25k Mile Special Edition: 1991 Mazda Miata SE

The seller of this clean, low mileage Miata offers a suggestion if you’re having a bad time in the year known by 2020: buy his car. It could be cheaper than therapy at this point, and perhaps a safer investment than the volatile stock market. Although not described as such, I believe this is a Special Edition model, given it sports British Racing Green paint with a gorgeous tan leather interior. This one has just 25,000 original miles on the clock and comes with the factory hardtop. Find it here on craigslist in Portland, Oregon for $13,500. Thanks go to Ikey H for the tip!

The Miata was offered in a few different special edition models, both in terms of equipment and cosmetic enhancements. Some models came with more sporting features, like limited slip differentials, while others were more focused on the beautification. The Special Editions got both, with an LSD and numerous trim upgrades. These cars are generally coveted by Miata enthusiasts, which is why it’s surprising not to see the owner highlight his car’s limited production qualities. The paintwork looks quite nice, and the Miata appears to remain completely stock, right down to its factory alloy wheels. The hardtop is a must-have among Miata fans.

The Special Edition models were also denoted by a Nardi shift knob and emergency brake handle; stainless sill plates; power windows; and a compact disc player. Production was limited to 4,000 examples and each car was numbered badge. The interiors were gorgeous when new, with the deep tan (almost butterscotch) leather contrasting perfectly with the British Racing Green paint. The seats in this example have been preserved to a high degree, and the same goes for the dash and the carpets. The door panels show no visible flaws, either. The seller notes it’s been garage kept and everything works as it should.

The engine didn’t receive any tweaks as part of the Special Edition package, aside from maybe being even more fun to hustle with the addition of a limited-slip. These cars are ridiculously cheap to own when well-maintained, and I’d want to at least see records of a timing belt change. Many owners assume because they haven’t crossed over the mileage intervals that their car is safe from needing one; timing belts, especially on interference engines like this, should be changed based on time rather than accumulated mileage. This Miata is priced fairly, in my opinion, especially for one of the more desirable limited edition models.

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Comments

  1. Turbo

    Carnut should get get this car. She can fit in it. She has a 30 inch waist. She can take Corso to the drive in.

  2. The_Driver

    This is an NA6 (1.6 B6 engine) BRG. Though it came with an LSD, it the “Viscous” type, nowhere near as strong as the Torsen LSD’s offered after 1994.

    Still, U.S. Spec BRG’s have a STRONG following. They even have their own “Gathering of the Green” meets around the country where only NA6 BRG’s (Canada got an NA8 BRG in 1995 and 1996) are welcomed!

    Like 2
  3. Robert

    All Miata 1.6 and 1.8 Litre engines are non-interference engines.

    Like 4
  4. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    This looks an incredible example but be aware.
    These things rot from inside out.
    Mazda are clueless when it comes to rust protection. Mine was written off last week because of it and it looked fine from outside until the MOT inspector pressed his probe through the sill.
    Junk cars with a cult following. Personally I don’t know what the fuss was about. I found it slow, pokey inside and didn’t get the hype. I had owned it for 2 months and lost my shirt.
    Of course this one is far better than mine but it will be rust proofed the same. Only a matter of time.

    Like 1
    • The_Driver

      My 1997 Montego doesn’t have a spec of rust anywhere. Why? Prior to me bringing it to Denver, the car was a lifelong California and Oregon car. Though some of the largest urban areas in the U.S. are in the Northeast and Midwest, the three most populous states are California, Texas and Florida where rust is simply not an issue. Also, the West, Pacific Northwest, the Southwest and the Southeast are basically rust free areas.

      • UK Paul 🇬🇧

        Unfortunately the rest of the world sees rain and Mazda simply didn’t bother with quality rust proofing. A google will show all sorts of horrors. It’s a fundamental design flaw.

    • The_Driver

      ANother thing, this cars are for canyon bombing! Though I’m originally from Florida (where I owned two Miatas, and where Miatas are IMMENSENLY popular) it wasn’t until I moved to California and Colorado where I truly got to enjoy this cars. I routinely obliterate much “faster” and powerful cars (Porsche, V8 Mustangs, V8 Camaros,) while hitting the canyons outside of Denver, with my humble (and somewhat modified non turbo) NA Miata!

      • The_Driver

        The Southeast (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana) sees as much rain as the Caribbean and it is even more humid than most of the Caribbean. Yet again, rust is not an issue, so rain itself should not be a rust culprit.

  5. 370zpp

    Beautiful. If it checks out, this would be a great two seater.

  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I’ve never owned one, but the owner displayed a lot of self control to only drive this 25K.

    I still see people driving theirs with the top down on chilly mornings, and others driving it through the NH snowy winters with the hardtop on. That’s dedication.

    Like 5
  7. Frank Armstrong

    There was a left hand drive version for sale in my home town this summer. Interior was nice, hardtop was still on it, ~ 85,000 km on it. It had a replacement front fender on it, but the owner still had the dented original fender. Started at $6,000, and last time I saw it, it was asking $3,500. I thought hard about it, but left hand drive stopped me.
    ~

    • Frank Armstrong

      My bad, I meant right hand drive…..

      Like 1
    • Frank Armstrong

      My bad, I meant right hand drive…..

  8. dave

    Some of our customers own these classics, and we find them to be zippy and very trouble-free for the most part…

  9. BG in AK

    I was born and grew up in the UK and have spent the last few decades in Canada & Alaska. Had a ‘91 for a few years and loved it.

    I would have another one in a heartbeat in either country as it’s features are relevant anywhere.

    Wherever there are twisty roads, there should be Miatas. ‘It’s the rule’ – or at least it should be.

    Like 1
  10. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    @the_driver I just did a quick google for US based MX5’s with rust and I was inundated.
    There are forums, images, even videos of hundreds of rusting MX5 in the States.
    Trust me, they rust. Badly.
    The rain there is just as wet. Maybe in the desert it’s ok or even Florida dries it out quicker but I would surprised given the humidity.

    Like 1
    • The_Driver

      Oh sunshine, you are seriously misguided… :rolleyes:

      https://bringatrailer.com/mazda/miata/

      Also, come and look for the rusty U.S. Miatas… @ https://forum.miata.net/vb/

    • CVPanther Member

      Paul: I was curious and googled that as well, and yes, there are dozens upon dozens (hundreds) of recommendations to have your Miata professionally rust-proofed at least annually by former and current owners. So that tells me there is an inherent rust problem with these cars.
      Even a youtube search for “Miata rust” rendered 100’s of videos.

      • UK Paul 🇬🇧

        Thanks CV Panther. It really is a huge issue. Probably one of the worse cases out there.
        The worse part is they rust inside out so look ok one moment and next they crumble apart.

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