Car modifications may be at the forefront of today's automotive landscape, thanks largely to the advent of the internet, which has allowed owners to find parts, expertise, and inspiration for their builds with ease. But modding cars has always been a part of the automotive landscape. The first cars in the early years of the 20th century required nearly constant maintenance to keep running. By the 1950s and 60s, hot-rodding became popular and transitioned into muscle car mania.
The wide range of styles, performance enhancements, and clubs these days, however, is unprecedented. From rally builds to street racers and stance nation to highly-efficient EV conversions, just about every possible direction for enthusiasts to take their cars is currently being explored. Some owners focus on outright performance—straightline dragsters or canyon carvers—while others focus on transforming their vehicles into something that will stand out at a car show, with a gleaming exterior, custom interior, and polished engine bay.
But not every automotive subculture makes sense. Stance nation takes their cars and slams them low to the ground and then, rather than correcting the suspension setups to improve ride quality, they go the other way: excessive camber on their wheels that can sometimes be angled out at up to 45 degrees. Another form that is being explored these days is the donk: big, comfortable land-yacht that receive enormous chrome wheels, low-profile tires, and substantial increases in their ride heights.
Keep scrolling for 25 donks that make absolutely no sense.
25 Hot Wheels
A major aspect of donk culture surrounds the enormous wheels that get bolted onto cars to make them completely unusable at highway speeds. Often in chrome, with shiny accenting color schemes, the wheels are always shod in the lowest of low-profile tires to accentuate the concept of "riding on blades" or rims that are mere millimeters from cutting a streak in the asphalt. This donk is extra hilarious not only because it's a wild Hot Wheels paint job on a Crown Victoria—the quintessential cop car—but because the rainbow wheels are, in fact, the opposite of super hot.
24 Classic Style
This is just about the most classic donk possible. In bright red, with a convertible top, it's a long land-barge that's been lifted enough to fit some huge wheels in its wheel wells. The bright chrome of the wheels matches the bumper, rearview mirrors, and door trim while the low-profile tires seem to all but disappear into the shadows. On hot summer days, the convertible top can be laid back for some relaxed cruising—though just how relaxing it will be to prang and rattle over every pebble in the road is a cause for concern.
23 Zinging And Zanging
Branded donks present a serious question for everyone who sees them: is this a purposeful attempt at viral marketing or does someone actually love that brand enough to put it on their car? This "Donk'n Donuts" is another Crown Vic that's been lifted even higher than most donks, despite the facts that its wheels are actually quite tame. Heading to Dunk'n Donuts to pick up a coffee in this donk would present the challenge of pulling up the parking lot driveway without damaging the edges of the chrome wheels.
22 Donk Nation
Most donks are built out of enormous, classic Detroit steel. This Miata, on the other hand, is about halfway between a donk and becoming a member of Stance Nation. The ride height cements it as a donk, though, and in this case, the result is a true offense to any gearhead out there. The Miata is one of Japan's premier affordable sports cars, a combination of lightweight construction, simple design and engineering, and perfect handling that is borderline unmatched in the rest of the automotive market. Not this one, though; this one is ruined.
21 Melt In Your Mouth
Here is yet another branded donk. The M&M's chocolate candy depicted all over this donk has been around since 1941, right in the middle of the escalation of WWII. This donk is really done up in more of a Peanut M&M's color scheme, the peanut variety of the chocolate candy having been introduced in 1954. 50 Cent may have used the slogan "Melt in your mouth, not in your hand" but in reality, that phrase wasn't an M&M's original—it was used by Mars in 1957 to advertise Treets, sort of an M&M's imitation in Europe.
This donk is especially eye-catching with its bright green paint job paired with gold wheels and accents. Actually, this one could use a little more work to bring it up to fully awesome donk status; the window and door trim needs more gold, and maybe a gold-glitter on the convertible top would be nice, as well. But rationality is like kryptonite in donk culture—nothing about doing any of this to a car makes sense because it's all about form over function.
19 Don't Eat Too Many Fries
It would be more perfect if this McDonald's donk was waiting in line at a McDonald's drive thru. It would be even more perfect if it had "McDonk-nald's" written on the side. Either way, with the Ronald McDonald red-and-yellow paint job that has become synonymous with the famous hamburger brand, this donk is sure to stand out in a crowd. The owners just have to be careful not to eat too many fries because any additional weight in this donk might put too much stress on those low-pros.
18 Donk Is The New Black
This donk is one of the most subdued that might be out there roaming the streets today. In simple black over gold, it wouldn't be too egregious except for the fact that it's an Oldsmobile 442 that can't do any of the awesome muscle car stuff that the model is famous for. It's crucial to discuss how much suspension work has to go into making donks driveable—lifting a car like this without serious adjustments to the shocks, springs, control arms, and tie rods would render donks complete undrivable (as opposed to just mostly undrivable).
17 Donks Are For Kids
Most of the branded donks on this list look like they were done by professionals—they could even quite possibly be a form of viral marketing. Not this Trix donk, though. This one was spray painted in someone's driveway. Amazingly, those absurd wheels almost (but not quite) match the green of the Trix logo. Of course, Trix's "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids" slogan comes to mind as soon as this donk rolls by. It's a saying that, while catchy, makes as little sense as donk culture as a whole.
This donk just barely strays into donk territory. Without the huge wheels up front, it could easily qualify as a lowrider—and not a bad one, at that. With a nice purple tone and the shiniest of chrome just about everywhere, this Impala was clearly put together by an expert. Unfortunately, the wheels up front, though expensive, make it unable to get low enough to count as a lowrider. The result is a donk that could definitely be a little more ridiculous.
15 To Infiniti And Beyond
More modern cars are less frequently turned into donks. This Infiniti SUV has received a brilliant turquoise paint job that is accented by huge rims and, of course, low-pro tires. The only problem with donking an SUV, though, is that they don't need quite as much of a lift to clear the enormous wheels, so the result is less extreme to look at. But just imagine taking this monstrosity off-roading with those nigh-invisible tires. Ten feet from the tarmac and all four corners would be sagging (about a quarter-inch, anyway).
14 Bieber's Donk
In the pantheon of modern automotive legends that deserve to be donked, the Camaro sits very low on the list. Why take such a potent sports car—that has yet to truly depreciate—and turn it into a car that can barely cruise down the block? In this case, it seems the car's owner wants to, perhaps, make a financial statement. The gold wrap and huge gold saucers are one cue—the other is the green accents. But the sheer amount of money spent turning this Camaro into a status symbol may very well have left its owner flat broke.
13 Cornering Speed
This donk has gone well beyond the average donk's ride height that is typically necessary to clear a classic set of donk wheels. In fact, those tri-spoke wheels aren't even too huge. Maybe the owner is saving up from all the suspension work required to get a car up this high and, when the time comes, they're going to mount some 44-inchers down there. In the meantime, this precarious creation looks ready to tip right over while making any right turn, even a snail's pace.
12 Classically Useless
This donk is just about the classiest a donk can possibly get. The only hints of color shine through from the brake calipers, which even look tiny compared to the not-so-big chrome wheels. The rest is all smooth lines, dark shape, and soft leather. Still, that nose has got to be pretty hard to see over while driving around town, so this donk probably spends most of its time carting to and from car shows to show everyone else around that their bright paint tones are, just perhaps, a little bit excessive.
11 Orange You Glad?
Some donks manage to be the brightest thing in the great outdoors—including that star in the sky that humans call the sun. With bright paint matching bright wheels and a bright canvas convertible top, all alongside the cleanest, shiniest chrome possible, the sun must look down on this donk with envy. But then the sun realizes that it has to travel all across the sky every day and that a donk isn't exactly the most convenient method to traverse the heavens.
10 Super Pop
Whoever was in charge of the conceptualization that ruined this Camaro must have been a big fan of Big Stick popsicles. The color scheme is right on, with a golden orange fading into deep reds. And just like a Big Stick, the chrome of the wheels is backed by swirls of different colors that never seem particularly distinct from one another. Also like a Big Stick, this Camaro gets a little sticky in hot weather when its low-pro tires prevent it from running around quickly.
9 Garden Donk
Whoever created this donked tractor deserves a prize. Most donks come about when someone decides their car is basically less than useless, so why not make it an overly stylized piece of useless artwork. But a tractor is, by definition, a utilitarian piece of machinery. When was the last time any tractor looked sleek? Adding rims and low-pros to a tractor completely rids it of any positive aspect other than the fact that it is now so absurd passersby can't help but giggle to themselves.
8 Clean Cut
Any donk that doesn't sport enormous chrome rims runs the risk of no longer looking like a donk. The brushed metal of these rims actually contrasts the light blue of the paint quite well—unfortunately, the wheels are so flimsy looking that the large slab of Detroit steel they're holding up seems like it's about to slam to the ground and squash the soft metal. Perhaps a new era in donk design approaches, one where more tasteful color selections will move to the vanguard of culture. Or perhaps not.
7 The Hulk's Donk
This donk has been set up in purple and green, making it very reminiscent of the Hulk. And much like Bruce Banner's enormous, angry avatar, this donk's ungainly proportions simply boggle the mind. This car will no longer be particularly useful in the case of an alien invasion or to help thwart an evil robot's plans of world domination. (Hey, at least its differential cover matches the bumpers, though.) For the most part, this donk deserves to be Hulk smashed.
6 Modern Donk
Most donks are either created from classic Detroit models or more recent, cheaper cars. They're almost always large and comfortable models that typify the "land-barge" era of vehicular design that allowed for foreign imports to gain ground in the US during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. This one, though, is a more modern Chrysler 300, probably a 2010 model, though it's hard to tell for certain because of all the mods. Regardless of the year, though, it's no completely absurd in a matte pink and completely lacking door handles.
5 Donking In Miami
Perhaps the perfect place to cruise slowly while being careful not to pop a tire on your donk would be South Beach, in Miami. With the convertible laid back and all the pedestrians reflecting in every surface of the shiny chrome, there's no need to stress out about the constant traffic or the sweltering heat. The only thing that's of concern is whether the bridge to Star Island has expansion cracks that could spell bad news for the edges of those rims.
4 Lambo Doors
Access and egress become crucial elements of any car customization project. Lower a car too much and older friends may struggle to get in and out; lift it up too high, on the other hand, and some people may require a step stool if the aesthetic doesn't allow for running boards. This donk is sky-high, with custom framework peeking out from under the car's body. It'll be hard to get up there for many potential passengers but at least the Lamborghini doors out back will allow for the largest possible opening (if not the best handholds for a nice leap).
3 Celtic Donk
The colors of this donk are mostly reminiscent of Ireland, where light greens and tanned browns are the historical colors of leprechauns and boot leather. But even more Celtic-inspired are the rims, a swirling basket weave of chrome and green that hearkens back to the days of runes, wizards, and Picts. Maybe this donk's owner had a life-changing experience on a visit to Stonehenge. Or maybe they were more inspired by the green lantern. Either way, this donk is still mind-numbingly hard to look at.
2 Mario Kart
Many of the vehicles in Mario Kart are cartoonish interpretations of what any actual go-cart or car could ever be in real life. Well, the racing game the world has come to know and love (through all its generations, though Double Dash is clearly the pinnacle of its reign) has now been interpolated into donk form. And in reality, most donks are about as realistic for daily use as automobiles as a real-world version of Wario or Toad's kart might be.
Every car requires fuel every now and then. Even the most fuel-efficient Prius has to stop to fill up—and Teslas, believe it or not, receive most of their juice from a power grid that still burns plenty of coal to create electricity. A Tesla donk would be pretty amazing but Elon Musk's creations aren't quite in the style for most donk builders. Still, donks look out of place even when doing the most mundane of tasks that every single car has to do at some point in their travels.
Sources: Wikipedia, Shmoop, and Patriot Wood.