One of the fun things to watch in today’s mercurial collector car market is when certain old cars rise from obscurity and gain in value as collectors and investors latch onto them. Recent winners in the collector car lottery range from certain antiques from the earliest days of motoring to postwar classics from Ferrari and Porsche.
Japanese collector cars hit their stride a few years back, led by such limited-edition sports cars as the Toyota 2000GT and the Nissan Skyline GT-R. But as the overall market has cooled, Rising Sun classics settled down from their high prices, although Japanese Home Market cars that were not imported to the U.S. still draw plenty of interest from younger enthusiasts.
The Pick of the Day is one of those, a 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S, an evocative two-seat coupe that was the automaker’s first rotary-engine sports car. Mazda had purchased the rights to the Felix Wankel-designed engine and improved upon the unique concept that ran with eccentric rotors rather than pistons.
Cosmo just celebrated its 50th anniversary. The production model came to market May 30, 1967, following the prototype debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1964.
This Cosmo is from the first series, of which 343 were produced. A second series added about 800 more Cosmos, with production ending in 1972. The popular rotary-powered Mazda RX-7 came to market in 1978, with more than 800,000 eventually produced.
Although the Cosmo’s rotary engine displaces less than 1,000cc, which had a tax advantage under Japanese regulations, it produces a solid 110 horsepower, enough for 8-second sprints to 60 mph and a top speed of 115 mph. Nissan’s twin-rotor design increased power and tractability, compared with the original Wankel.
The Cosmo being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Holliston, Massachusetts, was the subject of an extensive two-year restoration and is in sparkling condition, according to the ad. The right-hand-drive car is presented in the rare color combo of red over a black interior, with ’60s-style houndstooth seat inserts looking fresh and mod trendy.
The quirky styling of the Cosmo, designed by Heiji Kobayashi, may seem like an amalgam of Ferrari, BMW and American cues of the time, but they all come together to create a striking look like no other, and which resonates today with vintage sports-car fans.
Cosmo leapt in value a few years back, sometimes selling above $200,000 at auction, but pricing has fallen back in recent years. The asking price of $125,000 seems right on the money for such an excellent example, and a patient buyer could see some gains in what is about sure to become a future classic.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day