I have a friend in Japan, and sometimes (usually) he’s really super awesome. And sometimes (often) that awesomeness translates into finding at my door boxes of random JDM car stuff I never knew existed!
He served as a shipping middleman for a few Japanese books about historic keijidosha a while back, in addition to gifting me the “real proportion” Subaru 360 pull-back car seen previously on LALD. But the most recent shipment was a Tomica Honda S660 and this rad Cosmo.
Now keep in mind this Nihon Auto Toy product is not expensive as far as RC cars go, but the level of detail is still pretty good. The packaging was simple and masochistic, with horrible plastic screws securely holding in the car. Once I got those out, though, installing six AA batteries and screwing the antenna into the controller was easy.
The most obvious cost-cutting measure was neglecting to paint the front turn signals, but I can do that in five minutes if it starts to bug me. I think another trick feature (scroll down) more than makes up for the blank turns.
The thing actually looks really nice from the front and back, complete with the same license plates that Mazda put on the car for publicity shots back in the day. The L10B is the second series of the first gen Cosmo, the previous being L10A. The main visual differences include a taller, smiling grille, a longer wheelbase with more room between the door and rear wheel, and bigger wheels with new hub caps.
Of course, this was also Mazda’s first rotary automobile. The L10A series got a 110hp twin-rotor, while L10B’s got 130hp from the same 982cc Wankel. This particular example has been converted to electric power.
Arguably, the car looks best either straight-on or from a three quarter rear view. From behind, the body tapers beautifully toward those jet-age tail lights. Only about 1500 first generation Cosmos were built, most being L10B’s, making any 1:1 a very rare and special sight indeed.
The coolest part about this model is probably the lights. Both the front and rear are lit by LED!
The underbody is standard for a toy grade RC car. Interesting, though, is that both the car and controller include small screws to make doubly sure the battery compartments don’t come open. Seen here next to my “real” RC car, a Tamiya TT-02 4WD set up for drifting.
Obviously the Cosmo has no suspension. But it does have a ‘welded diff’ and rubber tires so it actually drives up onto carpets and whatnot like a champ. The Tamiya will get stuck on pebbles, regardless of the limited slip diff.
Comparing the Cosmo to other scale models is almost impossible, though, as it is an odd 1/20 scale. Here it is with the 1/10 Tamiya (awaiting an RX-3 body which needs paint) and a 1/43 Brazilian Chevy Monza from edu petrolhead.
Since its scale is odd, I have it on display between my 1/18 F100 and 1/24 Geo Storm. An unusual grouping to be sure, but they get along fine.