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  1. #1
    Idling - Listen to it purr...
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    helping a friend

    I'm trying to help the widow of my friend determine value and sell his 1990 Miata. Is there such a thing as a VIN decoder for Mazda, I know there is for my Porsches. I saw the car last night and it has a high wow factor inside and out. Bought new 6/29/90, cared for all this time by 1 owner. Has 65000 miles, and according to widow has : Package A, AC, LSD, Alloys, PS, Leather wrap wheel. I'd like to figure out if it does have all this stuff and its value. From reading a little bit it seems like if it was manufactured prion to March 31, 1989 it may have additional value. I don't know why. Can I look up the build date. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here!
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    The drivers door jam will have the build date. What color? Yes, it can make a difference. Wide range of $6500 - $8,000 depending on missing information. Where is it located?
    93' LE - FM II and more
    253k miles
    Smile

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    coop3567 (04-19-2019)

  4. #3
    Idling - Listen to it purr... LanceMach's Avatar
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    Would just add that you may want to advertise to the local Miata club (they often have a Facebook page). Would hate to see a nice, unmolested car go to someone who's going to have their way with it. I only say that because there are so few of them left - not that I'm a purist: I've definitely had my way with my own, unmolested classic car (a vintage Mustang - my Miata is still stock-ish).

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    coop3567 (04-19-2019)

  6. #4
    Idling - Listen to it purr...
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    Thanks, good idea. I've been driving Porsche's for 50 years so can understand the passion people have with their marques. I've convinced the widow that this one is too nice to advertise and sell for the first $1000 that comes along. I'm looking forward to a fun journey. Any other ideas where I can find info.

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    HarryB (02-22-2019)

  8. #5
    Idling - Listen to it purr...
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    Thanks, found it. Built 4/89. This white beauty is in SC near Hilton Head. Looks like engine replaced 9000 miles ago. Still digging through paperwork and trying to detail trunk and engine compartment. Interior and body do not need anything but wash and vacuum. Where do I find what options and what package are on board.

  9. #6
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Infedora's Avatar
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    Usually the unknown is the LSD. Everything else is pretty obvious. You can find Mazda’s customer service number online. Call them directly with the VIN, they’ll tell you if it has the LSD. I did it, learned of it from my son.

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    coop3567 (04-19-2019),kung fu jesus (02-22-2019)

  11. #7
    Ninja Messiah kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    helping a friend

    “A package” cars did not have VLSD. 30 years on, it can be difficult to tell if the car has it without inspection, because the LSD swap is relatively easy and common (though not exactly cheap). These cars have updates/backdates for a lot of components across the 1989-2005 models.

    Documentation for the car is going to be key, as is condition. An early, ORIGINAL, low-mileage car in great condition can fetch a nice price, with certain options. Some of those early NA Miatas had a flaw in the crank snout that required an engine replacement. There are certain tells if it was a factory replacement engine or just a junkyard swap.

    Agreeing with a previous post, Mazda Customer Service is the easiest way to decode a Miata’s original build sheet options.

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    coop3567 (04-19-2019)

  13. #8
    Idling - Listen to it purr...
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    Quote Originally Posted by kung fu jesus View Post
    “A package” cars did not have VLSD. 30 years on, it can be difficult to tell if the car has it without inspection, because the LSD swap is relatively easy and common (though not exactly cheap). These cars have updates/backdates for a lot of components across the 1989-2005 models.

    Documentation for the car is going to be key, as is condition. An early, ORIGINAL, low-mileage car in great condition can fetch a nice price, with certain options. Some of those early NA Miatas had a flaw in the crank snout that required an engine replacement. There are certain tells if it was a factory replacement engine or just a junkyard swap.

    Agreeing with a previous post, Mazda Customer Service is the easiest way to decode a Miata’s original build sheet options.
    Trying to clean up this 1990 I'm finding entire areas like the underside of the bonnet and engine bay coated with Cosmoline. Could this be true?

  14. #9
    Ninja Messiah kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    *Maybe*, but it's likely just dirt. 1990 is the correct era for cosmoline. Most of my BMWs from that time had it and it was more annoying on the lighter colors.

    My '92 Miata didn't have it, maybe the dealer offered it as an add-on? In humid areas like the SE, it wouldn't surprise me to just have dirt/pollen accumulate in condensation.

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  16. #10
    Idling - Listen to it purr...
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    comes off easily with WD40, almost impossible to remove with normal cleaners.

  17. #11
    Individual-1 ☚ ☻ ☛ Agent☣Orange's Avatar
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  19. #12
    Admin / Pit Boss / Miataholic Phatmiata's Avatar
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    Crystal White color was known to have a paint defect, the paint will flake off the car if you pressure wash it. ask me how I know .

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  21. #13
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Rogue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatmiata View Post
    Crystal White color was known to have a paint defect, the paint will flake off the car if you pressure wash it. ask me how I know .
    Yep, thats how my white '90 got Gulf livery.
    1992 BnT, 93LE #737, 94M, 95M, 96M, 97PEP, and a few 90s

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  23. #14
    Idling - Listen to it purr...
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    Ok, I'll bite. How do you know? You pressure washed it, right?

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