MIATA = “Miata Is Always The Answer!” Well that’s atleast true for me!
A little back story on my previous cars, which led me purchasing the Miata:
Before I moved to Houston, I owned a stick shift 2007 Mini Cooper. I owned it for over 5 years and It was a heck of a lot of fun, it just wasnt realiable or fun during Houston rush hour!
At the time I was commuting from Katy to the University of Houston, which meant an hour and half of stop and go traffic. Driving a stick shift car got to be tiring and the Mini wasn’t exactly the most comfortable car. Besides, I wanted to try something different. So then I got the aweful idea to sell it and purchase a 2006 BMW 550i. I thought it would make communite more pleasant and to be honest it did…well atleast when everything worked…
Well I eventually I got fed up with commuting and moved to a place 10 minutes away from my university campus, I then started to regret selling the Mini, as more and more problems kept comming up on the BMW. It didn’t help that the automatic transmission from 2006 was a real slush box, and now that I wasn’t communiting I yearned for a manual transmission again!
So I eventually got tired and sold the BMW a year and half later for a minimal loss of a $1100 after all the repairs, maintanence, registration cost, and 15k somewhat happy miles. Not too shabby!
So then, I began searching on the internet for fun frugal manual cars and the most popular response on forum posts and articles was “MIATA = Miata Is Always The Answer”. So that made my mind up pretty quickly, It fit the bill perfectly. A fun, cheap to run, maintain, and purchase manual sports car! Plus it was a convertible!
So I first started looking on craigslist and was dissapointed with all the “stanced” and “drift kart” Miata’s listed there. I about almost gave up, until one day I randomly decided to check autotrader and found a 2006 Mazda Miata listed without any pictures or details for under $5000. That was the cheapest I had seen a 2006 or newer model with a manual transmission. I called to confirm the add was real and setup a time to go check it out that same day.
I then did some research on the car on CarFax and found out the car was somehow not a salvage or crashed vehicle. It was a one owner vehicle with a list of dealer records! It was sitting in a used truck dealer for over two months. I didnt have any pictures of the car, but my gut or maybe foolish instincts told me to go with $4200 cash and see what would happen. Worse thing the car is a pile of junk and I leave or the car is decent enough and I offer $4200 and spend $500-800 fixing it up.
When I got there the car was in the back of lot in between a bunch of trucks. It was filthy and would’nt start up. I was happy though, because I knew I was going to get a deal If the car checked-out okay! So after adding a gallon of fuel and jump starting it, I took it to my uncle’s shop where we put it on a lift and checked the whole car out for any issues.
It had an abs wheel sensor cable that was ripped ($140 part), needed new tires, and all fluids flushed, but overall the car was in good shape! It did need some minor cosmetic parts like a new rear view mirror, windshield visor, wheel caps, etc…but I knew I could just get all those parts cheap at a junk yard.
So after 15 minutes of haggling I pulled out an evenelope with $4200 as my final offer including registration and fee’s and the dealer agreed! Thus, I became the proud new owner of 2006 Miata!
I flushed all the fluids my self, replaced some maintance parts, bought a used set of tires, sodered the abs cable back together, and replaced all the cosmetic parts cheaply from a junkyard all for under $500!
Money well spent! The car has been reliable and extremely fun to drive. Easily the best car I’ve owned for the money!
If you want to know what my currently ownership costs are after 6 months check out my $4200 MX-5 Miata Cost of Ownership post!