So, you think the whole donk, box and bubble craze is new? Think again. Oldsmobile built the original way back in the 1911.
During my recent visit to the GM Heritage Center in Dearborn, Michigan, I got a chance to see some really cool cars. One of which inspired this post. Donks are semi-cool. In case you do not know, a Donk is a full-size sedan or coupe with 24-inch or larger wheels. The box and bubble variants are basically the same, just different years\styles. You see these things crusing in the bigger cities, with jacked up suspensions (to the point of being truly unsafe) and painted with crazy paint schemes. When in Atlanta a couple of years ago, I even saw a McDonalds-sponsored Donk.
Back to the Oldmosbile. In 1911, Oldsmobile was still a seperate company, it was not part of GM. Oldsmobile was a true luxury car, like Mercedes and Duesenberg. The 1911 Oldsmobile Limited was the largest car ever built in America, and in its day was a behemoth. If you thought a 1976 Olds 98 was a land yacht, this thing is a battle cruiser. The 42-inch rims (all wood baby!) and brass trim really set the Limited off as an imposing yet elegant ride. This whip was available as a roadster, touring car (pictured), and limosine (yes, they got bigger). Built over a three-year run, just under 700 were produced. Worth well over 1-million dollars today, Oldsmobile has owned this all-original Limited since the ’30s.
Any guesses on the original sticker price? For comparison, the 1911 Model T Runabout sold for around $680 new. The Oldsmobile Limited would run you between $5,000 to $7,000 greenbacks. Holy pocketbook Batman, that is a lot cash. Adjusting for inflation, $5k in 1911 would be $114,150.68 in 2008 (closest I could get). If you were a Baron of industry (railroad, oil, newspaper, real estate, etc) this was THE car to have.
There you have it, the first donk was an Oldsmobile, built in 1911