First published 2011-07-24
As you may have read previously, we’re all for a Mazda Bongo. They are rare, look happy and have a crazy name.
Unfortunately they’re few and far between these days thanks to their penchant for rust, catching fire and people like Australian movie director George Miller.
This beautiful breadvan would surely be one of the best unrestored examples left in the country. The yellow machine is described as a 1977 model; however, this original Bongo shape went out of production in 1975 after a 9-year run that heralded only minor upgrades.
Whatever year it is, it’s clearly a late example, as evidenced by the 1000cc engine (up from a meagre 800cc’s on earlier items) and a metric speedo, mandatory fitment on Australian-delivered cars from 1973 onwards.
Unlike most Japanese vans that feature the engine under and between the front seats, the original Bongo has the engine in the rear, coupled to a unique transaxle. While the chassis is unique, the suspension and engine was shared with the Mazda 1000 ute.
The owner says it has a few minor dings and some rust, but it certainly looks better than the last Bongo we saw which was, uh, well, in 2003. And looked like this:
The dashboard shows 86,000 kilometres and the owner claims It‘s been around once; given the condition, It‘s not hard to believe.
For a unique and usable classic that will only appreciate in value once people start appreciating them and not blowing them up in a bleak dystopian future, then this is a solid gold buy.
It‘s in Victoria; check it out on Carsales.com.au