Have my eye on an NA that appears to be pretty fairly presented, but it does have a salvage title, which leads me to two questions:
1. Does anyone have a feel for the impact of salvage titles on the NA Miata market? The price is below what I would expect for a clean titled car of the age and mileage of the car I’m looking it, but it’s not 50% or anything of the sort.
2. Here is his explanation of the damage, and not being well versed in the cars I’d like to see if his response checks out:
The car was in an accident two owners ago, in which the driver plowed under an SUV. The previous owner bought it to fix and sell it. Since he never registered it himself, the title did not say salvage on it, and though I knew it had been in an accident, I was unaware that it had been totaled. When I registered the car myself, I had to get it inspected and re-titled as a salvaged vehicle.
The hood, right headlight cover, and right fender were replaced, which you can tell by a slight paint mismatch on those parts. The damage didn’t extend down into the chassis; there’s no sign of damage on the sheet metal underneath the fender.
The airbag light is on. This means the computer needs replacement. The dude I bought it from claimed that the airbags didn’t deploy in the accident. The busted computer would account for that. (He said a lot of stuff that wasn’t true, so I’d take his word with a grain of salt.) Either way, if you’re a fan of airbags you’d need to replace the computer at minimum to have them functional. My strategy has been to wear my seat belt and not crash.
Car is an hour and a half from me, so I’m trying to run down a checklist before I take the drive to go check it out.