Here’s the short version – the details are in the pages above. I was surprised to find that CarMax carries real driver’s cars, enthusiast’s cars, and has them at decent (for me) prices, with reasonable mileage, and offers spectacular extended bumper-to-bumper warranties that makes owning these cars affordable. I call them “CarMax Unicorns”. I am not affiliated in any way with CarMax and I suspect I’m one of their worst customers. Continue reading “Welcome to the CarMax Unicorn Blog”
I’ve been in and out of BMW M5’s and 550i’s and because of my vanity, I couldn’t go with a high performance sleeper. I needed something that shouted “Car Guy!”. If you are more secure than I, give some thought to a BMW 550i with a 400hp twin turbo and an old fashioned 6 speed manual transmission. The Mustang GT will never see you coming. Here’s the CarMax link – if it’s dead the car is being transferred, or on hold/sold.
I passed on a “once in a lifetime” Mercedes S600 V12 at my local CarMax at $30,998, and was agitated when it showed up in Boston a week later at $29,998. Thought I’ll never see a V12 Mercedes at that price again. This morning, a cheaper one pops, with lower miles even! It’s in Miami, and yes, the Carfax shows it backed into another car (common there?) and had some accident damage some time back. But at $23,998, and with another $3,500 you can get 100,000 miles of MaxCare bumper-to-bumper warranty, this thing is a steal. With 510hp, 612 ft-lbs of torque, night vision, every luxury feature including auto cruise control (Distronic Plus), AND the warranty, I can’t imagine there’s another 11 year old car that’s such a bargain. The CarMax link is here – if dead the car is being transferred, on hold, or sold.
CarMax is selling this 11 year old low-mileage truck for tens of thousands less than most I’m finding on the net for that year, mileage, and configuration. There’s a reason why. This big boy looks like it has been repossessed a record (since I’ve been watching) FOUR TIMES in Texas. It’s also been in an accident. Good chance it won that fight. Like all the unicorns I track, I ‘d never own it without the MaxCare bumper-to-bumper warranty. There are two H2 SUT’s with this mileage for the same price, and most upwards of $50-70,000. If I needed a truck this would be an interesting buy – $36k plus another $3,000 for a five year, 100,000 mile warranty, and you have an unusual, headache free truck for under $40k. Just make your damn payments. The link to the ad is here – if dead car is being transferred, on hold or sold.
More than just an appearance package, the 2008 recreation of Lt. Frank Bullitt’s car is fast and raw. I tracked several that CarMax offered last fall and chickened out every time. Most were $17-22,000 and were all low mileage – one with only 4,000 miles. And as always, you can still get a 100,000 mile MaxCare on these 10 years old cars. This one is high-mileage but pretty cheap. And although over 5,000 were made in the more authentic green, the black ones are more rare. Here’s the Motor Trend review from back in the day, and the CarMax link is here. If the link is dead, the car is sold, on hold, or being transferred. By the way, the 50th anniversary 2019 Bullitt will be out soon. Wondering how true to the original it will be?
Because reader Patrick Barmann was kind enough to ask my thoughts on Etta, now that I’ve owned her for a few weeks, here’s what I’ve learned. Every morning when I leave my house and see a 911 in the driveway I giggle a little – I can’t believe after 35 years of wanting one I did it. The car is stupid fast at mid-range rpm, not so much off the mark. It’s an automatic, and given it’s my daily driver and my hands are encumbered with coffee, a phone, Poptarts, etc., it’s the right call. I haven’t run it to triple digit speeds (yet) and yet every exit ramp is my own slalom – I don’t get the engineering that makes a rear-engined car hug the road so?
The car has a fair amount of road noise and engine noise, and not just the satisfying roar of acceleration, but a constant amount of din that I hadn’t expected. I’m sure real Porsche guys would tell me to get over it, but I’m also a music nut and when not thrashing the engine I’d like to hear some tunes. So I ordered a new receiver and the ridiculously expensive fiber optic cable to keep the Bose amp and speakers, and next week I hope to have a better sound system installed.
The 911 came already safety inspected by CarMax. Because I can be skeptical of CarMax’s mechanical standards, the day after I bought it I had a private garage do another Virginia state inspection. The car failed. An outer tire ride was shot. I took the car back to CarMax and on a positive note, they replaced the failed outer tie rod AND an inner that had not failed, and because I was in the first 30 day warranty AND I have the extended warranty, it was no charge. On the down side, not a hint of shame or remorse that they sold me a car they certified as meeting Virginia standards, and it did not. Disappointed.
The irony of this Porsche 911 purchase is that I rejected not one but two Jaguar XKR’s because the ride was harsh. Too harsh for a daily driver. The 911’s ride is harsher than the Jags. I rejected a V-10 M6 for $24,000 because the electronics and stereo were so primitive. The 911’s are more antiquated. The car is an icon and I love it. Maybe I’ll get tired of the challenge of hoisting myself up from the seat that’s pretty much inches from the ground, and maybe I’ll want all the cool stuff that was in the Mercedes S600 V12 someday, but for now I find this Porsche 911 tremendously satisfying and I’m convinced I made the right call. Continue reading “30 Day Update on Etta – Guenther’s Successor and My Second Unicorn!”
Who would of thought CarMax would carry these autobahn cruise missiles, and offer a five year 100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper MaxCare warranty?! Well, other than me. The BMW Alpina B7 is in lieu of an M7, with the engine hand-built by Alpina in Bavaria. The car sold for about $130,000 new and only 500 were slated for the US market in 2011. You can have it for $39,998. Stiffer suspension, 100 more hp than a 750, bigger wheels, and just more style. I usually cap my unicorns at $35,000, but this one is just a bit more and a bit rare. It’s a two-owner Texas/California car with low miles. Here’s the Car and Driver review from 2011, and here’s the CarMax ad – the car is in LA. If the link is dead, the car is sold, on hold, or being transferred.
Love these big coupes, their 518hp engines, and exclusivity. One of 1,476 made in 2008. I love depreciation, too! Here’s the 2008 review from Automobile magazine. Beautiful car and with the MaxCare warranty you can get another 100,000 miles and five years of worry-free driving. Here’s the CarMax link – find it in Atlanta, Georgia. I think this goes in days. Added some sample MaxCare menus at the bottom at a reader’s request. Thanks.
Generally convertibles are ugly with the top up. I have never understood why anyone would want a hard top to look like a hideous, top-up convertible all the time. The worst of both worlds. But with the Grand Marquis you also get a bench seat, column shifter, and a V8 with a whopping 224 hp for less than $12,000! But it’s a clean 11 year old, two owner Florida car driven maybe 3,000 miles a year. And CarMax will sell you a warranty into 2023 and another 100,000 miles! Would make a great Father’s Day gift for somebody? If I had money, I tell you what I’d do……
We had an inch of snow so for fun went looking for some trucks. This one’s only 2WD but has the 6.0 liter 395hp motor and a cheap price. With 108k miles (violates my unicorn policy) you can still get five years, and another 42,000 miles of MaxCare coverage – not bad for a 12 year old truck? The link is here. Continue reading “Badass Blazer….But High-Mileage. 2006 TrailBlazer SS for $15,998 in Newark”
Ugh. The one that got away? I snagged this unicorn when it first popped at my local CarMax, held it under several names, and actually went in to buy it last month. It was priced at $30,998. Has everything. Designo interior. Over 500 hp. Night Vision! Was over $150,000 new. One owner. But my wife pointed out I can always get a big sedan. And CarMAx refused to replace a gouged tire. And I’ve wanted a sports car so instead I bought a 911 last week. Love the 911, but jeez – this big V12 haunts me. It’s up in Boston and dropped $1,000 since I passed. Link here. Somebody buy it so I can stop thinking about it.