An Iconic Mazda 767B Goes to Auction – Guest Blogger Ryan Senensky
This is one of the most noteworthy Japanese race cars ever produced, the Mazda 767B. Particularly, we have chassis 003 here for auction, which was driven by the Mazda holy trinity of Yoshimi Katayama, Takashi Yorino, and Yojiro Terada at the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans, where this car took the GTP class win. That of course isn’t the only race this competed in, it took home podiums at Fuji and Le Mans every time it was entered by Mazda and a small book of additional races later in its life.
Although not the legendary Orange and Green 787B that won the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans outright, this is as close as anyone will ever get. That particular 787B now lives at Mazda’s Hiroshima collection hall under 24 hour protection by samurai and it will stay there until the sun envelops the earth in about 5 billion years, at which point they will probably move it to another location for further samurai protection. This 767B is as close as you can get as a mere mortal, It still has the 2.6L 4 rotor Wankel rotary engine that the 787B had. The R26B 4 rotor was designed to put out 630 HP at 9000 RPM, note that is peak horsepower not redline, which would be closer to the 10,500 RPM range. Since the car has all the underpinnings of the 787B, it has been clad in bodywork with a flawless orange and green 787B livery on it, the car will also be complemented with its original Le Mans bodywork that it competed in along with a glut of spare parts shipped at the seller’s expense. You can contact Gooding & Company for the specifics of what will be sent with the car.
Previous owners have given this car a 28 year life of track use, but it’s current owner sees the value in this specific car rather than beating on it in lieu of the 787B being available. He has meticulously cared for it, even commissioning a meticulous restoration at Rennwerk GmbH in Pulheim, Germany. Rennwerk revealed that the car is in fact in pristine condition and had never been crashed. They documented the restoration in photographs and even dyno tested it revealing that the car still puts down a mean 630 HP. Who say’s rotaries can’t be reliable? The current owner recognizes that we are only caretakers of vehicles and that it’s time to pass the car on to its next home.
The car will be auctioned off at Amelia Island on March 10th, 2017. The auction listing here notes that the car is expected to sell for a cool $1,800,000 – $2,400,000. Honestly it’s like buying a share of Tesla stock, it’s a great investment that’s going to only have positive returns as the nostalgia for the early 90s grows.
Here is a video of the car running the Spa Classic in 2014