The Chevron B16 which took a Wankel engine to Le Mans 21 years before Mazda won the event with a similar powerplant is to return to the circuits this year having spent the last 27 years of its life tucked away in a heated garage.
Its entire career to date comprises just three races in 1970 when Belgians Yves Deprez and Julien Vemaeve entered the Levi’s-backed car into the 1000kms races at Spa and the Nürburgring and also Le Mans. Now the car is in the hands of the Swedish Chevron ace Kent Abrahamsson and will likely prove a major draw in Historic events.
Mazda’s victory at Le Mans in 1991 is remembered not so much for the powerplant in the back of the car but for the fact that it became the first Japanese car to win the event in its then 68-year old history. Unlike the Chevron, the Mazda 787B used four, not two rotors and was said to generate rather more than 600bhp. MP