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We Must Find The Proper Way To Make A Donut Car

Illustration for article titled We Must Find The Proper Way To Make A Donut Carem/em

As I’m sure you’re aware by the confident, patriotic gleam in everyone’s eye, today is National Doughnut (or Donut) Day. Donuts and cars have many areas of delicious overlap, but today I want to get your opinion on a tricky car/donut question: what’s the proper way to make a donut-car?


Before we dive into the two primary schools of donut-car thought, I think it’s worth noting that National Doughnut Day was started in 1938 by the Salvation Army to honor members who served doughnuts to soldiers in WWI. I had no idea it was that old; I just assumed it was some bullshit holiday started by the National Torodial Novelty Food Council in 1998 to help sell more industrial dough injectors or some shit. Looks like I shouldn’t be so cynical all the time.

Normally, when the discussion involves both donuts and cars, the two main areas of discussion involve either the loud, smoky circular burnouts known as ‘donuts,’ or the temporary spare tire, often called a ‘donut.’

Less common but still important is the concept of making a car look like a donut, possibly for advertising or promotional services, and that’s what I’d like to discuss today.


It seems there’s two primary schools of thought when it comes to donut-inspired cars: horizontal and vertical. Vertical donut-cars are perhaps more popular, thanks to beloved children’s author Richard Scarry employing that method in his work:

Fig. A Vertical-oriented donut car
Fig. A Vertical-oriented donut car

The other option, orienting the donut horizontally (or, if you prefer, having the donut’s hypothetical trans-hole axis be vertical, where in the other way that axis would be horizontal) hardly seems to appear in donut-car designs.

Since they’re so hard to find, I decided to take a quick stab at a horizontal donut car:

Fig. B  A horizontal-oriented donut car
Fig. B A horizontal-oriented donut car

I actually think a horizontal donut car could work pretty well, and may even have some advantages over the vertically-oriented donut car. First, the car would be far more stable to drive, with a lower center of gravity and a much wider track. If you plan on doing anything competitive in a donut car, flat is the way to go.

Also, I think the use of space and packaging is better in a horizontal donut. The biggest disadvantage, though, is a significant one: a vertical donut car will always be far more recognizible as a donut, even from far away. The horizontal one may just read as a weird, stubby van.


So, now I want your thoughtful, informed opinions: what’s the best way to execute a donut-inspired car? Vertically or horizontally? Once we get this decided, I’ll send an official endoresement to the National Doughnut Council and issue a terse and forceful demand that production of a novelty donut-car begin immediately.

So, what’s it going to be? Tall or flat?

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:

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I think your scale is off Torch. The horizontal donut-car should have the occupant sitting in the donut hole, much like an inner tube on a lazy river.