February 22, 2007 Old, rare and beautiful cars are not normally associated with the contemporary Japanese Automotive Industry, but as time moves on, we’ll see more cars such as this fully-restored 1969 Mazda Cosmo 110B Coupe hitting the auction block. One of just over 1,500 examples that were virtually hand-built between 1967 and 1972, the Cosmo Series II has a special place in Japanese automotive history as Mazda’s first true high performance rotary-engined coupe and hence the progenitor of the current RX8. The first Cosmo launched at the 1964 Tokyo Motor Show was the 110S, powered by a bi-rotor engine producing around 110hp and had a four speed gearbox. However the Series II introduced in July 1968 came with a longer wheelbase, a more powerful 130hp engine and five speed gearbox and was a serious performance car, capable of 190km/h and covering the standing 400 metres in around 15.8 seconds. Because of its collectibility and rarity, auctioneers Shannons expect the Cosmo to be sought after in the price range from AUD$96,000 (US$76,000) to AUD$116,000 (US$92,000)
With adjustable bucket seats, full instrumentation and Nardi-type steering wheel, the interior of the Cosmo was designed to appeal to the serious driver and Mazda was so proud of its sporting credentials that they even raced one in the 1968 Marathon de la Route at the Nurburgring.
Today, the Cosmo has a huge following around the world and examples form part of some major collections, including that of TV talk show host Jay Leno. Along with the Toyota 2000GT, the Cosmo 110 is one of the most sought after Japanese cars from the 1960s and very few good examples currently resident in Australia.
Delivered new in Japan, the late series Cosmo 110B being auctioned by Shannons has undergone a recent ground-up body and mechanical restoration. It is presented in its original colour scheme of white paintwork with black houndstooth trim and comes with an owner's manual (in English).
The Cosmo is one of 59 vehicles and 56 items of memorabilia in the Shannons Melbourne Motor Show Auction, which will be held in the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 2.30pm on Monday March 12. All auction lots will be on display free to the public ion the Concourse section of the MEC throughout the Motor Show from Friday March 2.