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Mazda Carol (KPDA)

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1962 Mazda Carol.jpg

Mazda Carol (マツダ キャロル) (KPDA/NRA). 1962–70 (prod. 265,226 for 360 only). 2- and 4-door sedan. R/R, 358, 568 cm³ (I4 OHV). Mazda’s response to the Subaru 360 that was proving particularly popular, in recognition that its own V-twin R360 Coupé was too small for Japanese buyers, who demanded a proper four-seat car. Originally shown as the Mazda 700 at the Tokyo show in 1961, but launched with a water-cooled, four-stroke 0·36-litre engine, with five-bearing crankshaft. Three-box design, one up on the Subaru, with a reverse-rake rear window line that was unique in Japan at the time. Alloy-bodied, but still heavy, making it hard work for the engine, and dampening sales. Rear engine mounted horizontally, with engine-driven forced cooling fan bringing air in from the side. Four-wheel independent suspension. Launched February 1962, with deluxe 0·6-litre model (Carol 600) appearing in November that year. The millionth Mazda vehicle was a Carol 600. Four-door appeared September 1963, believed to be the first four-door kei car. The 600 was short-lived, replaced by the first Familia. Sales dropped fairly quickly as more rivals arrived, including the Honda N360. Minor changes in 1966, but heavy weight remained an issue. Plans to install a single-rotor rotary engine never realized.

Manufacturing location: Hiroshima, Japan

Marque: Mazda | Model: Mazda Carol | Successors: Mazda Familia (SSA), Mazda Chantez

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