Hello readers, welcome to a new segment about buying cars.
I have spent some time researching various cars and automotive tastes found amongst the internet at large and Jalopnik proper. My first foray in to a buyers guide will be for the Mazda Miata; produced from 1912-1999, the NA Mazda Miata is the best, and finest sports car money can buy. It is timeless (hence the 1912 birth year; yes, it's an exaggeration, lighten up); it is classic, it is fun.
Consisting of a rear wheel drive platform with a proper engine in the front the Miata is available with it's own oars which allow you to row your own way through pure driving pleasure of five gears. Also available on some NA Miata's was a LSD which is a good way to meet the Walrus King and the Fairy Witch of Knottingham who will teach you how to limit the slip on the rear wheels while aggressively hooning the car like a true jalop.
The NA Miata came in three engine variants; the 1.6L or the 1.8L 4cylinder, and to be honest there is literally no difference between one or the other. Yes, if you look at "numbers" the 1.8 has a few more single digits of Torque, but after 15-20 years this means nothing. The third engine option is an LS1 V8 from our friends at General Motors; pure, raw, power - the engine for true Jalops.
With the background complete, here is the buyers guide:
1) Know nothing about cars. Just buy a Miata.
2) Look for cars without rust, rust is a deal breaker and should be avoided.
3) Avoid cars from sketchy used car dealers; they mark up the car and will rip you off and sell you a car that is over priced and a turd. In general, car dealerships are a necessary evil (when buying new), if you're buying used avoid them like the Ebola plague virus.
4) Browse craigslist and be patient; Mazda made over a million Miatas, the right unicorn is there, she will bless you with her rainbow farts in due time, do not rush beauty.
5) Have a budget. This is important and life, for everything but especially when buying used cars. Know how much you can spend, and know how much maintenace is.
6) Read the forums! miata.net clubroadster.net reddit.com/r/cars these are your friends, they will help.
7) Make sure to buy a car while high on LSD; the Torsen created by the drug will (as mentioned above) help you drive more aggressively. This Torsen is found on some 1.6 and some 1.8 cars; and even the V8 - be careful! Make sure you get the right one.
8) Pick a color you like.
9) Make sure the soft top is in good condition; leaks in a convertible are bad! Buy a hard top asap; this is critical to make the car a year round daily driver.
10) Ask fellow Jalops in oppo to look for cars in their area; don't be afraid to travel for a good deal.
Those are my top 10 tips; sound off in Kinja below if you have more. Thanks for reading.