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The Miata RF Looks So Much Faster In Famous Le Mans 787B Livery

Screenshot: Илья Мальцев (YouTube)

Watching a 2018 Mazda Miata RF be driven by a skilled lunatic is always fun, but seeing one whip around in the green and orange quilting livery of Mazda’s famous Le Mans winning rotary-powered 787B is extra excellent.

This clip, which appears to have been made with the help of Prague-based performance driving school and car rental outfit Corners.cz, came into my inbox today from this tiny YouTube channel with no context.

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The video is not an official Mazda production and neither is the car, Mazda’s U.S. press office confirmed, but it looks like a damn decent homage livery and the production value is pretty impressive.

Since I know there are a lot of Miata fans on Jalopnik, I’m sure many of you will remember that Mazda did officially make a 787B-styled Miata in 1991, the year the big daddy car won the big race.

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Illustration for article titled The Miata RF Looks So Much Faster In Famous Le Mans 787B Livery
Screenshot: Mazda

Or rather, Mazda made 24 of them, which also had a turbocharger boosting the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine from 115 to 150 horsepower and torque from about 100 ft-lb to north of 150 under the unique (painted on, not a wrap) skin. “19 are still believed to be on the road,” according to Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom Magazine from 2016.

The whole reason anybody cares about this color scheme, of course, is because a race car wearing this livery won the 24 Hours Of Le Mans in 1991. That made Mazda the first Japanese manufacturer to win the race, and with a freaking rotary engine of all things.

Illustration for article titled The Miata RF Looks So Much Faster In Famous Le Mans 787B Livery
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Who says rotors can’t be reliable?

Hat tip to Joseph!

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles

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DISCUSSION

You could paint it rental car beige and it’d still look great, the miata really looks better as a fastback coupe.

Has anyone ever dared to say that before? I’m going out on a wild limb here, but yes, coupe > cconvertible. Wild.