2008 Jaguar XJ8 – The Last of My Kind

Stole the title from Jason Isbell’s song.  This Jaguar has less than 3,000 miles annually, all in the Chicago area, a decent V8, and is one of about 44,000 made (X350 model I believe but no Jaguar expert).  I can’t find a more plush cruiser for $21k.  I considered one of these as there are very, very few carried by CarMax (one every few months) and the five year bumper to bumper warranty made me worry less about reliability, but my wife and daughter decreed it an old man’s car.  But what a nice ride.  Car makes me want to put a rod from coat hanger to coat hanger in the back seat, hang my wardrobe, and drive to Florida.  2008 Jaguar XJ8 Van Den Plas $20,998 27,000 miles

Meet Etta – Guenther’s Successor and My Second Unicorn!

Finally my 15 month search for my second unicorn is over!  Last night I bought Etta, a 2008 Porsche 911 Carrera.  Found her on a CarMax lot in Los Angeles – $36,998 and 34,000 miles.  Flew out in December to drive and I liked it – but the car did not have Bluetooth or Navigation as advertised.  Before I could get indignant, they dropped the price to $34,998.  I was in.  Had planned to buy the car and leave it behind, but had concerns about Virginia inspection a month later if that became my responsibility and not CarMax’s (there are inspection items that are not warranty items), and so I instead paid the $940 to have it transferred east.  It took about a month and last night I bought it and brought it home.  Paid another $3,000 for the warranty so out the door for $39,998 with taxes.  Base model, nothing fancy, automatic (it’s my commuter car), and ridiculously clean and unmolested.  Unfortunately, I am almost $5,000 over my unicorn budget but this is only the second 911 I’ve seen over the past year selling under $35,000 before taxes and MaxCare warranty (and I snagged both of them!) so no point in waiting longer for a cheaper one.  It’s now or never.  I love it.  Etta

2008 911 Ad


A Curious Cat – Baby Jaguar with a V8, Low Miles and Low Price

CarMax occasionally offers a Jaguar XJ8 and these S-Types at low prices.  The magic remains the MaxCare warranty……don’t care how unreliable it is if I’m not paying for repairs. Wasn’t a fan of the S-Type but it’s an unusual, clean little sedan with a 300hp V8 that spent 10 years in Illinois driving 3,000 miles a year before moving to Florida in December.  Here’s the link if interested – if the link is dead it’s on hold/sold/being transferred.

2007 Jaguar S-Type $14,998 35k

By Special Request – A Buick…or Two

Pleased to have reader David Masini bring this to my attention.   Because my CarMax Unicorns are normally limited to 60,000 miles or less, and $35,000 or less for very well thought out reasons (all my wife agreed I could spend on my next car), this car evaded my search.  But David pointed out this Buick LaCrosse Super has a 5.3l LS4 engine and was one of the last “performance” Buicks since the GNX.  Car And Driver thought so, too.  With 300hp, a 5.7 sec 0-60, and alleged 156 mph top speed it sounds like a nice sleeper sedan for $8,998.  The MaxCare warranty is probably not a whole lot and get’s you another 22,000 miles of free repairs, but I would probably roll the dice and go naked on this one. What could go wrong with an LS4?  Find the car here  in Louisville, KY.  If the link is dead it’s sold/on hold/being transferred.

2008 Buick LaCrosse Super


2008 Buick Lucerne CXS
Meets the Unicorn criteria, from a price & mileage perspective, &has a V8, but not terribly exciting. How much can you expect from 275hp?

Black Cadillac – STS-V for $24,998.

As far as I can tell only 2,503 of these were produced for 2006-2009 model years.  Makes is a bit limited, if not rare.  GM produced 10 times as many CTS-V’s.  The car sold for almost $80,000 new and has the supercharged Northstar V8 pumping out 469hp – 0-60 in 4.6 seconds.  A poor man’s M5?  Find it here in Hartford, CT (although likely covered in ice today).

2008 STS-V

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?”

Be Careful What You Ask For – Surprise V10 Unicorns

One of my CarMax boilerplate searches I saved is for any V10’s that surface.  I get alerts occasionally for BMW M5’s and M6’s, but no longer Audi S6’s.  Not sure why CarMax no longer carries them but one can hope.  Today I got alerts for a pair of ten-year old V10’s.   Both are bargains.  One is for a ten-year old, 9,000 mile vehicle for $18,998.   Sounded like a bargain.  Maybe it is.  The second is a little more pricey at $28,998 with 45,000 miles.  Here you go.



Hoarding Chevy SS’s?


As new 2017 Chevrolet SS models vanish from Chevy dealerships, and there will be no more (only imported from Australia 2014-2018) CarMax appears to be scarfing up the used ones. Normally 10-15 units nationwide, this week inventory jumped to 24 models. Love this car and it’s beefy V8. Will be a rare collector car soon!

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””