Video courtesy Fox 35
Selling a 17-year-old vehicle isn't always easy.
Getting that vehicle's manufacturer to offer $2,400 to take the car back takes skill.
That's exactly what Orlando filmmaker Luke Aker did.
An Orlando filmmaker had his 1996 Maxima bought by Nissan USA after his epic ad to sell the car went viral.
Aker, 26, made a minute-long video to sell his 1996 Nissan Maxima. After the video went viral, Nissan USA decided Tuesday to buy the old sedan for $1,400. An additional $1,000 was given to be donated to a charity of his choice -- The Wounded Warriors Project.
"I've always been one of those people that wants to make something fun but it still have meaning," said Aker, who has been in Orlando for three years and lives in Waterford Lakes. "My main goal was to sell the car. I thought this would be a fun way to express what I do and show my skills but have a ton of fun doing it."
In the video, which has more than 800,000 views on YouTube, the car is described as "fully loaded with an engine, wheels, tires and an automatic transmission."
The sedan -- which is shown with the front bumper tied on with a strap and a large rip in the driver's seat -- is said to "get you from point A to B ... most of the time."
Aker bought the car two years ago from a man in Kentucky, where Aker has family.
"The car was actually in pretty decent condition when I bought it," he said.
Aker said the damage to the front bumper came after his ex-girlfriend rear-ended another vehicle.
The video took about three weeks to make after a couple months of planning. Professional voiceover artist Rick Whelan provided the unforgettable narration for the video.
Aker also had a print and Craigslist ad to sell the car, but ultimately it was the video that made the difference.
"I never once expected it would be this big," he said. "I was surprised when it hit 6,000 views on YouTube."
The video was originally posted on Sept. 29, but Aker says it was "stuck around 12,000 views" until Monday.
"The funny thing about it was that I still hadn't sold the car," he said.
Nissan USA reached out to Aker on Twitter. When Nissan North America senior specialist for social communications Rob Robinson called to iron out the details of the offer, Aker accepted.
"It was just too good to pass up," he said. "I think he enjoyed the video as much as anyone else did."
Aker chose the Wounded Warrior Project because it "felt like the right thing to do."
"My grandfather served and I've worked with a lot of veterans and have friends that served and are still serving," he explained. "I felt that was the best way to show that I appreciated their work overseas. Serving, I think, is the least selfish thing someone can do."
While this project has brought national attention to Aker's skills, he has worked with numerous projects through his Ikonik Films production company, including Warner Bros. Nashville, Fox 35 in Memphis, Tenn. and Walgreens, among others. He also works for a production firm in Titusville.
Aker plans to get a new vehicle in the future, but for now is borrowing his sister's car.
"She's been very gracious to lend me her car," he said.
Aker said Nissan is currently exploring options for what to do with the 1996 Maxima, which he said had 147,000 miles on it when the odometer broke.
"The sticker from my last oil change said 166,000," he said.
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