I Bet You Haven't Seen This Before - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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I Bet You Haven't Seen This Before

Last week I bought something so rare and unusual, it makes my old Exige look like a Camry.



For those unaware (which should be most everyone) this is an Autozam AZ-1. This was made by Mazda in 1992 and has a 3-cylinder turbocharged engine from Suzuki. It has a 5-speed transmission and best of all, gullwing doors. It weighs just under 1600lbs and quite literally handles like a go-kart. You almost forget you're driving on the right hand side, its so small.



Oh and if you thought your Lotus was small, think again.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 08:18 PM
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My favorite of the Kei cars. Nice.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 08:49 PM
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I LOVE AZ-1s. Where did you even find this? It's incredible. Post some more pics...
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 03:11 AM
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You're right! I consider myself a car guy and have never seen this. Was it for sale in the US?

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 04:20 AM
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If you squint really hard it looks like a baby F40. I love it!

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 06:18 AM
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You got me on this one. This is the first time I have ever seen that car!
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 06:22 AM
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That is awesome! Congrats! Are those real Volks?
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 06:44 AM
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Now that the 25 year restriction is passing, a lot of little guys like these are showing up. A friend of mine got a Honda Beat last year, similar idea. When he first showed a picture of it, I thought "oh, it isn't THAT small", but then I realized he was parked on a sidewalk, not a driveway. Don't have the actual picture anymore, but it's really amazing just how tiny they are.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 07:02 AM
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I've had these cars on multiple racing games, my favorite being Tokyo Extreme Racer 3!

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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I lucked out and purchased one already here in the US. I was't even searching for one and just happened across it. And yep, genuine TE37 wheels from Japan. I had no idea they even came this small!

There's a big car show this weekend, I'll make sure to take more pics. And I might even bring the car down to Monterey for Car Week.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 09:03 AM
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Nice!!!
I've seen those in youtube Japan videos...never seen one here in the states...pretty darn cool!

You should definitely bring it down here for Monterey Car Week! There is an event called The Little Car Show in Pacific Grove every year...your car would be perfect for that...almost like it was made for it! Little cars of all backgrounds...last year was fun! This year, it is Wed, August 16th from noon to five. Also look into Concours on the Avenue in Carmel, that is one of my favorites...very laid-back and casual. Even if you don't participate, can park nearby as a spectator...that's what a ton of nice cars do. That one is Tuesday, August 15th this year.

I will be down there again for sure if my leg heals and I can walk again before then. Don't want to hit it in a wheelchair. Had such a blast there last year!!! For any car guy (or gal), you have to experience it at least once! Monterey Car Week is surreal!

The complete list of events that Marina Motorsports, Inc. is involved with on the Monterey Peninsula is listed on our Calendar page.

https://www.facebook.com/MarinaMotorsports/

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 09:15 AM
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Wow how cool is that! I gave never seen one before, very cool little car!
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 09:24 AM
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I love it...and sadly I actually want it.

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCspeed34 View Post
There's a big car show this weekend, I'll make sure to take more pics.
RTC on Saturday?
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me73 View Post
RTC on Saturday?
I'll be there!

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 09:53 PM
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Awesome find @BCspeed34 ! Was that the car from SODO-moto?

I was very seriously looking at importing an AZ-1 until I found my Elise a few months back. Talked with an importer, had a plan to bring it into CARB compliance (ah, California!) and was obsessively trolling goo-net looking for 25 year olds.... Hmm, that last part sounds kinda wrong, but it's not what it sounds like. Really, it's not!

Anyway, if you havenít already, you should check out the Facebook Mazda AutoZam AZ-1 / Suzuki Cara Owners group and Kei Kars in the Park.

I hope you are able to make it down to Monterey. I'd love to see your car in person!
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 11:30 AM
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lol that's awesome

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 11:57 AM
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Heard of it...hell I've been obsessed with that car for years! I've owned several micro cars and a few kei-cars, but living in California makes it nearly impossible to register an AZ-1. This coming from a guy who was able to register a LHD Toyota TownAce turbo-diesel van, so I know the tricks. Making it CARB exempt is another $10k minimum which is more than the car itself is worth.

Anyways, I've already accepted that I will watch my brothers in WA or TX enjoy these things until someday when CA changes their laws or I move out. For now I'll enjoy my Elise and my Subaru 360 van.

BTW for anyone wondering the Autozam AZ-1 (which is actually made by Mazda, yet also sold as the Suzuki Cara...confused yet lol?) is not designed to fit someone over 5' 10" tall, BUT it is possible simply by swapping out the stock seats for seats from...a Lotus Elise. Yes, that is actually the common swap for these cars as they bolt in nicely and have the perfect width. If/when I ever get an AZ-1, I will be putting in Elise seats so my 6'1" frame can fit.
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 12:05 PM
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Just for the hell of it, here are some of the micros I have owned....

Pic 1: My Mini Midas Gold (really tiny car, hard to tell from this pic)
Pic 2: My father standing next to my current 1970 Subaru.
Pic 3: My Subi during filming of a Verizon commercial.

Random pics of my other cars and one funny one for scale of the AZ-1...
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 12:08 PM
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Continued
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