1995 Mazda Miata M-Edition

#47745. S/N JM1NA3533S0614664. 25k Miles. “1.8-liter inline 4, 4-speed automatic transmission, Merlot Mica, tan leather upholstery, 15-inch BBS wheels, limited-slip differential, pop-up headlamps, tan soft top, power windows, air conditioning, factory stereo with CD player.” Condition: 3+. Sold at $8,295. Bring a Trailer, 5/11/21.

Recently, I joined a few of my younger car friends for a local car meet at a Sonic Drive-In next to an empty retail store with a large parking lot. I am now in my mid-30s, and because it has been over a year since I have been to a meet, I wanted to see what Gen Z was up to. There were some Honda S2000s, a Nissan 350Z, a few Subaru WRXs, and the expected newer American muscle cars. But there was only one car that had a whole lineup — nine in a row — and that was the first-generation “NA” Mazda Miata.

In the past two years, the original MX-5 has become a popular base for Zoomers to acquire and modify. These guys and girls have inherited a huge network of aftermarket support to mix it up and customize Miatas to their liking. TikTok, the latest video social network, now has an abundance of people showing off Miatas and influencing others to want one as well.

Not long ago, you could find nice, pampered Miatas on Craigslist for $5k. Today, people are asking the same price for condition-4 cars. With low mileage, BBS wheels and in fairly good condition, this example was a deal — automatic or not. Of course, as with other small sports cars, manuals are still widely preferred in a Miata. But with a whole new generation embracing it, one with far less exposure to three-pedal cars than any to come before, this may not be the case forever.

2001 Mitsubishi Lancer 2.0 Evolution VI Tommi Mäkinen

#00001. S/N CP9A-020-1210. 10,253 miles. “RHD, manual finished in Passion Red. Signed by Tommi Mäkinen. Introduced to celebrate the legendary rally driver’s fourth World Rally Championship title for Mitsubishi. Owned from new by Mitsubishi Motors in the U.K. and is car #6 (a nod to the fact it is an Evo 6).” Condition: 1. Sold at £106,100 ($147,577). Auto Auction, 4/30/21.

Mitsubishi’s U.K. arm decided to sell much of its heritage collection, including this Evo 6, after announcing it will be pulling out of the U.K. market. The Tommi Mäkinen Edition was created to celebrate his fourth World Rally Championship title, with just 2,500 sold worldwide. The car came equipped with a titanium turbocharger, a quick-ratio steering rack, front strut-tower brace, upgraded exhaust, modified front bumper and 17-inch white Enkei wheels.

Mitsubishi had some iconic U.S. models, with the Eclipse and other DSM (Diamond-Star Motors) platform cars in the 1990s, and the eventual arrival of the Evo here in 2003. Outside of that, however, its offerings have been bland. Past reliability issues mean the brand isn’t viewed as highly as the other Japanese makes. It’s unsurprising, then, that outside of rare examples like our subject car, no Mitsubishis are even nearing the six-digit sales prices that are becoming more common for other Japanese cars, such as the Acura NSX and Toyota Supra.

With only 10,000 miles, and owned by the company since new, with the hood signed by Tommi Mäkinen himself, this car was deserving of its high bid. It is the highest price paid for a Mitsubishi at auction to date, inching out the 2006 Evolution IX that sold for $138k on eBay in 2017 (“Rising Sun,” October 2017). Well sold today, for sure, but possibly also well bought.

2013 Scion FR-S

S/N JF1ZNAA1XD1726234. 93,400 miles. “2.0-liter flat-4 engine, which produces 200 horsepower and 151 foot-pounds of torque in stock form, 6-speed manual transmission, stock limited-slip differential, 18-inch Cosmis R1 wheels, Tein Flex Z coil-overs, an Invidia N1 exhaust system, black Toyota exterior emblems, aftermarket lights on both ends, and tinted windows.” Condition: 2+. Sold at $13,481. Cars & Bids, 4/28/21.

It feels like almost yesterday when I reviewed a new 2013 Scion FR-S (“Glovebox Notes,” June 2013). The FR-S has since been rebadged as the Toyota 86 (following the demise of the Scion “youth” brand). The FR-S/86 and their Subaru BRZ platform-mate have become staples in the Japanese car scene, offering an affordable price and large aftermarket support.

By now, however, some enthusiasts consider the car to be “done.” With a redesigned version going on sale for 2022, we are nearing the perfect time to pick one up. These cars have now depreciated to about half their price when new. Most of their issues have been figured out, such as cracking oil drain plugs, ECU reprogramming and clutch-release bearing problems.

This example had been slightly modified, representing a typical owner’s desire to lower the car and add an exhaust system, but nothing was too extreme that couldn’t be reverted back to stock with the OEM parts included in the sale. At this price, it is on the affordable side for these cars, as most used-car listings are still trying to get $15k–$20k. Well bought. ♦

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