Keiichi Tsuchiya pilots a Mazda 767B around a small circuit in Japan and lets the four-rotor engine sing.
Turn up your speakers for an amazing chance to hear a Mazda 767B on the track, In this classic video from Best Motoring, Keiichi Tsuchiya climbs behind the wheel on this rare race car and lets its rotary engine sing.
The 767B was the predecessor to the 787B – still the only Japanese car to take an overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The coupe packs a four-rotor engine with a total displacement of 2,616 cubic centimeters that pumps out 621 horsepower (463 kilowatts) and 376 pound-feet (510 Newton-meters). The 9,000 rpm redline lets powerplant really wail.
Tsuchiya runs the 767B around the very tight Central Circuit in Japan. The 1.74-mile (2.804 kilometer) track doesn’t offer much chance to really open up the rotary engine, but Tsuchiya does find an opportunity to kick out the rear end a little.
Despite missing out on the fame of an overall win at Le Mans, the 767B managed to take a class win there in 1990. It also scored class victories at the 1989 Fuji 1000 km and 1990 Fuji 500 km.
Mazda built just three examples of the 767B, and they have become quite valuable since leaving the track. At Gooding and Co’s 2017 Amelia Island auction, chassis three (above) went for $1.75 million, which made it among the most expensive Japanese automobiles ever sold.
The chassis wearing the #202 hasn’t been quite so lucky, though. In 2015 (six years after this clip’s original release), the racer was taking part in the hill climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Driver Seniji Hoshino somehow lost control and did extensive damage to the valuable car (above). He didn’t suffer any major injuries and walked away from the wrecked vehicle.
The remaining 767B chassis is in Mazda North American Operations’s collection. It still occasionally sees track use like at the 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Source: Best Motoring