Weird Car of the Week: Mazda's Neglected Track Toy

1996; while the "Macarena" was at the top of the music charts, Mazda was doing a strange dance of its own. They were calling it the MS-007, and while it may not have been nearly as catchy, the concept car was strangely appealing to a group on enthusiasts that, at the time, were mostly Miata crazy. RELATED: See More of the Rare Mazdaspeed MS-007 Concept
Weird Car of the Week: Mazda's Neglected Track Toy
What Is It? Rumor has it this quirky creation was the brainchild of former Mazda exec Yamanashi Makata. The goal was to create a vehicle that would mimic track toys like the Caterham Seven, but with a certain Japanese flair to boot. Under the hood was a 129-horsepower 1.8-liter inline-4. Inside, power was fed via a five-speed manual gearbox off the Miata, all the while touting a race-inspired pushrod front suspension and a limited-slip differential. So it was definitely ready for the track, to say the least. RELATED: See Photos of the 2016 Mazda RX-7 Concept
Weird Car of the Week: Mazda's Neglected Track Toy
Design-wise, it was very much a modern twist on the iconic track car design. A fiberglass monocoque gave way to an open-wheel layout in the front, some bug-like headlights, and even a roll cage. Not to mention a very 90s black plastic interior. The car was built by Swift Engineering in San Clemente, California. This shop not only crafted the MS-007 you see here, but also the popular Furai race car concept that debuted back in 2008. RELATED: See Photos of the 2008 Mazda Furai Concept
Weird Car of the Week: Mazda's Neglected Track Toy
Where Is It Now? That’s the million dollar question—what happened to this wonderful machine? Your guess is as good as ours. It made its debut in Japan in 1996, but has since gone the way of the dodo. It very well could be living a quite life in San Clemente for all we know, or it might be somewhere on display in Japan. Either way, we'd love to see this wonderful creation in the flesh again—and on the track. Story Reference: Automobile

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