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M3racer
M3racer New Reader
1/21/21 11:42 a.m.

Did I miss something that has caused those who are selling Miatas (NAs and NBs) to be completely out of their minds? Or are my expectations ridiculous? Thought this would be the right place to find the answer - I've been searching for an NA or NB for an extra toy, teach my teenage son some autocross and eventually track days. Doesn't need to be pretty or perfect, but figured I could find something reasonable in the $3000 range. I'm in Florida and figured the market would be plentiful. Well the choices usually are between (a) a dropped/stanced/drifted POSs that some child thinks is worth 6-8 grand or (b) insanely high mileage POS with rust or salvage title that some guy thinks is worth 6 grand or (c) automatics - which I can't even believe this many exist - for which some lunatic also wants a kings ransom. The few reasonably priced cars disappear before I can get there (and all seem to be on the west coast of Florida). And no one selling a car seems to understand how it works - you know, be polite, answer reasonable questions asked, not negotiate prices over Facebook messenger before I've even seen the car. Am I just a crotchety old man at 50 with unreasonable expectations of the world? (Yes). Did spec Miata do this? 
 

Thank you. Rant over. I just needed to come somewhere that I've been lurking for years (though don't actively post) where there is a chance I will be understood. 

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
1/21/21 11:50 a.m.

I offered my 96 to a friend of a friend for $2500 two years ago.  He couldn't come up with the money and I'm glad.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/21/21 11:50 a.m.

What about moving up to NCs? 

You might find that the NCs (newer) are being sold by the original owner. A lot of the NAs and NBs are passing through multiple owners and getting more haggard because of it. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/21/21 11:52 a.m.

If they are selling before you get a chance to look at them, clearly that is where the market is at.

 

I'm helping a friend look at an FB RX-7 this weekend , at $7k.  My opinion is, if he wants something to tastefully modify, buy an NA2 (NA8?) while you can still find one for under $7k, as they are still supported by the aftermarket.

For $7k he is not expecting to find one that doesn't need paint and rust repair.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/21/21 11:56 a.m.

I've also been saying that in the pre covid world $3k would get you a nice drivable car like what you'd send you kid to high school in.  That now seems to have risen to $5k.

Edit: this is for all cars, not specific to Miata.  As a sample, pre-covid a '05 Pontiac Vibe w/ 130k could be bought in the $3k range.  I even sold a few in that range.  Now, the same would be $5k range.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/21/21 12:01 p.m.

Those mythical $3k good condition Miatas were mostly mythical a few years back - at least on the West Coast - and prices for decent ones have gone up since, even before COVID.

I'm definitely not looking at Miatas again, oh no, but if I were anything worth even considering is North of $5k.

M3racer
M3racer New Reader
1/21/21 12:02 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

The hope was to eventually Exocet. I have noticed the NCs being very reasonably priced considering. 

wae
wae UberDork
1/21/21 12:02 p.m.

I don't mean this a schadenfreude at all, but I just came back in to the office after cutting another section out of the rear of my NA as I seek and destroy rust.  Sounds like this work is worth it.

M3racer
M3racer New Reader
1/21/21 12:06 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

You're right about that my kid just bought his first car for 3400 (with money he saved) nice condition E46 330ci with manual tranny with 160,000 miles. Only thing it has needed to make it roadworthy is new radiator and front control arms.  So we're into it for just over 4000 right now, and will be right at 5000 when we install budget Bimmerworld recommended coil overs. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/21/21 12:10 p.m.

In reply to M3racer :

Another thought. The sellers on FB are younger (and maybe douch-ier.)

The old game was Craigslist. What you might find on CL is a seller who last sold a car 6 years ago, and he used CL. Following that advice...

https://spacecoast.craigslist.org/ctd/d/winter-park-1999-mazda-miata-mx-5-speed/7263074067.html

https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/for/d/miami-beach-miata-67k-mls/7265547712.html

 

Also verify by picture if it's auto or manual. This is listed as auto but pics show manual. 

https://orlando.craigslist.org/cto/d/sanford-2001-mazda-mx-miata/7264359791.html

Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera Dork
1/21/21 12:35 p.m.

On Christmas Eve I advertised my 2003 Ford Escape on FaceBook (and here) for $2500, which is what I paid for it.  I was prepared to accept $2000.  We were leaving town the next day and I figured I'd have a few responses by the time we got home four days later.  The response was immediate and overwhelming.  I had a guy wanting to come on Christmas Day from two hours away to buy it for the full asking price with people lined up behind him wanting it.  I ended up with 60 inquiries and an offer of $2650.  The first guy that looked at it bought it and ended up giving me $2700.  I can't explain what's going on with the used car market, but I wish I had a similar frenzy when I sold my MGB GT.  I'm attempting to buy a real Mini at the moment and it stinks to be on this side of the deal.

Vajingo
Vajingo Reader
1/21/21 12:35 p.m.

Another vote for nc. Saw one on the fb page for $4500. 140k. Nice. And it would be a helluva lot safer than NA Miata. Also a decent place to spend time and it teaches all the basics of autocross. 

M3racer
M3racer New Reader
1/21/21 12:36 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Thanks John - on CL regularly and in contact with both of those sellers for the first 2. Last one has been for sale for many months but maybe there is something to see. 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
1/21/21 12:40 p.m.

Thank Covid. Any toy, house, car, bike, etc has now been inflated by a stupid rediculous amount.

berkeley covid.

tester (Forum Supporter)
tester (Forum Supporter) Reader
1/21/21 12:41 p.m.

You forgot to add a trunk full of water and enough black mold behind the seats to lower a subdivision's property value. Did I mention bubbling rocker rust on otherwise clean looking cars? That was my experience over 5 years ago. A clean, maintained NA-NB Miata is worth more than $3k and has been for quite some time.
 

Patience and a really wide search area might yield better results. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/21/21 12:43 p.m.

NAs have been going up in price regardless of COVID. Decent $3000 cars are the exception to the rule.

I'd suggest you talk to the GRM staff. They're in Florida and have the ability to find ridiculous deals on a regular basis. Tim probably knows the location of every sleeping Miata in a 200 mile radius.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
1/21/21 12:57 p.m.

Can you do engine swaps? 

I've found SEVERAL really nice NA (both of my NA's) for very cheap and a good engine away from a fantastic car. I've seen more than my fair share of "I spun a rod bearing" engined miata.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
1/21/21 1:20 p.m.

This is all making me think it’ll be worth it to replace the engine in my ratty, body-damaged, rust free Miata whenever it pops, rather than look for another one.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
1/21/21 1:27 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Anecdotally - the very clean, rust free (southern cars TN/GA/AL), good interior miatas with blown engines aren't worth very much. I've seen 3 REALLY good ones in the last few months. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
1/21/21 1:36 p.m.

In reply to accordionfolder :

Dang.  My 1996 is originally a TN car and hasn’t seen road time in a northern winter.  But, it’s been rear ended at some point, and has a crumpled rear quarter, dented fenders, holes drilled in the deck lid for a spoiler, and failing paint.  It also has over 220K miles, burns oil (even after replacing valve stem seals), 5th gear synchros are shot, and the interior is shredded.  It’s probably still a $2.5-3K car up here due to the lack of rust.

thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter)
thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/21/21 2:06 p.m.

I picked up my 99 with 113k for $3500 two years ago. Needs paint fixed on the driver's fender and door and there was some deferred maintenance. Typical older car stuff. But, that was pre-covid. Seems like hobby car prices have skyrocketed since then. Hopefully they'll calm down after the vaccine is fully released.

Shadeux (Forum Supporter)
Shadeux (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/21/21 2:12 p.m.

I have a secret source that has a '90 with 60k on the clock. From 10 feet away it looks mint. It was given to them. They think it's cute but not really into it.

I'm trying to low-key not wet my pants and seem mildly interested in case they get tired of it.  laugh

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/21/21 2:19 p.m.

In reply to M3racer :

There's almost always some around Biloxi in your price range that aren't total trash. 
 

Edit: Here’s one for $3500 with a hard top. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
1/21/21 2:19 p.m.

There's a guy here in Michigan who trailers southern salvage title Miatas back north, strips the saleable parts and then sells the rollers for $1700. He appears to be able to sell several at those prices, so the market for one with an engine and transmission is much higher. I've got roughly $1800 tied up in my supercharged NB and I've been tempted to list it at a silly price just to see if it would sell.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/21/21 2:22 p.m.

In reply to Shadeux (Forum Supporter) :

Screw that.  Make your desires known!

 

I had a customer with a beautiful '01 Audi A4 quattro, 1.8t/manual.  Maintained to the hilt.  Even had the rear shock/control arm mounts replaced, at great expense ($900 each?).  What was better wss she had bought it from a customer of ours, so I had been servicing it since it was almost new.

I put it out there that when she was ready to buy a new car, let me know, I will beat any trade in offer.

Sad story short, she got $1000 for it and didn't bother to contact me because she didn't think I'd pay that much for a 15 year old car.

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