jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing SuperDork
11/4/22 2:32 p.m.

I work from home. Without a commute, I wanted something fun, not practical and maybe something that would appreciate in value. I have loved my 2008 Honda Fit for 90k miles but now that my wife has a 2018 of her own, I decided to buy a Miata. 

Price range in mind, I joined some Facebook pages, watched Autotempest and generally tried to figure out the market. Prices are wildly fluctuating so I decided to buy the best NA or NB in my price range.

I didn't want a track car. I wanted something with minimal modifications and good ownership from previous owners. After a few months of casual looking I got serious and started stalking Miatas on Cars and Bids. I missed a few that crept out of my budget but hindsight says that was okay. I missed a great car at an incredible price when the seller broke his promise to me and let someone else look at the car while I was in the middle of a 3 hour trip to see it. I had to turn around and drive home not even an hour from his house. That sucked.

I drove a few cars of various miles and modifications and couldn't really settle on one car. None of them spoke to me. High on the list of wants was an NA in Mariner blue. But that caused me to pass on a few good candidates. I took off my blinders and immediately found a 1990 NA close to home that seemed like what I wanted. Turns out, neglect and deferred maintenance are a bitch and I realized that I wanted more turn key and instant gratification. 

A Mazda dealer about 40 minutes from me listed a new trade in on their website and I headed straight over to see it after driving the previously mentioned NA. It's a 2001 red over black cloth base model with a 5 speed and the convenience package. With under 65k on it, it was pristine. I really loved it from the start of the test drive. It had a few flaws and the dealer did not want to move much on price but I got four new tires, an alignment, new windshield from a bulls eye chip, valve cover gasket replacement and an oil change thrown in to close the deal. I wrote them a check and reluctantly left the car with them so they could do all of that stuff before I took it home. 

A huge bonus was the smile on my wife's face when I took her back to the dealer last night to see it. She loved it and was so excited that it'll be parked in out garage shortly. She is on board with me getting the car and she's even interested in doing an autocross school next spring in it.

What's the plan? Coilovers, rollbar, header and exhaust, big fat wheels and tires, intake? Nope. I had a 93 with all of that stuff and it was a great sports car but not so much of a touring car. So high on my list is removing a tape pinstripe, a paint correction, change all of the fluids and filters, get an updated radio with SiriusXM and new speakers. Then enjoy it with the top down as much as possible on nice days. Figuring out how to get some better cupholders is high on the list if things to do. We're already looking at some weekend getaways for next spring and summer. I did show her how small the trunk is so she's going to have to learn how to pack lighter. But I'm not counting on that happening. 

So without further ado, here's a single pic of the car chilling in the service lane as we headed home with all of the paperwork in hand. Now I have to clean up my Fit and list it for sale.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/5/22 6:41 a.m.

Congrats!  I understand your list of no mods completely.  Spending two hours a day on the Natchez Trace and other low traffic roads has me buying another Miata just to be a Miata.  

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
11/5/22 9:19 a.m.

Great looking car. That really makes me miss my 99 in emerald mica. And I agree with minimal mods for your uses mine was also almost bone stock except for shocks (kept factory ride height though!) and we had an amazing 5 years and 40k miles together.  

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
11/5/22 10:51 a.m.

Congratulations and enjoy!

Added to your list of fluids to flush and filters to change I would add a complete coolant flush/change.  What came out of my heater core was lots of brown sediment.

Do you have a glass rear window that has to be unzipped to lower the convertible top?

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing SuperDork
11/5/22 4:06 p.m.

In reply to jr02518 :

Coolant flush is on my list.

The glass window does not need to be unzipped. Good and bad. Bad that I can't drive with the top up and the rear window down. Good that I don't have to worry about a zipper being fussy. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/7/22 2:51 p.m.

The black cloth and interior are best IMO.  I love that yours does not have the side tupperware, but I like the front lip that came with.  65k miles!  It's hardly used at all.  Nice buy!  I hope it brings you many smiles and I look forward to future updates.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/7/22 4:05 p.m.

Rock on and sounds like a perfect plan. 

Congratulations. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/7/22 5:02 p.m.

Unzipping rear windows is an NA thing. The NB top is actually quite a bit different.

Anthony, that's the standard NB2 nose. Quite an attractive redesign, I agree. And you can't go wrong with the classic red over black :)

jimbob, with that kind of mileage you may want to consider some shocks and new bumpstops. I think it was the rear bumpstop on the NB2 that will literally disintegrate over time. At 65k, it's also due for a timing belt and new fluids. Water pump is recommended - it'll be fine now, but probably won't make it to the next timing belt interval.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/7/22 6:42 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I know.  I tried not to fall into the NB1 vs NB2 rabbit hole.  I did a little digging at m.net but ran away quickly.  My first NA was red over black with a factory hardtop, but I regret selling the white 94 R most.

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing SuperDork
11/8/22 10:34 a.m.

My 93 NA was red over tan. I loved that look so much. I was hoping to find another tan interior Miata but this one was just too clean to pass up.

Keith, with no service records and just the carfax maintenance history to go by I was assuming that a timing belt and water pump would need to be done shortly after purchase. I was not expecting to do shocks and bump stops at this point. I was hoping to give my wallet a rest after just buying the car. Oh well, it's only money.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/8/22 11:05 a.m.

Shocks are more discretionary, but I would expect the stock ones to be past their best-by date. It's certainly not something that has to be done immediately, I just wouldn't take them off the list at this point.

Bumpstops are fairly affordable, they're just work - the same amount of work as installing new shocks :) But those disintegrating NB2 bumpstops will have quite an effect on the ride quality, so the cost/benefit ratio is very good especially in the rear. If you want to check the bumpstops, you need to get inside the shock boot which may be difficult in situ. If there's red dust in there, they've come apart. It was only the red ones that would turn to dust, the others age more normally.

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing SuperDork
11/8/22 2:32 p.m.

Thanks. I'll check that out when I finally get the car home.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UberDork
11/8/22 3:37 p.m.

Congrats!

I had a Crystal Blue NB Miata, and bought a new Velocity Red MSM Miata in 05. Love them! Enjoy in good health.

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing SuperDork
11/10/22 6:05 p.m.

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing SuperDork
11/10/22 6:06 p.m.

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing SuperDork
11/10/22 6:07 p.m.

It's home. Had a great ride from the dealer with the top down. It turned exactly 64000 miles as I entered my street and pulled into the driveway. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UberDork
11/10/22 6:40 p.m.

Red sure is purdy

Enjoy in good health

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