Used Mirages aren't cheap enough yet! So here's my new $1k car (1990 Miata)
My latest turd-bucket is on the road!
It's a 1990 Mazda Miata MX-5.
I've wanted one since the day I drove my relative's brand new Miata, also a first year model. It only took 27 years for the price to come down enough to suit my budget!
The biggest problem: the driver's floor was rusted out -- not because of salt (it was never winter driven), but because the ratty convertible top leaked and the carpets were always wet. Bad!
And it didn't help that it sat for a couple of years in the grass.
Fortunately it wasn't so far gone that some welding couldn't fix it! I'm a mediocre to terrible welder, but my work was apparently good enough to pass safety inspection. I just wish I'd had access to a lift - it would have made the job so much easier.
After the floor repair, some brake work (rusted from sitting for so long), a new radiator (OK, a used one from my pile of Swift/Metro parts), one stablizer bar end link, and a few light bulbs, the car was on the road for a few dollars below $1k, all in.
Of course, being a hardcore fuel economy nut, I've also been modifying it for better MPG. The latest two fills: 44 & 45 mpg US in mostly scenic route relaxed driving, engine-off at stops etc. (A Mirage would be getting ~60 mpg driven similarly, I'm sure.) My goal is 50 MPG.
It's super fun to drive. Very light (about the same as a North American Mirage), RWD, quick-ratio steering, addictive short-throw stubby shifter, great exhaust note (OEM).
If you ever get the chance, try one!
View my fuel log 2014 Mirage base ES 1.2 manual: 54.0 mpg (US) ... 23.0 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.9 mpg (Imp)