May 7, 2012
Chris Salamone
Comments Off on Florida ‘Donk’ Finds National Spotlight

Florida ‘Donk’ Finds National Spotlight

Since the beginning, Floridians have expressed mixed feelings about their colorfully homegrown contribution to the automotive industry. Everything from cries of jubilee to tears of despair have been shed for the custom donk movement. And now, as of May 6 the donk trend has blipped on the radar of the national scene. The Detroit News cheerfully posted a donk-friendly Sun Sentinel article on the Michigan-based paper’s Autos Insider website.

For those not in the know, the donk car movement began in the mid or late 1990s in the Sunshine State – 1970s Chevys were and remain to be the gold standard.

Even the editor of RIDES magazine suggested that donking began in Florida and the “[s]urrounding states in the South soon followed.” But the real story is not where the trend began, but why the recent national spotlight. Why are candy pink Cadillacs, riding on massive rims, suddenly reaching the eyes and ears of enthusiasts outside of the South?

The answer, it would seem, is a matter of season. Much like how video game consoles and teddy bears become popular during the winter holidays, donks soar into the spotlight at the beginning of summer.

Johnny Diaz, of the Sun Sentinel, was quick to reinforce this theory by namedropping Uncle Sam’s only positive time of year. “With tax refund season and May and June music and car events coming up, this is among the busiest times for vehicles to be donked at local shops.”

And while the industry started with classic 1970’s Impalas and Caprices, drivers are willing to donkify just about anything they can buy for cheap and includes a small modicum of bygone classiness. Other popular models include the Lincoln Mark IV, Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria.

Of course, potential donk candidates hinge on their ability to be bought cheaply and make a lasting impression, which is why big cars from the 1970s are finding a second life – sitting several inches higher and painted in obscene colors like candy apple, hot pink, electric blue, and the like.

Rims typically range from 22 to 34 inches and can cost many times more than the cars themselves. While a well-worn Caprice might only cost $500, the right rims and tires can run anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000. And that’s before a donk is equipped with a custom paint job and interior alternations.

Sure, donks are goofy and controversial. But this is a fad which has lasted at least 15 years and has captured the spotlight across the nation. They may not be for everyone, but no one can resist a second look. And as long as people are spending their tax returns, few can complain.

Source : The Detroit News

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