L​ooking forward to Mazda’s next hundred years


In 1920 Mazda, known then as Toyo Cork Kogyo, began life as a manufacturer of cork. By 1927 the company had evolved and expanded into machinery manufacturing, which “led to the production of three-wheeled trucks, building the basis of the Mazda we know today.” Recalling and inspired by its earliest origins, today Mazda uses cork as part of the interior design of the all-new Mazda MX-30 – Mazda’s first pure electric car, which debuted at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.

A love of cars and driving, combined with sustainability, is central to Mazda’s vision for the future. They have a name for this vision: “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030.” In keeping with this vision, Mazda’s goal is to “deliver vehicles with the lowest possible environmental impact.” To help achieve this goal, Mazda and partners are working on the development of renewable liquid algae biofuel, which “can use the existing fuel infrastructure” with no need to modify cars.

Mazda’s efforts in the area of automotive safety “focus strongly on the driver, with easily accessed controls, the correct driving position, well-positioned pedals, good visibility and an intuitive human-machine interface,” in addition to numerous driver assistance safety technologies.

To help celebrate their 100th anniversary, Mazda will offer a 100th Anniversary Special Edition MX-5 Miata – “the best-selling two-seat sports car in the world.”

Based on the 2020 MX-5 Grand Touring, it will be available in two versions: one with an exclusive red soft top, and an RF retractable fastback version. It will be offered in Snowflake White Pearl Mica premium exterior paint and accented by red styling features throughout.

Special identification includes a “100 Years 1920 – 2020” badge on the front fender…

… plus a 100th Anniversary Special logo on the wheel center caps…

… red leather seats…

… and key fob.

It will be available in the U.S. later this year.


When I go out in public, I do what I can to protect myself from catching the coronavirus. On my infrequent trips to go grocery shopping, get my car serviced or whatever, I have been wearing an old, industrial grade face shield and one of a few old N95 face masks from my home wood shop. So far, that combination of a face mask and a face shield have kept me from catching the virus (if anyone around me even had it, which I’ll never know), but that industrial grade face shield is rather heavy and uncomfortable. My head literally hurts after I have worn it for a while. This is a common complaint with the more durable face shields. I decided to look for something more comfortable.

M​y old, heavy and uncomfortable face shield

Unfortunately, the volume of commercial production of medical-grade Personal Protective Equipment has been insufficient to meet the needs of frontline healthcare workers, who need it most, so they receive priority for that limited production. To help address the demand for PPE by the general public, companies that normally do other things have stepped in to manufacture some of these PPE devices too.

One couple who own a general contracting company in Denver, Colorado, saw the need for face shields, so they designed and manufactured the 180SHIELD.

I discovered it online and was encouraged by the enthusiastic, positive reviews by dental professionals and others, who often say that it is both comfortable and of high quality. I reached out to the company and asked them to send me a review sample.

Their 180SHIELD is hand-made in Colorado. It is lightweight, yet it is also durable and reusable.

Its wide, long, wrap-around, clear acrylic shield provides excellent frontal protection for the face and neck from droplets, has plenty of room within for wearing a face mask and glasses…

… and is hinged so that it may easily be lifted up and out of the way.

It has an adjustable rubberized strap which I was easily able to adjust to fit my head.

To address the possibility of airborne foreign materials settling between the 180SHIELD and the wearer’s forehead, I found that the visor of a typical baseball cap will easily fit inside the protective acrylic shield. Also, on the “About Us” page of their website, they discuss an optional foam barrier on top.

To learn more, see user reviews and to order, visit


Jan Wagner

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