10k: Cone Rat: 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata R-Package

 The first generation Mazda MX-5 Miata was sold from 1989 through 1999 in various parts of the world.  Near the end of the production lifespan, Mazda introduced an option package aimed directly at the autocrosser trying to shave tenths off his lap times by offered a striped down version known as the R-Package.  Few were sold and should not be confused with anything wearing the Honda Type-R badge, because it doesn’t stand for rice.  Find this 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata R-Package offered for $13,000 in Grand Rapids, MI via craigslist.  Tip from Sneedy.

The R-package MX-5 added Bilstein shocks and a conservative aero styling kit to the already light chassis.  Options like power steering, power windows and air conditioning were deleted, but the same 1.8 liter inline-4 making 133 horsepower pushed its power through a 5-speed manual gearbox and into a limited slip diff out back.  If you haven’t driven an MX-5 in anger, you really own it to yourself to try sometime.  It might not earn a place in your garage, but like a motor scooter, it’ll be a great ride until your friends find out.


No, that badge was not factory and according to the interwebs Mazda purposely avoided calling the car an R-type or Type-R in sales brochures to avoid confusion with Honda’s TypeR lineup.  No external badges were added to the R-type package and the only way to tell you have a factory R-Package is with the dealer invoice.  Best to check carefully with this one before you plunk any money down because that is about 3X the going rate of a typical NA MX-5.

See another rare package for less?  tips@dailyturismo.com