At $2,500, Is This Custom 1992 Mazda MX-5 Miata a Book You Don’t Judge by its Cover?

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

A lot of car people say that ‘Miata’ is always the answer. One look at today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe NA edition and you might be asking the question, what are you smoking? Let’s see if this individualistic MX-5 can at least create a consensus over its price.

It has been said that love knows no boundaries. That’s exemplified in the plot of the 1998 movie What Dreams May Come wherein Robin Williams’ character devotedly decides to stay in hell with his nutso wife rather than abandon her and return to his idilic life in heaven.


Running counter to that ethos was yesterday’s 1989 BMW 325i Turbo Touring. Yes, that custom car had it going on, so much so that its build (other than the choice of wheels) was praised loudly in the comments. Still, in this case that love did know a boundary, that apparently being its $38,500 price. That was too much for the majority of you, who dunned the car with what was probably the year’s most rueful 79 percent Crack Pipe loss.

Hey, do you know what might just perk you up? If your response involves some sort of foul tasting but caffeine-imbued energy drink then I’m thinking you just might be psychic or something.

This mental mi casa-su casa is wholly apropos of today’s 1992 Mazda Miata. That’s because it rocks—among other visual adornments—a set of Rockstar Energy Drink labels on its doors. Why is this? Hell, I don’t know. After all you’re the one who’s psychic, not me.


Along with the advertisement for lifestyle beverages, the bodywork for this MX-5 enjoys some sort of crazy camouflage color scheme, LED headlamps that make the car look like it’s perpetually stoned, and an elastic tie secured front bumper in case you suddenly need to play shirts vs. skins or something.


The seller says that he bought the car as a project but hasn’t had time to work on it and probably would like to be able to mow the grass growing underneath it. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the car presently lives in Miami, Florida.

A crazy patchwork paint job and pinned hood that fits like it’s been slept in may be to the car’s demerit, but there does seem to be a lot of good going on here as well.


First off, that time-taxed seller claims that the car ‘starts and runs great!’ He even uses an exclamation point to highlight the importance of that fact. Another high point here is a new soft-top that is said to be leak free. A number of other updates and accents that may be of lesser concern are likewise present and accounted for.


The car rides on a set of two-piece ROTA alloys with gold centers. Gold is in fact a theme here as the color makes an appearance not only in the crazy cammo paint but also on a number of under-hood elements. If you think the car sits low on those wheels you would be right.

It’s so low in fact that the fenders have had to be rolled to make room for the tire sidewalls. The drop has been accomplished via a set of Enkei coilovers and a hope for never encountering a rail crossing or sleeping policeman. The tires are new, as is the alternator, radiator, and fan among other bits.


The interior sports a custom bucket on the driver’s side and a quick release steering wheel ahead of that. The center cap of the wheel features the Playboy bunny logo which I didn’t even know was a thing any more. Color me surprised. The Mazda’s stock, carefully balanced shift knob has been replaced by an aftermarket job here, but it’s claimed to work the five speed without issue. There’s no A/C and truth be told, it looks like one of the vents has been closed off for a secondary gauge.


The mileage is given as 149,000 and the car comes with a clear Florida title. Is this a Miata for everyone? Um… probably not. Introverts and the fashion forward would probably shun the car’s showboating character. Other’s might appreciate that, but perhaps feel it doesn’t go far enough. Where’s the oversized wing that makes opening the boot lid a precarious adventure? Where’s the oversized sub and amps?


One other area where we may see discordance is in the price, which at $2,500 isn’t onerous, but may prove fractious just owing to the car’s presentation. What do you think, is this flamboyant Miata a deal at that $2,500 asking? Or, does that price make this MX-5 anything but a rockstar?

You decide!


Miami, FL Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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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.