Lengthy Listing: 1990 Mazda Miata 36K Survivor – SOLD!

by | Mar 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

April 29, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

March 26, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the seller of this 36K mile 1990 Miata just replaced their original listing with a fresh Craigslist ad.  While the pictures and detailed description remain the same, the seller elected to lower their asking price by one thousand dollars from $15,900 to $14,900.

It’s official. We know spring is just around the corner when start to see ultra-low-mile first-generation Mazda Miatas for sale!  Our first example of 2022 is this Classic Red 1990 Mazda Miata originally listed in March 2022 on Craigslist in Pensacola, Florida with only 35,800 original miles. While the private seller has only owned this Miata for one year, their Craigslist description of the car is likely the longest and most detailed of any car we’ve ever featured on GuysWithRides.com.  Not only is their ad lengthy, but the seller also provides pictures of this Miata with its seats removed to show how well detailed this car is.  If you’ve ever thought about entering Concours or Preservation Class competition, this might be the Miata for you.

Currently offered for $15,900, two years ago that kind of asking price was top of the market for an “NA” generation Miata. Not any more. Comparing the seller’s ask against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms their price falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $8,400 and its #2 “Excellent appraisal of $17,300.

Mazda rocked the automotive world at the Chicago Auto Show in February 1989 with its new MX-5 sports car featuring a base price of under $14,000.  After a nearly ten-year gap left when British Leyland packed up MG and Triumph in 1980, Mazda took a gamble that consumers were still interested in two-seat classic sports cars as long as they came with better reliability, tops that sealed passengers from the elements, and a great driving experience.  Mazda succeeded at all three and the first generation “NA” Mazda was a huge sales success. Thirty years on, the first generation Miata has proven to be a very reliable car, whether used on the street or the track.  Consequently, it’s getting harder to find unmolested examples such as the red example featured here.

The MotorWeek Retro Review YouTube Channel features their first-ever 1990 Mazda Miata test drive:

Read the seller’s description below and you’ll immediately want to buy this 1990 Mazda Miata.

Here’s the seller’s lengthy but very well detailed, description:

“I know this ad is quite lengthy, but I want to make sure you know what you are getting and there are no communication issues, especially on a high-value item like this and I always prefer to have too much information rather than not enough when buying anything.


I am selling the following item(s) that I no longer need\use (also see pics):

1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Description: I purchased this in the first of June 2021 with the intentions of learning how to work on vehicles as this is fairly a forgiving vehicle to learn on from what I’ve read. However because this is in the shape it’s in as well as I recently had the local Mazda dealership check EVERYTHING out, see more details below, there’s really nothing to work on and only preventative maintenance going forward, which is a good thing. Another thing is while I wanted to learn to work on vehicles as I’ve worked on other mechanical and electronic items in the past, I am a little cautious about learning and performing maintenance on something that I’ll be driving and after further thinking a lot about this, I think I would be better off just buying a new Miata in the future. When I purchased this, it had right at 35,380 miles and the current mileage is 35,656.

I am the 5th owner, according to CarFax, see google drive link below for the pdf file for the CarFax I pulled in June before purchasing, and the research I did. I do have some copies of the previous titles and tag information as well as the original window sticker (laminated), as well as the manuals, see pics. It comes with 2 keys, see pics. From what I can tell, everything is original and stock which is very hard to find in this condition and with such low mileage.

From the pics, you can see there is no rust on the frame of the car or the panels by the door which is a common spot for rust. At first I noticed some parts looked rusted but after further research and being new to car maintenance, those parts normally have surface rust which all cars usually have and occurs when driving in rain.

Cosmetic defects noticed: The only defects I noticed are normal rock chips, previously touched up with paint, and a few scratches that you can feel but that were also previously touched up with paint, see pics but hard to photograph. There is also a very small hole on the passenger seat, see pic. The front bumper looks like it has a minor bump\dent but hard to tell, see pic.

Other noticeable items: Periodically when running the A\C, you will hear a faint high pitch sound, almost sounds electrical. I had the Mazda dealership check this and they went ahead and recharged and checked the A\C and found no leaks and advised perhaps this is due to the A\C Expansion valve age but that it is not a cause for a concern and it’s just because of the age, you periodically hear this. I followed up online and confirmed many others have this, but hardly notice it once the radio is on. The only other thing that occurred when I got this was the hazard lights were finicky. What I mean is most of the time they worked but every now and then they wouldn’t unless you hold it all the way down. I removed and cleaned and lubricated the switch and that seemed to have fixed the sporadic issue.

Regarding the history: I was told by the person I bought it from that the original owner had it for a while and then a neighbor of theirs purchased it and soon sold it to another owner of a garage back in 2018. That owner then had it for almost 2 years before selling it to the person I bought it from. So you can take that for what it’s worth, I did pull a CarFax early June 2021, see pics and Google Drive and posted the car history below that is either based on what was told to me or by the CarFax:

Date Mileage Services Performed
6/24/2011 22,297 Battery Replaced
Spark Plug Wires Replaced
Fuel Filter Replaced
Spark Plugs Replaced

8/2/2012 Turn Signal Bulb Replaced

Early 2018 30,200 A/C Converted to R134a Refrigerant
Fluid Change
New Battery
New Tires – Factory 14” 135/60 Fuzion Touring

June 2019 33,500 Water Pump Replaced
Timing Belt and Engine Belts Replaced
Freeze Plugs Replaced

8/25/20 33,730 Rotors and Brade Pads Replaced
Spark Plugs Replaced
NGK Blue Spark Plug Wires Replaced
Both Heater Hoses Replaced

5/19/21 35,000 Mobile 1 5w 30 Castrol High Mileage Synthetic Engine Oil Replaced
Mazda Oil Filter Replaced
Mobil 1 Rear Differential Fluid Replaced
Ford XT-M5-QS Transmission Fluid Replaced
Rotated Tires

What I’ve done since I’ve owned it and the items added are not permanent and easily reversible:
—Steam cleaned and shampooed entire carpeting and seats and also removed seats to get carpeting underneath seats.

—New rubber mats, but original mats are included and in great shape.

—New OEM factory cup holder, but original cigarette ashtray is included.

—Replaced horn with a louder horn, but original horn was still working when removed and that will also be included, see YouTube video for comparison (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PyjmIvmemc).

—Replaced door speakers with 3rd Millennium M800 two way speakers

—Replaced Brake and Clutch rubber pedals with Mazda OEM parts

—Replaced original antenna with short rubber stubby type antenna, but original antenna will be included.

—Added mudguards to the front and back set of tires.

—Replaced wipers.

—Replaced washer nozzles with OEM factor brand.

—Replaced radiator cap with OEM factory brand.

—Added trunk LED light kit since there are no lights from the factory.

—The driver side armrest had a small tear so replaced both driver and passenger armrests with OEM factory armrests. I did not keep the originals due to the condition.

—Recovered with marine black vinyl, the door cards as the driver side door card had tears so went ahead and did both so they matched.

—Replaced the window bushings and re-greased both of them for smoother operation. There weren’t any issues with the original but after 30 years, the old grease needed replacing.

—Had the original cassette radio professionally restored and serviced, work was completed by Jeff Anderson (just google his name and Miata radio) as he has been servicing and refurbishing these for over a decade. He replaced the old incandescent bulbs with LED’s, did preventative maintenance (capacitors, belts, etc.). He also provided a wiring harness in order to add headrest speakers to both seats, see more below.

—For the radio, I also purchased and installed a New Old Stock (NOS) Sony CDX-1000RF as this is the most popular choice to add a CD player while being as close to factory looking as possible.

—I also purchased and installed 2 pairs of Pioneer TS-A878 2-Way speakers for the headrests.

—I also had the local Mazda dealership perform all the below services and they did not find anything of concern that needing addressing. The new tires were Road Balanced with a Hunter machine and the two front tires were balanced to 10lbs and the two rear tires were balanced to 12.5 lbs:

Date Mileage Service Performed
6/21/2021 35,410 Standard Full Inspection
— Brakes\Rotors
— Leaks
— Belts\Hoses
— Shock\Suspension
— Chasis for rust
— Test Drive for Compression\Clutch\Other Issues
Electrical Diagnosis
— Alternator
— Battery
Check A/C
— Flush and refill to check for leaks, dye added for future
— Fill with Freon (1.5 lb capacity) $20 per lbs
Coolant Flush
Faint Gas Smell in Trunk
— Replaced Fuel Filler Hose and Fuel Vent Hose
— Common with age, rubber develops pin holes that do not leak but do leak slight vapor.
New Uniroyal Tires with Road Force Balance (front 10lbs rear 12.5lbs)

I also planned on installing a new center console to provide drink holders but did not install. If you want this item, either installed or in the box, just add $200.00 to the price as it cost me $340.00 to purchase new and have shipped, below is the link to this product:


I’ve included a Google Drive link with a lot of photos. Since it wasn’t that long ago since I bought this and it’s been garage kept since, the pics are a mix of some I took and some the previous owner took back in May 2021. I did not photograph all of the little imperfections for the rock chips and previously touched up areas but did take the main scratches, so please be aware.


I tried to list every detail and all the information I was given or researched, but if I missed anything, just let me know and I can take a picture of whatever you want\need. I take extra care of all my items, especially this one, and have always kept it in the garage and as you can see from what I have done to this car in just a couple of months, I originally planned to keep it.

If you are not comfortable with any of the above regarding the condition or pics, please do not purchase this as there will be no refunds and no warranty is implied, expressed or given.

Serious Buyers Only, I will NOT respond to low ball offers.

Price: Regarding the price, I am in no rush, nor do I need to sell it and I am perfectly content with keeping this time capsule of a car. I priced this based on what I paid, what I have into this car as well as recent sales of similar condition, values from classic car websites, such as Hagerty, (middle of the page at https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/1990-mazda-mx~5_miata) and low mileage 1990 Miata’s and I am not trying to do a quick flip, see above for reason I am selling. So if you feel this is way too much, no problem and that’s your right to feel that way and therefore this is not the car for you, but there’s no need to reach out to tell me you don’t agree with the price. While I am open to offers, I will not respond to low ball offers. If this ad still exists, that means it is still available. I will let you know if a deal is pending due to receiving a deposit. It probably goes without saying but I do have the title in hand. I don’t drive it much but do occasionally when it’s not raining so the mileage will probably be a little more than what it currently is.

Payment: I will only accept cash.

If you are interested or have additional questions, please just reach out and I will respond quickly but please be aware that I am not a car expert and provided all the details and history I was able to find out or was told.

Show or Go: Would you do with this 1990 Mazda Miata Concours quality sports car?  Comment below and let us know!


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