In April of 1970, the first shipment of cars left Hiroshima for the United States. It was a bit of a gamble for Mazda to enter the American market. The regulations on motor vehicles were quite different, the territory to cover was enormous, and a long-distance call from Japan to the new company headquarters in Seattle was still an expensive proposition.
Many larger automakers had already tried and failed to make it here; many more would try and fail afterwards. But there was something in Mazda’s challenger spirit which appealed to American drivers both then and now. Here are ten of the cars and trucks that made Mazda a household name halfway around the globe from its first home.