Owning a sweet car is only half of the fun and most people who are really into vehicles also have a profound love for customizing them as well. Who can really blame anyone for wanting to put their personal touches on a car that they’ve worked really hard to own? It’s a cool concept, but there are too many instances when this goes terribly wrong. And if you’re lifting your car in order to carry out your custom vision, then there’s a good chance that your car is going to be an outlier in many ways.
Specifically, this happens more often if you happen to own a muscle car. Now, there’s nothing wrong with building your own donk. In fact, there are actually a few examples that have actually turned out excellent. The cold, hard truth, though, is that the majority of people who attempt to design their own donk don’t know how to do so tastefully. And, some of the cars (on this list) that are used to achieve this image are just completely wrong for the job—not just because the body style is incompatible with the hardware, but because it’s just wrong to lift a high-powered muscle car.
Not only are you increasing the (already high) gas mileage, but you’re tossing the car’s overall performance (handling, horsepower, etc.) right out the window. In many cases like these, donks and other lifted cars are some of the biggest tragedies to ever plague the car market. The aftermarket rims that are installed after the lift are probably the worst part of all. This is a pretty ugly trend that is (hopefully) on its way out, but all we can do is sit back and laugh, for now.
24 Light Blue Camaro
The release of the fifth generation of the Camaro was one of the most highly-anticipated returns of any Chevy vehicle. It put Chevrolet back on the map in the muscle car scene and also refueled the long-neglected muscle car scene, unless you actually count Ford’s sad attempts at keeping the Mustang alive. Then you have mods like these that set the Camaro back once again. To be fair, it appears that this is one of the basic package Camaros, which means that it has as much horsepower as your average ‘mom car’ with the shell of a muscle car, so mod it with whatever you want. The entire car is a total crime to the Camaro name.
23 Challenger w/ Shiny Rims
There’s no arguing that a Challenger looks great with shiny rims; the chrome on these actually compliments the paint job really well. Since most donks aren’t usually well-received by the majority of car enthusiasts, it’s probably going to come as a shock that this isn’t considered to be one of the worst customs ever. In fact, it doesn’t look half-bad. However, the size happens to be more of an issue than you’d expect. Particularly if the driver ever decides to burn some rubber; it’s a lot less satisfying when the wheels get in the way of your muscle car’s horsepower.
22 Black Challenger On 30s
The color scheme on this Challenger is clean and appealing but it also brandishes a twinge of irony. For one thing, who puts racing stripe-turned-flags on the side of a basic Challenger, to begin with? Particularly one that has 30-inch rims and thin tires that are completely incapable of taking on any type of race. We could have respected the fact that someone overpaid for a slow Challenger purely to mod it up with useless accessories, if only they hadn’t pretended it was something that it’s not. What you’re looking at is a poseur of a muscle car; more accurately described as a shell, disguising the six-cylinder engine beneath all of that racing fluff.
21 Mustang DUB Wheels
Now, when you pull up with DUB wheels on any car, you’re making a pretty bold statement, which means that you’re leaving yourself open to judgment. It’s quite clear from the photo that someone spent good money on this car. Not only is it a newer model Mustang, but those DUB 30s don’t come cheap, either. Given the fact that the modern Mustang GT comes with a much smoother suspension than ever before, it’s absolutely pitiful (and a bit cringe-y) to see it lifted. This mod doesn’t look terrible, but something about blowing gobs of cash only to downgrade the performance parts makes any car enthusiast feel the need to shed a little tear.
20 Mustang 26-Inch DUB Floats
This was probably one of the least desirable Mustangs to ever leave Ford’s assembly line, but that doesn’t excuse the stylistic sin committed against this muscle car—if you can call it that, anyway. The 2000s ‘Stang was quite a bit underpowered but the one above appears to be a Shelby model, which is sad, to say the least. Obviously, a lift and huge wheels like these do a major disservice to the drivability of this car, but especially if you’re planning on putting the pedal to the metal. It would have made more sense to save the money and get a regular model Mustang instead of paying for a full-price model and putting these big floaters on.
19 Challenger On 34-Inch Rockstars
This custom brings more questions to mind than statements. For one thing, why would anyone want to lift a car so high that it’s level with a truck? Granted, there are a few occasions when this is executed with taste. But putting 34-inch rims on a Challenger R/T just seems like a total waste of a car. They’ll, obviously, never get the type of performance or handling out of this car that they would if they had left it completely stock—or enhanced the correct parts—but it becomes even more pathetic to look at once you spot the pinwheel rims that replaced the originals.
18 All-White Camaro
It’s never a bad thing to want to match. In fact, when owners take things to the next level and replace stock seats, door panels, and other interior parts to match the color scheme of the car, it can actually enhance the overall look of it. B this person just went in the completely wrong direction with their modding endeavors. Who puts the ugliest rims they can find on a muscle car? First off, the center of the wheel resembles a daisy, which is the last thing you ever associate with a Camaro. Even though it’s white, it doesn’t seem to reflect the same style as a Camaro, in any way. Of course, the same can be said about many of the examples in this list. But this specific muscle car earned itself some serious hate.
17 Built Camaro
This is what happens when someone watches a movie that they love and decide to relive it in their own waking life. In this case, the owner looks like they were attempting to build their very own Transformer. Unfortunately, the worst part about this car isn’t just the rims…or the unnecessary fender flares. The entire body is a complete joke. In an effort to salvage whatever speck of hope is left for this Camaro, someone should probably break it to this guy that his car isn’t going to be caught fighting another car in the middle of the night. At least, not with those cheap upgrades.
16 Pontiac GTO
Everyone assumes that donk owners are the only perpetrators of bad rim choices on muscle cars. But nope, there is a breed of every variety out there that makes bad car decisions on a daily basis. And, no matter how ‘cool’ you may believe this is, there’s absolutely nothing good about lifting an old GTO and putting fat tires and ugly rims that look like they belong on a golf cart onto a classic. Sure, the GTO wasn’t exactly the speediest car out there. It may not even be fair to claim that it’s a muscle car. No matter how you look at it, though, this is a shame.
We know that we’re only supposed to be commenting on the rims, but it seems that there’s a trend going on; if you suck at picking rims, then you’re likely to choose other terrible mods for your car as well. This mess has been dubbed the ‘Mudstang’. We can only hope that it doesn’t actually spend its spare time off-road. The old-school truck rims aren’t any consolation. Why must people spend extra money to get a muscle car only to turn it into a mudding truck? Why not just buy a truck in the first place? Clearly, there are many questions that will forever haunt us when something like a Mudstang passes by.
14 Cliché Charger With A Lift
At first glance, this customized Dodge doesn’t look too shabby. Then you take into consideration that it’s a base model Charger and the mods actually seem to make sense, since it has about the same horsepower as a Prius. But upon closer inspection, all of that positive energy begins to drain away as you realize that the huge rims are merely an inch from the fender and the tires are completely concealed. Of course, this was intentionally done, but it’s a pretty cliché modification that doesn’t make a lot of logical sense. Not to mention, the longer you stare at the rims, the more you begin to notice just how asymmetrical they are; and that’s obnoxious in its own right.
13 All Rims And No Tires 1967 Pontiac GTO
This is one of those rare conditions when bigger rims definitely work for the car. After taking a good look at the rims that were chosen, though, all of that tasteful style goes right out the window. Once again, GTOs weren’t exactly going to win any races, but they deserve a set of rims that don’t strip the car of every ounce of muscle that it has. These rims match the color scheme nicely, but it doesn’t do the GTO any justice. They look more like they belong on a roadster or other cruising vehicle, not a wannabe muscle car.
12 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442
The Oldsmobile Cutlass was kind of underrated for its time but that doesn’t mean that we should disrespect every surviving model left on earth. This is one of the saddest results of a 442 remodel that we have ever seen. The paint job isn’t bad but the lift is worthless, especially since someone decided to put on the most obnoxious rims they could possibly find. We can only assume that they must have been heavily discounted for someone to actually buy them because they’re one of the worst sets on this list. Who wants a ninja star or a snowflake (take your pick) for wheels?
11 Chevrolet Chevelle
The Chevelle is one of the most pathetic cars to earn a spot on this list. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that it’s a bad car. No. Actually, the rims that were chosen for this car aren’t even that horrible. However, it’s absolutely regretful to look at a fully restored Chevelle that has oversized rims. We have to give someone props for coming up with such a great mashup of electric blue with black. On the negative side of things, what are you going to do with those tires? Nothing. This car has retired its days of rough riding; as of the installment of those rims, it’s officially a car for cruising.
10 Modern Dodge Charger
Once again, someone took things too far with the giant rims on a Charger. We can’t really blame anyone for wanting to mod this car. It’s practically useless as a muscle car. Actually, it’s sad that this is even a descendant of the old, boxy classic that classic car enthusiasts know and love. However, it’s really difficult to pass up criticizing a car that’s clearly asking for attention. The entire body presents itself as an art gallery, which isn’t inherently bad, either, but it looks extremely cheap when it’s paired with those giant, skinny chrome rims and useless tires that may as well be black construction paper.
9 Pontiac Firebird
Although it’s not often thought of as a muscle car, this is as much a part of the family as the early-2000s Mustang. The thing about the Firebird, though, is that it really fell off once it transitioned to this body style. And just when you thought that things couldn’t get much worse for this Pontiac, someone snaps a photo of it on at least 30s. This car reaches the epitome of poor customization. The tires most certainly rub the edge of the fenders every time it turns a corner. It’s hard to imagine that this car handles well other than when it’s driving at slow speeds in a straight line, and even then it’s probably debatable.
8 1971 Chevrolet Impala
As most of our readers probably know, the Impala is the pioneer of donks. It’s the number one car that everyone with a taste for 30s with chrome and fake gold will go for. This one, in particular, isn’t a terrible modification. The rims do nicely match the body, but it looks a bit ugly once you really take in the entire car and notice all of the chrome pieces all over the body, on the edges of the windows, the grill, and even on the edge of the fenders. We can’t really claim that giant chrome rims would have fared much better, but the bronze-gold look just doesn’t work for the OCD car enthusiast.
7 1972 Chevrolet Impala 434
Nothing draws more attention to itself than a big, bright classic car. We can’t really hate on the color of this old-school Chevy, either. However, it is a pity to see an Impala 434 on massive rims, though. It’s not even just about performance with this car—although, you can bet that those tires don’t ride all that smooth—but the style of the rims just doesn’t match an Impala’s aesthetic. How can you pair modern, kiddy-looking rims with a burly, old classic Impala? The modern era has really invited in the concept of ‘mix and match’ but this set of rims takes things a bit too far.
6 1971 Chevrolet Impala Blue Money
There is a lot to evaluate about this car’s position in life. For one thing, why is it chilling out in what looks to be a junkyard? Someone actually took a high-quality photo of their prided Impala and decided to park it in the middle of a car’s final resting place? That’s bizarre enough, but then you take in the car, and while the classic features of the Impala tend to pull you in, the rims just don’t jive well with it. The small dots lining the circumference of the rims look more like cheap craftsmanship than a unique design. So much potential was totally lost when the rims were swapped with this set.
5 Chameleon Camaro
There are some people who enjoy living life loud and proud and they make no apologies for their outlying behaviors. This Camaro seems to have attained that persona in every aspect of its redesign, and we can respect that aspect of things. But the car itself is a bit over-the-top, if we’re being real. The rims, in particular, look like someone is attempting to fuse Tron with a chameleon. These wheels are obviously way too big for the car, and more than likely even rub the fenders. They also resemble snowflakes and seem like they’re not even worth the modification.
4 Camaro On 30s
The green and black color scheme is fairly common among custom rides, so we’re not so shocked at the brightly colored rims. However, what is a little alarming is the fact that someone intentionally chose these in order to take their cars to show-offy events like the one pictured. Someone genuinely believed that swapping out rims with 30-inch neon flowers would attract some positive attention—and that’s a scary thought. These are not just absolutely horrifying, but also completely unrealistic in size and defeat the entire purpose of a Camaro, too. It’s even more obvious just how tall this car is when you compare it to the SUV parked next to it.
3 Cutlass Donk
On the bright side, at least someone took the time to replace the swap the chrome pieces with a gold alternative. It could be coincidental that this photo was taken in a barren parking lot, but we can’t imagine that this old Cutlass draws onlookers in droves anyway. It’s not your typical ugly car that’s so bad you can’t help but stare. Something about the style is just so bland that it actually makes it blend into the shadows. The only things that are particularly eye-catching are the pinwheel rims that are frustrating on an amazing level. They defy the vibes of a real muscle car and look more like they belong on an ice cream truck, if you’re wanting to mod something for the sake of modding. It probably goes without saying that even these relatively small rims are still oversized for the Cutlass.
2 Chevy Impala
If you’re big on the donk scene, then look no further. This old-school Impala will more than likely satisfy your tastes, but don’t expect any mercy on our end. These Asanti rims cost a painful amount of money, and for what? They don’t contribute to the style of this classic Impala in any way—at least not positively—and they definitely don’t help the performance of the car. That's not to say that everything you put on your car must increase the speed, torque, or handling, but these rims are so huge that they have to negatively affect the handling of the car, overall. When in doubt, save your money. Don’t do this.
1 Impala Turbo
This is a particularly depressing car because this Impala is, supposedly, turbocharged. We’re still doubtful about that, but if the comments are true, then these rims make even less sense than we had previously thought. These rims look someone stared into a kaleidoscope for too long before designing them. They’re so icky, they remind you of those geodesic tattoos…and not the appealing ones. We’re assuming that the owner thought that matching the color of the rims would be substantial but the style doesn’t even come close to touching the macho persona of an Impala. There should be partial blame for the person who was willing to accept money in exchange for installing this sorry excuse for a set of rims.
Sources: Wikipedia, Pinterest, and Jalopnik.