We bought an obscure 90s van. Say Hello to the Ford Spectron.

The Internet. Yo Mtv Raps. The X-files. AOL. Bill Clinton… the 90s gifted us with amazing stuff – including this obscure 4WD right-hand drive diesel Ford Spectron.

In 1993 the Mazda Bongo was hot in Japan, and Ford Motors, with their majority ownership of Mazda during the 90s, badged the bongo with perhaps the most iconic 90s name in automotive history – The Spectron – and sold it for Japan’s domestic market.

Ford and Mazda? Wait… What?

The history of Mazda and Ford is a fascinating read and the two companies have important milestones in both the 1997 asian financial market crash and the 2008 global financial meltdown.

Nonetheless, the business partnership between Ford and Mazda was outstanding, and Ford admitted it was forced into offloading it’s majority stake of Mazda due to massive financial woes at the peak of the 2008-2009 market crash.

The 90s, however, happened to be a golden age in the Ford/Mazda partnership, and out of that love, this particular Spectron was born.

Why would you buy that?

We’re weird. Also, those who know us, know we’re car geeks. A 1964 split-window vw bus (in the video background) is our current project.

The vw bus was once a daily driver. In our 30s, responsibility came knocking, ala office jobs and later, kids… and the splitbus merged from daily driver into project (it didn’t always make it into the office – but it has made it to Mount Shasta.

Ford Spectron Interior Right-hand drive!

So, with the lease ending on our family volvo (you will be missed – especially the T5 turbo AWD part of you), we’re now proud owners of a far stranger and more obscure part of American history.

This particular Ford Spectron sports a 2.0 turbo diesel engine with a 2WD/4WD automatic transmission.

I balked at some claiming the van sees 36-48MPG, but after driving 3 weeks, I’m convinced it could certainly be at the higher end of that estimate! So far, so good (knocking on wood).

More to come!


© 2019 Sean Orfila