russde New Reader
5/15/19 1:46 p.m.

I've never priced Miata's. I really don't know that much about them. I'm thinking about selling my M3 (11 years, longest I've ever owned a car) and picking up a Miata to occasionally DD, and try to Auto-x on a more consistent basis. Pretty sure I can get my wife to auto-x with me sometimes if we pick up a Miata, she grew up driving stick and is SUPER competitive in nature.

So, what do I need to know about the various models (NA vs NB for example) available? What mods to make it reasonably (vague enough?) competitive? Is the one above priced well? Any other advice.

I've searched on the board, but if you use Miata as a search term...well, it's the answer for EVERYTHING.




BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/15/19 1:55 p.m.

Seems a tad expensive. The plain red NAs weren't clearcoated IIRC, so there's something not right with the paintwork. Plus the slight body damage and damage to the top makes it not worth the money IMHO. Honestly I'd buy the best one you can find and that appeals unless you're looking for a specific model/special edition. They're getting to the age when they might need restoration but the values aren't there to make restoration make sense. I'd budget probably about $4k-7k for a nice one depending on where you are in the country.

NA and NB are more or less the same under the exterior panels. The late NBs got a bit of a power bump with the VVT engine, but they're all almost the same. IME you sit a bit lower in an NA than an NB, which means I happen to fit an NA better than an NB.

Can't help with making it competitive for Auto-X, but I'm pretty sure someone on here has the answer to that. I suspect it'll mostly involve skilling up the driver.

Duke MegaDork
5/15/19 2:08 p.m.

Judging by the mismatched paint colors and state of shine, it's clearly been hit a couple times.  The question is, how badly?  No way to know without getting it looked at.  If it is a southwestern car and really rust-free, that adds value.

The top is $500 and a weekend of cursing to replace.

At 177k, it's either radically overdue for a timing belt, or due for one in about 15-20,000 miles.  It's a non-interference engine, so that issue is less critical.  Either way, I'd figure it into your medium-term plans.

Overall, I think it's a little overpriced, but no moreso than I would expect from a CL asking number.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) UltimaDork
5/15/19 2:31 p.m.

If you want a nice DD and decent autocrosser you probably want to find an NB.  Something with a torsen rear diff and stay in ES. 

They are just a bit newer and easier to live with on a daily basis than the fan-boi favorite popup headlight go-kart.

NickD PowerDork
5/15/19 2:31 p.m.

Ripped top, high miles, smashed up bodywork from likely multiple accidents, FUBARed paint. It seems pretty high on price, and even if it were lower, the collision damage would make me wary of it.

Professor_Brap Dork
5/15/19 2:44 p.m.

Thats about a grand to much I think. 


russde New Reader
5/15/19 2:45 p.m.

Thanks for the info all. I was wondering about all the mismatched paint, good to know about the clearcoat. Kinda figured it was overpriced, but, Craigslist...

I need to go drive some NA and NB's so that I can get a feel for the difference.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
5/15/19 2:52 p.m.

In reply to russde :

That’s also not going to be competitive within SCCA autox classing if you have any fast drivers in your region. The early 1.6 cars(90-93) do well in STS, but it takes some money to prep them. I think the 99 Sport(and possibly 10AE) may be still be somewhat locally competitive in Street class too?

Rodan HalfDork
5/15/19 3:35 p.m.

I would pass on that NA.  Much nicer cars are out there... 

NAs are climbing from the bottom of the depreciation curve.  For a nice, driver NA that is cosmetically good, and doesn't really 'need' anything, expect to pay $4k plus these days.  More with a hardtop, or lower miles.  1.8 cars have a little more power, and bigger brakes.   The occasional good deals are out there, but getting more rare.

NBs are where the best values are right now.  '01-05 had the best brakes and most power stock (excluding Mazdaspeed), and slight changes from '99-00 that many find desireable (cosmetics and interior changes, including the seats, in addition to the VVT engine).  Very nice cars can be found in the $4-6k range.  If you're willing to live with a cosmetically challenged car, you can get much more car than an NA for the same money.


BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/15/19 3:55 p.m.

The seats on the NB2 are definitely the best stock seats for the NA/NB Miatas. As to interior improvements, that depends on how well you fit the car. For example, I'm 5'11" and, err, not "overly wide", but I find the NB interior more cramped than the NA's. A lot of this is really personal preference, too.

Rodan HalfDork
5/15/19 4:07 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

I was specifically referring to the center console, as most prefer the NB2 to the NB1, but yes, the NA has more interior space.  Especially if you remove the door armrests, which was one of the first things I did to mine.

Duke MegaDork
5/15/19 4:07 p.m.
Professor_Brap said:

Thats about a grand to much I think.

It's about $400-500 too much in the Midatlantic region at this time of year, especially for a rust-free tub.  I'm not saying it's worth that; I'm saying that's about what they trade for.

I would add a kilobuck or $1500 to that $2200 number, if you can, and get a much nicer NB for the extra money.

kazoospec UltraDork
5/15/19 4:52 p.m.

In the land of rust, it's a good deal.  Anywhere else . . . nope.  Definitely drive an NA & NB before you start seriously shopping.  Some very knowledgeable people claim there's very little difference.  I've owned both, and would disagree.  To me, the extra power in an NB2 is noticeable, the NB is a stiffer chassis and generally speaking has better wheel options than the NA, which helps when you are looking to autocross it.  On the other hand, the NA has flippy lights.


goingnowherefast Reader
5/21/19 2:35 p.m.
kazoospec said:

 On the other hand, the NA has flippy lights.

Which is a bad thing, in the context of what GRM stands for haha

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