I have news for you, Matching Numbers Yenko Nova Guy: Donk enthusiasts are car lovers just like you. And they're funnier.
I'm talking to you, too, Smirky McSmirkface, with your German sports sedan lowered on RPF1s, blowing off your big turbew all whooshy dooshy. When you see some broseph roll by in a Caprice on twenty-six inch wheels and candy paint, you cringe and mentally tsktsk, "all that unsprung weight, higher center of gravity, this guy is killing his potential 'ring time!" Judge not, friendo. Rather, you should salute. The Donk is your friend, the Donk is your brother, the Donk is You.
How is this? Have I just landed from Melmac or something? Am I aware this is Jalopnik, where everyone is a bench racer and a car's capabilities in the hands of a professional driver around a closed track mean everything? Consider my haphazard reasoning, delivered in affable Southern Lawyer voice (IN YOUR MIND.)
First off, Your Honors, car lovers can be identified, more than anything, by their commitment of time and money in their vehicles. So in comparison to the "I drive because I have to" people, which account for a huge percentage of the population, Donk owners are enthusiasts. No one just opens their garage one day and finds their car is riding high with purple heavy flake paint and four bazooka bass tubes in the trunk. Tragicomical as you may think that setup is, it took time and effort to put together.
Donk enthusiasts, like their fellow maligned "ricer" brethren, are attacked because their modifications are not performance-based. Granted, all that added mass actually decreases economy and performance and adds unnecessary wear on suspension components. So what? Are you paying for their wheel bearing replacement? Thought not. Let's add lowriders into the equation, as well. Some people like their cars to ride low and slow, and to chrome everything visible. Unless someone is chroming your tie rods while you sleep, this is not a bad thing. Visual modifications are done for one reason: to look good (and to try and get some strange—Ray.) This is not a bad thing; rather it's an honest approach to car customization, and unlike a race-tuned suspension, you'll actually feel the benefits of visual mods all the time. Stunting is indeed a habit, and it's not necessarily a bad one.
I admit, Your Honors, I'm performance-oriented, and a self-admitted Faux Racer. I judge everything by how it helps the car at peak performance. But, how often do I drive my car flat out? How often are performance-based modifications actually helpful, especially when compared to how often they negatively impact daily driving comfort and functionality? How many of us actually race our cars, despite our "need" to have lightweight wheels, Koni yellows, and a custom tune? Really, how many of us race at all? I enjoy the occasional autocross, and I like to drive obnoxiously fast when circumstances deem it somewhat safe, but 90% of the time I'm sitting in traffic, farting into my seat the same as the guy in the lifted Impala next to me. Most race-oriented modifications aren't utilized often enough to justify their purchase, or to allow us to look down our noses at someone who just wants to ride around shining while they can afford it. Admittedly, decreasing weight is a performance mod you benefit from at any speed, but they usually increase NVH and therefore driving comfort. I could write another 857 words on the positive aspects of leaving a car 100% stock, but I won't start work on that until Murilee mails me the official Jalopnik Weekend Editor mustache comb.
And hey, if after reading this, you still demonize the Donk community, keep in mind that tastes change. I once thought the pinnacle of the automotive universe was a '91 Mustang on wire wheels with a whale tail. (That was last week.) Euro tuners used to put widebody kits on everything. But over time, my tastes changed, but my love of cars remained. If your tastes remain the same, maybe your love of being disappointed in how other people choose to spend their money on their own cars will dissipate over time. The possibilities are endless.
So when you're out practicing your heel-toe double clutch downshifts in Sunday traffic, feel your teeth rattle from waves of bass, and look over to see Kool-Aid Man smiling at you from the door of a box Chevy, don't shake your fist, Captain Judgment. Instead, wave, maybe give a thumbs up, for you are looking at a fellow Car Guy. We are all just trying to enjoy our cars, and maybe attract the attention of others whose bodily orifices/protusions we seek to penetrate/envelop. We are auto enthusiasts, and we are legion, for we are many. And we need to stick together.
(Youtube video courtesy of charlestoncitypaper. If you don't smile a little bit seeing a car done up like a box of Peanut Butter Crunch, you got problems, bro, serious problems.)
This piece was written and submitted by a Jalopnik reader and may not express views held by Jalopnik or its staff. But maybe they will become our views. It all depends on whether or not this person wins by whit of your eyeballs in our reality show, "Who Wants to be America's Next Top Car Blogger?"