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Zoom Zoom Magazine Issue 29

Making history WALTER FREY’S INCREDIBLE COLLECTION OF MAZDAS IS NOW ON PUBLIC DISPLAY IN GERMANY AS THE CARMAKER’S FIRST OFFICIAL MUSEUM OUTSIDE JAPAN. ZOOM-ZOOM VISITS THE NEW EUROPEAN MECCA FOR MAZDA FANS STORY SACHIN R AO / PHOTOGRAPHY AMY SHORE Augsburg is less than an hour’s drive on the free-flowing autobahn from the Bavarian capital Munich — or a bit longer from the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein, if you’d rather sprinkle your holiday with spires and ramparts than steins and dirndls. One of Germany’s oldest cities, Augsburg is conventionally charming, with its well-preserved medieval guild houses and church. But the guidebooks need updating: as of May 2017, there’s a new heritage landmark in town. The Mazda Classic Automobile Museum Frey is not just Mazda’s sole officially sanctioned heritage museum outside its Hiroshima headquarters, but an astonishing testament to the limitless passion and painstaking labours of one German family, the Freys. Seventy-two-year-old Walter Frey, along with his sons Markus and Joachim, has amassed a collection of more than 120 Mazdas, and a third of these are now housed in a beautifully restored former tramshed, forming a stunning display that’s open to the visiting public. With immaculate examples from every era of post-war Mazdas, this priceless gathering of vehicles distils the history of the marque into one handy 500-square-metre area. You can chart the evolution of three-wheeled workhorses and minicars from the 1950s and 1960s, marvel at the blossoming of the Mazda rotary engine and the various models that made it so successful in the 1960s and 1970s, and trace the numerous technical innovations of the 1980s and 1990s. There are rugged utility vehicles, path-breaking sports cars, 22 \ZOOM-ZOOM Left: Walter Frey in his Mazda rotary bus. Main: the collection is housed in a restored 120-year-old tramshed


Zoom Zoom Magazine Issue 29
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