Car people usually think of a “glasshouse” (’74-’76 Chevy Impala and Caprice vehicles that look like huge “land boats”) as a lowrider. But builders in the South took these cars and ran with a new style, dubbing the cars “donks.” The lifestyle of these builders varies as the majority of these rides are works in progress. Sometimes, they have wires sticking out or hanging from the radios, with other modern day electronics added. The heart of a donk is usually an upgraded engine used to move the big wheel mass, as well as the big wheels themselves that vary from 22- through 28-inch. Rumor has it that somebody stuck a set of 30s on a donk, but we’d have to see it to believe it.
John “The Sandman” Derakhshan of Madison, Tennessee, has had older vehicles, including ’61 and ’64 Chevy Impalas that were hooked up as lowriders, but this time he wanted a big-body Chevy classic. John’s search led him to this original ’75 Caprice. John will fill us in on the rest of the story, but first, we have to share an unfortunate little news item related to the ride. Just a week after being photographed, the car was heisted and stripped. John is now back at it, putting the car together one more time. So much for the $1,000 alarm system! We’ll have to see how it goes for John the second time around.
LRM: How did you score this clean ride?
John: This “grandma car” used to belong to a little old lady who didn’t need it anymore after passing away at the age of 90. Nobody in her immediate family wanted the car so they listed it on eBay and I jumped on it.
LRM: What condition was the ride when you got it?
John: The pictures on eBay didn’t do the car justice. I was surprised by the condition of the car when I went to pick it up. With only 28,000 original miles on the odometer and almost looking like new, I really didn’t have to do anything to it. The paint was still fresh looking and only needed a coat of wax to keep the shine blingin’. As for the interior, it was immaculate. The car was ready for me to customize the way that I wanted. The Caprice received a set of stock-appearing power windows by Nurelic and a Dakota Digital dash that keeps everything reading out like a modern-day vehicle. I also added a remote start alarm with all of the bells and whistles.
LRM: What’s your preference on wheels and suspension?
John: I like to have a good ride. I don’t like to butcher the car to fit a set of wheels. On the Caprice, the suspension was slightly modified to make sure to fit the two-piece 24-inch Dub Cream wheels that were painted to match the exterior of the vehicle. There was enough room to fit one of the first sets of Pirelli P-Zero Nero P275/25-R24 tires.
LRM: With those new “shoes,” the ride was flossin’. The wheels were complemented by a custom grille that would make Nelly jealous. What was left to do on the ride?
John: With nothing else to do to the car, I jumped into the trunk, where I spent a few weeks on the beats. The sound system includes three JL Audio amplifiers to provide the power, six midrange speakers and two 13.5-inch W6V2 subs to pump out the bass, all playing through a JVC AVX1 head unit. This setup’s enough to grab all kinds of attention when swervin’ down the street.
Triple Green Donk
Owner: John “The Sandman” Derakhshan
Vehicle: ’75 Chevrolet Caprice Classic
City/State: Madison, Tennessee
Club: No affiliation
Engine/Drivetrain: Chevy 400
Body/Paint: Stock medium green. The chrome plating on the grille was done by Steve in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Interior: Stock with Dakota Digital dash and Nurelic power windows. Custom billet trunk pieces were built by Steve.
Sound System: A JVC AVX1 head unit pushes out the “Dirty South” beats through three JL Audio amplifiers, six midrange speakers and two 13.5-inch W6V2 subwoofers.
Suspension: Modified to accommodate adequate wheel clearance.
Tires: P275/25-R24 Pirelli P-Zero Nero
Wheels: 24-inch Dub Creams custom painted to match