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HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1990 Mazda Miata

Pick of the Day: 1990 Mazda Miata

The car that saved the sports car

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The Mazda Miata is the car that saved the entire idea of sports cars. If Mazda had not introduced the Miata the likelihood that great sports cars, including the BMW Z3/4, Porsche Boxster, Honda S2000, Series 2 Lotus Elise, would never have been built. Imagine a world without those entry level sports cars. It would definitely be a more sad and dreary place, and these cars literally owe their existence to the Miata.

It isn’t just those sports car owners who should be grateful for the Miata either. The entire SCCA and NASA club racing world was literally saved by the introduction of the Miata, as it restarted the whole idea of club racing and these days more Miatas compete in SCCA races than any other single car model. Also know that the Miata has won more races at all levels of road racing than any other single other car model ever produced. And speaking of production, more Miatas have been produced than any other two sports car in the history of sports cars.

Yes, these are bold claims but if you do a bit of searching on the internet you will find that all the above statements are completely correct.

The Miata was an immediate hit when it was launched as a 1990 model. There were long waitlists and rave reviews in every single car magazine in the world. It was love at first sight at the car deserved every accolade it got. My favorite version of the Miata is the first generation car built from 1990 through 1997, as they are the original example and have gone from being thought of as used cars to now being considered a truly iconic sports car. If you collect sports cars you should consider adding a first generation Miata to your collection.

The Pick of the Day would likely be a car that well suits the needs of both the collector and driver, a first year 1990 Mazda Miata on ClassicCars.com located in Miami, Florida.

This Miata is finished in its original Classic Red paint over its original black cloth interior. The car is a literal time capsule having only covered 15,000 miles from new. In essence this is a brand new 1990 Miata.

The seller does not include a lot of information in the advertisement other than stating that the car has a total mileage of 15,941 miles from new, that it received a timing belt service in 2017 (which was done due to age and not mileage). Something tells me the car was thoughtfully cared for. They close the ad stating that the sale includes two keys and manufactures literature.

I decided to do more research myself by looking carefully at the pictures provided. This showed me that this car has an important option to many which is factory A/C. Not all Miatas had A/C, as it was not offered as standard equipment. Looking at more details I discovered that this 1990 Miata is what is called an A spec car. This means it has power steering, a leather wrapped steering wheel, alloy wheels, and an AM/FM cassette stereo with an integrated clock.

The exterior looks to have no issues whatsoever, with clean original paint and no dents or dings visible on any of the panels. The original factory alloy wheels also look to be completely free of curb rash, and the only wear is a slight discoloring on the plastic center caps.

The interior is also as new with everything from the seats to the carpets all in perfect condition. The car also still includes its original radio. This in itself is surprising and lets me know the previous owner worked hard to keep this car original and preserve it.

The engine compartment is the same as the rest of this car. There are no modifications, no cheap replacement parts. It is an original first year Miata with its original engine that has a slight bit of oxidation on the cam cover. If this bothers you, try your hand at polishing it or simply have a good detail person clean it. Don’t go too far and polish it. as that will turn it into something it never was and this is a car to continue to preserve.

The entire car looks to be a super clean example, and what is extra nice is that it includes both sets of keys on period Mazda keyring as well as the books and manuals it came with new, along with the original space saver spare tire and tool roll. All these things add up to a truly collector’s grade Miata that has so few miles on the clock that driving it will not hurt its value.

In a nutshell, this is a great example of one of these truly important and iconic sports cars, and at an asking price of only $17,900 it represents a great deal in today’s market. If you have been considering buying a use Lotus Elan, MGB, Triumph TR4, Alfa Spider or other classic roadster, I might seriously consider this 1990 Miata instead as it does everything those cars do except break down and leak oil.

Click here for this ClassicCars.com Pick of the Day.

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Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

3 COMMENTS

  1. They built 3000 of these cars in 1990. What number off the line is this car.
    Also, there was two packages A and B depending on the features. How many miles are on this car, and what state is it from? This will need to be a special car to be asking its original asking price from 1990.

  2. HI,. we have one of those original 1990 Miatas. I t has never seen snow except when the garage door is open! As some of you followers know,
    the 1990 model had a weak, very weak crankshaft. when I purchase ours many, many years ago, I was aware of this, but even with so many miles (over 90,000) , it ran so-o good, I couldn’t pass it up. Turned out, it has a latter engine. And, it is still running very strong after 230,00 miles.
    I really like this car! I have always run synthetic oil in it. Take care! Karl

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