Mazdas in Long Beach: Keeping history alive

Nick Lish/Vintage Motorsport

Mazdas in Long Beach: Keeping history alive

Vintage Motorsport / Historic

Mazdas in Long Beach: Keeping history alive


This year’s Grand Prix of Long Beach brought fans in great numbers back to celebrating of the 47th year of racing through the barrier-lined streets. In addition to the IndyCar main attraction, spectators this spring reveled in the chance to see historic IMSA GTP and Group C cars tackle the ultra-narrow circuit — a unique change of pace as well as a look at several “comeback” stories within the vintage racing world.

Notable among those stories: A trio of Mazda prototypes. Recently, Mazda North American Operations brought together a largely volunteer group of enthusiasts and employees to revive one-each 1989 Group C 767B, 1990 Group C 787, and 1992 IMSA GTP RX-792P in time for this year’s historic prototypes race at the LBGP. The three Mazdas, after finishing their competitive respective careers, sat for a time outside at Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan, factory.

In 2003, Mazda North America acquired the three rotary-engine-powered prototypes (plus a fourth, a 757) from Mazda HQ Japan in a unique deal that would see the North American importer foot the bill for restoration and upkeep while keeping them within the Mazda family.

With the Historic GTP race in view, the former head of Mazda’s IMSA Prototype program and current Mazda Motorsports Marketing main man Mo Murray and Team Mazda was given the task of preparing the three stunning machines.

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