The Miata doesn’t get a lot of love here. That’s not by design, but as a car in the modern idiom, and a fairly ubiquitous car at that, it’s not an automatic fit. That said, anybody who’s a lover of cars can’t ignore them, for all the reasons that anybody loves a Miata – they’re light, handle well, decent-looking, and the top goes down. And they’ve had a major influence on the car industry, way beyond what any second-tier modern manufacturer has the right to expect. The list of roadsters they spawned is just mind-boggling, including cars from some of the world’s biggest manufacturers (GM, VW, and Toyota brands have all produced open-top roadsters that aped the Miata’s formula) to some of the smallest (Elise who?). Since Mazda’s been doing it for 25 years now (ack!), some Miatas are naturally fully depreciated, and they make quite an appealing cheapo runabout. Check out this 1990 Mazda Miata for sale for $1400 in Miami Beach, FL.
One has to wonder what premium the original owner paid to get his hands on one of the first-year Miatas. Mariner blue seems to be the color that holds up the best on these – red and white are more prone to oxidation. The car is said to run and have a new top and replacement seats, along with relatively new tires. It’s easy enough to find a Miata with over 200,000 miles, so if this one’s had regular attention, it should be good for that long at least.
So why is it so cheap? Well, there’s no radio, and the heater and air conditioning have been disconnected, so plan on getting up under the dash. You may think these things are so ubiquitous it’s not even worth giving them a second thought. Well, remember the 1980s, when first-generation Mustangs were dime-a-dozen? Maybe now’s the time to scoop up a couple of these (or one really good one) as both a fun toy and something that might give a small return.