It’s hard to oversell just how different serious endurance race cars are today from how they were 30 years ago. But if you want to see that difference in action, check out this video review a Mazda RX-7. But it’s not just any review, and not just any RX-7. It’s from EVO, and it’s the car that won the 1981 Spa 24 Hours.

The old RX-7 racer is a buzzy, light, almost tinny little thing. If it drove past you on the street today, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s someone’s cheap trackday toy. You wouldn’t recognize those wheels as coming off a serious racer, and there are no big wings to keep it sucked down to the road. Just compare it to the Audi R8 LMS Ultra, an example of which won last year’s day-long race at Spa.

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EVO’s delightfully-named Dickie Meaden takes it through its paces around the track, and he compares the revvy rotary engine to the one out of a two-stroke bike.

But all I’m wondering is why we still don’t make our race cars like this today. Sure, it’s not as fast as the laws of physics will supremely allow, but it’s definitely pretty great.


Contact the author at ballaban@jalopnik.com.
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