If Miata is always the answer, then just what exactly is the question? Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe MX5 might be up to the test, as long as you’re not questioning its price.

If you were looking for a new mantra to spice up your yoga sessions then you might want to consider the name of yesterday’s candidate—the 1989 UMM Alter II. I mean, what better way down the Bhakti Marga than by chanting umm alter?

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Of course if you wanted to drive instead, then that rare Portuguese 4X4 would also make for an enlightened choice. That of course, is owed to the Nice Price win 60-percent of you awarded its $3,200 price.

If that wonderfully odd truck could win at that price—even with RHD, a slug-like performance expectation, and rust out the wazoo—then surely this 1996 Mazda MX5 can easily hit one out of the parking lot.

The NA Miata is perhaps the purest form of small sports car ever to emanate from Mazda. We love them and they in turn love us back by providing endless fun in the sun and a pop-up headlight persona that can’t help but make you smile.

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The thing of it is, these models now harken back to over a quarter of a century in age. Just like in dog terms, that can be pretty freaking old. Fortunately, the Miata carries a reputation for sturdiness and unflappability. That doesn’t mean however that they don’t get beat up.

This 1996 Miata is a little beat up. It’s also a relatively rare (2,968 built for ‘96) M-edition.

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The M got you Starlight Mica metallic paint, a beige top and interior with “Miata” embroidered in the seat backs, model-specific five-spoke alloy wheels, an LSD pumpkin in back, and some M badging throughout. All in all it kicks the NA up the fancy pole a couple of notches.

A couple of things to note on this specific car. First off, the Starlight Mica paint has seen better days. The clear coat is coming off the hood in large patches. It’s either that or this car hit some really big bugs on its last trip to town.

Other issues include a dent in the left-front corner, just aft of the bumper, wheels in need of a cleaning, and there’s a luggage rack on the boot that might make you constantly think you’re being followed by a shopping trolly.

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On the plus side, that beige top is newish and is apparently in fine shape. We don’t get to see the interior, so we don’t know if the Nardi shifter and hand brake handle are still in residence, but we do get to see that there are only 124,000 miles on this Miata’s clock.

Other pluses include a recent timing belt/water pump change, as well as a new radiator and battery. In the minus column is a non-working radio with some sort of country music CD stuck inside. Hopefully it’s Kenny Chesney.

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The seller is asking $2,400 for the car or—get this—the trade of a “really damn nice 5 string banjo (like upper level OMEs) or a kevlar canoe.” A banjo or a canoe can only mean one thing: the seller is planning an off, off, off-Broadway production of Deliverance.

We wish him luck with that endeavor, however we only deal in cash here. With that in mind, what’s your take on this ’96 MX5 and that $2,400 price? Does that make this Miata the answer? Or, does that price have you questioning the whole idea?

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You decide!

Western Massachusetts Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Hookadoo Monkeyfudge for the hookup!

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