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Old 04-21-2009, 10:36 AM   #1
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Default Fair price for this 1996 M - 7,800 miles

I'm in the early stages of looking for a Miata, although originally looking for a NB. I want to mildly mod it for a recreational car that I will auto-x occasionally, and eventually track a few times. I had figured a small turbo would be in the future.

Long story, but I got in touch with a guy who has a 1996 Miata M with only 7,800 miles. Never drives the car, the only things done have been oil changes and a new set of tires due to dry rot. He has a Jackson SC on his bench that was never installed (I think it is new), and will include that in the sale.

Car was covered and looks to be in pretty good shape, maybe minor rubs/scuffs from the cover, but probably fine for what I want it as.

What is this car worth in a realistic market? He wants more than book value, although the car really isn't listed for sale, just mentioned in passing. Is this car worth getting over a 50k mile 99/00?
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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Depends on your goals.

This kind of deal sounds like you're tying yourself down in couple of ways...depending on your eventual plans.

An M-Edition with that low of mileage may be worth a LOT to some folks (see m.net), but may be a waste of money and effort to you.

You probably need to decide now if you want to go turbo or supercharger, although you could sell that kit. I would say if you are set on a turbo, stay with a turbo.


Low miles are great, but if you plan on going over 250whp you're going to pull the motor apart anyways. Motors hold up very well, as do chassis, so if the premium over a relatively low mileage 99/00 is much, it's probably not worth it to you.


Unless you really want an M-Edition. I'm kind of partial to the wheels, and it's a pretty slick overall package. Plus you've already got the Torsen diff in the bag. This is a MUST with much over a 200whp goal.

The M's are also fairly rare, so you could end up with a nice, unique turbocharged ride.

IF you want the M-Edition badly, and are willing to pay for such ridiculously low mileage, $9-10K is fair, although he could easily ask for more (and easily not get it). This is a little more than blue book on a decent NB, and actually well over market price of a nice 99 under 100K miles. If he does want close to $10K, and prices in your area for nice '99s are also in the $5K-8K range, the difference in price could easily pay for a nice turbo kit from BEGi or FM.

I always wonder about cars that don't get used. To me you take care of things you enjoy, and you also use things you enjoy. There are exceptions I guess.

If you don't care about the M cachet, you could use the substantial price difference to put towards mods on a nice NB, just make sure you find one that also already has a Torsen, and possibly even a 6 speed. Also, the 99s have better heads.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:06 AM   #3
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Depends on your goals.

This kind of deal sounds like you're tying yourself down in couple of ways...depending on your eventual plans.

An M-Edition with that low of mileage may be worth a LOT to some folks (see m.net), but may be a waste of money and effort to you.

You probably need to decide now if you want to go turbo or supercharger, although you could sell that kit. I would say if you are set on a turbo, stay with a turbo.


Low miles are great, but if you plan on going over 250whp you're going to pull the motor apart anyways. Motors hold up very well, as do chassis, so if the premium over a relatively low mileage 99/00 is much, it's probably not worth it to you.


Unless you really want an M-Edition. I'm kind of partial to the wheels, and it's a pretty slick overall package. Plus you've already got the Torsen diff in the bag. This is a MUST with much over a 200whp goal.

The M's are also fairly rare, so you could end up with a nice, unique turbocharged ride.

IF you want the M-Edition badly, and are willing to pay for such ridiculously low mileage, $9-10K is fair, although he could easily ask for more (and easily not get it). This is a little more than blue book on a decent NB, and actually well over market price of a nice 99 under 100K miles. If he does want close to $10K, and prices in your area for nice '99s are also in the $5K-8K range, the difference in price could easily pay for a nice turbo kit from BEGi or FM.

I always wonder about cars that don't get used. To me you take care of things you enjoy, and you also use things you enjoy. There are exceptions I guess.

If you don't care about the M cachet, you could use the substantial price difference to put towards mods on a nice NB, just make sure you find one that also already has a Torsen, and possibly even a 6 speed. Also, the 99s have better heads.
Thanks for the quick response and amount of information. I've had more experience with turbos on a number of Audi's, and like their characteristics... I like the idea of a SC, but not very familiar with them on a smaller engine, besides the mini.

As far as power, I have no goals of going over 200whp, and could probably settle for less, which is why I thought a small and simpler turbo setup may work well for me. What ballpark does a SC typically put out? Jackson SC site says 40% more than stock.

I like the cosmetics of the NB over the NA, but could probably put that aside for a solid car. I've seen numerous pictures, but the car is 6 hours from me, so up close paint quality is a mystery. The owner said he'd take 8k for the car and SC that he has sitting around. I am tempted to offer a bit less, I see the kbb is $5,500 in good and $6,000 in excellent, granted that doesn't factor in what an enthusiast is willing to pay for the M. I'm not an "enthusiast" yet, and like the idea of paying "fair" value.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:07 AM   #4
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And what is m.net? I didn't find the site w/ a google search.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:13 AM   #5
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And what is m.net? I didn't find the site w/ a google search.
Sorry, miata.net, the "wine and cheesers" of the miata crowd.

Really a good site for the garage section and stuff, but power happens over here, and we put up with less fluff, crying, and floormat threads.

40% more than stock is about 140-150whp. Not a whole lot really, but a difference.

Turbos are more efficient, can more easily net higher power, and when properly sized, can have quick, linear response.



For your power goals you just need a base Miata and don't worry about building a motor or anything.

Definitely talk him down as nothing is selling close to perceived value in this market.

I would say even if you only get him down to $7500, it's a decent deal...if you want to pay that for an M, and like the idea of a basically new car.

If you don't care about either of those, that's twice what a decent NA starter car costs.

Sell the supercharger kit and recoup a little if you do it.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:24 AM   #6
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Ok, miata.net I knew about, I thought this was another forum I was in the dark on.

I like the idea of a low mile, rust free car, rather than a 3-4k 150k mile car. I'd rather spend time and money on a car that I know will last for a while, especially as it will be a 2nd car and stay in the garage for the winter.

I know that I want torsen, power windows and locks, AC, but other than that, up in the air. Really trying to keep it simple, only adding sway bars, rollbar, pads/rotors, and turbo or SC. If the resale on the SC is 1k, and I can get the car for $7,000, sounds like this could be a good deal.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:26 AM   #7
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That would be a pretty good deal for what you want to do.

Plop down the money for a nice car up front...invest a few grand in parts...pull fur like nobody's business.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:23 AM   #8
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The 96 had the Starlight Blue Mica paint, same as the STO Edition, very beautiful color and had the 15in Enkei wheels. A bit of M info here Mazda MX-5 Miata M Edition Field Guide
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:09 AM   #9
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The 96 had the Starlight Blue Mica paint, same as the STO Edition, very beautiful color and had the 15in Enkei wheels. A bit of M info here Mazda MX-5 Miata M Edition Field Guide
Thanks, I stumbled across this page a few days ago. A lot of good info.

As of not, the guy is in no rush and I may hold off on this car until early fall so that I can move and renovate my house this summer. After doing more price research, it still looks like it may be a premium for a car and lower miles than I'm concerned about. 6k seems like a fair price I could get a 70k mile 99 for, which I'd probably be happier.

I'm also not sold on the SC, although I could sell it off from this car.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:13 AM   #10
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You could (and should) definitely sell the supercharger to recoup a little.

If you don't want to pay the premium, you can easily put the money saved towards mods, and still end up with a nicer, comparatively low mileage car.

With summer rolling around the deals may be fewer and farther between, but winter always comes back around with great bargains on convertibles and motorcycles. I consistently bought a motorcycle late fall for several years, and always sold one early summer. I started with $500 for a running Yamaha XS650, and had a Triumph Daytona 955i after several years, without anymore capital input from the CFO.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:19 AM   #11
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You could (and should) definitely sell the supercharger to recoup a little.

If you don't want to pay the premium, you can easily put the money saved towards mods, and still end up with a nicer, comparatively low mileage car.

With summer rolling around the deals may be fewer and farther between, but winter always comes back around with great bargains on convertibles and motorcycles. I consistently bought a motorcycle late fall for several years, and always sold one early summer. I started with $500 for a running Yamaha XS650, and had a Triumph Daytona 955i after several years, without anymore capital input from the CFO.
Exactly my thoughts on price jump. I'll be too busy finishing up the house and fishing off my boat this summer, and the car will make a great project. The reason I posted this car is that I thought it was a rare find, and debated jumping on it right away. Turns out low miles isn't quite that rare for these cars, although the 99+ is going to cost more.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:23 AM   #12
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If you can get it for 7k, let along 6k with the SC, I'd snag it now. If he has told you about it, I'd imagine that he has or will tell others and it won't last. Hell, buy it and you can always flip it if you decide you want to go in another direction.

Hell, buy it and I will trade you for my 69K mile blue 99, leather, torsen car.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:29 AM   #13
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I wouldn't want to severely mod a car like that. Keep those cars for the purists I don't understand. Get a shitbox and build it up. It will probably be cheaper in the long-run.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:44 AM   #14
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The owner mentioned it to me off another forum (not Miata). He is the original owner, car is a 3rd or 4th car and his wife doesn't want him to sell it, but they never use it. I don't think he is telling anyone it is for sale, just mentioned it to me because he wouldn't "mind" unloading it. I told him I wasn't in a rush and even the fall is fine (and he was okay with that, said just stay in touch).

I don't want to get too much of a POS car. I want something reliable enough to make it a daily on nice days in the summer to work and the train, and to make the 1 hour drive to Auto-x and make it home on its own power. Being in the North East, I also want zero rust, so I can try and prevent it rather than catch up to it.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:50 AM   #15
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Seriously, you should just buy this car and turbo it. I know that some would say it's sacrelige, but hell, it's a 7K car. You wouldn't hesitate to turbo a 7K 99 or a 7K honduh. Why not a 7K low mile M? Besides, you could at least cause a few heart attacks when you post pics over at m.net.

It's a known entity. Zero miles, tight chassis. Just do it. That is, unless you are like me. I WANTED an NB. I just like them more for a DD car.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:24 AM   #16
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Seriously, you should just buy this car and turbo it. I know that some would say it's sacrelige, but hell, it's a 7K car. You wouldn't hesitate to turbo a 7K 99 or a 7K honduh. Why not a 7K low mile M? Besides, you could at least cause a few heart attacks when you post pics over at m.net.

It's a known entity. Zero miles, tight chassis. Just do it. That is, unless you are like me. I WANTED an NB. I just like them more for a DD car.
I really like the idea of original owner, garaged or covered its whole life, stock, etc. Much more cost effective to buy a modded car, but I don't imagine going too nuts on my next car, and I want to know exactly how everything was done.

Anyone have an idea of what a used (but new) Jackson SC goes for? 1k?

I like the NB better for cosmetics, but it will be a few grand more to get a similar car, easily. If I wanted pure cosmetics or name, I'd look for an older Boxster, minus the repairs...
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:29 AM   #17
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ok then spend a bunch of money on some **** that you're going to cut up, I don't give a ****.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:33 AM   #18
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I've seen them sell anywhere between $500-1000.


It sounds like for what you want, this car is right. You'd get the best of it all:

M rarity and looks
Tuned however you see fit
Peace of mind

That's hard to beat, especially on the latter. Trust me, for every one project I WANT to do on my car, I also end up fixing something else I WASN'T planning on...it's got 220K miles on it.

You CAN find nice low mileage NBs, but if you want something, and feel a draw to it, just do it and don't look back. You can try and rationalize either way all the way until fall. We buy these cars not because it's a good decision though (this is a 3rd car for us, completely unnecessary), but because we enjoy them. You'll enjoy the car more if you felt compelled to buy it, even if it didn't scream: "best value" "best upgrade path" or "best condition". In the end it's only money now, and you will probably keep the car for several years.

Drive it, if it speaks to you, keep the conversation going.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:55 AM   #19
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ok then spend a bunch of money on some **** that you're going to cut up, I don't give a ****.
Yes you do. You must be a closet wine and cheeser. That's OK, though. I am, too. If I came upon this car, I'd buy it, but it would likely be a garage queen only because I already have a couple of Miatas to drive. That's not an option for the OP.

On another subject, I just put the wife's BRG back on the insurance for the summer yesterday. It's all back together after paint and a new top. I need to get some pics done. It looks ****.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:43 AM   #20
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In for **** pics.
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