Is This Your Last Chance to Own a Miata?

Tim
By Tim Suddard
Jun 29, 2018 | Mazda | Posted in Buyer's Guides , News and Notes | Never miss an article


Photo Courtesy Bring A Trailer Auctions

Is This Your Last Chance to Own a Miata?

We have been watching carefully as early Miata prices have gone from those of throw-away used cars to near collectibles. As with any emerging classics, the first to get valuable are the pristine low mileage cars and the rare versions. In fact, Bring a Trailer just sold this car for $12,500!

And it’s not an outlier. Any really nice low-mileage early Miata is now worth $6000-7000. Extra points and thus dollars can be earned for perfect original paint or popular options like a limited slip differential and air conditioning. The first of the special editions like the Sunburst Yellow of the British Racing Green cars are even more valuable, with prices topping $10,000 for sunburst Yellow cars and reaching $12,000-15,000 for perfect British racing green cars still equipped with their original hardtops.

If you want a nice example of what is arguably the nicest driving inexpensive sports car ever made, you had better buy a Miata now, before they go the way of other classics before them like the Porsche 911, Jaguar XK 120 and the BMW E30 M3.


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Comments
Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Digital Experience Director
6/29/18 12:29 p.m.

Love that color! 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/29/18 12:42 p.m.

Sacrilege - but I've never thought that yellow flatters the shape of the NA. You know what they say about opinions, but Smurf Blue is the best NA color.

Basically, NAs bottomed out a while ago and the nice ones are climbing out of the depreciation abyss. NBs are probably just starting to do the same. NCs are still in free fall.

I always use the MGB as a guide for what's likely to happen. It's a better match to the Miata than the E30 M3 or the 911 in terms of production numbers and market placement. In that case, really nice Bs climbed in value but the bottom of the market didn't move all that much. There are still throwaway MGBs.

One thing you guys missed, though - you made the mistake of using "Miata" to indicate "early Miata". Mazda's still making Miatas. They've been in production for almost 30 years now. NCs are Miatas. NBs are Miatas. NDs are Miatas. You need to be a little more clear.

Now everyone comes in and says how they bought a concours-quality NA Miata for $1500 on Craigslist...

wae
wae SuperDork
6/29/18 12:46 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Now everyone comes in and says how they bought a concours-quality NA Miata for $1500 on Craigslist...

Mine was only $1,200.

(I kid!  I kid!)

Wizard_Of_Maz
Wizard_Of_Maz New Reader
6/29/18 12:54 p.m.

BringATrailer is far and away the worst possible place to buy a Miata. Beautiful car, but craigslist was made for Miata sales.

NBs can still be had for a very very reasonable price, and I've just started to look at NCs. You can get a good bit of car for well under 10k now

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/29/18 12:56 p.m.

I don't think NBs will ever get the same classic status as the NAs will, and the NC may end up being the equivalent of the Lotus Seven Series IV. If you're looking for chassis for the dollar, they're a good way to go.

It's no coincidence that my personal Miata is a Smurf 1990 with a 1.8 swap. Love that early interior.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/29/18 12:58 p.m.

I'm planning on keeping my NB MSM even though I've maybe put 1000 miles on it the last 4 years.  Not really because I think it will be worth more in the future, but because I like it more than I could sell it for and I just enjoy it. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
6/29/18 12:59 p.m.

I see cheap ones on the Facebook marketplace, but they're usually pretty ratty.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/29/18 1:19 p.m.
T.J. said:

I'm planning on keeping my NB MSM even though I've maybe put 1000 miles on it the last 4 years.  Not really because I think it will be worth more in the future, but because I like it more than I could sell it for and I just enjoy it. 

The MSM could very well achieve classic status, it's the exception to the NBs.

spin_out
spin_out HalfDork
6/29/18 1:37 p.m.

Every time I sell and older car they start going up in value shortly afterwards.  I just sold 2 NA Miatas in the past year ($2,700 for the '96 M edition, $3,350 '94 R-code.  A/C worked on both.).  If I'm any indicator of selling cars at the wrong time, then now is the time to buy.  :)

Toebra
Toebra HalfDork
6/29/18 1:56 p.m.

That yellow and Velocity Red are the best colors ever on a Miata.

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