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Ian F
Ian F Dork
9/29/10 8:13 a.m.


Sure... it's got low miles... and I'm sure it's in nice condition (this place rarely sells turds)... but wow... I mean, how much was it new?

Raze Dork
9/29/10 8:41 a.m.

I'm with you on this one, no way, no how.

alex Dork
9/29/10 8:59 a.m.

A fool and his money, my friend.

Junkyard_Dog Dork
9/29/10 9:02 a.m.

Yes, they are. That one is overpriced but I bet they get close to it. Probably from a Miata newb.

mtn SuperDork
9/29/10 9:49 a.m.
Junkyard_Dog wrote: Yes, they are. That one is overpriced but I bet they get close to it. Probably from a Miata newb.

Bingo. They're going to get some guy in there looking at Loti and Caterhams and Porsche's, see this, be intrigued, drive it and like it. Then he will do NO research and come back to buy it.

I wonder if they would even have it in there if it wasn't BRG

racerdave600 HalfDork
9/29/10 10:00 a.m.

Wow...I used to have a '91 BRG...but I'd never pay that much for another one. It is nice though.

mndsm Dork
9/29/10 10:01 a.m.

And here I thought this was gonna be another Pokemon reference "Miatas, gotta catch em all."

Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/29/10 10:45 a.m.

Were original MGBs collectible in the early 80's?

Assuming this car is perfect, then it could very well have that much value to someone. On the GRM forum, you'd be excused for believing that no Miata is worth more than $500. But this would basically be a brand new 1991 BRG for a fair discount off the original price. There aren't any BRGs that are this low mileage and perfect - lots that are 100k+ with worn out leather and wobbly shocks, but the ultra-low-mileage ones are very scarce. I've seen early MGBs go for this much fairly easily, why should the fact that it's a faster, more modern car make it any different?

By the way, that car listed at $18,899 in 1991, which is just over $30k in our dollars. The hardtop was a $2200 option.

psteav Reader
9/29/10 11:25 a.m.

Cars, like everything else, are worth whatever someone will pay for them.

That is a very nice, very low-mileage, rare-ish Miata. They didn't make many BRG's, and they're not making any more of them.

Personally, it's quire a bit more than I would pay. BUT: If someone has their heart set on a BRG and has the money lying around (I know just such a person), this may not be all that far out of line.

As an aside, is it just me or has the bottom fallen out of the old Miata market recently? I keep seeing cars that would have brought $5k a couple of years ago going for half of that. Good for us, I suppose.

RandyS Reader
9/29/10 11:32 a.m.

While that one is a little over priced (based on what I see searching for collectible Miata's for myself) it is still a $8-9k car.

Some Miata's are becoming collectible and prices have gone up. Keith is correct in that this board will thumb its nose at any Miata more than $500 but there is still a good sized population of people willing to pay that much for a nice low mileage Miata.


We've discussed this in past threads but the ones commanding premium prices currently are: 1) any 90-93 with under 30k mileage, 2) under 00100 VIN '90, 3) '91 BRG, 4) '92 yellow, 5) '93 LE, 6) '95M, 7) '97R, and 8) '99 anniv. The lower the mileage the better - you can still find $1500 BRG's and yellows but they are usually used up and will require a full restoration.

A couple of decades ago you couldn't give away a beetle for more than $500. Now a restored 60's one is $8-15k. I recently saw a really nice 74 Superbeetle (fuel inejcted, curved windshiled) for $9k.

If I was in the market for a new econobox high gas mileage DD I would absolutely be looking for a 20-30k Miata for $7-9k. Half as much as a comparable new econo box and far better in just about every aspect.

Klayfish New Reader
9/29/10 11:45 a.m.
Keith wrote: Were original MGBs collectible in the early 80's?

Good point. No easy way to say what's a "collectible" in the future. What was a late '60s-'71 Hemi car (any of them) worth in 1985? I don't know for sure, but I'd bet it's nothing close to what it is now.

As the Miata continues to age, I'm sure clean/low mileage examples will only go up in value. But there were a relatively large number of them made, so they aren't going to be as hard to find.

I'm hoping I can get myself into another MK1 MR2 before it's value skyrockets....

Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/29/10 11:58 a.m.

The MGB suffered similar production numbers and a 20+ year production run, that's why I used it as an example. It's also a fairly similar sort of car.

Miatas have never really been that common - they average about 50,000/year worldwide. By comparison, Chevy made over 100,000 1991 Camaros, and almost all of those ended up in the US.

I borrowed my parent's 1990 Miata (production number 338) when I was in Canada this summer, and took it on a 5-day road trip. It struck me that the car was over 20 years old. My mom's first car - an early MGB - would have been the same age when I was in high school. But I would have considered that to be an old car at the time, much older than I consider the Miata to be now.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/29/10 12:59 p.m.

it's a sign you are growing old... don't worry, it will pass.

As for Miatae being plentiful.. wait for another 5 to 10 years of spec miata to weed out the stock

wcelliot HalfDork
9/29/10 2:00 p.m.

Heck my MGB in high school was only 5 years old, but was considered "old" and "vintage" then... while my wife daily drives a 20 year old E30 which she considers "modern".

pinchvalve SuperDork
9/29/10 2:04 p.m.

Wait, does this mean that I have missed the curve on depreciation? DAMN!

racerdave600 HalfDork
9/29/10 2:22 p.m.

I'll go as far to say that nice clean early Miatas are getting harder to find. There are plenty out there, but not so many really nice ones anymore. And nicer ones are starting to sell for more money, while the ratty ones are dropping.

I've been thinking that it might be time to pick up another 1.6 Miata just for fun, so I've been keeping an eye out for one. They're getting harder to come by.

While the '99 is nice, I miss having an early one. They have a totally different feel in my opinion.

nderwater HalfDork
9/29/10 2:40 p.m.

"Miata's are fun, cheap and small - collect them all!"

I've only had two so far, but I'm always on the lookout.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Webmaster
9/29/10 3:52 p.m.
pinchvalve wrote: Wait, does this mean that I have missed the curve on depreciation? DAMN!

I think the good examples will be valuable soon, but there will be cheap Miatas on the market for a long time to come.

Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/29/10 5:12 p.m.

Just like the MGB.

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/29/10 5:55 p.m.

KBB sais 3995+/- for that.

I drive a 24 year old car as a dd it is not old. It is . . . well .. . .a classic. Now I feel old.

Bababooey New Reader
9/29/10 6:00 p.m.
dean1484 wrote: KBB sais 3995+/- for that. I drive a 24 year old car as a dd it is not old. It is . . . well .. . .a classic. Now I feel old.

Those are way off when it comes to older cars. It said my all stock 91 Mustang GT w/ 15k was worth $3500.

FWIW, I paid $4k for my 92 Miata SE w/ 40k on it. That car "could" be worth $15k, BUT, you couldn't drive it or it would depreciate. What fun would that be.

gjz30075 Reader
9/29/10 6:00 p.m.

Problem is, the value lies in the fact it is a low mileage car, with its condition as a byproduct. If the buyer keeps it that way, it may maintain value. If he's buying it because it's a virtually a 'brand new' old Miata, and drives it normally, the value will plummet.

wcelliot HalfDork
9/29/10 6:32 p.m.

So a 2010 Miata equipped like this is what, $25k-27K?

KBB shows a private party value of a 2006 with 60k on it to be $11k. Cost of 4 years of ownership @15k/yr = ~$15k

Or you buy this car at $15k, drive it for 4 years and put 60k on it... and still have a ~$4000 car... Cost of ownership ~$11k

"Plummeting" is relative... but of course most of us here would buy an 80k $4000 car, put 60k on it, and still have a ~$4000 car.

Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/29/10 9:28 p.m.

It's interesting to look at cars like this both as collector item time capsules (yawn) or as an alternative to a new car. When an MGB that was nearly a clone of my Mom's old car showed up in Octane and happened to be for sale (for right around this price), I looked at it as an alternative to a slightly used Miata. In that light, it looked quite different. Sure, driving it would "wreck" the restoration. But cars are made to be driven, and would it be more fun to drive a new MGB or a used modern car? Or a new 1991 Miata versus a 2008 (or so) Miata?

I'm not going to put myself in the depreciation-proof, $4000 car club if such a thing really exists. Yes, I've had a number of cheap daily drivers and I've brought a few trashed icons back from the dead and made money on my daily driver. But it's okay to own real cars once in a while you know. Cars whose pistons you have never actually held in your hand.

I'm not about to run out and pay $15k for a perfect stock 1991 BRG Miata, not least because I think it's one of the least attractive colors on the NA Miata shape and I believe the car can work much better with a bit of modification. But I'm not going to laugh at someone who decides that Miatas can be collectible, or who decides to drive a low-mileage example.

When I was writing one of my Miata books, I needed pictures of NA Miatas. I found a Miata enthusiast who had a few of the most pristine cars I've ever see. Exactly what I needed, and you'll see pictures of his 1992 yellow and 1992 LE in the book. He and I appreciate cars in very different ways, but I'm not going to say he's wrong. I dare say he'd probably pay this price if he were looking for a car like this, although he'd probably bemoan the high mileage.

wcelliot HalfDork
9/29/10 10:03 p.m.

But it's okay to own real cars once in a while you know. Cars whose pistons you have never actually held in your hand.

Afraid we'll have to agree to disagree there. ;-)

Seriously, while I've still owned (and still own) some still-depreciating cars, I've not had a car payment in 15 years (and have only owned a few cars newer than a decade old in all that time).

I don't think I've missed a thing by driving old interesting cars far down the depreciation curve rather than newer faster depreciating ones.... and do you realize how much cashflow that opens up to buy and drive even more old cars?

My sister spends more on cars than I do... she keeps two new Toyota SUVs and I keep 15-20 old cars... and she thinks I'm insane. ;-)

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