The Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster emerged a few decades ago and boasted its two-seat design as both high-performing and fun to drive. Since then, the Miata has earned a loyal fan base. But when the automaker decided it would honor the Miata’s 30th anniversary, the small and mighty Miata became one of the hottest collectibles in the country.
The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition: the start of the Miata-buying boom
To mark its 30th anniversary of the popular roadster in 2019, Mazda decided to design a special-edition, limited-run MX-5 Miata. The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition, according to Road and Track, was debuted at the Chicago Auto Show, sporting a specially-designed new color called “Racing Orange.”
To help celebrate the Miata’s iconic history, the new color is meant to turn heads on the road. The “Racing Orange” follows through to the interior stitching and piping, but it’s not the only thing that’s unique about the Miata.
The Anniversary Edition Miata doesn’t just have a unique, specially made exterior color to let you know it’s special. It was also built with upgraded performance shocks, a mechanical limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, and Recaro seats. Even the 17-inch wheels are designed with inspiration from the “MX-5 Cup race car.” It’s powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 181 hp and 7500 rpm.
Made available for countries all over the world, Mazda would offer the 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5 Miata in the U.S. as a pre-order. Although the special edition Miata is certainly loaded with “special” features, Mazda gave it a relatively cool starting price of just $34,995 (for a manual soft-top model). Automatic transmission and hardtop will cost buyers extra. And it seems the 30th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata was just what all Miata fans were waiting for.
Looking for a special-edition MX-5 Miata? It may be too late
As to be expected with all special edition vehicle runs, Mazda limited the amount of 2019 MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition models being released to the world. According to Car and Driver, Mazda planned to only make 3,000 of the special-edition Miatas to sell worldwide. Of those 3,000 however, only 500 would be going to U.S. shores. Roughly four short hours after Mazda made its pre-order of the 30th Anniversary Edition Miata available to buyers in February 2019, however, the limited production run in the U.S. was over.
According to Hagerty, the “30th Anniversary Edition Miata sold out within hours of its announcement.” Almost as quickly as the special-edition Miata was made available, all 500 slots were spoken for from buyers. While Mazda knew the Miata had a loyal fan base, it never anticipated its limited-edition Miata would sell as quickly as it did.
Just a few months later in May 2019, Mazda announced it would be bringing a limited amount of the 30th Anniversary Edition Miatas from around the world back to the U.S. for the many potential buyers that added their names to the waitlist.
Here’s how to get your hands on your own collector’s edition
If you missed out on the limited edition Miata, you’re not the only one. But the 30th Anniversary Edition isn’t the only collectible Miata you can get your hands on. According to Hagerty, the second generation (NB) Miata, model years 1999-2005, has become one of the country’s most-popular collector vehicles. This is due in part to the recent release and attention of the 30th Anniversary Edition Miata, but it’s also because this generation is “arguably the best of the ‘they’re-all-good’ Miata family.”
The second generation of Miata roadsters sport a less-powerful, but a more nimble engine that makes around 140 hp. According to Auto Trader, it “is proportionally identical to the first-generation car, but it addresses many of the concerns raised by owners.” Transmission options vary between five-speed and six-speed manuals, and tires can be as short as 15 inches or as tall as 17 inches. Buyers can find a decent, used second-generation Miata from both dealers and private sellers for around $7,000.