The downside to a bad economy is rampant unemployment, but the upside is it's okay to be frugal. Let's be cheap while it's cool. What's the ultimate cheapskate car?

For a gearhead short on cash it doesn't get much better than a first-generation (NA) Mazda Miata. And I know NA Miata is basically the answer to any question, but so what? Spend a few minutes on Criagslist and you'll realize they grow on magical trees. There are few RWD cars out there with a similar fun-to-price quotient and most of those — like the E30 — are usually beat to shit or tastelessly modified into oblivion. An NA Miata is relatively cheap to keep running and often owned by people who want to go fast but are too old to attempt it. Maybe you want a nice condition Civic CRX? Good luck. Anyone who still has one knows it's value, but Miata buyers usually just purchase it because it's cute. Cheap to operate, cheap to fix, cheap to upgrade. Being the ultimate cheapskate car is just reason #349 you want an NA Miata.


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