Live Auctions

26,500 Original Miles: 1990 Mazda Miata

Talk about a modern-day barn find: this 1990 Mazda Miata has under 30,000 original miles and has been kept on blocks under cover while in storage in a barn in Connecticut. The factory hard top is included and while pictures are limited, they appear to show a highly original car with paint in good shape. These two-seaters have always been popular choices by non-enthusiasts as a summer runabout, so it’s not surprising to me to see one in the Northeast left in a barn with low mileage. Find it here on craigslist in Wallingford, CT for $9,500.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, there was a low-mileage M-Edition Miata in my own family (in Connecticut, no less) for many years with under 30,000 original miles. How I wish we still owned that car. This example is from the first year of domestic Miata sales, as it was introduced on the auto show circuit in 1989. I’d be willing to be this is an original owner example, socked away as a summer-only cruiser, as evidenced by the rather elaborate winter-time storage arrangement. The photos don’t tell us much, but the odometer does confirm the modest use the MX-5 has seen since 1990.

Miata interiors are fairly indestructible, as I did have a dalliance with an absolute beater example many years ago. It was a trashed former race car that had racked up over 130,000 miles, but you couldn’t tell it by the condition of the upholstery and carpets. That being said, it still looks like this car could use a detailing, as it doesn’t “pop” as much as I’d expect in a time-warp car. The seller mentions a few juicy details in the listing, most notably the presence of the optional limited-slip rear end, a highly coveted feature among the enthusiast crowd that tends to snatch cars like this up. Also included is the aforementioned OEM hardtop and a custom car cover; A/C is said to work, too.

The original alloy wheels are still mounted, and while they aren’t particularly sexy, it does further establish just how OEM-correct this Miata remains. The hard top paint seems to match the body well, which may indicate it was installed the day the Miata was picked up from the dealer. For the price, you’re getting a nearly-new Miata with all of the desirable factory options still in place, and summer driving season just around the corner. I suspect if there are no surprises upon in-person inspection, this one will be snatched up quickly. What a deal.


  1. flmikey

    How in the world did this car stay so clean in a dirty old barn? Also, those jack stands must be magical, as they should have sunk into the dirt floor…that being said, this one is very pretty, and might even be a bargain…

    Like 1
    • Weasel

      Give it a California Car Duster every few months.

      Some dirt floors are hard as a rock…literally.

      Like 6
  2. Superdessucke

    Is it safe to leave a car up on jack stands for that long? A car is designed to rest on its wheels, though if the factory jacking points were used it probably would be okay?

    Like 2
  3. carbuzzard Member

    A lot of people shed the daisy alloy wheels, but if you do, don’t think of them as a throwaway. They’re very light, lighter than most of what you’ll find anywhere else. Mazda went all out to make these cars light, and that included wheels. And looks? To me they have a sort of Minilite look to them, in other words, matches the styling of the car.

    Like 3
  4. angliagt angliagt Member

    With all of that hay (or whatever that is) on the ground,
    I’d be leery of mice.

    Like 1
    • Weasel

      The dilemma is that the hay soaks up moisture from the ground, which is a good thing, but, as you say, is nesting material for rodents.

      What to do???

      Like 1
      • Superdessucke

        Drive your car, that’s what! Temporary winter storage is better on a concrete floor for the reasons mentioned.

        Like 2
  5. BobMck Member

    This one needs to be checked out in person. If the mice did not get in, this is a good find.

    Like 1
  6. SourPwr Member

    I got my daughter’s 1991 Miata after it being in my garage for 15 years. After draining and cleaning the gas tank, fuel filter and all fluids being changed.With a new battery it fired up. I put new tires on it and I drove it 800 miles last summer with no other parts or repairs. Putting on a new timing belt/ water pump is my early spring project. If you’re concerned with the “Chick Car” label Flying Miata out of Colorado with drop a Corvette motor in it adding only 200lbs over original weight. It will weigh 1000lbs less than a Corvette and have 450hp at the rear wheels.

    Like 3
  7. Kenn

    Jeez Louise mlmikey, time after time I see folks here complaining ’cause the seller didn’t wash the car before photoing it. This seller does, and you ask how can it stay so clean in a barn? Guess the answer is for sellers to wash just half the car…

    Like 5
    • Barry Traylor

      You just can’t please some people. What a little gem I have a friend that bought one back in 1992 and she loved it.

  8. John McCue

    With it being up on jack stands or blocks why wouldn’t you take some photos underneath. 26,000 miles in ne winters could do a lot of rust damage to the chassis parts. Same with the dirt floor. I would want to see this one in person for this kind of money no matter how few the miles.

    Like 1
    • Ohio Rick

      And another key question is, “Covered with what?” Ever see a car that’s sat in a dirt floor barn for a couple years covered in plastic?

      Like 2
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Weird little cars, not quite a sport car, not quite a family car. Battery in the trunk I suppose to help with weight distribution. Long battery cable. I don’t know maybe a teen agers car of the female persuasion. Hardly masculine by any stretch of the imagination.
    God bless America

    • carbuzzard Member


      Like 7
    • grant

      Nice truck. Sorry about your… other deficiencies. This is the quintessential sports car. Small, light and balanced with enough power; not too much.

  10. triumph1954

    More than likely owned and driven by one of them fancy pants FLIPPERS! Not a sports car? Hardly masculine?What is it then?

  11. canadainmarkseh

    Not masculine enough? I’d drive it. Looks like it would be a fun car to drive. I was looking at a new one in a show room a year or so ago it was very cool. The new ones are a little bigger than this one with more motor and very stylish. The fact that it’s up off the floor on stands really solves the moisture problem and for that matter the rodent problem too. If you look at any Japanese car their bodies are well sealed up so I seriously doubt that there’s been rodents in this car. The owner was wise to put it on stands. Nice find.

    Like 2
    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      You don’t give mice enough credit. While the extra airspace provided by the stands might well mitigate the rust problem, they would be of zero deterrent to critters. Zero.

  12. James Stammer

    I question the paint. Looks like it lacks the factory black section at the bottom of the doors. This was done to make the car look longer. Factory paint on all first gens. If this is missing that, it has been repainted. If repainted after only 30k miles, why? My ’96 has 187k on it and still has factory red paint. I’t s tad thin in spots, but looks great from 10 feet.

    As for not masculine enough … more MIatas raced on any given day on the planet than ANY other make and model. Period. If that isn’t masculine enough for you … buy a bigger truck.

    Like 1

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