Contrary to the old saying, the answer isn’t always MX-5. But if the question is “what’s the most terrifyingly expensive 21-year-old car on eBay right now,” then MX-5 wins you the jackpot.
We stumbled across this Sparkle Green 1998 MX-5 Berkeley, the last of the NA series’ many special editions and one that was limited to just 400 units for the UK only. You’re looking at unit 357, as denoted by a centre console plaque. Standard Berkeley kit included a Momo leather steering wheel, dark burr wood trim, the boot rack and floor mats. New, it cost £17,600 - over £30,500 in today’s terms.
It has covered just 1899 miles, according to the seller, across two formal owners and himself – he seems to be a trader. He has recently serviced it with genuine Mazda parts, he says, and items like the brake discs certainly look new. It starts reliably and quickly, runs perfectly and still has its original tyres and exhaust.
It also comes with its original manuals, service book, two original keys including one with the supplying dealer’s key ring, and the original number plates. The seller describes it as ‘virtually as new,’ having spent relatively little of its 21 years out in the open. It’s clearly among the very best unrestored examples anywhere in the world.
A further claim is that it has never been driven in the wet, which the seller can’t possibly substantiate, but the condition of the car certainly suggests a dry life. There’s a caveat in that it has never been MOT’d, so it’s not currently road legal. The seller says an MOT can be arranged if a buyer wishes. It should surely fly through the test.
Still, he’s asking £19,995 for a car that, at best, is worth two thirds of that in the current market – or so you’d think, anyway. Sometimes in these scenarios a seller will try to seize the next 5-10 years’ worth of appreciation in advance. The truth is that a car like this is worth what someone is willing to pay. Will anyone be happy to hand over this much at this time?