Racing is about more than just cars going fast around a grid. Racing is about stories. And this weekend is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the greatest race in the world, and the source of countless great stories.

One of my favorites is the tale of the Mazda 787B. Mazda had been running insane rotary-powered prototypes for years, but in 1991 they ran three cars that not only finished — that in and of itself is an accomplishment — but made history by winning the race and taking sixth and eighth places.

Then as now, Mazda was a much smaller company than more established rivals like Porsche, Jaguar and Mercedes. Their win at Le Mans is the only time a Japanese manufacturer has won at Circuit de La Sarthe.

But maybe that’s not the best Le Mans story ever. What is?


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.