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Donald Glover’s Atlanta is a comedy-drama television series with three seasons released on FX and a final fourth season upcoming. The show centers around Glover’s Earnest “Earn” Marks attempting to manage the rap career of his celebrity cousin Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, played by Brian Tyree Henry. Paper Boi drives a Mercury Grand Marquis on hi-riser rims.

What car does Paperboy drive in Atlanta?

Bryan Tyree Henry’s Paper Boi drives a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis. The car is white and stock besides rims so large they likely require modified fenders.

Brian Tyree Henry's Paper Boi sits on the hood of his 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis during Donal Glover's Atlanta TV show.
2000 Mercury Marquis | Atlanta via FX

Paper Boi’s pride and joy is his 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis. This car is central to scenes such as the opening scene of the pilot episode: “The Big Bang.” It also features heavily in the road trip in Season Two’s “North of the Border. [Spoiler Alert] In this latter episode an angry woman trashes the Grand Marquis, but the car is still fully drivable.

The Grand Marquis is one of the final cars by the Mercury brand. It is Mercury’s more luxurious version of the ubiquitous Ford Crown Victoria. Paper Boi has likely had the inner fender wells cut out of his Grand Marquis to better fit its oversized rims.

The team at the Internet Movie Car Database identified that the Grand Marquis used in the filming of Atlanta has a 1998-02 body style. The car’s rear child seat anchors give it away as a 2000.

Is Paperboy’s car in ‘Atlanta’ a donk?

Hi-riser car culture is popular in the city of Atlanta and throughout the south. It includes cars with lifts and modified fenders to fit enormous rims. Some of these cars are donks–1971-76 Chevy Impalas or Caprices–but Paper Boi’s car is not a donk because it is a Mercury.

Promo shot of the 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis sedan.
Stock 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis | Ford Motor Company

Paper Boi’s hi-riser car is a Mercury Grand Marquis and purists would not call it a donk. Because the Grand Marquis and other 1990s/2000s cars have more rounded bodies than traditional donks, hi-riser fans call them “bubble” cars.

Hi-riser enthusiasts modify vehicles ranging from 1960s classics to brand-new cars. Paper Boi’s Grand Marquis on aftermarket rims is meant to reflect Atlanta’s car culture.

Who has the invisible car in ‘Atlanta?’

The eighth episode of Atlanta’s first season is called “The Club.” Paper Boi and company hear that big-time rapper Marcus Miles owns an invisible car. They’re understandably skeptical. But in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment at the end of the episode, an invisible car seems to blur by.

2000 Mercury Grand Marquis hi-riser during Donald Glover's Atlanta TV Show.
2000 Mercury Grand Marquis | Atlanta via FX

While Paper Boi is still struggling to gain traction in the Atlanta hip-hop scene, he’s constantly confronted by seemingly successful rapper Marcus Miles. Its Miles’ success that makes him question Earn’s ability as a manager. Miles’ swoon-worthy invisible car “prototype” fits with this theme.

An invisible car also fits in with the tone of Atlanta. The show is full of doubtful occurrences and coincidences, planting it firmly in the genre of “surrealism.”


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