MAZMART/DOWNING ATLANTA: MAZDA 767B

Once again we were given the opportunity by MAZMART and Downing Atlanta to check out one of many of Mazda’s Historical race cars.  The 767B was the older brother to the superstar 787b.  I personally was not able to make it out the event this time around.  But Jon was able to get out to Downing Atlanta and check out the 767B before it went back to its owner.

As you may now I am a complete Mazda fanboy, so it hurt me that I could not come and see and hear the car in person due to being stuck at work.  We recently posted up about the 767 being at Road Atlanta a few weeks back in our Throwback Thursday: RX-792/787 post, brought to light by the photos that Stanceworks posted about the 787b having some private test time at Road Atlanta.  I was sad that I was not able to catch it in action that day.  But we were contacted this time by Paul @ Mazmart about coming and checking it out before it headed back.  

One thing about these visits that truly gets me going is the amount of history that has originate at Downing Atlanta.   Any Mazda race car that has been built, thought about or even considered some way or another has roots that lead back to Downing Atlanta.  Their outreach into Motorsports goes way deeper than just Mazda, it extends to Panoz, Porsche and BMW.  Downing Atlanta also manufacturers the components of the HANS safety device used in all race cars.  So it is always a pleasure when they open their doors to us for things like this.  

PHOTOS BY: JON DAVIS

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Wearing and identical livery as the 787B it is often mistaken for the 787.  One obvious sign is the “MAZDA 787B” being written on the front of the 787B.  The most notable aesthetic differences are the front air ducts are smaller on the 767B.  As the 787B has larger air duct holes up front.

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There is also another 767B that gets seen out a lot shown here.  Of course it does not get as much recognition because it not wearing the famous RENOWN/CHARGE green and orange livery.  But it was just as important to the 787B’s success at LeMans.

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For some people they can not figure out what makes these race cars so popular.  The legendary predecessor 787b won 24hr LeMans race, and yea it is the only Japanese manufacturer to win still to this day.  What makes it so special is the love for Motorsports carried on in Mazda till this day and has not faded even in the mid 90’s onto the early 2000’s when Mazda was in bad financial shape.

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Personally I always thought that was a rough time for Mazda their lineup was full of mix breeds of Ford/Mazda vehicles that lead to some reliability issues with a lot of their passenger cars in the time period.  On the other hand Mazda was leading the way with a revolutionary Miata roadster, at the same time ending the FC RX-7 chassis, and gracing us with the timeless FD RX-7.  Never compromising with those vehicles, something that has made them some of the most popular cars for enthusiasts.  

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The spirit of Motorsports made its way into Mazdas brand with the “Zoom Zoom” catch phrase, and till this day Mazda still glorifies its driving experience not only in one category but in all around performance.  A lot of that is the sole reason what made me so loyal to Mazda and a lover of everything Mazda was they never seemed to compromise on what they wanted a vehicle to be and what it was created for. 

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Another reason why that single LeMans victory is so important to Mazda because of that “NEVER GIVE UP” (click to read the story) slogan that goes a long way with the Mazda brand.  Back when these cars were being created, the Rotary engine was being tossed around by everyone and no one wanted to spend the money and research to better the rotary engine.  Mazda was determined to make their rotary powered race cars legendary.

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There was plenty of turmoil and disappointment, the RX-792P (seen here) was the one that ended it all for the Rotary race cars in the IMSA GT class.  It had a short lived and unsuccessful career.  

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This car that was on display, is privately owned by a man or woman in another country.  From what  I was told it was being reconditioned by Downing Atlanta.  At one point the car was powered by a V8 at one point in time, but as of now it is happy with its 4 rotor power plant.

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That is all we have of the 767B, thanks for looking and reading all my Mazda fan boy talk!!

Here is a video treat for you…