Mazda Carol History
|Also called||Mazda P600|
|Production||1962 TO 1964|
|Body style||2-door sedan|
|Engine||586 cc RA OHV I4|
The Carol 600 appeared in the fall of 1962 with a larger 586 cc RA OHV engine and longer at 3,200 mm. The extra length was due to more prominent bumpers, passenger space was as restricted as in the 360. Weight ranged from 560 to 585 kg (1,235 to 1,290 lb). It was also available as a four-door sedan, ahead of the lesser Carol 360. The car was called the "600" or "P600" in export markets. At home, there was a Standard two-door, and DeLuxe two- or four-door versions. Production ended in November 1964, after the introduction of the more spacious Mazda Familia 800 sedan version. Around 8,800 Carol 600s were built.
The Mazda R360 was complemented by the more grown-up 2-door sedan Mazda P360 Carol in February 1962, the company's first 4-passenger car. It was more substantial than the R360: although its total length of 2,980 mm (117.3 in) was the same, its 1,930 mm (76.0 in) wheelbase was considerably longer. The Carol weighed in at 525 kg (1,157 lb), versus 380 kg (838 lb) for the diminutive R360. It used the DA, a 18 PS (13 kW), rear-mounted water-cooled 358 cc 4-cylinder OHV engine. This is one of the smallest four-cylinder automobile engines in history, only Honda's 356 cc DOHC alloy inline-four unit (used in the T360 truck) was smaller. The four-speed gearbox was synchronized only on the top three gears.
The Carol was perhaps overengineered: it had a very strong monocoque body, a four-cylinder four-stroke engine with a five-bearing crankshaft and four-wheel independent suspension by torsion bars, but this led to high production costs, comparably high weight, and its very comfortable ride was offset by cramped accommodation. Nonetheless, the Carol was an incredible success in the marketplace, capturing 67% of the Kei market in its first year. A better equipped DeLuxe version was added in May 1962, along with a changed angle of the rear window to help it stay clean. In September 1963, shortly after a reshaped combustion head and upgrade to 20 PS (15 kW), a four-door version appeared.
In October 1966 a minor facelift took place. The car was lightened somewhat, new bumpers were mounted, and the spare tire was moved from the front to the engine room, freeing up scarce luggage space. Also, the gearbox was now fully synchronized.The last modification took place in 1969, when in response to stricter safety standards a driver's side headrest and provisions for seatbelts were fitted. Production continued until August 1970, by which time 265,226 Carol 360s had been built. Mazda did not offer a Kei class passenger car for two years, until the 1972 introduction of the Chantez.