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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,

I'm looking for my first car and I want a miata! I know there are lots of people on here with one so I think I'm at the right place.
My budget is $4.5k. I'm a student so I can't quite afford an elise right now. :cool:
Something in IL or close by please.
 

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Miata.net Classifieds

(If that link doesn't work, go to Miata.net and check out their classified section. It's where I would go to get one.)
 

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You'll see mine (supercharged) posted here and at the Miata Classifieds. I'm a little out of your range though. Still, I think the Miata is a great starting point for an enthusiast-student (way too many practical issues with the Lotus until you have more resources). The Miata is rock solid and really fun to drive. The Miata Forum is VERY helpful, but not as lively as L.T., (it's a moderator thing).

If you're careful, you should be able to pick up a decent car in that price range, but do your homework first.

Good luck, Todd :up:
 

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There's about 10 listed at Cars.com within 100 miles of my ZIP code. You're probably looking at 100,000+ miles on them.....but they're out there.
 

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+1 to Tracy's post.

If I were you I would look for 75 to 150K cars that were never really used as daily drivers. This means NA or possibly NB models. Actually, the NAs are getting to be sought-after and don't have any real shortcomings.

With a few extra $ spent here and there you can personalize the appearance to look pretty cool. IMO, nice aftermarket wheels are the best bang-for-the-buck.

The car can be serviced by a novice, and it is a great learning platform for a performance driver on a budget.
 

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Great cars! Go with a gen 1 car. Stone reliable too.
 

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They will run well over 200-250K miles. Don't hesitate to get a car with 150K miles on it.

I have a friend who put a turbo on his 90 when he first bought it and it has about 250,000 miles on it now. They are amazing cars.

Look on Craigslist.org, people post cars on there all the time. Do a search for Miata.
Miata.net is another great place to look.

A car with 150K miles should be in the $2500 range, so you will have some leftover money to put into cleaning it up (some are edging on 20 years old now).

Here are some reasonable prices to look at for parts:
Brakes are about $200 for a set
Rotors about $50 a set
New top about $300 for the part + $300 for installation
May need a better radio $250
Wheels $400
Tires $<500
 

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^Igonore the "hairdresser" jokes, Derek ! ;)

Generally, the people who think that Miatas are soft or boulevard cars have never been in one. I've given folks rides who had sort of joked about them - they didn't joke about the car afterward :)

You have excellent taste in cars, a Miata is a very good Elise trainer.

I had one for over 10 years, recently sold it. Always reliable, and lots of fun to drive with low overhead. Good luck with your search :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for all of the info! These $2k miatas seem a bit iffy; most other old NAs I've found online are at least $3k. I contacted the guy who posted the 1990 for $2k - claims it has only 88k miles. I might check out the other one. I was hoping someone on here would have one to sell since I generally don't like/trust craigslist.

I actually wanted to get a Miata a couple of years ago when I first registered here. That didn't happen and I was stuck with public transportation and walking. :p Now I'm trying to get what I've always wanted.

By the way, I'm NOT a hairdresser! -poke-
 

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Not that a real steal might come along, but I'D suggest looking more in the $2500 to $4000 range. You should get more car, with fewer surprises, and you might still have a few bucks for those nice wheels, etc. :cool:

Chances are you'll have to settle for something that needs replacing such as brakes, tires, etc. However, at that price point you should be able to chose the one or two replacement items that are acceptable...

The condition of the soft top might be important if you are keeping the car outside.

If it were me, I would avoid cars with more than a tiny amount of rust. It only spreads and takes down the whole car. On the plus side, many of these Miatas have been garaged for much of their lives and they will have little if any rust to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think $3k would be ideal. If I can't find anything good at that price I think I'm going to have to make some very lowball offers :cool:

I just found out that the 1992 red Miata that was posted in an automatic. Boo.
 

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I am surprised that no one has mentioned this, but the 1990 models and some 1991s are susceptible to crankshaft damage. Its not that you should avoid these two years, but keep a lookout.

Miata Crankshafts
 

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Ehhh... No worries on the Short Nosed Crank issues. If you take proper care when doing the timing belt jobs, it should be fine... Plus, motors for the 1.6 are easy to score in the $600 range (from the junk yard). If you get it for $2000, and replace the motor for $600 you still have a great car for a great deal.

Make sure the body is straight and no rust.

Hope all of the electronics work properly (radio, ac, defrost, lights, etc)

Hope the AC blows cold (and then hope the guy didn't charge it while you were on your way over to look at it... like the guy that sold mine did).
 

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Until this thread, I didn't realize they were THAT cheap.....I might go look at one of these.
 

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My thoughts would be the same if my garage/driveway had any more room, as it was.

I'm in a condo.....the parking lot must hold 40 cars or so..... :rolleyes:
 

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Ehhh... No worries on the Short Nosed Crank issues. If you take proper care when doing the timing belt jobs, it should be fine... Plus, motors for the 1.6 are easy to score in the $600 range (from the junk yard). If you get it for $2000, and replace the motor for $600 you still have a great car for a great deal.
True that it is not a huge deal, but i felt that it was worth mentioning.
 
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