You wouldn’t order dinner at a five star restaurant and then not eat it would you? That’s an allegory of what the seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe MX5 did, and now you need to decide if its price makes it worth waiting for.
This is the time of year when the kids are all going back to school. And if you wanted to take them back old-school you could do far worse than yesterday’s resto-modded 1979 Jeep Cherokee Chief. Not only that, but for 66% of you at least, it was also priced to go to the head of the class.
Speaking of class, looking back upon it now Mazda really schooled the competition when they introduced the MX5 Miata back in 1989. That little car proved that an Elan-esque sports car could be profitably built and sold in decent volume and a reasonable price.
At its debut, the Miata was feted not only for that feat, but for the innate sense of joy provided by driving it. From its perfectly weighted shifter to its easy to master handling, the little convertible immediately secured a spot in the pantheon of automotive legends.
So good was that original Miata that many owners stopped using shortcuts to get to and from destinations, preferring instead to take the long route. That is, except for the purchaser of today’s two-top 1990 Miata in Classic Red, because since buying it they couldn’t seem to be bothered to put more than 240 miles on the car.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Pick that jaw up off the floor, you don’t want to get it full of cat hair or the Roomba. Why, you might ask, would someone buy a car as sweet as a Miata and then not drive it? Well, death is the only acceptable answer, but in the case of this car the ad claims that the owner simply didn’t want to learn how to drive stick.
Now, refusal to three-pedal is seemingly the American way, foiling many a carjacker faced with a stick, and allowing Constitutionally derived freedumbs for your right hand to do whatever it is you might want to do with it when you don’t have to row-yer-own. And no, I don’t want to know what that is.
The take rate for manual transmissions on new cars in the U.S. is about 7% these days, and of course even the Miata has been available with a slusher for years because well, some folks just can’t manage a stick.
You may think however that buying and parking a manual gearbox Miata just because you don’t want to master its 5-speed is akin to dating Sasha Grey and never once giving her brown recluse a go. That being the case here - the stick shift Miata I mean, not Sasha’s third eye blind - the fact of the matter is that this is a 23 year old MX5 with only 240 miles under its belt, and an interior not imbued with two decades worth of other people's farts.
Yeah, the old maxim of use it or lose it applies here, as it’s not just miles but time as well that wears on a car. The seller says that it was garaged the whole time and while the paintwork looks great, there seems to be some discoloring of the upholstery that could be fading or worse, mold. Or maybe it’s just the crappy photos!
At any rate, in the grand tradition of paying more for less the seller is asking beacoup bucks for this 240 mile Miata. The price is $9,000, and it’s now up to you to say whether that’s a deal for this “good running” car, or if that price means that you’d rather not drive it too.
H/T to James Inge for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.