History of the museum

Europe’s first Mazda museum

Who hasn’t heard of the 323, the 626 or especially the MX-5? Mazdas have been driven on German roads since the 1970s and they have been known to most of the population since their youth. With Frey’s Mazda Classic Car Museum, every Mazda fan in Europe now has somewhere to relive their memories; a dream come true for the local firm.

The Freys have build the amazing museum and event location in Augsburg, Germany

Love of the rotary engine

Behind Frey’s Mazda Classic Car Museum are local car dealers Walter Frey and his sons, Joachim and Markus. In 1971, Walter Frey founded Auto Frey in Gersthofen near Augsburg; still a family firm. Auto Frey has been a Mazda dealer since 1978, making it one of Germany’s first ever Mazda dealers. The decision to go with the Japanese carmaker did not come by chance. The rotary engine, Mazda’s long-time signature feature, fascinated Walter Frey and his passion for technology. It is thanks to him that today’s visitors to the museum can learn more about the principle of the rotary engine, getting up close to many of the standard production models with a Wankel engine.

Collecting classics since 1980

Walter Frey has been an avid car collector for more than 30 years. It all started when he discovered and bought his first Mazda Cosmo Sport in New Jersey in 1980. This car now stands as the proud centrepiece of all the vehicles on show. Frey passed his passion down to his sons, and together they have created the largest collection of Mazda production vehicles the world has ever seen. The collection of 120 vehicles represents every model and series launched by the Japanese car manufacturer since the 1930s. Opening a museum was a natural decision.

Mazda Classic in Augsburg, Germany

The perfect venue: an old tram depot

To accomplish their dream of owning a car museum, the Freys needed one thing above all else: a big enough building. With the help of the local mayor, they found it. The old tram depot at Senkelbach had the space they needed plus plenty of historic charm. The building dates from 1897 and it enjoys substantial heritage protection. Lovingly refurbished, this venue has a unique flair – the ideal setting for our classic cars.

Rotating exhibition – always something new

The museum houses up to 50 vehicles. The spotlight is on almost all the models Mazda ever produced with the rotary or “Wankel” engine. By regularly changing the vehicles on display, the exhibition always remains exciting. But of course, some classics earn a permanent spot, like the Mazda Cosmo Sport. Sponsored by Mazda Deutschland, a dream has become reality, bringing the fascination of the Japanese carmaker to the wider public.