I didn’t plan to buy a Miata, but a good deal cMe about and I bought a 1995 Miata, I’ve only driven one once before and it was a dumb automatic. Anyway, is high mileage (250k) and I’m keeping my eyes open for a lower mileage engine or planning a rebuild. My daughter turns 15 in August so this is a project for us and will be her first car. I’m trying to learn all I can now since I know very little about Miatas. My daily is a Protege5 and my wife drives a CX-9.

From the previous owner:

“1995 Mazda Miata, 250,000 miles on the odometer. Trim level is the "popular equipment package" which has A/C, power steering, power windows and cruise control (cruise is not functional currently) and a limited-slip rear differential. Manual transmission.

Oil consumption is pretty high (about a quart every 200 miles) and I suspect either valves or oil control rings are to blame. I replaced the head gasket last fall because the cylinders were filling up with coolant. Both head and block appeared to be flat and I figured with the low cost of parts it was worth just replacing the gasket as a first step to troubleshooting. If I had the space and time I would consider replacing the engine completely with a lower mileage assembly from a junkyard or Craigslist.

The paint is not wonderful, there are a few dings and rust is developing in the rocker panels. There are vendors online selling patch panels that can be used to repair the rusty bits.

Exhaust is a walker quiet flow that was replaced in 2011, which was the last time I really had time to work on the car to that extent. Trunk rack is removable and just straps on and off. Top is a bit rough and was replaced in 2010. Tear-aid patches and a good car cover have been keeping the interior dry.

Speaking of the interior, the drivers seat is in rough shape and the rear carpet and brace are out. I have all of the parts and fasteners for those as well. Only the drivers side headrest has the speakers installed currently - they are 3" infinity reference and I have the extra pair to go in the passenger side, but removed because my wife didn't like the noise. I added a switch to control the power antenna going up and down. The trunk release is disconnected for security but can be pretty easily reconnected.

Shock absorbers were replaced in 2010 with Koni Str.t (orange) and fat cat motorsports top hats and bump stops.”

So I bought the car for a good price and drove it about 100 miles home without issue. I have lots of time to get it right and my daughter is thrilled with it as a project and already learning to drive manual in my MP5 in parking lots. Can’t wait to teach her oversteer.

So, what do I need to know about these little cars? Thanks.