Boca Raton
1970 Mazda Cosmo 110S PHOTOGRAPHY BY Bill Pack
Estimate: $65,000 - $95,000 USD
SOLD: $44,000 USD
  • 1970
  • Mazda
  • Cosmo 110S
  • L10A -10512
  • White
  • Black
  • Largely original example
  • Rare short wheel base model
  • Four speed Gearbox
  • Well maintained

Funky Japanese Classic

Mazda Cosmos are more than a cool-looking novelty. The high revving rotary engine, four speed transmission and lightweight body, combine to produce a driver's car that will make you smile. On offer is a fine, mostly original example of a very rare 110S Export model that comes from the large private collection of a JDM enthusiast.

This Cars Past

Although the number of previous owners is not known, the current owner, an avid JDM collector, purchased this 110S from one of the largest rotary-engined car collections in Japan in 2014. He imported it and titled it and added it to his impressive collection. This wonderful example has only ever been regularly maintained and is in predominantly original condition. In Japan and today it's been stored in a climate controlled environment. Most websites identify just two versions of the Mazda Cosmo, L10A Series I short wheel base and L10B Series II long wheel base, however, there was in fact a 3rd “interim” version. After beginning production of the L10B, Mazda recognized a growing interest from outside their homeland. Rather than putting stress on their already limited production capabilities, they took the remaining stock of L10A engines and bodies and rebadged them as “110S Export” models. These are very easily identified by the “Made in Japan” stamped into the hood latch and the large open “guppy-mouth” air dam below the front bumper, which was a modification made for the L10B longer wheel based body. Though purchased from a Japanese collection, this car on offer is easily identifiable as a legitimate 110S Export model. The official export certificate, states that this car was first registered in Japan in 1970 and is simply one example which never left the country.

"I saw my first Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S at an auto show. But it was overshadowed by the Toyota 2000 GT, which was featured in the 1967 James Bond movie You Only Live Twice--complete with a TV in the dashboard. So, at the car show, the poor little Mazda Cosmo sat alone in a corner, with its strange rotary engine and styling that was a mixture of American and Italian with a few Japanese elements thrown in. I was fascinated by it.... The Cosmo is a uniquely styled Japanese interpretation of what a Western sports car should look like. Face it, it's curious looking. But I like it. It doesn't really look like anything else."Jay Leno, Mazda Cosmo Owner

History of the Model

Founded in the 1920s, the company that would become Mazda Motor Corporation did not commence series production of passenger cars until 1960. Only four years later the Japanese firm exhibited its first rotary-engined prototype, having acquired the rights to produce NSU’s Wankel-designed engines. In 1966 Mazda launched its first rotary, the Cosmo L10A, which went into production the following year. Mazda’s flagship model, the Cosmo, was powered by a twin-rotor engine displacing 982cc and producing 110bhp which was enough to endow the pretty two-seater coupé with a top speed of 110mph. Production was limited, and when the Cosmo was phased out in 1972 only 1,519 had been made, of which 343 were the Series I L10A and 1,176 were the Series II L10B version. It is unknown how many 110S Export models were built. In the world of collectible Japanese cars, the Mazda Cosmo ranks in the top tier, alongside its high-performance Toyota and Nissan competitors, the 2000GT and the Skyline GT-R.

Preservation History

In largely original condition, it's apparent that l10A-10512 has had some paint work and the seats have been covered with vinyl covers over the original material. The engine bay is really a joy to for a jDM enthusiast to view, as these are rarely seen in such untouched condition.

Market Trend

Mazda Cosmos have now become an established “collector car”. Over the past two years (from August 2014 to date) seven Cosmos have sold publicly at auctions in the USA. Prices have ranged from $82,500 for a car needing work and showing rust, to $264,000 for a remarkable, marquee expert restored 110S example. Five of the seven cars sold for a market correct $110,000 to $145,000.


Offered here is a very correct, well maintained, enthusiast owned Mazda Cosmo. Though a common entrant in public auctions, it would be difficult to find a genuine 110S export model that's in as original condition as this one.

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