Pipetale.com Blog Post
Photos by Facebook / Powercraft Japan

Gearheads, Rejoice! The year was 1982, and Mazda motorsports were condensing their race team down to a pair of RX-7 254i IMSA GTX Le Mans race cars. The vehicles weighed approximately 2100lbs, outputting 296HP via the dual-rotor 13b engines that they were outfitted with. Their numbers were #82 and #83, and they would be the last Le Mans cars from Mazda based off of a factory-produced RX-7. (They would later on begin to use the Mazda 787b, one of my favorite vehicles to watch race) Unfortunately, #82 would meet a terrible fate on Fuji Speedway, crashing in all all Japanese prototype championship race.

This vehicle (#83) had its identity confirmed by Tachimoto-San, Mazdaspeed’s chief engineer during the 254i’s design, and production in the 80’s. The car was identified by the rear suspension setup and braking system, which apparently was exclusive to the vehicle driven by Tom Wilkinshaw in the 1982 Le Mans. He also confirmed the identity by stating during Mazdaspeeds cash-strapped 80’s career, they re-used a predecessor 253i’s chassis, slapping new bodywork on to create the 254i. During the 1982 Le Mans race, the 254i retired after 180 laps, and #82 went on to finish 14th.

Tom Driving in the 1982 Le Mans

This JDM racing legend was found in Okyama, Japan in November of 2019. The vehicle fell into obscurity for decades – which made us wonder… What was the car doing all of these years, and what lies ahead for it? Well, Upon inspection, it was discovered that the vehicle has traces of pink & gold paint, which leads us to believe this vehicle also identified as Mazda’s #38 – The JUN Liveried RX-7, which conquered the Le Mans in 1991!

So what lies ahead for #82?

Well – Mazda was quick to jump on verifying the race cars identity, and as we stated, things checked out. Isami Amemiya of the world-famous tuning house RE Amemiya accompanied the racing legend as it was shipped to Powercraft for inspection, and has hopped on board to build the 13b engine in an attempt to rebuild the car. After the restoration is complete, it will go on to live life as a part of Nissan’s Group 5, continuing on it’s legacy as one of the most memorable JDM racing vehicles of all time. (Especially after all of this hype!

Pipetale.com Blog Post
Photos by Facebook / Powercraft Japan

Gearheads, Rejoice! The year was 1982, and Mazda motorsports were condensing their race team down to a pair of RX-7 254i IMSA GTX Le Mans race cars. The vehicles weighed approximately 2100lbs, outputting 296HP via the dual-rotor 13b engines that they were outfitted with. Their numbers were #82 and #83, and they would be the last Le Mans cars from Mazda based off of a factory-produced RX-7. (They would later on begin to use the Mazda 787b, one of my favorite vehicles to watch race) Unfortunately, #82 would meet a terrible fate on Fuji Speedway, crashing in all all Japanese prototype championship race.

This vehicle (#83) had its identity confirmed by Tachimoto-San, Mazdaspeed’s chief engineer during the 254i’s design, and production in the 80’s. The car was identified by the rear suspension setup and braking system, which apparently was exclusive to the vehicle driven by Tom Wilkinshaw in the 1982 Le Mans. He also confirmed the identity by stating during Mazdaspeeds cash-strapped 80’s career, they re-used a predecessor 253i’s chassis, slapping new bodywork on to create the 254i. During the 1982 Le Mans race, the 254i retired after 180 laps, and #82 went on to finish 14th.

Tom Driving in the 1982 Le Mans

This JDM racing legend was found in Okyama, Japan in November of 2019. The vehicle fell into obscurity for decades – which made us wonder… What was the car doing all of these years, and what lies ahead for it? Well, Upon inspection, it was discovered that the vehicle has traces of pink & gold paint, which leads us to believe this vehicle also identified as Mazda’s #38 – The JUN Liveried RX-7, which conquered the Le Mans in 1991!

So what lies ahead for #82?

Well – Mazda was quick to jump on verifying the race cars identity, and as we stated, things checked out. Isami Amemiya of the world-famous tuning house RE Amemiya accompanied the racing legend as it was shipped to Powercraft for inspection, and has hopped on board to build the 13b engine in an attempt to rebuild the car. After the restoration is complete, it will go on to live life as a part of Nissan’s Group 5, continuing on it’s legacy as one of the most memorable JDM racing vehicles of all time. (Especially after all of this hype!

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