The Mazda Miata has had numerous limited editions throughout the years, but when Mazda won Le Mans shortly after the roadster’s world-searing launch, it created the perfect storm of conditions under which to develop the most limited MX-5 officially sold through Mazda dealerships.
When Mazda became the first Japanese carmaker to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991, and the first to do so without a traditional piston engine, it was a pretty big deal. In those pre-internet days, it wasn’t that well publicized in the US, but in Europe it was earth-shattering news. At the time, Mazda had just launched the original Miata and it was selling like hotcakes. What better way to stoke the flames than to create a set of limited edition MX-5s with the winning race car’s iconic livery?
Mazda UK teamed up with Brodie Britain Racing, or BBR, a tuner that supplied British dealerships with the only turbo MX-5s available with a dealer warranty. Underneath the distinctive orange and green livery of the race-winning 4-rotor 787B, they were equipped with the same turbo kits that BBR built for UK dealers. Good for 150 horsepower (35 over the 1.6-liter’s factory 115 hp, it moved the car from zero to 100 kph (0-62 mph) in a more than respectable contemporary time of of 6.8 seconds.
Cabin-wise, leather orange and green boots for the shifter, e-brake and seat belts were added to this particular example. A recent video released by Mazda Germany claims that 24 were built (which would be fitting — one for each hour of the race) but a UK-based MX-5 owners’ club says that 22 were made with 19 known to have survived.
WOW! I’ve never seen the colored interior pieces before. That’s fantastic. And I love that the car in the video has the ash tray reversed to work as a cup holder (my NA has the same mod).
As for the original 24 cars, a rumor I’ve read a few times is that they COULD be ordered without the livery. Or rather, they could have the livery removed. I’ve read that as many as 5 were repainted black. I also read that these were the last ones, as they moldered on the lots with the livery and the only way they could sell the final ones off were to repaint them.
Whether it’s true or not is anyone’s guess, but it was something I read years ago.
Good to see my old car being used at it should be.
It was a pleasure to have owned such an iconic Mazda.
When I worked in Guildford, UK I passed one every day on my commute, I was driving a kite FD3S daily at the time that was held together with duct tape and cable ties. BBR turbo, awesome.
Sorry to disappoint but the orange and green interior trim items were not original at all but added to this car only by one of its owners. You many want to correct your article so as not to mislead.. :o)
The car pictured was owned by two members of the MX-5 Owners Club before passing into the hands of Mazda UK who still own this and one other example.