Cheap V12 Executive Race Car – 2007 S600

S600I 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.

2007 S600 $23,.998 37000

2008 Mercedes CL63 AMG for $30,998 – $138,000 when new!

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.2008 CL63



Mercedes S600 V12 – $29,998. Giving Me A Tough Case of Buyer’s Remorse

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. S600

Prices Dropping? Unusual Number of Unicorn Alerts

Over the past 24 hours I’ve gotten emails alerting me to price reductions on five of the 43 cars* I have saved in my CarMax profile.  Not a lot – $601 per car, but in the year I’ve been tracking unicorns I’ve never gotten this many.  Curious….New Year’s sale (CarMax doesn’t do sales) or is this related to the massive increase in inventory I blogged about last month ( The $577 Million Car Loan and Other Fascinating CarMax “Analytics” ) .

*I have 110 cars in my profile but many are listed as “No Longer Available”.  I keep them because more than a few resurface in another city, or even a few have been sold back to CarMax and show up back on the market.  That’s how I knew the 2010 Jaguar XKR I declined in January 2017 sold in Maryland, and was traded in and offered again in Virginia in December for $1,000 more than last year!

Here’s the unicorns I’ve been alerted to today:

Mustang GT Price Drop

$17,998 – Stupid Low Mileage 2006 Mustang GT

 Link – If Dead Car Sold/Hold/Transferred

VW EOS Price Drop

$12,599 – Rare 250hp V6 VW EOS

CarMax Link – If Dead Car Sold/Hold/Transfer

PT Price Drop

$10,599 Low Mileage Retro Cruiser 

CarMax Link – If Dead Car Is Sold/Hold/Transferred

Continue reading “Prices Dropping? Unusual Number of Unicorn Alerts”

Five Obscure Unicorns for $10-$24k……. or Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder?

Writing this post for my new friends at the Facebook page “Obscure Cars For Sale 2.0” who think like me.  There are unusual cars out there that somebody loves.  Here’s my first five CarMax “unicorns” aka Obscure Cars for Sale.  I hope you enjoy them.

2006 Ford Mustang GT 7k $18599 Cincy
How do you drive this car only 600 miles a year?

The only think obscure about this 2006 Mustang GT is the crazy low miles – 7,000!  It’s brand new inside and out, and priced the same as a Honda Civic and way more fun. Throw in a MaxCare warranty for about $2,000 and you can drive this car until 2023 – when it’s 17 years old – and another 143,000 miles without a repair bill.  It’s a 300hp V-8 in Cincinnati.  Love it. Here’s the link to the CarMax ad.  If it’s dead the car is either sold, on hold, or in transit to another dealer.  I’ll keep tracking it.

2008 VW Eos VR6 $12,998 58k
Do NOT call this a chick car!



It’s cute as a button, German, cheap, and has a convertible hard top.  But this little guy has the underappreciated VW-Audi 3.2 liter six-cylinder pumping out 250 hp.  It also has a DSG transmission.  What’s that you ask?  It’s a Direct Shift Gearbox, an electronically controlled dual clutch automatic designed by Porsche that snap shifts stupid fast.

This is a sleeper version of a Golf-R32.  Find this one-owner VW in Naperville, Ill and the CarMax page here.

Continue reading “Five Obscure Unicorns for $10-$24k……. or Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder?”

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””

I May Be Nuts – Passing on a $31,000 S600 V12 Unicorn

2009 s600 $30,998 50K

This car surfaced on 10/27 and within the hour I had it on hold.  At my local CarMax no less.  Saw it and loved it.  Flawless, with “Designo” interior.  Every feature you could ever want.  Night vision.  Distronic.  V12.  0-60 in 4.5 seconds.   Has all three levels of options.  One owner.  Was over $150,000 new and selling for $30,998.  The MaxCare warranty is below.  It’s also reasonable.  Could be out the door for $40,000.   BUT I decided it’s huge (it’s long wheel base model) and too much like Guenther, the S55 I sold.  So back in the market for a sports car.  But if nobody buys this by Monday maybe………


Mercedes Unicorns – Twins and Triplets From $20,000 – Part I – Three E-Class Sedans (W211)

Too many Mercedes unicorns to cover in one post so let’s start with three E-class units on the lot as of late August 2017.   Focusing on the 2007-2009 E550 and E63 because they are affordable and few.  There are countless 2010-2011’s out there with the newer body but no more horsepower.  The 2012 and above E-class cars have the higher horsepower (402 vs 382) with far more amenities and are starting to become available in unicorn territory ($35,000 or less with 60,000 miles or less).

2007 E550 $20,998 23kAt the low end is this 2007 E550 with only 23,000 miles in Florida.  Something about the softer lines of the W211 that appeal to me.   Adjustable suspension, heated and air conditioned seats, but no Bluetooth or rear view camera.  Add a 100,000 mile warranty and you’ve got the basics of a daily driver for years to come and at $20,998 seems cheap.   Surprised it has lasted a week on the lot.

Continue reading “Mercedes Unicorns – Twins and Triplets From $20,000 – Part I – Three E-Class Sedans (W211)”

Mercedes Unicorns Part II – A Pair of Cute CLK550’s from $15,000! (W209)

The CLK-Class coupe predated the E-Class coupe and with a 382hp V8 the mid-sized 3,700 pounds can clip five second 0-60 times.  It was once a $55,000 car and can be had for $15-20,000 plus the MaxCare warranty for years of enthusiastic driving.  Described as a luxury car, although the 2007 models had no Bluetooth or similar modern amenities – a quick trip to Best Buy can fix that for a hundred dollars.  I think these cars are bargains.  Let’s look at a couple.  Contemporary Review – 2007 CLK550

2007 CLK550 $14,998 55kThis Oregon car is still on the lot as of late August 2017.  I can’t find anything visually wrong although with 55,000 miles it’s at the high end for a unicorn.  I have the luxury of a free long term temporary car while I search for my next unicorn.  If I didn’t have that I’d buy this as a stopgap daily driver until I found something more special.  Also a great car for a college kid – with MaxCare no repairs.

Continue reading “Mercedes Unicorns Part II – A Pair of Cute CLK550’s from $15,000! (W209)”

Mercedes Unicorns Part III – A Trio of Affordable CL550 Coupes (C216)

The CL550 is an enigma to me.  Built on an S-class platform but heavier, no B-pillar, nice curves, just enough horsepower at 382, and 5 second 0-60mph times.  But I’ve never sat in one let alone taken a spin and not sure why I’m not jumping at one of the bargains below.  Perhaps because I saw a raging CL63 AMG appear and vanish on the CarMax website in about 20 minutes last spring, never to return again.  Maybe I’m waiting on a V12 CL600?  One thing I know is they are rare.  I’ve spotted only two in Northern Virginia in the past year. Listing for over $100,000 when new they meet my “I got a deal!” standard.

Car and Driver 2007 CL Review

2008 CL550 $22,998 54kThis 2008 car stunned me.  The few CL550’s that surface have always been in the $30,000 and up range and left me wondering about spending that much on a 10-year-old car.  Other than rare and luxurious I wasn’t sold.  But at $22,998 I am shocked.   An LA car with Bluetooth and rear view camera, not to mention Distonic.  Smoker car I’m wondering?  It’s about $10,000 less than its peers.  Usually when I see a car this far below the others I smell a rat.  They pop up and vanish quickly and I wonder if a deal was cut before the car came to market but CarMax has to bring it online to sell?  Who knows?  Grab it. It will be gone by this weekend.

Continue reading “Mercedes Unicorns Part III – A Trio of Affordable CL550 Coupes (C216)”