The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

15 - 16 February 2013

Lot 308

1962 Mazda R-360 Coupe

To be auctioned on Friday, February 15, 2013

Sold for $28,750

  • ID No. 1082
History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.


An exceptionally well-documented example.

SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Toyo Kogyo Co.
Origin: Hiroshima, Japan
Production: 23,417
Motor: Mazda 2-cyl., 4-stroke
Displacement: 356 cc
Power: 11 hp
Length: 9 ft. 10 in.
Identification No. 1082

By 1960, Japan was on the upward swing of an economic recovery. Car manufacture had been reinstated in 1949, and this increased competition meant that wholesalers and retailers had to speed up delivery by using private trucks of all sizes. Three-wheeler work trucks and delivery vehicles had become particularly symbolic of the nation’s recovery. Incomes were increasing, the tourist bus business flourished, and ownership of a private car became a national dream. Car production was strictly government-regulated through a series of engine displacement categories, which encouraged manufacturers to get the maximum performance within each category. The small-displacement categories were particularly well suited to Japan’s narrow roads and high-density urban areas. Yet, cars were expensive and hard to come by.

Mazda launched its R-360 on May 28, 1960, to great acclaim. First of all, the price was within reach. At 300,000 yen, this sophisticated little car could not remotely compare with the scooter-like Fuji Cabin, for which 230,000 yen was being asked. Technically very advanced, it featured a monocoque body with light alloy parts, making it, at 840 pounds, the lightest car on the market. Suspension was independent rubber-in-torsion on all corners. The engine was the first four-stroke to be used by a car in this micro-class, meaning better fuel economy than the two-strokes. It used a number of magnesium alloy parts for weight-saving. The gearbox was a four-speed with an unheard-of optional automatic transmission. In fact, it was the first car ever produced in the country with a torque converter. The styling was superb, a jaunty, stylish mix of form and function. Proportions are extremely well handled for such a small car, with a subtle tilt-back of the coupe section giving it a somewhat perky attitude.

It was so highly regarded that a week before its launch there were orders for 4,500 cars in hand, and as a result, the R-360 would be in production for six years. Its advanced design and careful attention to refinement and detail provided a solid base for all of Mazda’s future car production and pointed the way for the entire Japanese auto industry.

This car is a very good, original, unrestored example finished in the body/roof two-tone characteristic of the model. Interesting details appear everywhere, from the triangular buried taillights through to the flat lie-down parking lamps contrasting with the stand-up larger lamps and the speedometer pod above the steering column. It is indeed a very significant car and was purchased from a well-respected collector in Germany. As a one-owner car, he had the original photos of the car upon delivery, as well as its original owner’s manuals, service books, and other impeccable, extraordinary documentation. There is most certainly no other Mazda R-360 as well documented as this one.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

aclassick@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

aabaci@rmauctions.com

+49 (0) 40 441 95 737
Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmauctions.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmauctions.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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+1 310 559 4575
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

jboxstrom@rmauctions.com

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

mgirardo@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

vmandzak@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more