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Hagerty Employee

Mazda broke the bank to restore this 1981 Bertone concept for a photo op | Hagerty Media

Just one look at the MX-81 and you'd think Mazda's love affair with Italian design began in the 1970s. But you'd be mistaken, because its relationship with Bertone began in 1962, when the Italians were tasked with styling the 1965 Mazda Luce executive sedan.

I think I prefer the Aria concept over the production Mazda.
Advanced Driver

Bertone designed some great concept cars in the 70s and 80s. Kudos to Mazda for restoring this one. It’s also cool that the car is driveable and not a static display piece.



cachet, not cache
Community Manager

Thanks for that...fixed!

Advanced Driver

As concepts go, it's not exactly the B.A.T. 5, is it?
Pit Crew

I know it's heresy to purists, but I'd have painted it any color other than the original, and used a different material on the seats. This thing looks better in primer than in its color coat.

“So there it is: One masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, one high-water mark of conceptual Italian wedge styling … and one boring CUV with electric propulsion?” Fantastic!

Although that is far from the best of Bertone. All that nonsense in the interior makes it worse. I would pass on both. (But would love to visit the Cathedral.)

WoW 1962. Not out till the '80s? Boy, it fit right into the 'square' style of the other 1980s stuff. Funny how that all worked out~
I have a feeling, like music, car styles flow w/what the industry (wishes to?) promotes. Look at the evolving flow of u.s of a car styles ie bulge-mobile of the 50s, square lines of early 60s, 'humps over the wheels' of the late 60s into the mid 70s, angles of the 80s, coke bottle of the Taurus that we are still under the influence of somewhat. I see it in popular music-of-the-radio. A 'gimmick' one uses that sets them apart, sells - the rest copy it, it sells (for awhile, till the nxt change). THAT is actually what an A&R guy does in the music industry.

The love child of a DeLorean and a Pacer
Intermediate Driver

Of course Three's Company was the remake of Man about the House, but that is for even older viewers. So Mazda spent big on restoring a cool old piece solely to advertise an unrelated and unremarkable SUX. Finally a use for an SUX I can get behind.

Wow, so cool....errr...wait. I guess I'm in the minority.
Yup, I'm the guy who bought a 1975 308Gt4 in Factory Gold with Lobster Red Interior. Yes, a Bertone design masterfully executed in a very well handling car. Mine was one of the few cars that escaped the 1980's 'respray red campaign' to sell "A Ferrari" to anyone who was dumb enough to believe that rot...all of 16,000 miles as I recall in...1991. Couldn't buy a new Chevy for what I paid. Thankfully the seller had a 512BB so the car was well cared for. Amazing car and amazing design. And I like the Volvo Bertone 2 door too.
Community Manager

Ooooh, gold with red sounds awesome.  Glad it was able to be saved from the "resale red" scurge, and thank you for sharing. 


Those are definitely the popup headlights that went on the RX7
Pit Crew

Is it me or does this look a LOT like the Renault Fuego?
Community Manager

I don't know for sure, but the Fuego designer (Michel Jardin) didn't have any overlap with Bertone, and the Fuego has a lot of rounder contours than this Mazda.