The day may yet come when Mazda brings back the Wankel engine in a successor to the RX-7 and RX-8. That day hasn’t arrived, but enthusiasts can still find plenty of rotary-powered Mazdas out there on the open market. Like this classic 1968 Mazda Cosmo Sport that’s coming up for auction.
The first rotary-powered production automobile, the Cosmo was revealed as a concept at the 1964 Tokyo Motor Show. Its space-age styling and unusual powertrain proved a hit with the public, so Mazda put it into production – and it, in turn, put Mazda on the map.
The Japanese automaker would make fewer than 400 of these Series I coupes between 1967 and 1968 when this example was made. It features a dual-rotor engine displacing less than a liter (by the Wankel’s unusual standard) yet produced 110 horsepower. VIN L10A10322 appears to be in excellent condition, from its white paintwork to its houndstooth upholstery, and shows 33,629 kilometers on the odometer.
RM Sotheby’s and its sister house Auctions America estimate it will sell for about $120,000 (give or take $10k) when the gavel drops this weekend in Santa Monica. That’d make it about four times more expensive than the last RX-8, or than anything Mazda makes today for that matter. If and when the manufacturer green-lights a successor, here’s hoping it’ll come in less expensive than that.