Past Gas #227: Mazda Pt 2: The Birth of the Rotary Engine

Past Gas by Donut Media

04-03-2024 • 57 mins

It’s October 1963, and the 10th Tokyo Motor Show is underway. Toyo Kogyo’s Mazda brand has had some success, but to prove its worth as an independent business to the government, Toyo Kogyo President Tsuneji Matsuda has hedged the company’s future on a new, pistonless engine technology that many considered to be a fantasy. But soon, that fantasy would become a reality. How did Tsuneji Matsuda take Mazda from a small truck manufacturer to a respected car-maker during one of the most competitive times in history? How did they take an engine technology no one believed in and use it to save the company? And how did Mazda create two brand-defining cars in barely more than a decade? We’ll find out today on Past Gas, in part two of our four-part series on Mazda. Thanks to our sponsors: Explore 2024 with Lectric eBikes. The most accessible and adventurous eBikes ever. Visit to learn more.  This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at and get on your way to being your best self. Start building your credit. Open a Chime Checking account with at least a $200 qualifying direct deposit to get started. Get started at Go to https://SHOPIFY.COM/gas now to grow your business–no matter what stage you’re in. More about Show: Follow Nolan on IG and Twitter @nolanjsykes.   Follow Joe on IG and Twitter @joegweber. Follow Donut @donutmedia, and subscribe to our Youtube and Facebook channels!   Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast for free wherever you're listening or using this link: If you like the show, telling a friend about it would be helpful! You can text, email, Tweet, or send this link to a friend: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit