Background In an era of increasing ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) use, it remains important to describe what outcomes can be achieved without EVLP, by taking an aggressive approach to donor use to maximize lung transplantation. Methods Data for all lung transplant donor referrals to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia were collected for 2012 to 2013. Donor variables were analyzed and calculated into a previously validated lung donor score. Lung transplant recipient outcome data included the following: primary graft dysfunction; duration of mechanical ventilation; need for cardiopulmonary bypass extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; intensive care and hospital length of stay; 30-day, 1-year, and 3- to 4-year survival rates; rates of acute rejection and chronic lung allograft dysfunction; and peak and 12-month lung function (forced expiratory volume in 1 second). Results Of the 318 lung donor offers, 129 resulted in successful lung transplantation, with an overall donor use rate of 41%. There was no correlation between donor score and any of the recipient outcomes, and excellent short-term and longer-term survival was achieved. Conclusions Future studies examining lung transplantation outcomes with EVLP must consider the excellent results that can be achieved by using marginal lungs and conventional donor management. It is important to consider that adopting a strategy of perioperative lung donor evaluation and intervention allows use of what are considered marginal lungs to achieve promising results.