The Grand Tour

James May & Doug DeMuro Rip On Clarkson’s Ford GT And Convertible SUVs

Still determined to keep up the output of quality content during quarantine, James May sat down with Youtuber Doug DeMuro for a virtual tour of his garage.

Like James, Doug is well known for his personable reviews of quirky cars. However, before you assume DeMuro would end up getting May on a Grand Tour personality quiz, there is something you should know… he owns a 2005 Ford GT.

May criticizes DeMuro for this particular car choice in the roast video which preceded this call. In fairness, his points of both the car being a tribute, and the large association with his Grand Tour co-host are both completely valid. After all, nobody wants to be seen publicly lusting after their friend’s ex.

On the other hand, James himself admits to owning a tribute, the Alpine A-110. Both the Alpine and the Ford are seen by the two as remarkably exceptions to the typical 21st century cars with throwback styling. In the end, Doug stands by the GT’s ability to adapt the spirit of the original, into something compliant with 2005 road regulations.

You take the freedom of 60’s styling, which was quite radical in many ways… that styling language doesn’t square with modern safety requirements.

DeMuro tells May that he very frequently gets remarks about his Ford GT that seem inspired by Clarkson’s well publicized experience with the car. Jezza famously complained every step of the way with his, calling it unreliable, a gas-guzzler, and notably having difficulty getting in and out of it. “Since I was there and I know, the unreliability issues were largely with the owner and not the car,” replies May, confirming what many fans of the trio would have suspected.

May then asked about the cars in DeMuro’s garage, starting with a bright yellow V8 Defender, which was the Americanized soft-top version with a automatic transmission. How James puts it is, “that’s still very much in Richard Hammond territory.”

The two discuss the mental gymnastics of paying twice as much for what is essentially an imported alternative to a Jeep Wrangler. Even though Doug presumably loves the Land Rover, he admits it’s “the worst value per mile operated in the entire car world!”

Even still, Doug’s Defender or ones like it can sell for around 60k – 70k in the states! Compared to them being “a dime a dozen” in the UK, and according to May, “a lot of money for a car that doesn’t work.”

Then comes the quirkiest of them all, Doug’s ’99 Mercedes G-Wagon Convertible. A car that the two almost declare the ugliest car… in the world. Doug says the car looks “like a G-Wagon that’s been photoshopped,” and that he regularly has people coming up to him asking if he modified the SUV to look like it does.

With its powered convertible top, Doug and James both can agree that the former has the market cornered on convertible SUVs. Even though they are a couple of especially ecentric models.

The two are now in talks to film the other perspective of the garage tour, with James May giving Doug a sneak peak into the underground bunker. Maybe then we can get a Doug score on some of James’ collection.

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