You Need This: NA Miata with less than 29,000 miles since new

By Colin Wood
Nov 10, 2023 | Mazda, Miata, Mazda Miata, Cars & Bids, Cars For Sale

Photography Courtesy Cars & Bids

Although we can’t go back in time and buy a brand-new NA Miata (well, not until the time machine is working), we do have the next best thing: This 1991 Mazda Miata for sale.

Boasting only 28,100 miles on its odometer, the Miata is almost entirely stock aside from the addition of a Kenwood head unit plus a Torsen limited-slip differential and driveshaft from a ’94 Miata.

Hagerty currently values a ’91 Miata in No. 3 condition at $8700, though how much do you think this low-mileage Mazda will sell for?

Find this 1991 Mazda Miata up for auction over on Cars & Bids.

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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/10/23 10:42 a.m.

As someone who has a mostly-stock 1990 Miata in good shape - whoever buys this is going to enjoy it very much as long. Even at a "high" price, it's still going to be more smiles per dollar than any car you can buy new off the showroom floor today. The only thing I'd do would be to put a 4.3 ring and pinion back in it, that 4.1 will take a bit of a shine off the little engine. It's a long nose crank, too.

MSRP on this car when new would have been around the equivalent of $32k today. And fun fact, Mazda was originally planning on selling them even cheaper until they did some focus group testing and discovered that people thought they were going to be considerably more expensive.

paddygarcia GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/10/23 10:19 p.m.

This gives me hope, and Keith is 100% right as usual - these are super enjoyable cars.

I almost literally drove the wheels off the 1990 that was my first new car. Paid $1 under sticker, even, and it never cost a lot to run. After spending some time with my dad it went to my kids as a high school car and a fun object lesson in how much money and work a free car could be. The rebuilt brake calipers and clutch kit they put in wasn't too expensive, either.

A few years ago with a light-second of miles and the massive undercarriage rust that comes from life in the Northeast it was time for it to go. I've restored cars and really didn't want to do that again. When people asked but didn't you love that car I said they made a lot of them and there's another one out there. Sitting in some dentist's garage. Fussed over constantly and waxed with well-washed cloth diapers but rarely driven, and his spouse is gonna find out what's really going with the hygenist right when I decide it's time for another.

Not right now, but when it's time I'll pay Dr X's spouse the market price and drive away smiling.

Nidos New Reader
11/10/23 11:06 p.m.

I don't have a Miata (yet), but my friend bought one as a project and he's given me plenty of opportunities to drive it. That thing is so much fun, and it handles incredibly well even on its badly worn out suspension (we're replacing it all slowly, I can't wait until it's finally back on the road). It's convinced me to start looking for one once my financial situation gets better.

The friend that owns the Miata also has a Mk5 Supra. He has told me that sometimes he thinks the Miata is more fun than the Supra. At least with the stock Miata, it's nearly impossible to accidentally find yourself speeding! 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/10/23 11:45 p.m.

Nice car but will it give more smiles per dollar and mile than a new ND?  It's going to probably command new ND dollars.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/11/23 12:58 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

I don't think it's going to get quite that high. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/11/23 5:39 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Yeah, gotta get a 4.30:1 back in there. Given a choice, in fact, I think I’d get more enjoyment out of the lower gear than the Torsen. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/11/23 7:21 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Thanks to the NB, you can have both :) But yeah, for a street car, you'll feel that final drive more than a lack of limited slip. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/13/23 9:05 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

My brother has a 1.8L NA. Maybe one day we swap in an NB final drive. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/13/23 5:13 p.m.

Final price of $10,800, or 39% of an ND. Someone's going to have fun.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/13/23 5:43 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

That is a bargain!  Wow!  

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