At $13,000, Could This ‘Mint’ 2005 Mazdaspeed Miata be Worth Spending a Good Bit of Green?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mazdaspeed Miata has a 178-horsepower turbo mill and a ridiculously low number of miles for that pumped up four to have traveled. Let’s see if its price is equally ridiculous.

I find it interesting to look at all the social constructs that change over time, in comparison to those that don’t. It’s phenomenal to me that with all the advances we enjoy in our modern age, some people still want to debate the merits of vaccinations or whether or not the Earth is in fact round. Seriously, don’t come at me with any of that, bro.


Thankfully, when it comes to automobiles, there doesn’t seem to be much dissension regarding modern thinking being better in almost every way than predeceasing trains of thought. Point in fact, yesterday’s 1985 Toyota Celica convertible was looked down upon for its age, and era-specific capabilities. And that was despite it being a fairly well engineered after-the-fact conversion, and was produced by one of the most highly respected auto makers on the (obviously round) planet.

Still, it represented what’s today considered to be ancient technology. It was heavy for its size, produced mediocre horsepower and torque for its displacement, and came with a fun-sapping automatic transmission. If you had accepted all that, who knows where you might end up next, Olive Garden?

Add to the ignominy of age an $8,000 asking and the outcome didn’t look too bright for our sun-loving Celica. The confluence of underwhelming obsolescence mixed with that seemingly onerous price resulted in a decisive 70 percent Crack Pipe loss.


That was our second defeat this week, and that means it’s time for a ringer. Well, we’ll see about that, but I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone here does love Mazda’s MX-5 Miata. Make it a fairly rare Mazdaspeed edition with a 178-horse turbo four under its hood, and that love might just turn to ineluctable fealty.

Of course, the NB Mazdaspeed MX-5 was only offered here in the U.S. for the 2004 and 2005 model years, and only a bit more than 5,400 were sold over that span. That makes the model reasonably rare. It’s also an extremely good day when you find one in unbelievably nice shape.


Sadly, finding one in nice shape is getting harder and harder these days as the models are in that nether world between being new enough not to be worn out and old enough to warrant restoration.


Thankfully for fans—meaning us—this 2005 Mazdaspeed MX-5 comes with just 18,000 meager miles on the clock and the description of being so well maintained and with so little wear and tear that it actually still smells new. What’s that they say about the smell of new Miatas in the morning?

This criminally under-used Mazdaspeed Miata comes to us from the Dayton Ohio area, and was discovered by our very own David Tracy who met the seller on an unassociated matter. He related the happy tale of the find to me:

The story is that I recently made an extremely questionable automotive decision enabled by Tammy, a Jalopnik fan based out of the Dayton, Ohio region (who, incidentally, used to be extremely active in the rally scene).

After her husband used a tractor to help me load my new acquisition onto a U-Haul trailer, Tammy showed me a true gem of an automobile in her garage: a 2005 Mazdaspeed Miata. And my goodness is it absolutely stunning.

Aside from one small rock chip on the front bumper, and a little bit of surface rust on the rear brake rotors, the thing looked mint. Which isn’t surprising, since it has under 18,000 miles and has been garage kept.


I’ll leave it up to David to reveal at a later date his tractor-freed acquisition. In regards to the Mazda, he was so excited by the car’s kit and condition that he kindly offered it up for our perusal rather than just keeping it to himself. We’re just lucky he doesn’t generally cotton to anything quite this new or without a passing semblance to rust-induced Swiss cheese for his own use.


Okay, so this MX-5 is pretty pristine and it comes with at least one official Jalop’s seal of approval, but is it really a holy grail sort of car? Let’s delve a little deeper. The Mazdaspeed Miata was a pretty thoroughly massaged special edition of the NB. It came in just four special colors here in the States in ’05—Titanium Gray Metallic, Lava Orange Mica, Velocity Red Mica, and Black Mica. This one is Velocity Red, and while that may or may not be your preferred hue, it certainly does have the coolest name.

Both interior and top are black—cloth and vinyl, respectively—and look to be in as-new condition. The Mazdaspeeds were all based on the LS trim level and featured a reworked suspension and heavier duty six-speed manual, the latter still with the famous shift mechanism that can be operated via ESP.


The 1.8-litre four gains a factory turbo but loses some compression and about 500 rpm off its redline to make it all work. The result is 178 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque, which were sizable upgrades over the naturally aspirated model. A red crinkle finish cam cover denotes the turbo’s presence since the snail itself is buried down under the plumbing a bit.


Handsome and factory-standard RacingHart alloys fill the wheel arches with authority while an equally factory fat exhaust tip warns potential competitors of the turbo mill living under the hood. The engine bay here admittedly could stand some detailing, but it’s nothing spending a Saturday in the driveway couldn’t address.


The title is clear and no issues, either mechanical or aesthetic, are noted in the Facebook ad. By the way, the photos are from David, and not from the ad. You’re welcome.


How much for this sweet little slice of Miata pie? The asking is $13,000 and interestingly, that’s just about half of the car’s original MSRP. Likely, its days of depreciation are now over. It’s now your responsibility to decide if this is a good time to get on that Miata-vator as it climbs back to that original MSRP or perhaps, given enough time, even more.

What do you think, is this Mazdaspeed MX-5 worth that $13,000 asking? Or, for that much, would you just let Tracy have it?


You decide!


Facebook Marketplace out of Ohio or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to David Tracy for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.