spandak
spandak Reader
7/10/19 3:34 p.m.

I’m looking at NC Miatas for my next daily and I’m finding that what’s available is either high mileage and cheap or low mileage and towards the upper end of my budget, there isn’t much in the middle. The budget is whatever I can get for my MS3, but I’m hoping for $10k.

I’m hoping to have some money left over after the purchase to modify and fix the car as needed and to keep me busy for a while. But there isn’t much in that sweet spot. 

Do you think it’s better to spend most of my budget on a nicer car or buy a higher mileage/less nice example and have mod money? Once the sale money from the MS3 runs out I won’t be able to make any big purchases (over $100) for some time.

I plan on keeping the car for a while. My vision is FM stage 2 suspension, wheels/tires, and some smaller costs like audio and exhaust. 

NordicSaab
NordicSaab Dork
7/10/19 3:41 p.m.

I bought a NC Miata about 8 months back. I flew to OK and drove it home to FL. Overall, the cars are dead reliable. The NC1, NC2, and NC3 all have their quirks. 

For your price range you will be in NC1/NC2 territory. If you plan on doing any kind of boost you will want and NC2 because the engines were more robust and had forged internals. Or, my recommendation, is to find a car that has been 2.5L swapped (read up on this). This is what I did and I cant be happier. 

If you want to chat offline, shoot me a message and I can share my thoughts/experiance. 

joey48442
joey48442 PowerDork
7/10/19 4:47 p.m.

I would look for a super well loved higher mileage one. Find something well maintained but people are gunshy of because of high miles. 

spandak
spandak Reader
7/10/19 4:58 p.m.

In reply to NordicSaab :

Boost sounds fun but CA smog laws make that difficult. I know there are some options, and I might go for it one day, but it’s out of scope for the time being. 

Edit: how did you locate a car so far away? It’s not too much trouble to canvas my state but beyond that it just seems like a ton of searching. Did you find yours on the forum or something?

NordicSaab
NordicSaab Dork
7/10/19 5:04 p.m.

In reply to spandak :

Autotempest.com is a search aggregator I commonly use. You can search the whole US if you want to. 

gencollon
gencollon New Reader
7/10/19 10:05 p.m.

If you really just want suspension and exhaust, and aren't looking to heavily modify the car, get the newest, lowest miles car you can. 

If you want to modify it more and heavily track it, buy the oldest, cheapest one you can. You will replace all wear items with performance parts anyway.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/11/19 6:34 a.m.
gencollon said:

If you really just want suspension and exhaust, and aren't looking to heavily modify the car, get the newest, lowest miles car you can. 

If you want to modify it more and heavily track it, buy the oldest, cheapest one you can. You will replace all wear items with performance parts anyway.

This. 

OP, do you have something to drive once your MS3 sells? Or are you going to have to rush like mad to buy another vehicle?

spandak
spandak Reader
7/11/19 9:12 a.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

I plan to fix a 3rd car we have around and use that in the mean time. My commuter is a motorcycle so I really just need a car for grocery duties and occasional uses. 

I have considered putting the car up for trade with cash on their end but I’ve seen that work out poorly before so I’m not sure yet  

Gencollon: no tracking planned but I like the idea of autocross or HPDE. I’ve been interested in those for a while now though and never made an attempt to participate. 

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
7/11/19 8:31 p.m.

Edit: how did you locate a car so far away?

I recently figured out how you can use facebook marketplace to search up to 1999 km away. You just select your radius and then find in the actual URL where it says  km=161 (for 100 miles) and then change that to 1999 (thats the largest number it will accept). You usually have to change your search radius at least once to get this section of URL to show up. Then you're searching in a pretty huge radius. Happy hunting. yes 

spandak
spandak Reader
7/11/19 11:40 p.m.
Vigo said:

Edit: how did you locate a car so far away

I recently figured out how you can use facebook marketplace to search up to 1999 km away. You just select your radius and then find in the actual URL where it says  km=161 (for 100 miles) and then change that to 1999 (thats the largest number it will accept). You usually have to change your search radius at least once to get this section of URL to show up. Then you're searching in a pretty huge radius. Happy hunting. yes 

That’s a pro tip right there. I’m going to use that. Thanks!

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