Since they got first place on the Sports and Exotic Car list, and today seems to be double (or quadruple) feature day, here’s a pair of winners, at least in terms of quantity sold. Though scorned by many car nuts, and many sports car nuts, there’s a lot to be said for the Miata, both in terms of the revolution it started and its ability to be something to many people. You can pick up a new, relatively powerful Miata for up to $30K-ish, or a simple, light drive-a-slow-car-fast first-generation Miata for as little as a few hundred bucks. And in between, there are all kinds of permutations, stock, hot-rodded by owners, Spec Miatas, and factory hot rods. If you don’t want to spend a lot for a roadster and want a car that will last around 200,000 miles well-maintained, you really can’t go wrong with one. So yes, trusty for sure, and if you buy a snow-state Miata, you can have some rust too. For this episode, we’re focusing on a couple of owner-modified cars. You can find our first one, this 1992 Mazda Miata turbo, for sale for $3500 in Tacoma, WA.
As mentioned in a previous article, stancing is a trend that seems to have grown out of the VW scene and, well, everyone probably has their own opinions on it. Nonetheless, most of these cars are on adjustable coil-overs, so presumably they can be adjusted to normal ride height. The turbo, which is said to be rebuilt and part of a Greddy turbo kit, puts out 8 psi, which should be low enough to not do any major damage. The car also has a new soft top and fancy-pants dished wheels with new tires. Oddly, for a car that’s had significant engine modification, the seller does not offer any pictures of the engine compartment (or the interior, for that matter).
The paint has a nice gloss, and overall the car makes a good impression. Unfortunately, the seller gives no details on the ownership experience – is he selling because of massive turbo lag which makes the tail slide sideways on every wet day? Do the coil-overs make the car ride like a mining cart? The turbo and the Miata handling should make a fun backroads point-and-squirt machine. If you can’t handle the thought of a tail-happy turbo (hey, it can’t be worse than a Porsche 930), perhaps you want to try this 1991 Mazda Miata, also for sale in Tacoma, WA for $3300.
This car has a similar aesthetic treatment but a stock powertrain. While the seller offers some pretty lame pictures, including one blurry shot from across a parking lot, it is said to have a newly rebuilt engine, slick shifting transmission, and a good interior and top. This car is not as ridiculously low, and doesn’t seem to have the fenders rolled. A slight adjustment up would probably still give the right aesthetic, while improving usability. So which would you pick – black or white? Both could be yours for half the cost of a new econobox.