The answer may always be Miata, but what if the question is how do I stand out from the rest of the Mazda sports car-driving crowd? Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Diniata does stand out, oh yes it does, and you'll need to decide if its price is also outstanding.
A station wagon with an entertaining V8 and a stick is almost always a hit around here. Unfortunately for the seller of yesterday's wrecked and reborn 1999 BMW 540i, his price was a swing and a miss. Wait wait, let's use a more apropos sports metaphor: 57% of you thought that BMW's nearly ten-large asking price was a goal line interception with less than a minute on the clock. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Okay, today's candidate is also a salvage title car - and I promise we'll give the tainted titles a rest for a while - but it's just so damn weird that I want to know what you think it's worth.
This my friends, is a 1995 Diniata. That is an NA Mazda Miata that has had its body modified to look like a 246 Dino GTS. Did they pull it off? Well, yeah it looks like a Dino, in the same way that I look like Brad Pitt. Both Mr. Pitt and I have two arms, two legs and our major facial features in the same general locales, but otherwise nobody is going to stop me on the street asking for Angelina Jolie's autograph.The Diniata's relationship with a 246 Dino is similarly tenuous. Up front, the Mazda's nose has been stretched by about a foot, and features a catfish mouth and headlights off of what look to be - oh, I don't know - a Mini? Behind that the stock Mazda hood maintains its power blister which of course somewhat spoils the illusion of the car's intended mid-engine look.
Working back, the doors have been re-sculpted to include an indentation in homage to the real Dino's engine air intakes. The hard cap roof includes flying buttresses that lead back to a rear end that features, not Dino tail lights, but those from an Opel GT.
In fact, the car is an odd mix of marques. The alloy wheels carry Ferrari badges despite Dinos never doing so, and it sports a carbon fiber rear lip spoiler which isn't something you'd find on the real car either. It should additionally be noted that a Dino GTS is a Spider with a targa roof. This car remains a full convertible with its hard top removable, but does lack any form of soft top.
Inside, it's all stock Miata, however it does look like it's had a lot of use. Nothing seems missing or broken, but it sure looks like it could use about a gallon of Fabreze. The ad notes that the car needs absolutely nothing in fact, and that the salvage title is owed to the purchase of the original car from a junk yard and not to an insurance write-off.
The eBay ad also states that this is number three of about a dozen Dino-ized Miatas (Miate? Miati?) which means that it's even more rare than an actual 246 GTS (1,274 built). At its $16,500 asking price, it's also a damn-sight cheaper than the real deal which can go for upwards of half a million these days.
But is imitation the sincerest form of cheapness? Does this Miata look enough like a Dino to make you overlook the fact that it has a four-pot up front instead of a sweet six in the middle? Would you be the hit of the Miata Owners Club? How eagerly about accepted in the Dino Club? Opel GT Club? Wherever you might end up with it, do you think it's worth that $16,500 asking price to get there?
H/T to PillPusher for the hookup!
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