OT-Thinking about a used Miata

Targalx

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
1,175
Reaction score
827
Location
Los Angeles
Probably not but it depends how long you keep a car for as well. I usually go max 3-5 years and drive few miles compared to the average so for me personally it would be fine. I guess if someone is looking at long term, the Mazda might be better. One thing though is that this is not a 70's Fiat! They were pretty bad back then. And it's also not like the rest of the current Fiat lineup because it's built at the Mazda factory in Japan alongside the Miata. It's also got a different engine than the other Fiats. It's got a refined & proven engine that's been used in Europe for years.
But is FIAT even going to remain in the U.S.? They already pulled their bread-and-butter 500, according to this article: https://www.motortrend.com/news/who-owns-fiat/
 

lrod1707

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
3,862
Reaction score
1,965
Location
Florida
But is FIAT even going to remain in the U.S.? They already pulled their bread-and-butter 500, according to this article: https://www.motortrend.com/news/who-owns-fiat/
Who knows! They'll probably be gone again like the last time they left in 1983. I'd still buy one in a heartbeat if I would find one really cheap. If they do leave, the market will be littered with good deals on these cars and parts would be easily available for at least 10 years and past that if you get them from Europe. Wouldn't be a bad little machine to keep long term as a collectible and rare (2019 sales were 2,644 units) weekend roadster.
Here's one:
2017, 26,000 miles for $17,500
They're already a good deal:
 
Last edited:

Targalx

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
1,175
Reaction score
827
Location
Los Angeles
Who knows! They'll probably be gone again like the last time they left in 1983. I'd still buy one in a heartbeat if I would find one really cheap. If they do leave, the market will be littered with good deals on these cars and parts would be easily available for at least 10 years and past that if you get them from Europe. Wouldn't be a bad little machine to keep long term as a collectible and rare (2019 sales were 2,644 units) weekend roadster.
2017, 26,000 miles for $17,500
They're already a good deal:
I am glad I did not buy that gorgeous, super deal on a red 1991 Peugeot 405 Mi16 — Peugeot bailed from the U.S. that year and nobody would work on those cars after that. I LOVE the Fiata, don't get me wrong, I do think it's the superior car. But I am iffy about FIAT's presence in the U.S.
 

lrod1707

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
3,862
Reaction score
1,965
Location
Florida
I am glad I did not buy that gorgeous, super deal on a red 1991 Peugeot 405 Mi16 — Peugeot bailed from the U.S. that year and nobody would work on those cars after that. I LOVE the Fiata, don't get me wrong, I do think it's the superior car. But I am iffy about FIAT's presence in the U.S.
I had a neighbor back then that had one of those Peugeot's, LOL! He had a 1990 505! I owned a Convertible Saab 900 SE after Saab's bankruptcy in 2011 so I know what it's like to own an orphaned vehicle. At least Peugeot and Fiat exist somewhere in the world. Saab disappeared completely as an automaker. Luckily it never broke but I had it as a weekend car until somebody offered me good money for it. Shops still service them to this day! The Fiat at least for me would be a car that I would barely use so I'd still buy one at the right price! That's just me though.
 

Obiwandrumobe

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
839
Reaction score
381
Hmmm...have you ever heard someone say “my second Fiat”? I had a 1973 Fiat 124 coupe , passed on the Spyder so I could fit my five piece a Ludwig in....well, even for 1973, unreliable is kindest I can say. bought a 93 Miata in 2003, kept it a bunch of years, never an issue. Wish I was still young enough to get in and out of one!
——————-
My first car was a ‘’72 Fiat 124 Coupe. Five speed manual. It was incredible. Carted my entire twin tom kit including trap case with ease. Mechanically flawless. Like a little Ferrari on a $3,500 budget. Others had 2002’s, TR6’s and Alfa Spyder’s. Very nice as well. But the 124 had an Italian flair that set it apart. I miss it to this day though my current Civic EX turbo is on the same par as a cheap, powerful, fast, superb handling, reliable, gorgeous and spacious exemplar of present-day design. No other make/model comes close IM(notso)HO.
 
Last edited:

mcjaco

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
277
Location
Vernon Hills, IL
The people urging you to get a manual have never known the kind of left leg fatigue you get after hours of inching along in a New York City traffic jam.

Personally, I've always wanted a Toyota MR2 and I love droptop MINIs, but get what you want.
Oh man....the MR2 was my first realistic "dream car" when I saw it at the Chicago Auto Show as a 10 year old. Still want one, and someone in my area has a red older model in town. Need to track him down!
 

speady1

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2007
Messages
915
Reaction score
624
Location
Georgetown, KY
Any thoughts on a used BMW Z3 or Z4?
If you find one that is like-new with DETAILED service records, yes. Otherwise, avoid like the plague. I've worked on enough of these to know. Every major service is a PITA. I just did a timing chain on one. $600 for parts and 12 hours to do it. The dealership wanted $1,700 for the labor. They also have pretty fragile suspensions, apparently. I've replaced upper and lower control arms on at least a dozen of these over the years with less than 50,000 miles. They're great when cared for, but too many aren't.
 

richardh253

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
209
Reaction score
275
Location
Bryn Mawr PA
——————-
My first car was a ‘’72 Fiat 124 Coupe. Five speed manual. It was incredible. Carted my entire twin tom kit including trap case with ease. Mechanically flawless. Like a little Ferrari on a $3,500 budget. Others had 2002’s, TR6’s and Alfa Syder’s. Very nice as well. But the 124 had an Italian flair that set it apart. I miss it to this day though my current Civic EX turbo is on the same par as a cheap, powerful, fast, superb handling, reliable, gorgeous and spacious exemplar of present-day design. No other make/model comes close IM(notso)HO.
The 124 Coupe was indeed a gorgeous car and handled well in the rear-wheel drive days. A standard trap case slid right into the trunk, the floor Tom and ride toms rode in the back and the bass drum rode shotgun. But geez, that car was a mechanical disaster and after three years of in and out of shops I had to give up and sell it. To this day still wonder what that “throttle” switch was for :) Had a manual choke as well....but it did get my Ludwigs all over Long Island for a couple of years.
 

Obiwandrumobe

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
839
Reaction score
381
The 124 Coupe was indeed a gorgeous car and handled well in the rear-wheel drive days. A standard trap case slid right into the trunk, the floor Tom and ride toms rode in the back and the bass drum rode shotgun. But geez, that car was a mechanical disaster and after three years of in and out of shops I had to give up and sell it. To this day still wonder what that “throttle” switch was for :) Had a manual choke as well....but it did get my Ludwigs all over Long Island for a couple of years.
————————
My 124 took my drums, me and a passenger all over Philadelphia, D.C. and Chicago ‘til someone crossed into my driver side front wheel at an intersection just after a tune up and minor engine maintenance destroying it but protecting me from physical harm. Emotional, yes.

Never experienced any real mechanical issues other than wear and tear. I do remember that inexplicable throttle pull knob - proto-typical suicidal cruise control on a budget I guess.

I thought I wanted a Z28 but the much cheaper 124 turned out to be a real partner. And no one else had one so it had cool factor.
 

K.O.

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
20,090
Reaction score
2,471
Location
Illinois
My dad had a really nice Miata for a number of years. It was a black car and really beautiful. I drove it a few times and enjoyed it although it was just a bit cramped for me (although not nearly as bad as an MGA or MGB, let alone an MG Midget). I had a chance to buy his Miata when he was getting a newer car (Chrysler Crossfire....wouldn't have been my choice). The dealer was giving him $4k in trade and he offered the car to me for the same amount because he knew I liked it. I opted to pass on it although the idea of having another sports car did interest me and a couple weeks later I ended up buying a Porsche Boxster S. I love the Boxster but in retrospect I'm not sure I made the right choice. The (used) Porsche cost more than 4 times what the Miata would have and everything and anything that needs to be worked on will be equally more expensive. The Porsche is much faster of course, but as my late father liked to point out, "You're only supposed to go 55 MPH anyway". Although, when I take the Boxster for a spin and that flat six begins to howl above 4000rpm it all makes perfect sense.

Boxster erie-lyn 1a1.JPG
 
Last edited:

richardh253

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
209
Reaction score
275
Location
Bryn Mawr PA
————————
My 124 took my drums, me and a passenger all over Philadelphia, D.C. and Chicago ‘til someone crossed into my driver side front wheel at an intersection just after a tune up and minor engine maintenance destroying it but protecting me from physical harm. Emotional, yes.

Never experienced any real mechanical issues other than wear and tear. I do remember that inexplicable throttle pull knob - proto-typical suicidal cruise control on a budget I guess.

I thought I wanted a Z28 but the much cheaper 124 turned out to be a real partner. And no one else had one so it had cool factor.
A little nostalgia....styling holds up pretty well!
IMG_4920.jpg
IMG_4919.jpg
IMG_4921.jpg
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,923
Reaction score
6,714
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
beautiful 73 (my Dad was a dealer 66-82) (I was there)
I have a lot of opinion(s) about Fiat some I heard from very old European higher up dudes)
One is that they were a mostly south european/ even middle east/southern hemisphere/ 'product" (in other words no rain/moisture or salt) so they weren't "built" to that "northern clime standard; (in the paint and other weather protections) (fender liners) and other things. (another old timer told me too much carbon in their steel) Truth is F.errari I.nside A.lla T.ime; but that got washed over from driving on salty winter roads ( altho the front drive 128 won Canadian Ice rallys over and over in the late 60s early 70s).
Another is every transverse engine auto owes the 128. The mini had transverse first but the 128 (as most cars today) was the first to separate the engine/trans (and not mix oil as did the mini) .
many Many Many other things..
 

Attachments

Last edited:

richardh253

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
209
Reaction score
275
Location
Bryn Mawr PA
beautiful 73 (my Dad was a dealer 66-82) (I was there)
I have a lot of opinion(s) about Fiat some I heard from very old European higher up dudes)
One is that they were a mostly south european/ even middle east 'product" (in other words no rain/moisture or salt) so they weren't "built" to that "northern clime standard; (in the paint and other weather protections) (fender liners) and other things. (another old timer told me too much carbon in their steel) Truth is F.errari I.nside A.lla T.ime; but that got washed over from driving on salty winter roads ( altho the front drive 128 won Canadian Ice rallys over and over in the late 60s early 70s).
Another is every transverse engine auto owes the 128. The mini had transverse first but the 128 (as most cars today) was the first to separate the engine/trans (and not mix oil as did the mini) .
many Many Many other things..
Cool! I see 72 Coupe out there on the lot, before they went to double headlights. The rain/salt/rust/moisture was for sure an issue, lots of rapid deterioration, especially if you lived in the Northeast U.S. Never heard the origin story, though. I do remember the 128s, they were neat cars, almost bought one before moving up to the 124. The 850 Spyder in its day was sort of what the Miata became later - a great little 2-seater for zipping around. You could maybe get some bongos and a tambourine in there, but that was about it!
1597595755076.png
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
17,923
Reaction score
6,714
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
yea a 67 with the covered headlights) there was always discrepancy between US spec and Euro spec and USA got short shrift more than once; I remember sometimes like a cloth interior 131 would come thru and it wasn't supposed to be ) ha)
That Picture of the lot must have been- still hard to pin down- 68 or 67 or 70...
I have so many memories. My dad was a dealer from 1948- to 2018 (70 years). When he took Fiat in 1966 all his buddies were taking Nissan and Honda and Toyota- but he didn't do that) So it stayed small but thats ok.
We had a 67 Dino Coupe (white with red interior) (all stainless steel trim) for the longest time and he was a Packard Service Center (1955-57) and the affection continued/ with Stude is why the Avanti is out front (he had 10s of them) So that was that.
His personal driver was always the 124 Coupe in those years. his 'demo.
I remember vividly the 850 Racer. The 74 TC 124 Sedan (and wagon). In automatic form it'd almost rip the asphalt under it's tires. low first gear and the rush from that twin cam jeezus)
 
Last edited:

rhythmace

Rhythmace
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
11,375
Reaction score
569
Location
Richmond, Texas
I just saw where the Spider only gets 2 stars on J.D. Powers 5 star reliability rating. The Miata gets 3 1/2 stars. That is important to me. Ace
 

dsop

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2014
Messages
933
Reaction score
790
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I didn't see an article about the transmissions, but enjoyed the video showing the breakdown of an engine. Ace


 


Top