"The collection encompasses 120 cars in total, representing every Mazda model since the 1930s."
Germany has become the latest home to some of Mazda’s finest gems — Clocking up nearly a century of operations, with the early days dating back to 1920, Mazda has a long line of models that have become cult classics and highly sought after. Located in the city of Augsburg, Frey’s Mazda Classic Car Museum promises to be the first and only such museum outside of Japan, boasting a current line up of 45 cars on display. The project is the result of a collaboration between between local Mazda dealer, Auto Frey, and the automaker’s German division.
Owner and founder, Walter Frey, established the dealership in 1978, and is a prominent car collector also. He has been long fascinated by Mazda’s rotary engine, acquiring his first Cosmo Sport in 1980 and has continued to grow his collection since. Adding his sons Joachim and Markus’ cars into the mix, the Freys amassed 120 cars which represent every Mazda model since the 1930s.
Mazda enthusiasts may also recall the Cosmo Sport rally in Germany in 2009, which saw 14 Cosmo Sports from Japan join five of their counterparts in Europe, becoming the largest gathering of the model outside of Japan to date, which was hosted by the Freys. To continue their love of the brand, an old tram depot has been repurposed to house the collection with up to 50 cars from the collection will be exhibited in the museum at a time on a rotating basis. An emphasis has been put on Mazda’s famous rotary power plants, too, of course, although piston powered examples are included.
While the current display includes such rarities as a 1967 Cosmo Sport and a 1969 Luce RX87, visitors will also get to see a 1960 R360 — Mazda’s first mass-produced passenger car — Familia 1000 Coupe from 1966, a three-wheeled light truck dubbed K360, a 1992 AZ-1 mid-engine sports car, and of course a 1973 616 which holds the title of the first Mazda to be officially sold in Germany.
Mazda Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Akira Marumoto said: “[It’s] uniquely impressive, the first Mazda museum outside Japan represents a dream come true for the Frey family to share with the public it's one-of-a-kind collection of vintage Mazdas from around the world.”
The Frey’s Mazda Classic Car Museum is now open for business and if you ever find yourself cruising through Augsburg, it’s a stop you aren’t likely to regret making.