The Mazda Bongo
, also known as Mazda E-Series
and Mazda Access
, was a van
manufactured by Japanese
from 1978 to 2001.
First generation (1966-1975)
Mazda introduced its small van, the Bongo, in May 1966. It featured a rear-mounted 782 cc water-cooled OHV SA 4-stroke engine driving the rear wheels
. The rear engined Bongo was produced in two versions from 1968, as the F800 was joined by the bigger engined F1000. Production ended in 1975, due to Mazda suffering serious economic troubles and upcoming stricter emissions regulations for 1976. This model retained the same body shape for its 10 year production life, the later models fitted with inertia-reel seat belts, and separate front parking indicator lights.
The rear engined Bongos had a full chassis (using the same mazda 1000 engine as other variants mounted to a 4 speed transaxle at the rear) and were very strong and due to the low gearing, able to carry half a ton. Due to rust and poor maintenance, these Bongos are now few and far between. Exact numbers are not known, but a worldwide register is currently being constructed to track all remaining examples.
The 1000 pickup and Bongo chassis are different, with common front suspension and brake components.
Second generation (1977-1983)
The next Bongo van appeared in September 1977. It was a mid-engine rear wheel drive
sold this version of the van as the Ford Econovan
, while Mazda sold it for export as the E1300
, and E1600
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