Mazda Classic Car Museum by Auto Frey opens doors in Germany

Article by Christian A., on May 16, 2017

People who want to learn more about the automotive industry and its history can always head out to Germany. This is because not only is it where many of the world’s leading auto brands are based, but it is also where one can visit the best when it comes to museums decided to the automotive world.

With the opening of the Mazda Classic Car Museum by Auto Frey, it adds a new reason to visit Germany. Dedicated mainly to the Japanese automaker, it is also the first such collection of models to be displayed outside Japan. The museum is in Augsburg, Bavaria, and is seen as an excellent location as it is between Munich and Stuttgart. For the uninitiated, Munich is currently where BMW is headquartered with Stuttgart serving as the home not only of Porsche but even for Mercedes.

In addition, the location of the museum is about four hours from Oberursel, Augsburg, which is the same area where Mazda’s Research & Development center is based. Oberursel is also where you can find Auto Frey, which not only sells Peugeots but is considered to be the largest Mazda dealer in Europe. Augsburg is also five hours away from Leverkusen, where the European headquarters of Mazda is located. For the museum itself, it was made possible through a joint venture entered into by Mazda and the family that owns Auto Frey. The latter in particular also loaned a number of models from its private collection to the museum.

Those wondering what to expect from the museum should know that one such model on display is the 1960 R360, the first even mass-produced passenger vehicle to come from the brand. Then there is the 1976 616, which was the first Mazda to be officially sold in Germany. Other models that visitors are likely to see include the mid-engined Autozam AZ-1, three-wheeled K360 light truck, and '66 Familia 1000 coupe.

A wide range of rotary-powered sports cars is also on display starting with the '67 Cosmo Sport going to '69 Luce RX87 and all the way to the '92 RX-7. The museum itself is built from a repurposed tram depot dating all the way to 1897. The museum boasts a total of 45 models put up on display. It is not only about cars though as the museum also has the customary gift shop, a restaurant, and an event hall. Long-time fans of Mazda are sure to appreciate what this museum has to offer as they can get to enjoy looking at their favorite models without going all the way to Japan.

Aside from the Mazda museum, Germany is the site of at least 15 other car museums. One of these is the Autostadt which dedicates one pavillion for each brand under the Volkswagen Group. Autostadt is also where you can find the world's longest printed line and the largest glass doors.

Press Release

Classic Mazda museum opening in Germany

Bringing alive the illustrious history of an unconventional carmaker from Hiroshima, the first Mazda museum in Europe – and indeed the only one outside Japan – will open its doors on 13 May in Augsburg, Germany.

Frey’s Mazda Classic Car Museum, a project from local Mazda dealer Auto Frey with the support of Mazda Germany, spotlights the carmaker’s almost 100 years of defying convention. The centrepiece is an exhibit of 45 vehicles – vintage Mazdas officially sold in Europe as well as models only available elsewhere, including a number of rarities from the Frey family’s extensive private collection. The facility, fittingly located in a refurbished Augsburg tram depot dating from 1897, is also equipped with an expansive event area, restaurant facilities and a gift shop.

“Uniquely impressive, the first Mazda museum outside Japan represents a dream come true for the Frey family to share with the public its one-of-a-kind collection of vintage Mazdas from around the world,” commented Mazda Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Akira Marumoto. “Everyone at Mazda headquarters is very proud that the Freys are a part of our organisation and have created something so extraordinary.” The models on display, which include a 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport, 1969 Mazda Luce RX87 and 1992 Mazda RX-7, the top-selling rotary powered model in history, demonstrate how long Mazda has been combining innovative technology with stunning designs in the name of driving joy. Other highlights include a 1960 Mazda R360, the company’s first mass -produced passenger car, a 1962 Mazda K360 three-wheeled light truck, a 1966 Mazda Familia 1000 coupé, a 1976 Mazda 616, the first model officially offered in Germany starting in 1973, and the Mazda AZ-1, a distinctive mid-engined lightweight sports car from 1992.

The selection will change continually, too, with additional gems from the Frey’s collection of 120-plus vehicles destined for rotation into the exhibit. Operators also hope the venue will become a hub for vintage Mazda club meetings and classic car events in general. Auto Frey has been a Mazda dealer since 1978 and currently operates three locations in the Augsburg area.

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Topics: mazda, museum, germany

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