Ask Nathan: Porsche ‘Minivan’, Bring A Trailer Prices And Buying A Used Ferrari?

This is not a Porsche minivan exactly. It’s the Porsche Vision Renndienst EV concept. (Image: Porsche)

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Did I just see a Porsche minivan concept? 
  • The prices on Bring a Trailer are insane!
  • Would you buy a cheap used Ferrari?

The first question comes from a fan who just witnessed a Porsche minivan concept.

Q:  (Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) Did you see this Porsche minivan concept!?

I saw one photo and spit out my coffee. Is this where we’re going?

— Anonymous

A: Thanks for the message!

What you saw was the 2017 Porsche Vision Renndienst concept. The Vision Renndienst has just been released for the public to see. Porsche has several design concepts they are keeping under wraps. In time, we should be seeing other interesting concepts from the automaker.

It’s not exactly a Porsche minivan, as it has a central driver’s seat (think – McLaren F1) and can hold up to five passengers. The van has a modular, multi-configurable interior setup, but there are no interior shots to be found. It is suggested that the purpose of this concept was to show how flexible the EV platform is.

I sincerely doubt that Porsche is considering anything like this for production. It is possible that some of the data they collect could be used by other members of Volkswagen AG. Honestly, that’s just a guess.

The photos of this van next to an old VW bus are particularly interesting.

— N

The next question comes from a frustrated fan who feels like Bring a Trailer’s prices are ridiculous.

Image: Bring a trailer

Q: (Paraphrased) Bring a Trailer’s prices are out of control.

I saw a 76 Datsun 280Z priced for over $100,000! These prices mess up the whole car market for old Datsuns. I think these ridiculous prices mess up the used car market for people who want to buy good old cars to wrench on. I sent you a few examples. Am I wrong?

— E Kline

A: Thanks for the email.

In some cases, I would agree with you. This 280Z in question may be something special. If the post’s information is correct, it is mint with 355-miles. That’s why it is so pricy. Still, auction sites can entice people to make poorly thought-out decisions. Even in-person auctions can bring in bidders who are WAY too committed to a certain vehicle.

I grew up in the auction business, and I am (sometimes) bewildered by the money people will spend on certain vehicles.

On the other hand, there are local auctions all over the country where you can get some pretty cool stuff for very reasonable money. It all depends on your ability to stay calm, be logical and be willing to wait for the right car. Folks who pony up amazing amounts of money for a good example of a vehicle that’s not worth it are common. On the other hand, people who are willing to invest much less in a fixer-upper, build it the way they want and save dough are kind of rare.


— N

The last question comes from a young viewer who was curious about buying an older, used “inexpensive” Ferrari.


Q: Hi TFL and Mr. Nathan!

If you saw a Ferrari for the same price as a new Toyota Camry would you consider buying it? My dad is looking at Camrys and watches your shows all the time. He likes all of you but I think you are the funniest. Anyway I was helping my dad look online and I saw an ad for a Ferrari Mondial with a starting price of $36,000!!! I looked at the ad and saw it was sold which was sad. But it made me think about how cool it looked and why not get one instead of a boring Camry.

What do you think?

— Lindsey

11 in Ogden, UT

January 2018 Midsize Sedan Sales Report: 2018 Toyota Camry XLE Hybrid
[Photo: Toyota]

A: Hi there! Thanks for the email.

You and your dad have good taste!

Your dad is looking at one of the best sedans in its class. It isn’t as exciting or brag-worthy as a Ferrari, but they do build kind of a fun version of the Camry (the Toyota Camry TRD).

You have good taste because all Ferrari’s are cool. Unfortunately, some of them weren’t very good. One of the first Ferrari cars I drove was an early 1980s Mondial, like the one pictured above. It was kind of fun, but not as fast as you might think. In fact, the Camry your dad’s looking at would probably be faster than the Mondial.

Another thing to think about is how painfully expensive Ferraris are to maintain. Fixing even basic parts can cost thousands of dollars. Older Italian cars, like Ferrari, can cost more than the Camry – just to keep running properly. On top of that, they are not very practical to use every day. I’m sure your dad needs to drive around a lot, but doing that in an old car can be a hassle.

One more thing to think about: the Camry you dad is looking at will be very comfortable and have a good sound system – especially compared to an old Ferrari.

I know, the Ferrari you saw looked beautiful. They are, Unfortunately, it doesn’t make sense to drive one every day.

Maybe you can help your dad out by helping him choose options, colors and a name? Every car deserves a name.

Thanks again for the email!

— N

Speaking of old cars that are EXPENSIVE to maintain…