Fuji, 1971. The mighty Hakosuka was slated to reach its record 50th win in Japanese touring car racing, only to have that taken away by a plucky upstart from Hiroshima known as the Mazda Savanna (aka. RX-3). Years later, its spirit would be succeeded by the sleek RX-7, the first two generations of which also bore the Savanna name in Japan. Why did Mazda choose that name for such iconic cars?
The namesake of these beloved rotaries is the NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered merchant ship in the world. Commissioned in 1955, it was part of President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace initiative to demonstrate peaceful applications of nuclear power. It was a topic very dear to the people of Hiroshima, where Mazda’s headquarters is located. (more…)