On September 6 at an auction in London, classic car auction company RM Sotheby’s will hold an auction for a rare Mazda rally car.
The rally car is based on a first generation Mazda RX-7, eventually being developed into the RX-7 Evo Group B Works. Group B refers to the motorsports category at the time where cars licensed for the consumer market would be receive a wide range of retrofits so that they could compete in rally races. Group B was a category held at the World Rally Championship races between 1982 and 1986.
The Mazda Rally Team Europe, headed by Akim Warmbold, that raced in the WRC planned to produce 20 of these Group B rally cars using the RX-7 as a base. However, upon entering into the 1986 season, due to safety concerns the Group B category was suddenly abolished from the WRC, and in the end only 7 of the vehicles were ever produced.
The automobile up for auction has the chassis number of MRTE 019 and was the first rally car produced back in 1985. This RX-7 has never been used in a rally race, and after the abolishment of Group B races, was kept in storage by Mazda Rally Team Europe.
In the early 1990s, the car was transferred over to a Swiss Mazda importer, and after that, made its way to its current owner. According to RM Sotheby’s, the chassis number MRTE 019 is the only RX-7 Group B rally car to still be preserved in its original condition, and is probably the only Group B rally car to never have been raced.
Written by Minoru Moriwaki
(Translated by Bryce Clarke)