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BigMonkey73

NA Miata for DD?

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Should I do it?

Under $5k, a little over 2K curb weight, great handling so fun to drive 10/10ths all the time, I assume pretty reliable and cheap to maintain...

I've really had the itch for a low power car to serve as my daily / back up.

I'm tossing around BRZ/86/Miata late gent up to $20K ish..or a Kia Soul/Rio, or a Chevy Spark, or Yaris.

I am so torn between them all. The NA Miata is just so tempting at such a low buy in cost.

Cheap fun is what attracts me right now. I can never floor it in the Vette for too long without risking trouble..gotta wait for track days. I always remember renting a little Yaris and having so much fun that it wouldn't go anywhere at 100% throttle...I've wanted that ever since

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BMW Z4. Same idea, but more performance, more interior space, more trunk space, beautiful i6 motor. $10-12k picks up a very clean, low mileage example. $6-8k can pick up a clean-ish higher mileage car. $5k gets you one that runs and drives.

 

Glorious BMW reliability also. :rolleyes:

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86, it's got plenty of space and is a very livable daily driver. The seats fold down and you can get a full set of tires and tools in it, or groceries, golf clubs, etc. The NA is fine as long as you don't have too long of a commute and don't plan needing any real 'practicality'. They can also be a tight squeeze if you are 6' or taller (or a full sized american). You won't lose money with an NA and even if you do you're out the equivalent of one BMW major service.

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I would jump into an 09 or greater NC instead of an NA and if you need more room, go with the 86/FRS/BRZ.

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I love having my 95 NA as a (somewhat) daily.  Probably 3-4x per week unless its in the low 40s or colder.  You'll get 24-26 mpg or so, you pretty much have to rev the thing out every shift to keep up with traffic nowadays, which is part of the enjoyment. 

 

As long as you physically fit in the car comfortably, I don't see a reason not to daily an NA.  They are going up in value, find a nice clean one ($4-5k gets you a near mint ~100k or less, 1.8L example) keep it mostly stock and just enjoy the thing.  Throw a new headunit with bluetooth in there for $60 or so and you're set. 

 

Parts are comically cheap, good street/performance tires are about $250 a set, etc. 

 

Also, you can't beat a miata in the rain.  It'll make your commute 10x more fun, even with an open diff. 

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Also, you can't beat a miata in the rain.  It'll make your commute 10x more fun, even with an open diff. 

 

Amen. Although I drove the S2000 today, same applies....that 610 offramp was straight up tokyo D this morning. I'm the only one smiling at work on a Monday at the moment.

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If you're doing speeds over 65-70mph it can get load inside, a hardtop will help with this. That is really the only drawback, lots of road noise.

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I have a friend who's selling a 2008 Saturn Sky, also now in the mix. It's not the Redline and it isn't particularly in great shape...about 150K on the clock. What I do know is that he isn't a racer so it wasn't beat on...and I can get it for under $5K...so low end of the value spectrum. Also, it's an automatic :(  Plus no trunk room to speak of and I understand the convertible top is a pain.

 

I like the style, but man I didn't realize they were so heavy. That little thing is almost 3K lbs. I'd like to buy it from him, but I'm not convinced it will make me as happy as the NA Miata.

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I know you're in Dallas but here is a smoking deal on an NC2.

https://austin.craigslist.org/ctd/d/manchaca-2012-mazda-mx-5-miata-true-red/6813616877.html

It is also automatic but in the stop and go traffic, it's pretty nice to have. Also the PRHT kills that road noise.

 

OR, if you want your Miata with some extra torque...

https://austin.craigslist.org/cto/d/leander-2006-mazda-mx5-miata-gt-25l/6799794794.html

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Get a clean NA. They are stupid fun and will be collector items if you keep long term.  Next year is the 30 yr mark on Miata and I bet we'll never see the end of this great line of cars making the first ones that much more collectible IMO.  Second to that get the NB like I did.  I prefer the looks more and they are still raw.

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If you just want a cheap shitbox that you can treat like the world's fastest car (a rental), then do just that. If you want the most fun of the 100hp shitboxes, then get a Miata.

...and not practical? Pfftt eye of the beer holder, I've been DD'ing NAs exclusively since before FT86s were in diapers.

 

*not pictured, my dog riding shotgun*

post-1409-15499033932799_thumb.jpeg

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If you just want a cheap shitbox that you can treat like the world's fastest car (a rental), then do just that. If you want the most fun of the 100hp shitboxes, then get a Miata.

 

...and not practical? Pfftt eye of the beer holder, I've been DD'ing NAs exclusively since before FT86s were in diapers.

 

*not pictured, my dog riding shotgun*

 

attachicon.gif20190128_150541.jpeg

Love the tire rack!!! That's greatness

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I've done some DD and a lot of weekend-only in an NA and an NB and now an S2k. All are a lot of fun on the street, especially the NA and NB (the S2k is a bit too tempting to speed IMO). The NB had a significantly nicer interior, but other than that, they were very similar. 

 

Pros for driving an na/nb DD:

- Truly fun at legal speeds

- Ridiculously cheap maintenance and tons of online support

- Fun to modify with aftermarket parts to "tune" it exactly to your liking (suspension, exhaust, clutch, seats, etc, etc.)

 

Cons for driving an na/nb DD:

- Scary when surrounded by big SUV's/trucks whose drivers are texting! I got rear ended by such a person. It did $2700 of damage to my nb and only dented his license plate. There's no way around the fact that an na/nb is practically invisible to today's distracted drivers. And since they've got a ton advantage on you, your miata will lose. Just something to be aware of. You've got to be really diligent and defensive out there.

- Loud at highway speeds

- Hard to get into at 40+ years old. I had an aftermarket seat in both my na and nb to get my head low enough to fit roll-bar requirements on track. By 41, I was struggling to get in and out of that seat over and over. For reference, I'm 5'10" and 155#, but my torso is relatively tall for my height. My S2k is notably easier to get in and out of.

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I daily drove an NB for around a year. If you do a lot of freeway driving, it’s a definite ‘no’ vote from me. Way too noisy and the engine spins at a really high RPM on the freeway.

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Way too noisy and the engine spins at a really high RPM on the freeway.

 

Noisy, sure and not much you can do about it but the RPM's are a non-issue. People coming from pretty much any other car are alarmed by seeing 4k rpm at 80mph, but the BP will churn that out day in day out without complaint. 4k is only high RPM relative to your typical commuter or v8 churning out 2k at 80mph.

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I've done some DD and a lot of weekend-only in an NA and an NB and now an S2k. All are a lot of fun on the street, especially the NA and NB (the S2k is a bit too tempting to speed IMO). The NB had a significantly nicer interior, but other than that, they were very similar. 

 

Pros for driving an na/nb DD:

- Truly fun at legal speeds

- Ridiculously cheap maintenance and tons of online support

- Fun to modify with aftermarket parts to "tune" it exactly to your liking (suspension, exhaust, clutch, seats, etc, etc.)

 

Cons for driving an na/nb DD:

- Scary when surrounded by big SUV's/trucks whose drivers are texting! I got rear ended by such a person. It did $2700 of damage to my nb and only dented his license plate. There's no way around the fact that an na/nb is practically invisible to today's distracted drivers. And since they've got a ton advantage on you, your miata will lose. Just something to be aware of. You've got to be really diligent and defensive out there.

- Loud at highway speeds

- Hard to get into at 40+ years old. I had an aftermarket seat in both my na and nb to get my head low enough to fit roll-bar requirements on track. By 41, I was struggling to get in and out of that seat over and over. For reference, I'm 5'10" and 155#, but my torso is relatively tall for my height. My S2k is notably easier to get in and out of.

 

 

I daily drove an NB for around a year. If you do a lot of freeway driving, it’s a definite ‘no’ vote from me. Way too noisy and the engine spins at a really high RPM on the freeway.

 

These are good points, hadn't thought of them. Thanks guys

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Noisy, sure and not much you can do about it but the RPM's are a non-issue. People coming from pretty much any other car are alarmed by seeing 4k rpm at 80mph, but the BP will churn that out day in day out without complaint. 4k is only high RPM relative to your typical commuter or v8 churning out 2k at 80mph.

 

I meant that the high RPM's add to the noise, on top of the car being noisy to begin with from road and wind noise.  That's why I love towing with a diesel.  70 mph and churning less than 2K rpm. 

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The AC sucks and the transmission tunnel is a furnace. The NB's improved on most of that. NA Miata is also SUPER SLOW, so plan to be frustrated by the "speed up as you pass them" drivers.

 

Even the ND is very noisy at highway speeds so if you have a long commute maybe get something with a solid roof.

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"Cheap fun is what attracts me right now...gotta wait for track days. " I feel ya brother!

 

This is what drove me to the "NBeater" I bought :) It's a freaking hoot to beat on, now that I have all (almost all maybe?)  the critical maintenance done, and I could literally care less if the guy next to me in the parking garage does anything stupid (within reason of course).

 

DO EEETTTT!

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... unless its in the low 40s or colder...  You'll get 24-26 mpg or so, you pretty much have to rev the thing out every shift to keep up with traffic nowadays, which is part of the enjoyment. 

 

Also, you can't beat a miata in the rain.  It'll make your commute 10x more fun, even with an open diff. 

This is the first convertible that I have had, so the novelty of driving home from work, blasting the heater in cold weather is part of the experience :) I've driven it like it's been stolen for the past month, and it STILL returns 24.5 MPG. Where has this been all my life lol?

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Some of ya'll have spent too much time in modern comfy vehicles with ample horsepower and it shows. Ya'll gettin' soft. The NA transmission tunnel with OEM carpet and what not in place ain't a "furnace", but maybe there's a big difference between NA6 and NA8. NA8 does have better A/C, if properly functioning, than NA6 along with a solid bump in power. Yeah they're loud, yeah they're slow, yes you need to drive them like you're on a gutless motorcycle on the freeway, but damn if it ain't still fun. I'm not saying I want to get in an accident in an NA, but I've never had issues (or been scared) in fast moving traffic on Dallas/Houston freeways, just get after it. I mean, isn't that the point? Getting to ring it out and still churning pedestrian speeds? :p It's fun for totally opposite reasons that my parents Merc e550 was fun (PPOOOWWWAAHHHHH!!! and comfort)

 

Just comes down to what you're looking for I reckon, but my NA has made a number of trips in the 4-10 hour range from home (Mobile, AL), to NOLA, to Hallett, etc. Blasting around town ain't no thang.

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Over the last ~15 years, I've DD'd all generations of Miatas ;)

 

Lemme give you a rundown:

 

1. 1991 - This was a HPDE car that was driven very regularly because it was hella fun. No PS, no AC. It had Tokico dampers and Eibach springs. In the spring/fall/winter it was a decent DD. Wind noise was strong, and there was a rattle here and there. Overall pretty OK and did a trek to Oklahoma City from Austin and wasn't uncomfortable.

2. 2008 PRHT - The best DD of them all, IMO. I had the GT model and added Bilstein HD damper and Eibach springs with FatCat bumpstops. Rode great, pretty quiet inside, no complaints at all. Did some New Mexico and Las Vegas runs in this one, great trips and didn't get out of the car complaining.

3. 2004 Mazdaspeed - Stock suspension was harsh and not all that comfortable, even still, did a Monterey, CA trip in it without too many complaints. Road/Wind noise is lower than the '91, but not as quiet as the '08. I've since got an OEM hard top on it and replaced the suspension with Flyin' Miata VMaxx Classics. Good DD now, but still not '08 level, but close. I'm going to pack the space beneath the parcel shelf this weekend to see if I can get some of the road noise down just because it's cheap and easy.

4. 2016 - Better than the '04 w/ soft top, noisier than '04 with HT. Done two Monterey, CA trips in this without much complaint. Interior room is VERY improved over all previous years (I also lost 100lbs, so that helps, lol, but even before that it was better). It's nice to have bluetooth and now CarPlay. I've got the RoadsterSport springs (300fr/200r) and it's still a good ride but not as good as the '08.

 

If you have specific questions of any of the above models, lemme know.

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