Mexican Truck Mods
This Ford F-150 is an excellent example of what I call the “Cool-Fade Lowrider” brand of Durango Style truck customization. Trucks sporting similar modifications are common sights in the Palatine, IL area.

I live in the unremarkable Chicago suburb of Palatine, IL. Best known nationally for a heinous mass murder committed in a Brown’s Chicken restaurant almost 25 years ago, Palatine is otherwise a rather likable place to raise a family–or to simply live commuter-close to the city.

Mexican modded SUV, Mexican Truck Mods
Durango stickers are a common sight on the customized trucks of Palatine, Illinois.

Palatine would be culturally uninteresting were it not for the Northern end of town, which is populated primarily by Mexican families. Palatinites can thank our uptown neighbors for a number of good restaurants and grocery stores, as well as the sprawling and seemingly endless Sunday soccer games that take place in the nearby forest preserve. We can also thank them for their fascinating trucks.

What is a Donk?

Americans love to accessorize their trucks–no news there. But the local Hispanic guys typically take a completely different approach to the project.

For lack of a better description, I am dubbing this brand of truck customization Durango Style. Durango is a state located in the north-central part of Mexico, and is the only region of the country I have ever seen honored (by window sticker) on the trucks of my Palatine neighbors. I cannot say whether or not most of these guys are Durango natives, though that certainly seems likely.

The Durango Style seems to break down easily into three categories, none of which has anything to do with improving performance. Instead, the Durango trucks—at least the ones I see—are all about catching eyeballs at slow cruising speeds. I have separated the categories of Durango Style thusly:

Cheap Car Mods: Affordable Science Explained

From the front view alone, we see an aftermarket lower fascia, custom grille insert, and faux hood scoops on this Ford F-150. The odds of there being more aftermarket bits on the side and rear of this truck are very high.


Kitchen Sink

This school of truck modding explores the limits of excessive decorating. For a lot of these guys, there is no chrome accessory too small, or too big, to be attached to their rides.


Cool-Fade Lowrider

This is a very specific look, and the effect can be very cool when handled well. Typically, the truck is painted with a dark-on-the-top/light-on-the-bottom fade, and is fitted with ultra-wide low-profile tires on extremely deep custom wheels, which effectively lowers the vehicle. Almost always completing the look is a bodyside aero kit with pronounced fender flares. See the lead photo for an excellent example of this style.


Make/Model Love

This branch of Durango Style celebrates a specific make or model with multiple brand stickers applied conspicuously to the vehicle. A windshield-top brand banner is key here. Chevrolet is the brand of choice in the Palatine area, through Dodge/Ram gets a lot of love too. Brand love does not preclude adding plenty of other add-on adornments, especially Buick-style fender portholes.

. . .

Presented below are a few Durango Style trucks I spotted driving around over the recent holiday weekend–all in, or very near, Palatine, IL.


Mexican customized Ford F-150
A fairly representative Kitchen Sink approach to pickup customization. Seen here are custom wheels, aero wheel surrounds with integral running boards, cargo cover, chrome fuel-filler door, and retro V8 badges and faux porthole vents on the front fenders. I’m not sure the bug deflector counts as part of the package.


Mexican modded truck
A sort of Kitchen-Sink-on-a-budget approach to pickup modding is seen here. After the wheels, bed cover, and ground-effects side sills, there’s little going on here that isn’t adhesive. A little research yielded no clues as to what the DC-10 stickers represent.


Mexican modded truck
Another Kitchen Sink budget project. We see wheel covers subbing for actual custom wheels, but the ubiquitous fender ports and body kit made the cut.


Mexican customized Escalade
This Cadillac Escalade is a rather exceptional example of the Make/Model Love branch of Durango Style customization in that there is only a single reference to the specific model…though it is huge.


Mexican customized Escalade
This Escalade sports the rare combination of a DUB badge and the Christian fish emblem.

No Laughing Matter: 5 Cars We Make Fun Of, But Maybe Shouldn’t

Follow Tom on Twitter





Share this: