Nice Price or No Dice?

Miata may always be the answer, but at USD $13,500, is this bone-stock Miata asking the right question? Does special paint and a performance package make this 1999 Mazda MX-5 10th Anniversary Edition worth the price? Before PC culture took over the internet, automotive website Jalopnik used to call this weekly segment “Nice Price or Crack Pipe?”

Production was limited to 7,500 cars with each car identified by a fender badge indicating its position in that run. Per its badge, this 1999 Mazda Miata is number 1,026 out of those 7,500. Like all the others, it sports Sapphire Blue Mica paint and chrome-plated alloy wheels. For the Anniversary Edition, Mazda also gussied up the interior, giving the special edition blue suede inserts in the seats and faux carbon-fiber trim on the center console, as well as an up-graded Bose stereo.

It’s not just a looker either. Mazda gave the 10th Anniversary cars a tighter suspension with Bilstein dampers and a stabilizer between the strut towers in the engine bay. The motor is the standard 140 horsepower 1.8 liter four, but that does its thing through a six-speed manual which works in tandem with a Torsen limited-slip rear end that has a taller final drive than the standard car for more relaxed cruising at highway speeds.

According to the Craigslist ad, this clean-title car has never seen a winter but has seen the recent replacement of its brake pads and rotors as well as its tires. Along with the car, the seller is throwing in a small die-cast doppelgänger in a plastic display case. When new, these cars were sold with his and hers Seiko watches, but those seemingly have been lost to the ages.

Back then, these cars cost USD $28,000. This one — which seems to be a time capsule from when it was new — asks USD $13,500, or just less than half. But is it a deal?

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