Mazda RX-500


The Mazda RX500 was originally displayed at the Tokyo show in 1970. Styling wise it had shades of the Mercedes C-111 (the Wankel-engined freak from the same period), but also featured that back end bulbousness similar to the styling of the Ferrari 250 GTO ‘Breadvan’.

It had scissor doors that swung upward and forward, and a 491cc rotary engine just behind the seats. Weighing in at a shade below 850KG and packing around 250 BHP the wheezy monster apparently reached 150 mph on Mazda’s test track.

The car was recently restored in partnership with the Hiroshima City Transportation Museum where it has apparently been on display. But as well as its muscular styling sticking out in the memory the car is interesting of course as much for its early shake-down of the rotary engine as a viable production option.

It’s a typically out-there ideas bed from the period that actually resulted in a sting of production Rotaries, albeit with slightly toned down styling. Makes you look at the brand slightly differently, eh?