Who knew that underneath Mazda’s Research and Development facility in Irvine, California there is a basement full of historic Mazda vehicles. Not too surprising that Mazda would preserve a museum of heritage cars, but these vehicles are not there just for display, they are maintained to be ready to drive.
For those who enjoy tinkering on classic vehicles, to be in charge of keeping Mazda’s Heritage Collection of about 80 cars road ready would be a dream come true. Mazda Motorsports Engineer Randy Miller has this dream job of curator, restoration artist, race car engineer, fabricator and maintenance mechanic.
Randy’s dad helped him work on his own cars that led to an automotive degree. After some time at Mazda’s service shop he became a R&D engineering technician that led to a full-time position with the Heritage Collection.
Maintaining the street cars is pretty straight forward, but Randy’s passion is with the purpose-built race cars. Some of these race cars are 25 years old and they are taken out to the track at speeds up to 140 mph. Keeping them running in top performance is not just a matter of pride, but essential for the safety of the drivers.
The collection includes the original three Miatas from the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, a 1967 Cosmo Sport (first mass-produced sports car powered by a rotary engine), and the last rotary RX-8 ever produced.
He enjoys the engineering aspect of comparing prototype cars built in different countries. The different way parts are designed and the placement illustrates different people’s thinking. This points out the purpose of the collection, not just for racer and historian visitors, but for Mazda’s designers and engineers to understand the thinking that went into Mazda products over the decades.
Who Knew? Roadworthy heritage Mazda’s not just for inspiration for designers to study the flowing lines of the race cars, but for engineers as well as fans to see them in action on the road. Mazda not only has the parts to maintain its classic cars, but also has parts and accessories for its new vehicles as well. Where can you get genuine Mazda accessories? Mazdapartspeople.com has low prices, fast delivery, and an online catalog to make ordering easy.