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Where Is the Next DougCar?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2018

Good news, citizens of Oversteer! It's time for a new round of Ask Doug, your favorite weekly feature wherein you ask Doug a nice question, and Doug responds to you after carefully thinking over an answer for approximately 19 seconds.

If you'd like to participate in Ask Doug, you can! Just e-mail me at OversteerDoug@gmail.com, and I will happily read your question, and possibly even reply to it if it isn't awful. Unfortunately, we will not know if your question is awful until you ask it, so please ask away!

This week's question comes to us from a reader I've named Ethan, who's asking about the DougCar. Ethan writes:

Dear Doug,

I was wondering where the current DougCar is. Did it break and you were too embarrassed to admit you bought an unreliable car, or did you sell it to Tyler Hoover?

With best wishes,

Ethan

For those of you who don't know what the DougCar is, allow me to provide a little background information here. In past years, every six months or so, I created a little event that I called the "DougCar," wherein I let my audience choose the next car I'd purchase, and, subsequently, I would purchase that car, drive it for a while and write about it and make videos with it.

Although my 1997 Land Rover Defender 90 is technically a "DougCar," I've really been using that one more for my personal enjoyment, and I haven't made much content with it since I got it 10 months ago. Really, my last "DougCar" was my 1997 Dodge Viper GTS, which I sold over the summer and wrote about until September. Normally, when one DougCar goes away, another one arrives, which has led many people to ask me: Where's the next DougCar?

For DougCar loyalists, I'm not sure if you'll like the response. I was initially planning on making a new DougCar contest sometime this month, but I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to go through with it. The simple reason is that I've now started to film a large number of videos with a wide variety of other interesting cars -- a Ferrari one day, a Pontiac Aztek the next -- and my readers and viewers just seem to prefer the variety of the interesting and unusual cars I review, compared to repeated posts about the "DougCar."

When I do take a break from the variety to make a post or a video about the DougCar, I can always count on fewer views than a post about virtually any other vehicle -- even something relatively dull, like a Jaguar F-Pace or a Fiat 124 Abarth. The simple truth is that it seems the viewers want the variety -- and I'm lucky enough to get a lot of cool car offers to provide them with what they want. In essence, what I do has evolved a bit.

Of course, there's also another reason why I, personally, would want to avoid doing the DougCars, and that's the personal risk to me that comes from buying them. These cars aren't cheap, nobody is buying them for me, and if one of them breaks or has a serious fault, I have to pay for it. As I've been ramping up the DougCars lately, getting more and more valuable vehicles, this risk is getting more substantial. Imagine, for instance, a serious problem with a Ferrari 360, or putting a new engine in a Dodge Viper. Unlikely, sure, but not unfathomable -- and no DougCar has ever managed to pay for itself.

With that said, I'm still doing the "DougCar," just to a lesser extent. Just last week, I updated you on my 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon, as I took it to the drag strip and raced it against a Porsche 911 and an Audi R8. No, my viewers didn't help me choose this "DougCar," since I bought it to use as my daily driver. But it's still a DougCar, there's still some interest around it, and people seem to be enjoying its existence. So, for the time being at least, my AMG Wagon is the DougCar.

This, of course, will lead you to ask: Is the DougCar finished entirely? I get this question all the time, and the answer is always the same: I'm not sure. When I give this answer, people always tell me how much they enjoy the DougCar and how they hope I keep doing it, but I'm always reminded of a famous quote that's attributed to Henry Ford: "If I had asked the people what they wanted, they would've said faster horses." If you're on the internet, you have to change very quickly to meet demand, and my focus has shifted a bit.

Plus, you now have Tyler Hoover to do crazy antics with his own cars, and he does a better job than I ever did. And he has a much larger variety of cars to use for his crazy antics. Combine that with the data saying the non-DougCars are performing better, along with the lower risk -- and the fact that I really enjoy the variety of the various cars I'm filming now -- all points say the DougCar ... isn't quite done. It's just shelved for the moment. And maybe I'll bring it back out at some point.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Where Is the Next DougCar? - Autotrader