Gather ‘round, boys and girls, men and women, Crest and Colgate, because it’s time for your favorite annual event here on Jalopnik: the one where you help me choose a new car that I will use to create columns and mediocre YouTube videos for the next year.
You’d know all about this if you followed me on Twitter, because I’ve been announcing this impending event for quite a while. First, it was a month away. Then, a few weeks. Then, a few days. Well, now it has finally arrived: the moment where I place my life in your hands and hope for the best. In this sense, I am basically an astronaut.
But before we get started, I’d like to clear up a little misconception about exactly what it is that I do. For the last few weeks, many of you have been asking me: What’s next, Doug? What are you buying to replace your Skyline? What are you getting to replace your Hummer? Well, the truth is that I don’t choose my cars – you do.
This all started a few years ago, back in June 2013, when I asked for your opinions on what I should buy and write about, and I received them: I got more than 650 responses, and I ended up buying a Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, which I drove across the country and back – including a stint on the Bonneville Salt Flats at more than 150 miles per hour.
The following year, I once again asked for your suggestions on what car to write about – and you delivered, with more than 1,700 different responses. One of the top suggestions was a Ferrari, so I bought a Ferrari, and then I reported on every single aspect of Ferrari ownership, including tremendously important points such as: “Can you tie a TV to the roof and drive around for a while?”
Last year, I once again solicited your responses, and I received more than 2,500 suggestions. The highest-rated post called for me to import a Nissan Skyline GT-R, while another top suggestion asked for a Hummer. And so, just a few months later, I owned a Hummer and I imported a Nissan Skyline GT-R, and I wrote about both of them for about a year.
And today, the tradition continues.
This year, I have merely three rules. They are:
1. Budget. The car shouldn’t cost more than $60,000. Maaaaaaybe $65,000. If I could find an F40 for $70,000, I would probably stretch my budget to buy it. But don’t bother suggesting any high-dollar exotics or supercars because despite previous Ferrari 360 ownership, I am not a high-dollar exotics kind of guy. I am a How can Whole Foods charge $8.19 for a box of cereal? kind of guy.
2. Interest. I cannot stress this point enough: This car has to be something that you’re interested in hearing about for a while. The Hummer seemed to captivate everyone’s interest, week in and week out, for almost a year. On the other hand, some people complained a little about the Skyline. So before you send in your suggestion, ask yourself: Is this something I want to hear about for a year?
An example: some of the suggestions I’ve already received include the Honda S2000, the Porsche 911, and the Subaru WRX STI.
These are all fine cars if you’re a normal person trying to buy a normal car to have some normal fun. But are they really exciting enough to read about every week or two for months to come?
I know that if someone on the Internet got a Porsche 911 and started making YouTube videos, I personally wouldn’t watch more than one or two, unless the 911 had some special trick like it could shoot fire, or it could morph into a lawnmower, or it had a full guest bedroom in the trunk.
3. Cost. Although I’ve already covered the budget, cost is almost more important: the car cannot lose an insane amount of value over the next year. What I mean by this is, I cannot buy the car today for $50,000 and sell it in a year for $19,500 – that’s too expensive.
Sadly, this rule eliminates virtually all new cars except for the most highly demanded models, which will retain their value. But in order to get one of these models, you generally have to be someone important, which I am not. I am not even slightly important. At the Apple Store, they put down my name as Dave DeMino.
Sending Your Suggestions
There are many ways you can send me your suggestions. My preferred method is Twitter: I’m DougDeMuro, and I’ve decided to use the hashtag #DougCar for this purpose. I’ve never used a hashtag before in my life, but doing so will help me find your responses over the next few days.
Of course, you can also reply to this column. But be forewarned: in my experience, Kinja tends to bog down a bit after 800 or 900 replies. So if you want to make a suggestion and there are already hundreds of responses, you may instead want to try Twitter, or my Facebook page, or my Instagram, or commenting on my YouTube video, or BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH social media. If you see me on the street over the next few weeks, you can also walk up to me and provide a suggestion. I will write it down on my phone.
I’m very eager to read every single suggestion, because I have an exciting plan for next week: I’m going to put every suggestion into a giant Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and create a series of charts and graphs and statistics that quantify everything you’ve suggested. Given that I received more than 4,000 responses last year between Jalopnik and Twitter, I think it’ll be interesting to see the metrics of what you suggest.
With all of those things in mind, have at it: it’s time to choose the next #DougCar.
Please be kind.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars, which his mother says is “fairly decent.” He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer.