Badass Blazer….But High-Mileage. 2006 TrailBlazer SS for $15,998 in Newark

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”

The $577 Million Car Loan and Other Fascinating CarMax “Analytics”

Small 73000
The total cars on the lot around noon, November 18th 2017.  The numbers fluctuated by hundreds between the beginning and completion of this blog, rendering all my calculations estimates.

The CarMax nationwide inventory jumped from just over 40,000 cars in the summer of 2017 to over 73,000 today.  That’s the highest it’s been since I started tracking CarMax unicorns a year ago and it got me pondering on all things cosmic CarMax.  For example, that 33,000 plus-up in stock equals a staggering $577 million* investment in cars in just a few months.  I’m thinking like you and me, CarMax didn’t pay cash and owed somebody a helluva lot of money.  You think they get dealer financing? I’m thinking CarMax needs to move some cars and hoping there are more unicorns and lower prices!

*The average CarMax vehicle sells for $19,677 with a gross profit of $2,178, indicating a rough guess each car costing CarMax $17,489.  See “CarMax Reports Second Quarter Results, September 22, 2017″.

So I decided to do my own homemade “analytics” and dive deeper on what makes up an inventory of 73,000 cars.  CarMax knows what they’re doing, and I suspect their inventory largely reflects what America wants in a car.  So here’s what I learned. Continue reading “The $577 Million Car Loan and Other Fascinating CarMax “Analytics””

Five Quick Hits! BMW 650, CTS V, MX-5, Shelby, and a Corvette.

2006 Miata $13599 34k
Not sure if I’m most surprised by the price or the stupid low miles.  Yes it’s an automatic, but cute and cheap.

The CarMax Link – 2006 Miata

2007 CTS V Sedeqn $25,998 27k
This is a rare one!  Ten year old 400hp CTS V Sedan with driven less than $2,700 miles yearly.   

The CarMax Link – 2007 CTS V

2008 Mustang Shelby GT500 $27,998 47k
A 500hp beast for under $28,000!  Mileage is still low at 6,000 yearly.

The CarMax Link – 2008 Shelby GT500

2008 Corvette $28,998 9k
9,000 Miles? Why don’t these people drive their cars????!!!!

The CarMax Link – 2008 Corvette

2007 BMW 650 CiC $18,998 39k
Less than $20,000 for a BMW 650.  Horsepower a little low for me but a helluva lot of fun for the price and low miles.

The CarMax Link – 2007 BMW 650 CiC

First Five Fabulous Unicorns

I have a couple of dozen (about 50 really) CarMax unicorns tagged but wanted to open with a sampling of what’s on the lot today.  Again, my bar is $35,000 or less, 60,000 miles or less, an enthusiast car, and relatively exclusive.  Your standards may vary.  So here they are in no particular order:

2007 MB CL550 $26,998 34k 8-9-17

2007 Mercedes CL550 – The “big coupe” from Mercedes – the two door version of the S-class, originally a $100,000 car.   You can read the review from the link below.   It’s the third generation CL and has everything a top of the line Mercedes should have – in 2007.   What I like? It’s big, exclusive, comfortable, well-appointed with Distronic auto cruise control, cheap, low miles (driven only 3,400 miles yearly), and you can get a warranty for the next five years. I like that with only 34,000 miles CarMax will likely give an affordable warranty to 75,000 miles – but I would take all they offer that I could afford.  What I don’t like?  No bluetooth. Ad says rear view camera but I doubt it – CarMax photo spread almost always shows a shot of the rear view camera in action if it has one.  Rear view photo of the car doesn’t show one.  I don’t like less than 400hp but 382 ain’t bad.  I also don’t like that this car is not transferable and is 3,000 miles away from me.  I would give it serious consideration.  I’ll bet it’s gone in days, although there’s also a 2009 CL550 on the lot at $32,998 that hasn’t moved in a week.  We shall see!

Car and Driver Review CL550

2011 BMW M3 – The “benchmark” sport coupe per the review below, and the best everyday sports car I can imagine.  I’ve owned a 3-series.  Everything is in the right place.  M3’s are tough to find in my unicorn category.  Once a $70,000 car, most are close to the $35,000 unicorn limit, have 70-80,000 miles on them and are 8-10 years old.  I have a hard time paying that much for that old with that mileage.  So I like the balance of price and mileage here.   I like the SMG transmission and 400hp.  I’m not a big fan of the hard top convertible only because I own a convertible. Otherwise it’s the best of both worlds.  Don’t know why, but the hard top convertibles sell at a discount over the hard top coupes.  If you like these then you’re in luck!   A little short on amenities but you can’t have a bad day in an M3.

Autoweek Review – 2011 M3

Continue reading “First Five Fabulous Unicorns”