Mazda made huge innovations like a four-speed transmission in 1938 that reduced fuel consumption by 20 percent.
Mazda resumed building trucks after the atomic bombing at Hiroshima until the first passenger car, the Mazda R360, was produced in 1960. This is when the Mazda we all know and love was born.
In 1961, Mazda changed the automotive landscape when it signed a licensing deal with German carmaker NSU to build its Wankel rotary engines. The 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S became the first production car to use a rotary engine and Mazda would later go on to sell nearly two million rotary-powered cars like the RX-4, RX7, and RX-8. Mazda also became the first Asian manufacturer to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991 using the four-rotor 787B. This is also the only time in the race's history where the winning car used a non-piston engine.
The company's name officially changed to Mazda Motor Corporation in 1984, and in 1989 it revolutionized the industry yet again with the reveal of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Today, the Miata in its fourth generation is the best-selling roadster of all time, passing the one million mark back in 2016. Mazda will continue to innovate with new creations like the electric MX-30.
"As we look ahead to the next 100 years, we will continue to challenge ourselves to create unique products, technologies, and experiences that our customers love," said Mazda President and CEO, Akira Marumoto.