Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: mazda rx3

Brilliant: collection of Showa scale model cars

Now this was a big jaw-dropper: two videos of a Toyota Mark II Grande GX71 literally covered in Showa scale model cars. This must be the largest personal collection of scale model cars I’ve seen!
Brilliant: Showa scale model cars
Now if you look carefully enough you can see that each and every scale model car has its own special paint job (mostly kaido racer, race car livery or kyusha kai) and set of (rare) JDM rims! If you count the number of hours it took to make them look this way alone it already is an amazing job!

Now the list of cars, mainly from the late Showa-era, is going to be a lengthy one, but I’ll try to sum up the most important ones:

  • Toyota Mark II Grande GX71 (duh)
  • Toyota Soarer GZ10/MZ11/MZ12 (including the Shakotan Boogie Soarer twice)
  • Numerous Toyota Celica XX GA61
  • Toyota Celica GT RA45
  • Toyota Corolla Levin TE27
  • Toyota Corolla Levin TE71 four door sedan
  • Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 hatchback
  • Toyota Corsa AL11
  • Numerous Nissan Skylines C10, C110, C210, R30
  • Numerous Nissan Cedric/Gloria 230, 330, 430
  • Numerous Nissan Fairlady S30
  • Nissan EXA
  • Hasemi Skyline KDR30 Super Silhouette kaido racer replica
  • Nissan Silvia S110 Super Silhouette kaido racer replica
  • Isuzu Bellet GT-R
  • Mazda RX-3

And the list could go on for another 20 or 30 models that I overlooked…

Watch video number one: Continue reading

Video: 1972 TS-a Touring Car race @ Fuji Speedway

I found a couple of old 70s videos of the Gran Prix Touring Car races at Fuji International Speedway of which this 1972 race is one of the best!

It starts off with showing the thorough process of inspections and approvals on a Toyota Corolla Levin TE27 and a Toyota Sprinter Trueno TE27 in the first part:

Funny to see the whole parkinglot is full of the cars that are going to race at the track!

In the second part the race actually starts and several accidents happen:

Especially the one on the straight around 2:00 looks very spectacular. Marshals running across the track, pushing and pulling the two cars from the track. Sounds very very dangerous…
Also the crash at 6:42 looks dangerous. The upcoming racecars harldy take distance. What if someone would have been trapped in there? And even worse, at 7:38 they use it as a new apex!

In the third part the fierce battle continues:

And ends in an all Toyota Podium: two Celica’s and a Corolla Levin TE27 make it to the podium!

Apart from that an impressive list of cars that attended: Toyota Sprinter Trueno TE27, Corolla Levin TE27, Celica TA22, Nissan Cherry X-1R, Nissan Sunny B110 and a Mazda RX-3.

Found at [Hotcakemix00 @ Youtube]

Commerical time: Mazda RX-3 goes hmmmmmmmm

Sorry: yet another non JDM commercial, but this one is surely funny as hell:

Piston engine goes boing, boing, boing, boing. Mazda engine goes Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I wonder what would have happened if he had a piston engined Mazda then… Would she have dumped him before they went on that picknik trip?

Rare Bosozoku cars: Mazda Savanna RX3

It is a bit weird: in contrary of the Mazda Cosmo AP RX5 the Mazda Savanna RX3 is a very rare Bosozoku styled car. We could only find two pictures of one single car!
Bosozoku style Mazda Savanna RX3
Bosozoku style Mazda Savanna RX3

Even though the Cosmo AP RX5 is a much bigger and meaner looking car, the Savanna RX3 is looking a lot meaner than its predecessor the Mazda Familia Rotary R100 and should really appeal all petrolheads.
Bosozoku style Mazda Savanna RX3
Bosozoku style Mazda Savanna RX3

The Mazda Savanna RX3 also had a big racing history: it debuted in 1971 at the Fuji 500 Tourist Trophy race and won instantly! It came just in time to prevent the Nissan Skyline GT-Rs from getting 50 consecutive wins for the Japanese Grand Prix!
Winning Mazda Savanna RX3 on Fuji Speedway Tourist Trophy
Winning Mazda Savanna RX3 on Fuji Speedway Tourist Trophy

If you are interested in this race, Japanese Nostalgic Car blog wrote an excellent article about this race!

The RX3 then continued to race for many years afterwards and even got over 100 victories at the end of 1976. It even is still being used for many different races nowadays: amoung them dragraces as well:
Mazda RX3 drag racer
Mazda RX3 drag racer

The RX3 is based upon the Mazda Familia 808 platform (in some countries called 818), but then powered by a rotary engine instead of the inline 4 of the 808/818. The outside of the car remained the same except for the twin round headlights at the front and the round taillights at the back of the car.
Factory stock Mazda Savanna RX3 4 door saloon
Factory stock Mazda Savanna RX3 4 door saloon

On the inside the interior was a bit more sportier than the standard Familia: the dash remained the same but it featured semi bucket seats.
Mazda Savanna RX3 interior
Mazda Savanna RX3 interior

What really helped was the weight of the car: the Familia only weights 865kg, so adding a powerfu
l rotary to such car makes it an instant winning combination! However the car still featured leaf springs and a live axle, so the handling of the car was not as good as the RX2 Capella. But what can you expect from a family car?
Factory stock Mazda Savanna RX3 4 door saloon
Factory stock Mazda Savanna RX3 4 door saloon

The Savanna was not only limited to the Coupe version of the Familia, but also delivered on the 4 door saloon and 5 door station van.

In Japan, Australia and Europe the Savanna was delivered with the 10A engine, while in the US only the 12A featured on the car. Starting from 1975 all it got an update and since then all Savanna RX3s got the 12A engine.
Mazda 10A Wankel engine
Mazda 10A Wankel engine

Of course the sporty image of the RX3 had to be mentioned over and over again. Take for example the poster for the RX3 SP:
Mazda RX3 SP: not a slowpoke
Mazda RX3 SP: not a slowpoke

All in all I don’t really understand why the Savanna RX3 is not a popular bosozoku style car: it looks bad, it had racing history (with wide fenders!), it features a rotary and best of all it was also available in 4 door saloons! A large package of elements which create a good foundation for a popular bosozoku car!

Stylish Mazda RX3
Stylish Mazda RX3

Maybe that is the whole point: it just reminded too much of the Familia family car. Or maybe it became an instant classic and the price remained too high during the 80s and 90s? Or maybe it was just the wrong car: the car that killed the 50th consecutive victory of the Skyline? Or maybe it was too small: the car is the size of a Nissan Sunny or Toyota Corolla. Who knows?

[I posted this article earlier this week on]

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