In late 2013, Nissan Maxima owner Luke Aker made the best effort we have ever seen to sell his well-used car. Luke made a short one-minute film which will have you opening your cheque book, wanting this battered and bruised 1996 Nissan Maxima for more than it’s worth. The original video was an internet sensation and Nissan themselves caught on to the hype.

Nissan North America purchased the Maxima from Luke and put it out to their social media following to decide its fate. The votes were tallied, and what the fans decided on was a full restoration to its former glory as well as a display of the vehicle at Nissan’s North American HQ, in Tennessee.

Luke Aker's Nissan Maxima was sold to Nissan who fully restored it / Photo: Road and Track

“This Craigslist ad was hilarious and incredibly well done, so we jumped at the opportunity to pick it up and have some fun with it,” said Erich Marx, Nissan's director of interactive and social media marketing.

“Thanks to an overwhelming response from the online community, we decided to do a full restoration to the vehicle, ultimately resulting in this playful video.”

Sit back and enjoy both the ‘for sale’ video, and the ‘luxury-restored’ video, both of which were filmed by Luke himself. It’s not often car manufacturers get out amongst the social automotive community and pull off quality marketing like this.

Luke Aker's video he created to sell his well-used 1996 Nissan Maxima

Nissan got on board and bought Luke Aker's “land yacht” and restored it to its former glory

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.