The donk car custom car craze has been largely associated as being inspired by the hip hop music scene. However, history seems to indicate the trend of putting larger tires and a jacked up suspension on passenger car might have actually have originated with the controversial appearing 198o AMC Eagle cars which continued in production up through the 1988 models that were actually built by Chrysler for one model year. The AMC Eagles had a controversial appearance with the look of a passenger car, but with their larger sized tires and jacked suspension look. AMC had little money to develop new cars, so creating a new four wheel drive from AMC’s existing Spirit and Concord bodies, both of which where derived from the original 1970 AMC Hornet and the 1970 1/2 AMC Gremln seemed cost effective enough, but the four wheel drive cars didn’t have the smooth look of the four wheel drive cars from Subaru.
While the four wheel drive AMC cars had some fans, even among the four wheel drive community, the cars weren’t quite as sturdy and durable as true 4×4’s from AMC such as their Jeeps. Yet, some in business as well some snowy community police districts bought the AMC passenger car based 4×4 cars.
The smaller of the two Eagle cars was the AMC Eagle SX/4. But, critics discounted AMC’s advertising that the car was supposedly a “sports car” that didn’t need a road. Critics contended that the car wasn’t a sports car of any type, and further wasn’t as sturdy of a 4×4 as Jeeps are. But, the critics did find that the cars were a pretty good and durable car, and the full time four wheel drive had some advantages.