Most of us learned about supply and demand in high school economics. We were told that prices rise when a commodity’s demand outstrips the available supply. We can see that in action today as Chevrolet attempts to catch up with orders for the slick new Corvette it introduced just last year. The introduction of a new generation Corvette is always going to spike sales, but this one is extra special by being the first over-the-shoulder midengine edition. Lots of people are going to want to experience that.
Sadly for those people, Chevy can’t build the new ’Vettes fast enough, and that has led to outrageous price hikes for those that are now being resold as “lightly used” models. We looked at just such a car last Friday, a 2021 Chevy Corvette 1LT with just 392 miles under its belt. The seller asked $89,900 for it, which is about $30,000 over what Chevy wanted for it initially. That seemed too big a grab for the vast majority of you, as the car, and the ballooned price tag, fell in a huge 95 percent No Dice loss. I guess that high school econ class really paid off.
With its British Racing Green exterior and contrasting camel interior, today’s 1991 Mazda Miata certainly channels its British sports car predecessors in every way, save perhaps for the oil leaks. The ad claims this to be the first Special Edition package Mazda ever applied to the MX-5 and notes that it is number 986 out of about 4,000 built. In case you want to see all the various special editions Mazda offered here in the U.S., we have a handy little compendium for your edification and enjoyment.
This one is claimed to be a two-owner car with the first owner having been a doctor, for whatever that’s worth. Over the course of its life it has done 141,000 miles, and the seller says that it has picked up a few dents dings and scratches along the way.
The coat of British Racing Green paint is what identifies this as a Special Edition car. That looks to be in OK shape, and is matched with the MX-5’s standard Panasport-aping alloy wheels. Those exhibit some curb rash and have the typical fading of the silver paint of the plastic center caps. A wiper scratch on the windscreen means that will want replacement at some point.
Other special edition elements here include bright sill plates, a biscuit-colored interior and tonneau plus a Nardi shift knob. Those are all present, although the seats are said to have been recovered at some point, and that Nardi knob looks a bit worse for wear. The floor mats are also a bit ratty looking, so those might need a dye job, or to be replaced, to spiff up the cabin. A plaque denoting this as the number 986 car sits behind the shifter on the console
All of the changes for this Special Edition Miata were aesthetic. That means the mechanicals are the stock 116 horsepower 1.6-liter four and Mazda’s solid five-speed manual. There’s nothing wrong with that. The seller calls it “mechanically sound” and says in the ad that the air-conditioner was recently serviced and “blows lots of cold air.” Reasonably fresh tires and a clear title wrap up the car’s bona fides.
What we now need to determine is what this all could be worth. The seller is asking $6,650 for the car but the ad is a little vague over whether or not that price includes the color-matched factory hardtop. The seller would like to include the top in the deal, but will part with it separately if sufficiently enticed. The ad then notes that tops go for “$1800-2300 range nationally depending upon condition.” Let’s not get into all that, and just expect that the car sells without the hardtop for $6,650.
With that in mind, do you think this car is a deal? Is $6,650 a fair price for this special edition Miata as it’s described? Or, does that asking make this not so special after all?
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