GLEANED – Mazda Bongo

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.


…and in this case, crazy 1970s stripes – Carsales


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.


Thanks George – IMCD

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.


Cumple zone = your shins – Carsales


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:


Damn – GoA Images


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


Books! Who has books with a 37 year old van? – Carsales