By on July 3, 2014

1993-Mazda-Miata-White-For-Sale-Rear

What a difference a decade makes. My own 2003 Miata is, by modern standards, a pure, elemental sports car. Lightweight, with a cable actuated throttle, a 5-speed manual and no ABS. But turn the clock back to 1993, just ten years prior, and you could still buy this.

From Bring A Trailer and Miata.net, we have this ’93 NA Miata. Pure White, steel wheels, one owner, just under 45,000 miles. It looks to be an A-Package car, sans A/C, power windows or locks, the opposite of my old ‘97 C-Package and my 2003. Both are quantitatively better cars that feel gutsier and more robust than the early 1.6L cars.

But the small-bore versions just feel so pure, so elemental, so worthy of the hyperbolic praise heaped upon them by every motoring journalist and their internet mouthpieces. The 1600cc mill does rev more freely, there’s an ethereal lightness to them (thanks to no ABS, additional bracing or any sort of crashworthiness) and that NA styling with the steel wheels will stand the test of time, even when the fixed-headlight NBs start to look dated. This is a pur sang Miata, a forever car that you can enjoy long after the government is tracking your every mile and we live in a Red Barchetta world.

Buy it, enjoy it, drive it every day. Who needs SkyActiv when the sky is two clips of the soft top away?

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45 Comments on “Crapwagon Outtake: White Barchetta...”


  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    That’s a base model car. Those are the lightest and most pure with no power options, not even power steering. I had an R-package which was based on this but added Bilstein suspension, thicker antiroll bars and LSD. It was sublime. But only 37lbs lighter than the fully loaded M-edition.

  • avatar
    jdash1972

    I still have my ’94, it’s 20 years old now and still going strong. I test drove a ’93 but waited one year for the bigger motor. I’ve never owned a car that was easier to maintain or that was more reliable to start with.

  • avatar
    Mullholland

    Mine is a ’94. Laguna Blue. Factory hardtop. R-package. Bought in 2007 with 35,000 on the clock. Currently has 87,000. Was a daily driver for two years or so. Now, it’s the best part of my weekends.

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    I bought my silver ’91 in 2003 and it has been the most reliable used vehicle ever, not to mention the most fun. Equipped with A/C (still has the R12 refrigerant), manual windows/locks and LSD, it never ceases to put a smile on my face whenever I drive it.

  • avatar
    Hillman

    So, if someone is looking for a daily driver Miata under 15k what should they look for generation/ model wise?

    • 0 avatar
      mitchw

      Frankly? It doesn’t matter which model. Just respect the rust. And get some driving training so you can explore the performance envelope. (Former ’96 owner talking. LSD, no ABS, factory hardtop. What memories)

    • 0 avatar
      Mark_Miata

      I use my 2000 Miata year-round as a daily driver, so I’ll offer some perspective based on my experience.

      The first thing to consider is the climate in the area you live in. If it gets cold in the winter, having a 1999 or later with the glass rear window with defroster is handy. If you have to leave the car outside in the winter like I do, having a hard top is nice for the snowy time of the year.

      If you want to carry things, the 1999 and later cars have a larger trunk. I can get a week’s groceries for my wife and I in there.

      In terms of feel, the thing to remember is that all Miatas up to the 2005 model year share essentially the same underpinnings. As things go along, the cars get heavier with more reinforcement, but also get more powerful engines to compensate. The closer to 2005 you get, the less buzzy the car is, but they also get less tossable.

      What you’d prefer is down to what you are going to do with the car. If you are never going to drive long distances on the freeway, an early car is more fun to toss around on curvy roads. On the other hand, I’ve driven comfortably for over 600 miles in a day in my 2000 Miata, most of that on interstates at speeds of over 70 mph. Not something I’d like to do in an earlier year car.

      The 2006 and newer cars are different. They continue the trend of being heavier and more powerful. They have a very different looking interior – since that’s what you’ll be looking at more than the exterior, pick what you like. The top mechanism is also different – I’ve driven my friend’s 2008 MX-5, and I can’t fit with the top up as the hoops are in a different place.

      Assuming you like the newer design, I’d say the most practical daily driver is a power retractable hard top model from 2007 on. It’s a minimal weight penalty (about 75 pounds compared to the soft top), but you can park it on the street without worrying about someone cutting the top, and it’s quieter with the top up.

      If you find that you have a hard time getting comfortable with the top up, you can do a “foamectomy” by removing some of the foam from the seat base – you can get as much as two extra inches of headroom this way.

      Since Mazda sold a lot more of the earlier (1990-91) cars than later, you may find that you’ll have to look farther afield if you want a more recent model, particularly a power retractable hard top.

      • 0 avatar
        Hillman

        Thanks so much. Comming as a guy who only owned GM vehicles I really understand the value of learning what to get and what to avoid. I am looking at it being a only car so I want it to be able to do everything acceptable. Also, it will be parked on the street so I would feel more comfortable with a hard top. Now for the sacra religious part, I am thinking auto since I have never driven a manual other then for a select few times in my life. I really need to write in for the help from Steve and crew.

        • 0 avatar
          ...m...

          …get a manual, you won’t regret it: the driving experience is much more engaging when you row your own gears, which is what these cars are all about, and you can learn to drive one well enough to get by in a single weekend…

          …where do you live?..i bet you could easily find one of the best and brightest willing to spend an afternoon teaching you the essentials…

        • 0 avatar
          mitchw

          Get what you like. Three guys care how you shift. Most of the fun in a Miata is balancing it and controlling the mass. Also, summer evenings with top down.(sighs)

        • 0 avatar
          Mark_Miata

          You are most welcome. As compared to some vehicles, you really can’t go wrong mechanically with Miatas, since they are all generally reliable with one important exception I didn’t mention previously. Very early cars (1990 and some 1991) can have crankshaft problems. Just Google “Miata Crankshaft” and you’ll get the details.

          Additionally, the 1999-2000 models are generally thought to have the lest comfortable seats, but 2001-5 seats are a drop-in replacement.

          As for an automatic, I will not discourage you – a Miata with an automatic is still more fun than most cars. Miata’s work best with a manual transmission for the fun factor, but if you are driving in city traffic regularly an automatic would make life easier. Just be aware that the vast majority of Miatas are sold with manuals – restricting yourself to an automatic is going to make it much harder to find the right car for you.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Actually the ‘Short nosed’ crankshaft(89′-late 91′) issue is the result of ham handed mechanics, not a design/mfg flaw.

            A lot of the early Miata’s have a later long nosed 1.6L or a 1.8L replacement engine. And conversely, some later ‘LN’ cars have had their engine replaced by a ‘SN’ early engine. Look for ‘8’ slots on the crankshaft pulley, short nose cranks have only ‘4’. Some damaged ‘SN’ cranks can be repaired, they just won’t take any abuse.

            As I said early on when the Asian imports started to build market share…The only thing wrong with a Japanese car is American mechanics.’

            Yes! Kiddies, there was a time when you couldn’t buy a Japanese or Asian vehicle in North America, but you could import any damn car you wanted.

          • 0 avatar
            Japanese Buick

            Mark wrote: Just be aware that the vast majority of Miatas are sold with manuals – restricting yourself to an automatic is going to make it much harder to find the right car for you.

            I have to disagree. Automatics have proliferated in the PRHT models, especially the higher end ones. I had to work to buy my ’12 GT PRHT with the manual and interstate dealer trading was ultimately required to get the colors I wanted with the manual. It was a disappointing discovery.

            Also while I love my car I would not call the PRHT models quiter. Mine creaks like a tall ship with the top up. I live with it because the car is otherwise so excellent and I drive top down whenever possible anyway.

            Btw before my ’12 I had a ’96. Not sure I’d call them bulletproof. I owned mine for 15+ years and had to replace two rear windows and one full soft top on a garage kept car. The latter was an expensive repair. And the airbag control module failed on mine in its later years, this would have been a very expensive, take apart the dash, repair so I just lived with the AIR BAG light.

            I am NOT trying to discourage anyone from buying a Miata of any vintage. They are great cars, I’m on my second. But let’s be realistic they are real world cars with advantages and disadvantages. And the first generation ones are old, and are reaching that age when stuff is wearing out no matter how stone simple they are.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Bullet proof, no, just very reliable. I have had no major component fail except the radiator in a 167,000 miles. That also includes the timing belt and clutch, they are both original to the car. So much for 60,000 mile timing belt changes. Have had the belt and Kit, and the water pump sitting on the shelf for the last 100,000 miles, waiting for one to fail. Figure I have saved about $500.00 plus a lot of work over the life of the car.

            “Automatics have proliferated in the PRHT models, especially the higher end ones.” Which tells us about the demographic shift in today’s MX-5 buyers, especially the higher end models.

            Even the SLK tops creak, and it costs nearly twice as much as a PRHT Miata. As I recall the SL’s tops can creak, as well, and they run four times the cost of a MX-5 PRHT. It just goes with the design issues inherent with segmented tops.

            As for your top, Japanese-Buick, my original(93′) top and window was in excellent condition through 2008(15-years) when it was slashed. When the hardtop was stolen, it spent four years in the rain and sun in a campus parking lot. My brothers 2002 top is in excellent condition due to careful use and care by the previous owner.

            How you care for a top can contribute greatly to its life. I bought a couple of yards of fleece cloth, laid the window into part of it and folded the rest of the fleece over it, then folded the top carefully onto it, being careful to never leave any creases, and always zipped the window out before folding.

            I also used a top treatment and aircraft plastic windshield treatment on the plastic window, it never yellowed or crazed. And, a top boot was always in place. I never folded the top down in the cold without running the heater for a while to soften the window and top. I see guys throw their top down without zipping out the window or carefully folding it. This is one big reason the top and window fail.

            When you wash the car, always let the top completely dry before folding, even the vinyl tops, but especially, the canvas tops.

            Tops are easy to replace and are quite inexpensive, running from around $180.00 for vinyl to about $650.00 for a Robbins Canvas/defroster/glass. A Rain Rail will add more, but I have only seen one that really needed replacement and that was because it was damaged removing the old top. Be careful and follow the instructions provided online or with the replacement top.

            Miata’s are such an easy hands on car to fix or build up. Parts are plentiful and usually quite inexpensive, new or used. New rotors are under under $20.00. NAPA has them for $12-16.00. A brake job with new rotors and pads can be done for under $80.00

            “airbag control module failed” It may not have actually failed. Bad grounds are usually the cause, low battery or hooking up a charger incorrectly, even momentarily can cause intermittent and continuous demons to act up or codes to flash.

            It may have also been flashing a code for some other issue unrelated to the airbags.

            The control module is easy to access under the dash next to the steering column. It is not ‘in the dash’. And they are expensive, so by a used one.

            http://www.mossmiata.com/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=111750

            http://www.mossmiata.com/Browse/PlateMenuProducts.aspx?WebCatalogID=38&PlateTypeID=1&SubcomponentID=319&ComponentID=39

            http://www.mossmiata.com/Browse/PlateMenuProducts.aspx?WebCatalogID=38&PlateTypeID=1&SubcomponentID=320&ComponentID=39

          • 0 avatar
            Japanese Buick

            3Deuce, re: tops and their care

            I did most of the things you describe as well as keeping my car garaged. My top just wore out. I think I put it up and down a lot more than the typical Miata driver, judging from now many I regularly see on the road with the tops up on beautiful days. The problem with my back window wasn’t crazing or cracking, it was failure of the zipper (had to have a couple replaced) and then finally failure of the attach point at the bottom. I always unzipped mine before putting the top down, btw.

            re: the creaking top, I never said that was unacceptable or not to be expected to a certain extent. I was replying to an assertion that the PRHT is quieter than the soft top.

            There’s also a certain amount of Miata amnesia going around. If you had asked me what had gone wrong with my ’96 I would list a few minor things, but then going over my repair records before I replaced it I found I had fixed a lot more things that I remembered. Things I was willing to overlook and quite frankly forget because the car was so great, but I wonder how many other Miata owners have the same phenomenon. So maybe that’s another key to happy car ownership… don’t keep your repair records!

            Like I said the Miata is wonderful car, after all I replaced my ’96 with a ’12. But there isn’t a single car made that someone can buy one that’s nearly or over 20 years old, which the NA’s are, and not expect it to have problems.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Yes, zippers can be a problem one reason to warm the top so it is not so tight when putting up or down. I also used a silicone gel that I use on the rig of my sailboats. The gel helps the zipper run freer.

            It does seem that 94′ – 97’s had a few more issues then the earlier or later Miata’s.

            And yes, its is a given that older cars have component wear and probably neglect and abuse issues. Take a mechanic or friend who knows the model of any make of car your interested in.

            Regarding PHRT_ I was just making a general audience comment regarding PHRT tops of any make.

            I sold my 2004′ as I had ordered a new first year NC-PHRT, but my car went down on a ship off Vancouver Island. Mazda for a time considered selling us the cars at a discount, as they were never submerged, but were in a rough marine environment for quite some time and had been in and abnormal near vertical position.

            Mazda in the end decided to crush the cars, so the first boatload of new NC’s headed to the NW, were crushed. In the end, I elected to not acquire an ‘NC’ PHRT, as I didn’t really like ‘NC’ the all that much. The interior was to fancy, didn’t like the sitting position, car seemed to big, didn’t like the look of the new engine, though, it is a great engine, I just like the classic look of alloy DOHC covers. My first sports car a 59′ Alfa Spider had the engine jewelery of the chrome cap nuts and alloy parts, just like the NA’s.

            I have since decided to wait for the ‘ND’, been a while now as Mazda has slowly developed the car, I think, because of their commitment to the Sky Active program.

            I bought my new 93′ for my 45th b-day, we are still going strong and she gets new tires and wheels tomorrow, then we will head 250 miles North to the big city to pick up my grand daughter for a week of Summer fun. She loves grand Pa’s ‘little’ car.

          • 0 avatar
            Japanese Buick

            @3deuce you probably know this since you lost a car in the incident, but Wired Magazine had a fascinating long-form article about the attempt to salvage that vessel, complete with a picture of the Miatas in the cargo hold: http://archive.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-03/ff_seacowboys?currentPage=all

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Wow! What a riveting article on the ‘Cougar Ace’ incident, thanks for the heads up and link, JapaneseBuick.

            All I knew was the limited amount that was published in the NW papers, some of which did show the cars in the hold. I did see the cars at the Port of Portland near St Johns.

            Mazda and the sales manager were not exactly forth coming on the status of the cars, my delivery would be delayed, and eventually ‘did I want to reorder?’.

            I realize reading the article that I conflated it with another maritime shipping incident that occurred off of Vancouver Island, where a ship went down and Nike shoes started washing up in the surf on the beaches of Vancouver Island/Canada and the shores of the Straight of Juan de Fuca in Washington state.

            There was a comment on a Portland radio program I was listening to about the cars being crushed on one of the days they were crushed. I was tempted to to go see this huge event in Mazda/Miata history, but I had to fly out in a few hours, that day.

            It is unfortunate that one of the salvage engineers/naval architect lost his life in the preliminary assessment operation. Makes the loss of 4,703 Mazda’s, seem inconsequential.

      • 0 avatar
        Higheriq

        Then there are the NB cars (99 through 05) with the suspension package (stiffer springs, Bilstein shocks, 16inch wheels with low-profile tires, bigger brakes, and LSD). Check the passenger door jam sticker and look for “HARD S” where it says “SUSPENSION”. These cars stick like glue (if you don’t like sliding around).

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      $15k would buy a decent NC (2006+) model or a near-pristine NB (’99-’05)/Mazdaspeed (’04-’05). It’s hard to go wrong with any of those options, as long as it’s been decently maintained and for that money, I’d prioritize getting a never-winter-driven one. Given how many of these things are bought as weekend cars, that really isn’t difficult. Just this Monday, I had friends looking over my car, assuming I’d bought it brand new 3 years ago. It’s a ’99 model I paid $9,000 (elevated Canadian spring prices) for in 2011.

      The NC is going to be more capable and comfortable, and the NB more visceral with more options in the way of aftermarket, if you’re into that. Each has its share of proponents, so go do some test driving.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        “More Capable” How?

        There are numerous comparisons/videos addressing that issue. Here is one, note the lap times. NA _ 24.432, NC PHRT_ 24.728

        You can pay a lot of money for that ‘extra’ capability, such as it is, but you won’t have any more fun over and old ‘NA’, and at the end of a lap driven in earnest, you may or may not be ahead in your ‘more capable’ ‘NB’/’NC’.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz667IYwGGA&list=PL2F68BC11251CAA24&feature=share

      • 0 avatar
        Japanese Buick

        Agree, JuniperBug. I bought an NA new in 1996, drove it for nearly 16 years, and then replaced it with a PRHT ’12 in 2012. The NA was a great car but the main thing that changed in my case was me… I got 15 years older. And the bigger cabin size and better comfort and ease of use of the PRHT was appreciated as I am into my late 40’s, instead of the early 30’s when I bought my first one. Also as I referenced earlier, the ’96 was starting to wear out and have things go wrong. However the ’12 is definitely not as “tossable” as the ’96 was. It’s better in many ways, but that’s not one of them.

  • avatar

    Very nice. I can’t imagine that you’d need power steering with a 1.6.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    No crashworthiness? Compared to my Triumph Spitfire it might as well be a Volvo. Feels as big as one in comparison too. When you actually DO take out the crashworthiness, you get a car that is 20% smaller yet much roomier inside. I can’t comfortably drive a Miata, I fit in a Spitfire (top down) just fine.

    I much prefer Miatas with power steering, makes them more agile, and I have to admit I would want A/C too. Broiling in the hot summer sun really is no fun at all, and a big reason that I don’t drive my Spitfire anything like as much as I did when we both were much younger.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The agility comes from the tighter steering ratio, not the power assist. There’s a reason 3 or 4 companies make PS delete plug kits for the Miata power racks.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Doesn’t matter where it comes from. I’ve autocrossed both with and without P/S Miatas, and I will take the with every time. I don’t find there to be any particularly noticeable difference in feedback on the road either. This is not the power steering from an ’81 Impala we are talking about.

        The Spitfire really is light enough to make power assisted steering completely unnecessary. Even stopped, the steering is no heavier than that in my BMW. But it has skinny hard tires too. I wouldn’t mind a brake servo in it though!

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          ” I don’t find there to be any particularly noticeable difference in feedback on the road either.”…> I concur ‘Krhodes1’. Track or street, really makes no difference, as the PS is nicely weighted and direct. Just adds a little more weight and steals a little power.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Depowering the power rack has more to do with eliminating the support parts and their weight and power consumption needs, complexity.

        Despite the quicker ratio, it doesn’t give you a better feel on the highway or track over a manual rack. With a manual rack your steering inputs are smoother, more precise, important on the track, not so much for Autocross efforts. If your heavy handed on the wheel, a depowered power rack is going to be a problem for you, hell, any rack will be a problem for you.

        Another reason for depowering a power rack, is the cost of the very rare manual rack. New manual racks are available.> http://www.mavalgear.com/catalog.html

        Add wider tires and you will quickly want to repower the power rack for the street or autocross.

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      Reg; “No crashworthiness?”

      MazToy of Troutdale, Oregon, has never seen the foot boxes of any generation, violated in any way or crushed. I’m in that yard several times a year and if I see a massively front end crushed Miata, I check the foot boxes, and can concur, that haven’t seen any real disruption of the foot boxes.

      There is also a video available(English?)that shows a Miata thrown mechanically into the air for a roll over test, the windshield frame/A-post is not crushed. Another with a hardtop in place shows similar results.

      I personally know how hard it is to roll a Miata, its possible, but not likely if you stay on a hard surface and your tires aren’t rolled off the rim.

      Miata’s are very tough and will take a lot of abuse. But don’t push your luck, they are in no way invincible, something you might tend to believe after the MX-5 and you survive some really dumb-shit shunts.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        I have direct evidence of Miata crashworthiness having crashed one. Crossing an intersection, a beige Camry attempted a quick left in front of me as I approached at about 45 MPH. No ABS, I locked hard and t-boned her at I’m guessing 30-35 MPH (hot day in Los Angeles, dry road).
        It spun her and put the Camry into a nearby parking lot, popped my airbag and I woke up when two guys were at my window helping me out of the car. It was still running, I had no visible injuries except for the airbag burns on my arms and chest. The nose was bent down like Kermit when he looked unhappy (car was painted green), and buckled the hardtop a little bit. The windshield was cracked, but otherwise the front end bent down a bit and not much else. Both doors still opened, the cop who came drove it out of the intersection and down the block to a waiting tow truck.
        I have only crashed one other car, so I am far from the expert, but for the impact, I would say that the Miata held up quite well for a ’91 with few safety features.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    I purchased my 1991 Miata SE last year with the factory steel top, Power steering. A/C & ABS. 74,000 miles and runs like a dream. Previous owner serviced the car by the book and the car needed nothing. Even installed a new battery last year. Great second car my wife loves it on a nice sunny day. Only reason he sold it he moved and the new home did not have a garage. Parts are cheap and easy to get as long as you keep away from the Mazda dealers. Their are many aftermarket suppliers that can supply any part that you need. I will keep this car as long as i can get into it. Funny i usually buy VW’s because 2 prior Mazda’s that i owned were just junk and the dealer parts were out of the ball park. But after having the Miata for over a year i will give their products another look when i am in the marker for a Sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark_Miata

      Minor correction – all factory Miata hardtops are made from “sheet molding compound” (similar to fiberglass), not steel.

      I agree that the aftermarket support is amazing – you can get almost anything you can imagine from multiple suppliers.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    It’s beautiful and elemental, but I still want Minilites instead of steelies.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Sigh…

    It really saddens me that, no matter what, I can never have one of these.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      You must be straight.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Straight.

        Unfortunately, also very tall.

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          I’m 6’1″ with a long, proportionately, upper body , I have two friends that are 6’4″ and 6’5″, my brother is North of 6’3′ and suffers the same body ratio condition I do, they all drive Miata’s.

          After market seats and removing the rear view interior mirror and visors, help with under the header vision. Hard tops give you a little more headroom.

          My brother used the ‘too tall’ excuse for years, now he is the most excited new owner of a Miata I have seen in a while. He is crying because he decided to leave it at his Winter place near Phoenix, not something I would have done, cuzz driving a Miata in the NW in the Summer, is a pure delight.

          Or drive with the top down or off. I only put the top up or on to keep the neighbors cats out, the snow out, or to shade the interior when parked. October 21st the hard top goes on and doesn’t come off, usually, until March 21st.

          With the top down, nobody can slash it, or break a window to get in. Just be sure to lock the console lid so they can’t get into the trunk.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            I’m 6’8, and pretty long in the body (36″ inseam)

            I’ve read about aftermarket seats and/or cutting out the padding and/or bolting the seat to the floor.

            The problem is that I can’t justify a Miata that, after performing seat surgery, only I could drive.

          • 0 avatar
            Mark_Miata

            Assuming the seat remains adjustable, other folks can still drive the car after a foamectomy. My wife is 4’11”, and she can drive my Miata with no problem despite the removal of almost all of the seat foam.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            @ psarhjinian,

            A 6′-8″ You would be the exception. And you would be hard put to find comfort in any car except an ‘A’ body GM, Suburban, or the big Fords.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    I have owned a lot of sports cars and without a doubt the MX-5 is my favorite. Stock, it is not the fastest, or will pull high G’s, but it is so drivable, so entertaining, so forgivable, it just endears you to it. They are also as reliable as an anvil.

    The designer in me likes the look of all the generations, but there is something so classically pure and elemental about the ‘NA’, like the 356 Speedster, Lotus Elan, Cistalia, or VW Bug, it has something special about it, call it, intuitive design.

    As to the debate over which generation… I have owned three new ones, a 93′, and two ‘NB’s()2,000’/2004’. By far, my favorite is my 93′ which I still have because when I bought the next one, I let my daughter take it to college for four years, after it survived that, I thought I would keep the 93′ and spec build it, but it was still too nice, so it just sat under a cover until 2007/8 when fuel costs went through roof.

    Back then, I was fiddling around in the back of the shop and lifted the cover on the old gal for a peek and remembered the great mpg the 1.6L got(The 1.8L and 2.0L don’t get anywhere near the MPG that the 1.6L does). I dusted her off and have been lovingly driving her ever since.

    I did build a Spec-Miata, but it is partnered car, so shared, and usually is just used as a track/autocross/school car. Spec-Miata rookies just do too much stupid stuff to be on the track with them. Lapping a Spec-M rookie is a chancy proposition, especially a cluster of them.

    As far as the stock wheels go, the 7-spoke alloys weigh from 10.8 to 12.3 pds. And Miata’s are sensitive to un-sprung weight(and tire pressure), so run the lightest wheels you can find, usually they are already on the car with those stock 7-spoke alloys on the 90′-97’s. Those steel wheels weighed a lot more at 18 pds. Cheap after market wheels are usually pretty heavy, so check wheel weight before ordering. The early ‘LE’ OEM BBS wheels were very light.

    As far as using an MX-5 for a daily driver, depends on your sensitivity to creature comforts and your stature. I drive mine everywhere, and will be driving down to the 25th anniversary celebration at Mazda Raceway, some 600 miles down coastal 101. My longest trip was from Ft. Lauderdale to Portland, Or. some 4,500 miles with side trips. But I have had longer trips on motorcycles and have driven 27 ‘T’ roadsters with buckboard ride qualities to the Bonneville Salt Flats, so purty inured to long rough trips.

    The main thing when it comes to MX-5’s, is to join the club and put one in your garage, any will do nicely.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    “A forever car that you can enjoy long after the government is tracking your every mile and we live in a Red Barchetta world.”

    As a ’91 Miata owner and tinfoil-hat wearer, I would like to thank you, Derek, for validating my worldview.

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  • Old_WRX: I run into so many rudely impatient drivers that this 55 mph rolling road block sounds like a fun way to eff...
  • aja8888: I wonder if those panels are actually connected and functioning?
  • slavuta: 1. They probably don’t want to report on such things. American journalism is dead 2. You said...
  • mcs: @oberkanone: It could also be what caused the time rift that resulted in the amazon article posted here. Look at...

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