Authentic, useful and just a joy, this 1991 Mazda Bongo is an original commercial truck servicing Kyoto for the last 27 years. Originally owned by ‘Akatsuki Nippon Construction Co., Ltd.’ and still bearing that name along the sides. Cruises all day, hauls everything you’d expect, turns on a dime and sips fuel all the while, truly this is Utility Incarnate.
Originally white, was done up in safety yellow with red-and-white bumpers by ‘Kasuno Auto Kyoto’ (still in business!) from the factory before being pressed into service. Despite the way in which most construction vehicles get treated this truck is in phenomenal shape. Just over 22,000 miles (36,000 km) on the odometer. The paint is extremely durable and as served well for almost 3 decades. Few nicks, few scratches and few marks on the cab or front bumper.
The completely flat bed does show wear but considering this was used commercially it’s actually in very good shape. Only a couple dents in the bed itself along with surface rust only, no flaking corrosion or corrosion holes. The sides and tailgate all fold down perfectly and latch as you’d expect. All pins and clips are in good shape and non are missing. Sides and tailgate can all fold down separately from each other, or be completely removed. While down the truck can still be driven as there are stoppers preventing the tailgate or sides from interfering with the wheels. With sides up bed has a length of 7’9” and a width of 5’1”. A new piece of finished teak has replaced the old wood on the top rail to facilitate transport of longer objects. You’ll notice too that the rear wheels are smaller than the fronts, this is to lower the bed for easier loading and unloading of cargo. To make up for this Mazda saw fit to make this Bongo a dually, two 12 inch, 4 lug wheels on each end of the real axle allowing for a low bed but still has the 1874 lb (850kg) weight capacity.
Inside greets you with gray vinyl as far as the eye can see, with just a small fragment of fabric on the center seat. Seats themselves are a faux flannel-like black and gray pattern. Seatbelts for three people though your center passenger is probably not going to be too comfortable. Simple gauge cluster is behind the original Mazda steering wheel showing the speedometer, odometer, fuel and temperature gauges along with various indicator and warning lights. In the center stack you have the OEM AM radio which is connected to a single speaker on the passenger side. While the stereo situation is kind of a bummer the Bongo makes up for it by having working air conditioning! You’ll notice too that the spec for this truck didn’t even give the passenger a sun visor, but you do have AC. Cabover design means the passenger seat doubles as a ‘hood’, lifting it shows of the well maintained 1.5L 4 cyl engine. Battery lives outside underneath the bed, opposite the fuel tank. Original single ‘Bongo’ floor mat is included, along with the original owner’s manual in the glove box. Under the glove box is the windshield washer fluid reservoir.
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