On The Go Outtake: Jay Leno Out For A Spin In His 1970 Mazda Cosmo

Mazda Cosmo Leno 1

(Today seems to be the day for exotic cars shot on the go. Cohort poster T-Bar-Bear caught this Mazda Cosmo in traffic, and quickly realized who was behind the wheel. Well, who else would be driving a Cosmo in that part of LA? I’ll let him tell you about his encounter)

We have actually seen him five times in parts of his very amazing car collection, driving around our neighborhood.   I never have a chance to snap photos but today I did due to light traffic on the street.

Mazda Cosmo Leno 4

Today he was driving one of my all time favorite cars ever, a 1968 Mazda Cosmo.   youtu.be/0bUUzDKnPhc Holy crap! He was wearing the same clothes driving it as in this interview!

Mazda Cosmo Leno 3

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_Cosmo with the Wankel engine. This car is GORGEOUS! I first saw it in Car and Driver magazine in 1988 and immediately fell in love with it.

In my opinion, one of the most beautiful Japanese cars ever made. Sadly, it was never exported to the US and very few were made. In the video posted, Jay said that they are only three specimens of this car in the US! WOW! what luck to have seen it! I never in my craziest dreams would have expected to see one on the street in use!

Mazda Cosmo Leno 5

I have to admit, the car is gorgeous as I mentioned but the engine didn’t sound so great, it was running very rich and could hardly keep up with the light traffic mentioned before. I still love that car though! 🙂 Jay gave me a salute, and I gave him a thumbs up.

Postscript: Sadly, I don’t have the time to do a full write up on this delightful little car. I’ve been a fan of them since it came out, but never saw one in the flesh until the Paris Auto Show in 2010. It surprised just how small and delicate it is, about the size of an old Miata. 

According to Wikipedia, Jay Leno’s Cosmo is a 1970, and has had its engine replaced with a 12a from from an RX-7.

Ateupwithmotor has an in depth look at this car and Mazda’s other early rotary-engined cars here: RX-Rated: Mazda’s Early Rotary Cars, Part 1