Automotive enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes, and their tastes in cars vary as much as they do. On today’s episode of things you’re not likely to ever see, we have two vehicles matched in a roll race that are polar opposites in almost every way. One of Europe’s finest Italian supercars versus the “Fire Donk,” a 1974 Caprice convertible that would typically never be described using words like high-performance, fast, or powerful. Until now, that is.
We are treated to this most unusual matchup thanks to JRod from That Racing Channel. JRod is a well-known racer and content creator, owning a seven-second street-driven Toyota Supra. He apparently has a knack for setting up races, and lucky for us, he wanted to see this match-up happen. It’s the race you didn’t know you needed to see, but we’re glad it happened.
The “Fire Donk,” owned and built by Shawn Ellington, better known as Murder Nova from Street Outlaws, is no ordinary custom Caprice. But don’t let its show-car appearance fool you. It has plenty of race car tech hidden under its large-by-huge body. For starters, its chassis is set up similarly to Shawn’s other race cars. It has an adjustable four-link rear suspension with QA1 coilovers, and up front are tubular upper and lower control arms with coilovers, also from QA1. For motivation, the Fire Donk uses a Texas Speed and Performance-built LSX 427 with a 98mm Precision turbo, a Rossler TH400, and a Quick Performance rearend. Everything you expect to see on any other race car is found here. This combination is capable of 2,000 horsepower, and according to Shawn in this video, it’s currently making approximately 1,400 horsepower.
The biggest thing of note with the Fire Donk is that it is rolling on a custom set of 26-inch Corleone Forged wheels with hard street tires. Not the ideal wheel and tire package for racing of any kind. Additionally, the Caprice is a heavyweight vehicle weighing over 4,000 pounds. These two factors contribute significantly to peoples’ attraction to a donk race. Nothing that huge, weighing that much, should hook as well as they do or be as fast as some donks are, including this one.
Sitting in stark contrast to the Fire Donk is its opponent. The 2017 Lamborghini Aventador SV, owned by Felipe Resende, quintessentially represents everything a 1974 Caprice is not. Every part of the SV is built for high performance, speed, and handling. Even its name, Super Veloce, means Super Fast. From its aluminum and carbon fiber construction to its 750-horsepower V12 engine and all-wheel-drive system, the Aventador SV is intended for one purpose, and that is being driven at its limits. This particular example even features a couple of modifications in the form of an aftermarket exhaust and tune.
These two cars rolling down a highway side by side would be eye-catching. But seeing a ’74 Caprice donk on 26-inch wheels walk away and gap a Lamborghini in a roll race is pure entertainment. Yes, the donk is making roughly double the horsepower of the SV, but it weighs approximately 1,200 pounds more and is about as aerodynamic as a trailer house. On a good day, I would have expected the donk to hang somewhere close to the rear of the SV in a roll race. So I was surprised to see the donk pull away as quickly as it did.
We are increasingly seeing the potential of big-bodied cars rolling on big wheels. Of course, they aren’t for everyone, but there’s no denying what these cars can do when built for a purpose other than being flashy show cars.