This weekend’s Weekend Edition showcases my favorite Japanese concept cars from past decades. I’m writing my posts on a train to Tampere, Finland, and since the Finnish train service is slow and unreliable, I need to look at some desirable rare metal to keep my wits about me.
Note: the titles on these posts are from the Scottish new wave band The Associates‘ line of work, as their ’80s albums have been on heavy rotation in my car recently. Don’t let them confuse you.
The rotary-engined Mazda RX500 concept was originally displayed in 1970, at the 17th Tokyo Motor Show. It’s too cool for words, but I’ll do my best.
The RX500 could’ve come straight from my school-time doodles. The rakish front, the level breadvan rear, the 1970s spaceship design: it’s immensely cool. Add two-tone paint and chrome wheels, and it’s a winner.
The doors on the RX500 were a forward-swinging butterfly design.
Yeah, it is rather proud of the power plant choice. The rear lights are an interesting treatment, and I quote conceptcarz:
“Capable of hitting 125mph, the RX 500 featured a rotary engine that was mounted forward of the rear axles. The car also had multi colored lights at the back end which indicated whether the car was speeding up, braking or even running at a constant speed. The green lights at the top would be lit up when you were accelerating, and when you were cruising, the yellow lights would come on and the red brake lights came on progressively depending on how hard you braked.”
The Mazda also reminds me of the diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz speed record cars, like the C111, but this is somewhat cooler in my opinion. Have I made that completely clear?
[Photos: Tennen-Gas/Morio, Wikimedia]