Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Miata lacks the original car’s wonderful pop-up headlamps but perhaps makes up for that with a pop-up roof. Its real attraction is its pressure-fed engine, but could that make it worth its asking?
It’s funny how time changes things. Yesterday’s 1970 Dodge Dart is a fine example of this fact. Back in its day, few people would have given the Dart a second look, so ubiquitous a model and style were they at the time. Today, few enough remain that it stands out in the crowd. At a $6,000 asking, it was also outstanding in the voting, coming in with a solid 65 percent Nice Price win.
Around the time that yesterday’s Dart arrived on the scene the automotive landscape was also dotted with small, cheery sports cars, most of them coming from Great Britain. One by one, most all of those fell by the wayside. By the time the mid-‘80s rolled around only a couple were hanging on. The resulting sports car wasteland opened up an opportunity for a new hero to emerge—a car so pure and joyous that it would quickly come to define the small sports car segment, staving off a multitude of pretenders to its throne.
The car we’re intimating of course, is the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and since its introduction, that little jewel has now enjoyed a 30 year, and four generation model run. Today we’re looking at a third-gen car, a mid-life edition that saw its production span the 2005 to 2015 model years.
This was the first Miata to move from double wishbones at each corner to a multilink rear suspension. It was also the first Miata to offer a retractible hardtop as an option. This edition gained the somewhat ridiculous Roadster Coupé name in European markets, while here in the U.S. it went by the even more ungainly Power Retractible Hard Top identifier. Made primarily of plastic and featuring a glass rear light, the Webasto-designed hard convertible top only added about 80 pounds to the Miata’s weight, and could be automatically raised or lowered in about than 12 seconds.
This 2008 MX-5 Miata PRHT also happens to be a Grand Touring Edition. That means a six-speed stick in place of the base car’s five cogs, heated leather seats in the cabin, 17-inch alloy wheels and few other kibbles and bits. The car comes to us in Copper Red Mica with contrasting matte grey racing stripes. Hmm, I don’t know why I call those racing stripes when this is so obviously a street car, but then, there you go.
The paintwork appears to be in excellent condition, while the add-on Enkei alloys look free from any curb rash. The glass is clean and even the plastic headlamp covers look to have escaped any miasma of age. The car carries the factory appearance package, but that bottom edge add-on is so subtle you would be excused for not having even noticed.
The interior of this 64,400-miler seems equal to the exterior in terms of form and finish, with deep biscuit-colored seats and door inserts, and with all the stock factory bits—including the Bose stereo—intact.
It’s under the bonnet however, where the factory gives way to some serious aftermarket updates. There you’ll still find Mazda’s cheery little 2-litre DOHC four. Nestled next to that however, and whispering sweet words of encouragement in its ear, is a Flyin’ Miata-sourced intercooled supercharger.
According to its creator, that kit helps the Mazda four realize a lot more of its potential, bringing it to 225 ponies at the rear wheels. Flyin’ Miata does solid work, and the supercharger kit included both higher-flow injectors and an ECU flash to ensure the engine knows what’s going on. At just under six-grand for the kit alone, that’s a sweet bonus for this NC to be carrying.
Other updates to the car include a Flyin’ Miata Stage 2 suspension package, updated clutch pack to handle the extra power, and bigger muffler to let the neighbors know you mean business. A factory LSD pumpkin in back along with DSC/traction control round out the bonafides. It comes with a clear title too.
That’s a lot of car in this little car, and while we generally don’t give the NC much love, especially those with the somewhat ungainlier hardtop, there’s no denying this car’s attraction. That being said, a bad price can sour any and all interactions and so we now need to evaluate this hot Miata’s price tag to see how we feel about it as an overall deal.
The asking is $13,500 and as noted, it would cost you more than half of that to add the supercharger to an existing car (if you even could—Flyin’ Miatas has suspended production of the kit). What do you think, is this ‘flyin’ Miata worth that $13,500 asking? Or, does that price immediately ground the car?
H/T to Buck Wylde for the hookup!
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