Taveri’s 1986 Mazda 757: infernal roaring prototype from Hiroshima

The Mazda 757 made its racing debut at the Suzuka 500 km in April of 1986 and finished 6th overall. It won the IMSAGTP class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1987 in seventh place overall, making it the predecessor model of the car in which Johnny Herbert, Bertrand Gachot and Volker Weidler took their sensational victory in 1991. The Japanese Wankel-engined Le Mans racers built in Hiroshima produced such a brutal sound, that German driver Weidler suffered chronic tinitus…

The carpet of sound is due to the engine concept. Where one would expect to find one or two banks of cylinders, the Mazda's rear end houses a giant box. In there, the three rotors of the rotary engine work. Compared to a reciprocating piston engine, the Wankel engine has more uniform torque; less vibration; and, for a given power, is more compact and weighs less. The 757 was designed by the legendary English sports car designer Nigel Stroud and is powered by a 2.0L Nippodenso fuel-injected Rotary 3 | 13G engine producing 450 horsepower. The engine is positioned amidships in a steel subframe mounted in an aluminium monocoque covered by a carbon-fibre body.

Only 3 757’s exist today. This 1986 757 is owned and raced by Edi Taveri from Switzerland. Taveri, his uncle was the late Luigi Taveri, a triple motorcycle racing world champion. Taveri was a Mazda representative for over 50 years and through his connections, was able to purchase the extremely rare sports-prototype from Hiroshima. During the Classic GP Assen Taveri and the Mazda 757 will compete in the KW Group C Supercup.

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