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Posted: 8/5/2014 5:05:26 PM EDT
Growing up I was never a fan of them. Hell, even last week I wasn't a fan. But after thinking about it... to get my feet wet with a manual trans (in a car), a little bit of speed, and maneuvering, an older Miata seems like it'd make sense.

I've been keeping an eye on CL and emailing a bunch of owners. A 90-97 can easily be had in good condition for $3K +/-. However, other than rusty rockers and holes in the soft top...what should I be looking at and asking about?

As for the roll bars...the ones that bolt in behind the heads of the seats (like this) are just decorative right? And these are the real deal...?

As for repairing and such, is there somewhere online filled with videos, advice, etc...basically the ARF.com of Miatas?

Last question for now...I'd have to pick my 3yr old up at day care (a mile from home)...is it safe to have a booster seat in these?

Thanks

-Emt1581

Link Posted: 8/5/2014 5:42:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/5/2014 6:34:31 PM EDT
Paging Subnet, Subnet to the white courtesy phone!
Link Posted: 8/5/2014 8:12:19 PM EDT
ARF is the LAST place that you should ask about Miata advice. Every single stereotype is in effect here.

That being said, I have owned a 96 since 98 and I love it. It has the best feeling manual trans that I have EVER used and it's rear (correct) wheel drive. For those two reasons alone you should consider one.

They do have drawbacks however. They will get broken into. My top has been slashed 3 times and I don't live in a bad neighborhood at all. Don't bother to even put a stereo in one, it will get stolen. If you are over about 5'10 the parking brake lever will dig into your right leg making distance driving uncomfortable. Tiny tiny trunk. Finding an unmodified one can be difficult. It handles incredibly well but it has a big penalty in ride comfort. I have driven cars that handled almost as well and don't punish you nearly as much in the ride dept.

Link Posted: 8/5/2014 8:27:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/5/2014 8:29:33 PM EDT by Emt1581]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By simmyqux:
ARF is the LAST place that you should ask about Miata advice. Every single stereotype is in effect here.

That being said, I have owned a 96 since 98 and I love it. It has the best feeling manual trans that I have EVER used and it's rear (correct) wheel drive. For those two reasons alone you should consider one.

They do have drawbacks however. They will get broken into. My top has been slashed 3 times and I don't live in a bad neighborhood at all. Don't bother to even put a stereo in one, it will get stolen. If you are over about 5'10 the parking brake lever will dig into your right leg making distance driving uncomfortable. Tiny tiny trunk. Finding an unmodified one can be difficult. It handles incredibly well but it has a big penalty in ride comfort. I have driven cars that handled almost as well and don't punish you nearly as much in the ride dept.

View Quote


See I need to get used to manual trans (on a car, I already have years on a bike) so for $2K-$3K they seem like the most fun and cheapest to work on...option.

With getting broken into. I'll be parking mine at home (locked garage) and in the armpit of the city...but in a guarded parking lot. In any case the stereo's head is removable and I won't have anything in the car other than a small repair kit. I'm also 5'7"-5'8" depending on which nurse is taking my height that day...so being too tall is not an issue here.

Here is the one I'm negotiating for right now. I'd replace the front bumper for $250-ish and take care of the 2" slice of rust over one of the wheel wells. Plus no A/C....is that hard to work on if the compressor is still functional? But thoughts? I think it looks really sharp for what it is plus the owner sounds like he took care of it (bumper was from a previous owner).

Thanks!

-Emt1581
Link Posted: 8/6/2014 7:19:41 PM EDT
Print these two articles and read them thoroughly and take them with you when looking at a car.

Checking out a used Miata

Used Miata Inspection List
Link Posted: 8/10/2014 8:02:54 PM EDT
90-97 covers the first generation, aka NA. 1994 was an important year. Before 1994, the Miata came with a 1.6L engine. In 1994, they updated it to a 1.8 that was in use until 2005. The 1.8 is not only more powerful, but it has more market support. The NB (second generation) Miata is a little heavier, so I specifically sought out a 94-97 Miata when I bought mine.

Here's my thread, complete with GD asshatery- http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1610088_Bassgasm_s_NA_Miata_Thread.html&page=1


The Miata is a pretty tough and reliable car. There's some beat high mileage examples in my area, and Road & Track is running a series on a beater Miata they're calling the Million Mile Miata.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/features/web-originals/introducing-road-tracks-million-mile-miata
Link Posted: 8/11/2014 3:57:45 PM EDT
Fun little car to drive if you fit.

I sat in an 01 and was eye level with the top of the windshield.
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