What are legends made from? Are they made from innovation, ambition or will? I think legends are made when someone or something is remarkable over and over again. When something or someone is timeless in their actions that they leave an imprint on the minds of everyone they have come across.
The Mazda 767B falls into such category when it featured in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1989.
Mazda started with the 767 after replacing the 757 with the older 13G 3 rotor to a newly designed 4 rotor 13J engine producing around 600hp. The 767B arose from upgrades to the 767 and began racing it in 1989. The 767B was successful for Mazdaspeed although not noted for winning Le Mans where the 787B took that title in 1991 under the control of Johnny Herbert, Volker Weidler and Bertrand Gachot.
While the 767B may not have won at 24 Hour Le Mans it still holds a cult fascination and that may have increased due to one still being driven around the world by one incredible person Senji Hoshino. I had the privilege of both seeing and hearing this legendary machine at World Time Attack 2014 where Hoshino-San brought his pride and joy from Japan to Australian shores for the crowds pleasure. Mr Hoshino-San acquired the Mazda 767B after it being gifted to him for his service working on the cars while they competed in Le Mans by Mazda.
Looking at the wide sculpted body, huge slicks and a large GT wing that happily sits not out of place one can quickly understand what an amazing machine it truly is and why its revered around the world.
While some might argue the car is too precious to be drive and better suited to the safety of being on display, Hoshino-San had other ideas and expressed how much joy he gets from actually driving the car rather than leaving it as a display item. A raw bark greeted most that were standing there when the mighty 4 rotor was fired to life and that famous rotary pulse was even more menacing and angry when coming from a race version motor, with the 4 rotor angrily pulsing Hoshino-San proceeded to guide the car to the track entrance and to much delight of the crowd, edge it forward for a few warm up laps.
Hearing the 767B scream through the straights and those backfires echo on the corners was a sound I will never forget. The music from that engine was incredible and everyone there young or old was in ecstasy from hearing something so amazing.
There is promise that Hoshino-San will be bringing the legendary 767B back to WTAC in 2015 and I can only hope that he will return because its not everyday you get to see a legend up close and personal.
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