Donk Cars are a type of highly customized automobile, typically an inexpensive American-built sedan modified by significantly increasing the ground clearance and adding large-diameter wheels with low-profile tires. Depending on the model and build year, autos customized in this manner can be labeled “donk,” “box,” or “bubble.”
Donks originally grew out of the Dirty South subculture, but the trend has spread across the United States. Vehicles customized in the hi-riser style are distinguished by their oversized (even disproportionate) rims, ranging from 22 inches to 30 inches or more in diameter, as well as fanciful custom paint-jobs and expensive audio equipment. Suspension modifications similar to those employed on lifted pickup trucks are made to give adequate clearance for the large rims. Often the suspension is modified so the front end sits slightly higher than the rear end, giving the car a swaggering appearance. Because of the exaggerated look gained from installing a lifted suspension and enormous rims, donks are also known as “hi-risers” or “sky-scrapers.”
The most popular vehicles for these types of modifications are full-size Chevrolet models, namely the Impala, Caprice, Monte Carlo, and Chevelle. There are three main sub-types of hi-riser, although the distinctions are blurred and open to debate. Most hi-riser enthusiasts agree that a “donk” traditional is a 1971 to 1976 Impala or Caprice. They were given this name due to their large rear end. Hence “badonka-donk”. To complement the sloping rear, the suspension of donks are frequently higher in the front end than the rear, resulting in a nose-up stance. Other hi-risers are usually raised evenly, resulting in a more or less level stance. A “box” is another sub-type of hi-riser, usually a 1977-1990-era Impala or Caprice with a boxy or squared-off front and rear end. Other models that are frequently made into hi-risers include the G-body Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass, El Camino, Pontiac Grand Prix, and Pontiac Bonneville.
Other vehicles gaining in popularity as Donks are the Cadillac DeVille and Seville, as well as the Buick Roadmaster. Also gaining in popularity are the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car sedans. These three are the last full sized, body-on-frame, RWD sedans sold today. In fact, the Grand Marquis in particular is enjoying a slight sales surge due to the increasing popularity of buying them new and turning them into Donks.