Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

The 272 Mile Miata!


Back in October we featured a 6,686 mile Miata and it surprised everyone when it sold for $9,000! Well, another low mileage example has popped up so I figured it was worth a mention. Jim S found this one back in November, but it is still on the market so it might be worth making an offer if you are interested. It’s going to take a collector with some serious foresight though because the seller is asking $15,990 here on Hemmings. That may seem crazy, but remember, this car sold for only slightly more when new, yet with only a claimed 272 miles covered, this one is basically still brand new!


Buying such a common car for so much money may seem foolish, but low-mileage examples of cars like this are rare. Miatas were meant to be driven and enjoyed, not stashed away as an investment. Apparently this one didn’t see much action because it was purchased for the owner’s wife. The only problem was, she didn’t know how to drive stick. So, there is sat for 23 years! The next owner was smart enough to replace all the fluids and rubber, but not much else. They did replace the tires for safety’s sake, but made sure to keep the originals.


They must have not been able to resist the temptation to drive it around the block a few times though. The photos shows the odometer at 259, but the seller listed them at 272 in their ad. I can’t find any good reason to not believe the claims here. The interior looks clean and the engine bay even cleaner. The tonneau cover and antennae are still in covered in plastic in the trunk and the paint looks shiny and dent free. Obviously at this kind of money, it would be wise to inspect the car in person or have someone do it for you.


Hopefully the seller can provide documentation to prove the mileage too because that is where the true value lies here. Honestly, I would rather have a car I could drive without feeling guilty, but if I were a gambling man, this is where I would put my money. There may be a ton of these on the roads today, but I predict that within 10 years this little roadster will provide its next owner with a nice return on their investment. What do you guys think – a good buy and hold strategy? Thanks for the tip Jim!


  1. Tim H

    There are still lots of “less then 50K mile, garage kept first gen miatas” out there. There were a lot of older people, trying to regain there youth, that bought them but put very few miles on them. When you figure in the cost of storage it is hard to justify waiting for this one to turn much of a profit. I often look at cars I have owned and wish I still had them to sell at today’s prices but when I figure in storage costs I feel a lot better.

    Like 0
  2. Graham Line

    Can’t begin to count the number of men in my age group who have brought home Corvettes, Miatas, etc. only to hear “the seats hurt my back” or “the wind messes up my hair.” So the convertible sits and doesn’t rack up many miles.

    Similar thing happened 28 years ago when my son was born and the two-seater 914 had one seat too few.

    Like 0
  3. hhaleblian

    Asking price less than restoration costs. However, buying this car one is handcuffed. As the miles add up, the value drops down. What will one do? Stare at it for another 15 years? Personally I’d rather buy one with 228,000 miles on the clock. Hold on, I did!

    Like 0
  4. 2VT

    Buy it and drive it. $15k for a new Miata is pretty cheep. If I didn’t already have too many cars I’d buy it.

    Like 0
  5. Brian

    This is “kinda, sorta” like the discussion about the restored Lambracht Chevy truck – in that – what to do with new-old-stock car? This one is alittle different; $15,900.00 is low-priced-used-car money today, but if you bought it and started daily driving it, it would quick become just another used car, and valued accordingly. I’m very sure that this car would require several thousand dollars of repairs beyond the repairs the current owner has done – things like engine and transmission seals are notorious for leaking after a car is pressed back into service after a long storage. If your lucky, they will swell and stop leaking after a few thousand miles, but I never have that sort of luck. I wouldn’t be shocked if items like struts, fuel pumps, and injectors failed before their nornmal mileage-life expectancy.

    Just like the Lambracht cars, I’d feel too guilty to start driving it. Every mile would hurt and every gravel chip and parking lot ding would burn! I wonder if that is why the current owner did the work to ready the car for the road then put it on the market? I’m with the other commenter above, I’d just look for a “lower” (50-75k) mileage car for less cash to drive to work. This would be a perfect car for a museum or large privite collection, where it can be preserved with it’s mileage intact. Someday, this could be at $100,000 car; why blow it now?

    Like 0
  6. DREW V.

    As to the question of the mileage, I would guess that the car has been test driven a cpl of times between the pic being taken and the ad being placed in Hemmings… The car may have been listed on Craigslist, Auto Trader etc etc before the owner tried Hemmings…

    Like 0
  7. The Chucker

    Be the next owner…or curator? I’d wanna drive it.

    Like 0
  8. fred

    A lot of brand new cars have a couple hundred miles when sold just from test drives, maybe that’s where the mileage came from.

    Like 0
  9. Vince Habel

    They just never did anything for me.

    Like 0
    • hhaleblian

      If you ever owned a 50’s or early 60’s British sports car you may understand driving a Miata. I just bought Jesse’s 1990. You outta drive one. At the tender age of 63, I’m 16 again. Trust me, the high school hottie cheerleader in her best garb wanting me (no chance) wouldn’t stand a chance against the Miata. I prefer hitting the Miata hard. Thank you very much, you’re a wonderful crowd. However it may be fun fun to own polar opposite bookends. I’m thinkin about it. Myron Vernis, will you check in on my psych ward?

      Like 0
    • Brian

      I’m with Vince. These cars never rocked my world. It didn’t help that every girl in my high school wanted one when they came out. Teenage boys who got too close to one could risk low testosterone levels that, back then, only a ride in an IROC Z or Mustang GT could cure!

      I disagree that these cars were the reincarnation of the classic MGBs of the 1960s. The Mazda was far to dependable and quirk-free to be worthy of that title! Mazdas ain’t got no mystery smoke! When is the last time you saw someone pushing a Miata off to the side of the road?

      Like 0
  10. Dolphin Member

    I don’t get the special attraction, if there is one, for a plentiful 14-year old car with almost no miles on it. There is a big $$ premium expected in the $16K ask, which will vanish as soon as the buyer takes it on the road and uses it. Far better to spend that money on a car with more miles that has value for you beyond simply having low miles, and that you won’t hesitate to drive.

    Like 0
  11. jim s

    i so want to put a 100000 miles on this as fast as i can. laughing as i turn a $15k car into a $5k car.

    Like 0
  12. cliffyc

    Wow!,little time capsule this one. Has got to be museum quality. Great buy, early Miatas (I live in UK and they call them MX5s’ here),are very pretty and a great drive. Hard top looks good on them too.

    Like 0
  13. Matt C

    Lets be more accurate when we claim a very low mileage car is ‘like new” and because of that the asking price is reasonable.

    Nothing can be further from truth except when referring to painted metal parts like fenders, or possibly even interiors.

    Truth is that lack of driving creates problems also.

    Oxidation of all fluids, water in the gas, deterioration of seals and gaskets, rusting of the gas tank,flat spotted tires, not to mention sidewall deterioration of the tires,plug wires etc.

    Any prudent buyer will address all these areas before driving.

    Therefore, how can one claim that the asking price is reasonable when replacement or repair costs to bring a car up to “like new” mechanical condition can cost plenty.

    just saying.

    Like 0
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Good point Matt. The best way to keep a car healthy is to drive it! The seller mentions that they have changed all the fluids and rubber, but it might be a good idea to check if they have any maintenance records from the previous owner. If they changed the fluids even occasionally, it would make a big difference internally.

      Like 0
  14. ORacer

    For all of you that think that the Miata/MX5 is a girl’s car, I welcome you to take a few laps with me in a $15,000 Spec Miata race car, you might change your mind.

    25 years in production, almost a million sold, the newest model, the 4th generation could be the best one yet, although I will never sell the one I bought join 1989.

    Like 0
  15. thefatkid

    I remember seeing this on Hemmings. Someone pointed out that the seller failed to mention it has a salvaged title. Not sure if that is true but I sure would run a CarFax before buying it…..

    Like 0
  16. bob

    Seventy two cars in forty five years,twenty one of them British, and a couple of Corvettes and Jaguars later, I have now had eight Miatas…..and YES! they are meant to be driven. Each of the three generations is like driving a different car. The early ones are fun because you can really throw them around. The 2001 I have now kept for thirteen years is like a go cart on steroids (muscle cars have no allure at all anymore) These things are just the most fun you can have driving a car, which is why I really wouldn’t want this one. It is and should remain a “garage queen“`….meanwhile, let`s go driving….

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.