Mazda Museum goes online

One of the best scenes from the cheesy comedy My Blue Heaven is when Steve Martin's character is trying to talk up his FBI handler to his family. After extolling his accomplishments in Italian, his sister looks at Rick Moranis and says, "I thought Wankel invented the rotary engine?" Rotorheads everywhere chuckled knowingly. Of course Agent Coopersmith didn't invent it. Regardless of who did, the company best known for running with it is Mazda.

And that's not the only thing for which Mazda is known. The Hiroshima firm has a long history of innovative vehicles and technology. There is even a Mazda Museum showing off these highlights to those visiting the company's Design Center in Japan. As much as we'd love to visit it, the likelihood of having a few spare days in Japan is fairly remote.

That's why we were jazzed to hear that the Museum is hitting the road. Or rather, the information superhighway. Thanks to Mazda's longtime "interactive agency partner," Sarkissian Mason, the whole museum's collection has been photographed and digitized for our perusal. Concept cars, racecars, and notable production cars comprise the collection of 30 vehicles at the website. It's actually a really well designed site with very high quality images and graphics. And there's no need to Zoom-Zoom through it. Take all the time you need. Click the image or the read link to visit the Museum yourself, and follow the jump for the full press release.

[Source: Mazda]



NEW YORK, NY, January 12, 2007 – Known for its design and technology heritage, Mazda Motor Corporation is offering consumers an inside look at its many automotive firsts though an online museum ( developed and created by longtime interactive agency partner Sarkissian Mason.

The online museum brings the existing Mazda Museum at the Company's Hiroshima Design Center to life using a combination of flash and broadband video. Visitors can scroll back in time to learn about Mazda milestones in automotive history from its LeMans winning RX-7 to the development of the Rotary Engine, a transformative moment in car technology.

The creative team at Sarkissian Mason spent months painstakingly photographing Mazda's heritage and futuristic car designs from multiple angles, allowing consumers to see the unique features of each car as if they were actually on site at the Museum. Visitors can look watch video clips of designers talking about how cars are developed and view 30 of Mazda's top cars up close.

"Mazda has been a pioneer in exploring the online space as a medium to build its brand with its core consumer," explained Patrick Sarkissian, CEO of Sarkissian Mason. "This site builds on other interactive efforts by providing an in-depth site where Mazda devotees can spend time learning more about the company, the cars and its breakthrough engineering."

Since 1920, Mazda's Hiroshima Factory and been known as one of the premier design centers in the automotive industry. It also houses an existing on-site Museum that the Sarkissian Mason team used as a blueprint to build the online Museum.

"Mazda stands out among its competitors for its deep roots as an innovator and design-based company," said Rudy Privitelli, Group Manager, Relationship Marketing. "Putting our Museum online is a way to celebrate our design heritage and to remind our consumers of our many firsts."

Featured cars include concept, classic and innovative cars including the 1967 Cosmo Sport, the MX-5 Miata, the 1991 787B, the only Japanese car to win at LeMans and many others. The site's "Special Exhibition" section will also house concept cars revealed during the 2007 auto show season.

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