A couple of weeks ago, I pissed off an entire nation of car enthusiasts. This was not my intent. I generally aim to make enthusiasts happy, regardless of their race, religion, age, or nationality, unless of course they are German. I am the federal anti-discrimination law of car journalists.
But that’s not what happened a couple of weeks ago. What happened a couple of weeks ago is: I pissed off thousands of British people.
Here’s how it went down. As you may remember, I recently released this video wherein I made fun of the Land Rover Defender. I mean, I didn’t really make fun of the Defender all that much. In fact, I said it was cool, and unique, and awesome. But I may have also laughed at its features, and I might have mentioned that its reliability was like a Happy Meal wristwatch.
Well, many of you thought this video was quite funny. The rest of you were British.
A few days after the video went up, everything seemed to be normal. It had about 150,000 views, which is a pretty standard number for me, and it had mostly positive comments. And then it got picked up by a few popular websites.
That’s when all hell broke loose. Within two days, the video reached 800,000 views, and had attracted an entire army of angry British people. These are a few of the more, uh, colorful comments I received:
This video is pathetic. The dude clearly has zero understanding of what a defender is about. Pretty sad that this is how some Americans view such a world revered icon.
If it had. LT77 manual transmission it would be quicker but as 85% of Americans are to fat and lazy to use a stick shift so that’s what you get and at that Auto transmission was a opinion in UK. AirCon ok you never been to the UK and why would you need AirCon on a Ragtop ??? Some people are just thick or stupid !
You Americans don’t understand the purpose of a Land Rover Defender. It is not a car but a go anywhere 4X4 truck, designed to not get stuck in severe off road conditions that completely immobilize Jeeps.
What bollocks! What vanity! Get an old Jeep and take the extra money and do some good in the world you insufferable bloody sod.
I think Landrover stopped selling these in the USA because your all morons.
So I’ve made a few people very, very upset. But today, I’m going to make amends.
To do that, I’ve created a nice little video that I think should smooth things over with the good people of the United Kingdom. I’ve also decided to use this column to repair my DeMuro-UK relations by explaining my true feelings about British automobiles. So here goes.
Here’s the thing, British people: I’ve owned four of your vehicles now. I had a 2006 Lotus Elise and a 1995 Range Rover Classic, and I currently own a 2006 Range Rover and a 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
And I can say, unequivocally, that each and every one of them was total shit.
I bought the Lotus in July 2011 from a guy in San Jose, California, and I drove it home across the country to Atlanta. Except the guy I bought it from neglected to tell me that the air conditioning wasn’t working, which is a fact I didn’t discover until I was driving through the Mojave Desert. In the middle of July. To fix the air conditioning, the Lotus dealer had to remove the car’s entire body. I am completely serious.
The following year, I purchased a 1995 Range Rover Classic from a guy in North Carolina after it had been thoroughly restored by a well-known Range Rover Classic shop on Staten Island. The first night I owned this vehicle, it stranded me because the door locks kept locking and unlocking, by themselves, all night, until they drained the battery. After that, I left it unlocked. Later it stranded me again because a piece of plastic the size of a paperclip fell into the gear selector and lodged the transmission in park. After that, I sold it.
I’ve had my 2006 Range Rover for three years now, and it hasn’t exactly been trouble-free—a fact I’ve documented heavily here on Jalopnik, much to the chagrin of the Land Rover public relations team. And my Aston Martin, well, you already know about that.
But here’s the thing, British people: there’s a reason I keep coming back. Your cars are stylish. They’re classic. They’re beautiful. They’re exciting. And although it’s been said so many times now that it’s become a cliché, they’re full of character. You think a Toyota Sienna is going to randomly lock and unlock its doors all night until the battery dies? Hell no! A Sienna is going to transport your children to soccer practice every night for a decade, and then when your kids go off to college and someone asks them what car their parents drive, they’re going to say: “I don’t know… a Honda?”
So British cars are great. But they are not, under any circumstances, reliable. Claiming otherwise would be like a toothpick trying to convince people that it’s an oak tree. So, British people, I apologize for insulting your precious Land Rover Defender.
But let the record reflect that I, Doug DeMuro, am a lover of British cars. And let the record further reflect that British car repair shops are a lover of Doug DeMuro.