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captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/29/21 11:57 a.m.

Will we ever see a time where a fully race prepped spec Miata cost less than a very good, but not "mint" road car? 

 

 

I seriously have not considered the potential for this and whether it's realistic or viable until just now so I'm generally curious as to potential logic and reasoning on both sides of the equation.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
7/29/21 12:01 p.m.

Late in the fall prices tend to dip. Especially up here in the frozen tundra.  I'd start shopping around Halloween. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/29/21 1:23 p.m.

Once spec Miata isn't a thing, and there are no places you can run one in a competitive class, I suspect they will go cheaper than a nice road car, but that may take a while.  This is assuming the Spec Miata is in really nice shape, too.  It wouldn't surprise me if you can find a rough, backmarker Spec Miata cheaper than what some really nice early Miatas are going for already.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
7/29/21 1:39 p.m.

 With the popularity of Miata's there are bound to be a large number available every fall as people feel ready to go faster. 
    While there isn't a spec Corvette, there should be. Those cars tend to be fast enough to challenge even skilled racers and going faster is almost always about  newer.  I've heard of some pretty modest prices as temptation of the newer, faster car tempt owners to sell 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/29/21 2:35 p.m.

I'm told the cost to build a front-running Spec Miata is 6 figures now.

But yeah, as eastsideTim says, the popularity of the class will fall over time as the supply of donor chassis gets used up.  Declining class numbers will make people less interested in spending that much for tiny fractions of seconds in time, and the price to build a fast car will drop.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/29/21 2:37 p.m.
frenchyd said:

While there isn't a spec Corvette, there should be.

http://speccorvette.com

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/29/21 3:31 p.m.

How about this: When will the top Spec Miata shops start building fully restored cars from totally stripped-down shells? 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/29/21 3:37 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

You are on board with part of where my curiosity stems from. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/29/21 3:54 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

How about this: When will the top Spec Miata shops start building fully restored cars from totally stripped-down shells? 

Not sure if this is supposed to be a serious question or not but...

Never?  The top Spec Miata shops are race car builders, not restoration experts.  I think it's more likely that the top Spec Miata shops will move on to building Spec ND MX-5 or Spec BRZs or Spec whatever-the-new-electric-sports-car-for-2028-is and leave the stripped-down shell restorations to the shops that are currently doing E-Types or 64 1/2 Mustangs or whatever.

 

johndej
johndej Dork
7/29/21 3:57 p.m.

Already has happened with e30s to an extent.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
7/29/21 5:07 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
frenchyd said:

While there isn't a spec Corvette, there should be.

http://speccorvette.com

Too bad it's not nation wide.  

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/29/21 5:23 p.m.

In reply to johndej :

I've only seen E30 m3's getting restored, not even 325is's as of yet. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/29/21 5:25 p.m.

Well, since spec Miata is what started driving up the prices of stockers anyway, I'm saying...now.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/29/21 5:26 p.m.
frenchyd said:

Too bad it's not nation wide.  

They've got 5 regions listed there with at least a half dozen races each, which is pretty good for a relatively new class like that.

 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/29/21 6:46 p.m.

The early 1.6L NA's are less desirable because at the Majors/Runoffs level they can't quite hang with the NB cars. But for local/regional racing, you can have a pretty good mid-pack car for not much money. I sold one a few months ago for around $8k, and I've seen a few others in that range. If you're just looking for a caged car without an SCCA or NASA logbook, they can be found for $5-6k if you're patient. It's a never-ending arms race with the front-running SM's... many of those guys are replacing a $10k motor at least every season.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/29/21 7:40 p.m.

There already are Miata restorers, and one of them is called Mazda. 

With 50,000 Miatas in 1990 alone, Spec Miata isn't using them up enough to cause a price increase. It's the natural price evolution of a classic car. Watch MGBs to see the end game. 

johndej
johndej Dork
7/29/21 7:42 p.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

I mean https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/project-cars/1991-bmw-318is/meet-our-latest-project-e30-bmw-318is/ and locally I've seen a few in for work at sportscarworkshops (someone here works there but can't recall who), Delta V, and FlimFlam for what I would consider restoration type work.

I've got an 88 325is and 92 Miata with neither in anywhere near concors shape. Both had notes with phone numbers offering to buy left on them within the past two months.

These were both fairly available cars that the racing and redwood crowd have now put on a pedestal. Bring a trailer has plenty of each in good shape up 10-15k easy which exceeds what I've seen spec racers go for at this point.

I agree with Keith that the Miata will join the MG model with good ones taking off like some TR4 and TR6s have.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/30/21 11:18 a.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

Totally a serious question. We have BSI Racing here in town, and they build Spec Miatas from bare, clean tubs. Instead of caging that tub and turning it into a race car, why not rebuild it with a restored interior and street equipment? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/30/21 11:33 a.m.

It is a different skillset - not completely, but you have to descend into deep nerdosity to get it right. Like, what's the cutoff for the smooth differential housing on the 1990s? Or the glossy latches? The shape of the backside of the spokes on the wheels becomes important (I still regret giving away my 3/89 wheel set by accident).

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/30/21 11:38 a.m.

I agree, it's not the same but they top Spec Miata builders are already doing the heavy lifting of blowing apart the car and then putting it back together. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/30/21 11:46 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Yeah, but leaving out carpet, windows, AC, HVAC, etc. is a major savings in time/effort/money, over an every nut and bolt restoration.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/30/21 12:11 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Totally a serious question. We have BSI Racing here in town, and they build Spec Miatas from bare, clean tubs. Instead of caging that tub and turning it into a race car, why not rebuild it with a restored interior and street equipment? 

Let me preface this by saying I'm a software guy who works for relatively big companies, and my knowledge about the "business" side of things is mostly theoretical. :)

That said my understanding is that when looking for new areas to expand into businesses are usually looking for things where the existing business strengths match up with the new requirements, and I don't know how much that is true between building race cars and restoring classic cars.  When I think of restoration I think of metal fabrication to repair rust and other damage, exacting paint and other bodywork, custom upholstery, and extensive contacts with sources for rare parts.  A race shop is certainly going to have the metal fab skills, but race cars usually don't get paint at that level, upholstery is limited to bolting in a Sparco seat, and the parts contacts tend to be performance-related.  I also wonder if the investments in brand name and reputation would transfer between the two areas or not -- I don't know many people who are into buying both race cars and restored classic cars.  Perhaps that's more true when you get to vintage race cars, which I guess Spec Miatas will be at some point?

Has this happened in the past?  Did race shops that built Mustangs in the 60s or 510s in the 70s move into restoration of those cars later?

 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/30/21 6:13 p.m.

A freshly built SM is a $35k (at least) car. Do we really think people are going to start paying $35k for a restored-to-factory Miata?  If not, why would race shops waste their time on it?

johndej
johndej Dork
7/30/21 6:29 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah but those are predominantly NBs at this point for fresh builds. My guess as the current ceiling for a clean NA is ~15k for a BRG/Sunburst/SE and ~10k for something more general which is about par for what you can get a regionally competitive spec miata for.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/30/21 6:42 p.m.

Is it wrong that I am thinking of death karting an NA?

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