Clean And Simple Roadster: 1991 Mazda Miata

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When it comes to entry-level sports cars, the Mazda MX-5 Miata remains the champion of the roadster class. Challengers have been numerous but no single model appears ready to take over the podium for thrifty and fun sports car purity. The Mazda Miata has been a mainstay for decades, now, and it’s sometimes hard to recall just how blissfully simple the original model was. This 1991 Mazda Miata will refresh your memory as it combines a few details we rarely see all at once, from its silver paint job to OEM steel wheels to its nicely-presented condition that borders on survivor-grade.

I don’t know what it is about seeing sports cars on steel wheels but it’s one of my favorite details on this Miata. It reminds us that unlike the current crop of automobiles, it wasn’t all that long ago that steel wheels were standard equipment, and some car shoppers even kept the base-model look despite there being an optional alloy wheel design available. I believe this is why the new Ford Ranger pickup is doing so well, as it has allowed consumers to return to a bare-bones spec if they so desire. In some ways, the newest Miata has forgotten this, what with its power folding top and larger alloy wheels that come standard; however, the Miata still does a better job than most of not going overboard with features and high-level specs. In addition to the wheel choice, I love this Miata for its silver paint, as we typically see the NA-series cars in red or white.

The interior is as simple as a set of steel wheels, with basic bucket seats and a no-frills cockpit. The materials were still durable, however, and if you ever come across a Miata in the junkyard, I’ll bet you’d be surprised to see how durable the switchgear, seats, and door panels still feel. The seller’s car has just over 54,000 original miles on the clock and looks quite good for its age; the best part about a Miata interior is that it’s very hard to trash, and the uniformity of the cabin across the many years of the NA-series production run means one interior very rarely looks better than another – unless we’re talking the M special edition package with its leather seating surfaces, Nardi shift knob, and polished door sill plates.

Other than a timing belt job and oil changes, the Miata’s engine is an exercise in simplicity and cheap operating costs. The seller notes that his car benefits from lots of recent maintenance, including a new clutch, flywheel, master cylinder, timing belt, water pump, pads and rotors. and battery in recent years, making this about as turnkey of a Miata as you can get. The other details are right, too, with the trunk photo in the listing here on eBay showing a car cover, factory spare tire, and super clean sheet metal inside the various cavities. The small-but-mighty attitude of the original MX-5 Miata is still charming today, and outside of adding a factory hard top, this one looks pretty much perfect as-is.

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  1. Driveinstile DriveinstileMember

    Boy, this sure does bring back memories. I am with you Jeff. I’ve always gravitated towards base model plain steel wheel vehicles my while life. I just preffer it. This has simple manual crank up windows too. I think whoever originally ordered or bought this, just simply wanted a fun driving experience for as reasonable price as possible. And the fact that its survived this many years with low mileage, but not too low, shows it was enjoyed sparingly yet regularly I would think. And it was obviously taken care of inside, outside, and mechanically. Whoever gets this one, is sure getting a great car. I just hope they keep it stock.

    Like 8
  2. Fogline

    Sold for $7k. Seems like a good deal for an unmolested car.

    Like 8
  3. Karl

    Silver and Yellow are the “Holy Grail” First Gen. colors to find.

    Like 1
    • 370zpp 370zppMember

      The “Holy Grail” First Gen. color for these as well as the Fiero and the MR-2 was simply Not_red.

      Like 2
      • Karl

        They are the rarest colors, and collector jackpots.

        Like 0
    • nlpnt

      I’d think Mariner Blue would be more desirable than Settle-For Silver.

      Like 1
  4. CCFisher

    Miatas are the opposite of amusement park rides. Where amusement park rides say “You must be this tall to ride,” Miatas say “You cannot be this tall to ride.” These have appealed to me since they were new, but all I can see when I sit in one and look forward is the windshield header.

    Like 2
  5. Tin Box

    Rare to find a base model car with steelies, no factory radio, no power steering. Bulletproof car

    Like 4
  6. Dave LomaxMember

    Bought my wife a red 94 Miata. I think she has driven it twice. It lives under a cover in the back corner of a distillery in Quincy IL. I probably should put it on this site and see if I can get my $8k back.

    Like 1
    • Jesse JesseStaff

      Send it in Dave!

      Like 0

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