Mazda is well known for building affordable commuter cars that punch above their weight in terms of quality, refinement, and driving pleasure. Less well known is its early ’90s collaboration with the gummy bear industrial complex, which resulted in the Mazda 121 Goldy.
The Goldy edition was a limited run of just 1,000 examples for the European market, themed after Haribo’s famous Goldbears candy. Each car was finished in Pop Yellow, and fitted with a set of Haribo bear wheel covers, similar to the famous Ronal Urs design. Inside, the Momo sports steering wheel bore a Haribo mascot on the horn button, while there was also a rear window shade with a gummi bear design.
Owners were also gifted a Haribo teddy bear and 100 bags of Haribo gummies to go with the car. The Goldy cars were canvas top models, too, giving drivers the option of some top-down fun on sunny days. According to CocheVS.es, the cars featured the 16-valve version of Mazda’s B3 engine, good for 72 horsepower. It’s a close relative of the B6 engine made famous in the original Mazda Miata.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Mazda 121, that’s likely because the model was never sold in the United States. It was primarily sold across Japan, Australia, and Europe, and was also known as the Autozam Revue in its home market. In its second generation, Mazda eschewed the hatchback form factor, choosing to build a tiny sedan instead. It quickly became known as the “Bubble” car for its blobby, rounded design. It was intended as cheap, affordable transport without a lot of frills, offering acceptable acceleration by virtue of its feather-light curb weight of just 1,800 pounds.
The cars were prepared by Hofele Design, a tuning company more commonly known for its work on German luxury cars. According to documents on Hofele’s history, the cars were also promoted by German media personality Thomas Gottschalk, who starred in many Haribo advertisements over the years. Mazda retains an example of the Goldy in the Mazda Classic Automobile Museum Frey in Augsburg, Germany, which was donated by a couple from North Rhine-Westphalia in 2022.
With precious few built, the Mazda 121 Goldy would be a relatively rare car today. By virtue of its economy car status, it’s not exactly the most sought-after vehicle out there, but it’s certainly a unique and tasty piece of Mazda’s history.
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