Group B gave us some of the wildest and crazy rally cars. From the Audi Quattro S1 to the Ford RS200, all the great rally icons are there. Now you have a chance to own a piece of this legendary rally class with a mint Mazda RX-7 Group B rally car hitting the auction block.
Despite a considerable effort by Mazda Rally Team Europe (MRTE), the RX-7 Group B was never terribly successful. In two seasons from 1984-85, the car retired from more events than it finished. It’s best result was at the 1985 Acropolis Rally of Greece where Ingvar Carlsson managed third place.
The main reason for the lack of success was due to the RX-7 not being on the same level as many of the other Group B cars. Its 13B rotary engine put out around 300 hp at 8500 rpm. It also lacked AWD. To put this into perspective, the Quattro S1 E2 has over 500 hp and AWD.
After Group B folded in 1986, MRTE ditched the RX-7 as well, instead opting for a 4WD Mazda 323 to compete in Group A. MRTE was more successful with the 323, managing a third place overall during the 1989 season.
Due to its short life, the Group B spec RX-7 is fairly rare, although a few continue to rally. The most famous example belongs to Rhys Millen, who still races it today. Millen’s father Rod was also one of the drivers for MRTE during its time with the RX-7.
The RX-7 going up for auction, which bears the chassis number MRTE 019, is the only example to never have seen a race. This makes it even rarer. It’s also believed that it might be the only Group B car left to have never seen any form of competition.
Chassis MRTE 019 originally started life in Belgium at the MRT facility. When Group B folded, it ended up in storage at the facility until it sold in the early 1990’s to a Swiss importer. After leaving Switzerland, it bounced around Europe and ended up in Scandinavia. Finally, the car landed with rally car collector David Sutton of Northamptonshire.
No auction estimate is given, but looking at other Group B cars from the same era, we’d expect it to eclipse $100,000. The auction will take place on September 6, 2017.