Pimp My Ride was a very popular American car show that was produced by MTV in 2004 and hosted by the well known rapper Xzibit. Each episode consisted in the restoration of a number of different cars with serious exterior, interior and engine problems while customizing it in addition. During the first 4 seasons, the cars were taken to West Coast Customs to be repaired and tuned, but in the 5th and 6th seasons, the garage was changed to Galpin Auto Sports because WCC had been moved to Corona, California.
The episodes started with the story of each contestant where he or she described the car he or she owned and why it would be nice for it to be restored. Next came Xzibit at the door of the chosen contestant and informed him or her, between tears and shouts of joy, that the car was selected to be “pimped” and finally he drove away with it. The third part of each episode included the steps of the restoration and customization process ending with the final reaction of the lucky contestant when he or she sees the masterpiece.
As it was seen on TV, each car received an entirely different type of customization, depending on the owner’s preferences and interests, besides some cool and interesting additions like huge wheels or TV screens on the back of the seats, cotton candy machine or a robotic arm. Even if the show looked great and the cars were awesome on TV, the true facts that happened behind the scenes were mostly the opposite. Here are 20 things you didn't know about Pimp My Ride.
20 Some Of The Cars Were Messed Up On Purpose
The cars were the most important pawns in each episode and most of them looked so bad that it was obvious they had to be restored and that they were chosen wisely. In fact, the truth is that some of them were not in such bad shape as they appeared to be.
According to Cyber Breeze, the producers thought it would be more interesting if the paint was messed up.
Justin Dearinger told Huffington Post that aircraft remover was added to remove the paint from his car and that the people who came to inspect his car had released the bumper from its clips to look like it would fall off at any time. If this would have been known back then, the number of viewers would have decreased suddenly because people do not like to be lied to or to watch fake stories when it comes to car shows.
19 The Cars Could Not Be Sold on eBay After The Show
Even if on TV the show seemed to be so real and even if it would seem that each contestant would take his or her car after being “pimped” and enjoy it, take good care of it or simply sell it if he or she wanted to, it was not the case. There was one rule that had to be followed if the car would appear on the show: No Selling On eBay, as Cyber Breeze mentions in a post. One of the contestants tried to do this because the car was not working anymore, but after only three hours the company called him and made him delete the post. Maybe eBay made up this rule or the producers of Pimp My Ride thought it would not be ok to sell those cars on the well known website because it would bring bad publicity over their heads.
18 Each Contestant Had To Rent A Car While Waiting
Because of those long periods of time waiting for the car to be fixed, each contestant had to rent a car and pay for it until their cars were ready. The funds were not returned by the producers according to Ranker. As Huffington Posts mentions, Seth Martino was one of the contestants that had real problems in renting a car because of his age. He managed to solve the problem, but he had to drive each month from West Covina to the company from where he rented the car, LAX, to pay the bill because they did not allow any payment to be done over the phone. It was time-consuming and a lot of gas was wasted
17 MTV Had Hired A Tow Truck To Help With The Cars That Did Not Work
It seems it was known from the start that the cars would have problems starting or other sorts of mechanical issues because MTV had already hired a tow truck to be ready when any contestant would have a problem. This makes it obvious that the producers were not interested in fixing the cars’ engines at all, but only to look good on the outside, be seen on TV and on the streets and bring them a sizable audience. This meant that this TV show was not made to help people in real life, but only to bring new customers to those two workshops, make them famous and make MTV the most watched TV network while Pimp My Ride was being broadcasted.
16 Contestants' Opinions Didn't Matter
Even if the contestants were asked what they enjoyed the most and what colors they liked, the producers didn't care. For example, Justin Dearinger, one of the contestants, was asked about his favorite color, but even if he said that he hated red, his Toyota Rav4’s interior was set up almost entirely in a tone of red, according to Huffington Post.
They had already planned how the cars should look.
Each car was made mostly based on what would be catchy on TV and this was not at all the main idea of the show. Actually, it was all about ratings and nothing about real life or real tuned cars just like the owners would have wanted them.
15 There Were Problems With Fans
Appearing in a TV show makes one a celebrity and some contestants had real problems with this. One of them was Seth Martino that told Huffington Post that he and his car, an ’89 Nissan Maxima, were recognized on the street by fans of the show.
Justin Dearinger chose to join a car club after Pimp My Ride and continues to modify his car, spending an extra $20,000.
However, the final project has made the police follow him and pull him over very often. He had to explain to each cop what Pimp My Ride meant and a great number of them liked and understood the idea. Even if there were no tickets or crazy fans and even if this was an amazing opportunity and experience, it can be quite disturbing and frustrating to get through this on a daily basis. It is quite hard to be a star.
14 The Cars Were Breaking Down After The Show
Pimp My Ride sold a perfect image of old cars that were modified as a gift for some young contestant. Jake Glazier, one of the contestants, got rid of his car, an ’86 Buick Century, after one month when he understood the fact that it had a great number of mechanical problems.
According to Jalopnik, the car was bought by MTX, the company that had made all the audio components of the car, including the 22 inch subwoofer called Jackhammer.
Another interesting fact about Jake’s pimped car was the fake exhaust pipe. A muffler was needed, but instead of it the mechanics thought it would be ok to install a fake exhaust to simply fake the sound that the car was supposed to have. The contestant remained with a sour taste after finding this out because, as he had said, it just needed a muffler.
13 Accessories That Were Added To The Cars Were Removed At The End Of The Show
There were cases when the cool additions made to the cars were only for the show and they were removed at the end. According to Huffington Post, Justin Dearinger said that his drive-in theater and the champagne contraption were not left on his car because the first one was not considered safe for the street and the other one promoted drinking and driving. Seth Martino’s gull-wing doors were also taken off because the pistons that lifted them did not leave space for rear seatbelts. On the other hand, Larry Hochberg mentioned that all of this was done only for the safety of the contestants and he offered an example: a ’77 Cutlass received a beautiful set of 24-inch spinner rims for the show, but they were replaced at the end with simple 20-inch rims.
12 Extra Weight Added To The Cars, But No New Suspension
The same Seth Martino told Huffington Post that even if the car received additional weight, the suspension remained the same, without any adjustments. Every bump in the road made the wheels hit the wheel well. The suspension mounted on a car has to sustain all its weight, otherwise it can cause real damage to the car. It is a known fact that once a car receives any type of upgrade, another one will follow because this is the real process. Once one person adds more weight to a car, the suspension will clearly need to be upgraded, too. That was not the case at Pimp My Ride.
11 The Restoration Process Took Longer Than It Seemed
Anyone who watched Pimp My Ride believed that the restoration and tuning process lasted for only a few days, maybe one week or let’s say two weeks tops. The truth was, in fact, that those cars stayed in the workshop for six or even seven months and this was causing quite some trouble.
According to Huffington Post, the contestants were really frustrated by this situation because they remained without their cars for quite a long time.
It was kind of obvious that such projects could not last half an hour, as each episode of the TV show lasted; but six to seven months is a really long time to wait for a car to be restored.
10 The Producers Made Strange Suggestions To The Contestants
One of the contestants, Jake Glazier, received a very strange suggestion from the producers of Pimp My Ride: to dump his girlfriend because the whole idea of his car was to be a “playa” and he should act like one for half an hour.
Jake told Huffington Post that he was told to break up with his girlfriend because this would be a better story for the show: his beat up car being pimped could end his loneliness.
However, he was told that he could choose between leaving her out of the show or dumping her. Larry Hochberg claims that he did not know about this and that it would have not made a difference to the show. A TV show should not mess with people’s lives even if it would bring more viewers, it is not fair.
9 The Stories Of The Contestants Were Made Up And Exaggerated
Each episode started with the story of the contestant chosen to have his or her car pimped. All the stories seemed to be true, but if one takes a closer look, they'd find out that they were mostly exaggerated. Seth Martino mentioned in his Reddit AMA that he was the subject of a cruel and bad joke done by the producers. Because he was fat, they thought it would look good to dump two bags of candy into his car and make him say that he ate them when he was hungry. He then received the cotton candy machine into his trunk, meaning that the producers were kind of mocking him. Another contestant received a lot of cigarette butts inside his car just because he had told the producers that his mother had smoked there once or twice.
8 In Most Cases, The Interior Of The Car Did Not Receive The Same Attention As The Exterior
According to Huffington Post, Larry Hochberg, the co-executive producer of Pimp My Ride, declared that some of the cars were too old and rusted to be able to make them brand new. He said that the team had worked on the mechanics of the cars and the interiors, but even if they could have done wonders, the problems would have remained the same because despite all the efforts made. He mentioned that some car parts were brought from a far away junkyard and that they were very hard to find, but the show was actually about pimping cars and not about mounting second-hand parts. A modified car, in this case a pimped car, should have a new body kit, new paint, new interior and, of course, the mechanical issues fixed, while improving the performance of that car (more horsepower and torque, new exhaust, intake etc.).
7 The Additional Accessories Mounted In The Cars Were Not Working Properly
During the period of time when Pimp My Ride was being filmed, the backseat TV screens were very popular and wanted by everyone. It was so cool to have such an interesting system in the car and it was really worth it. Unfortunately, even if on the show they looked amazing along with the new interiors of the cars, they did not work properly or at all. Seth Martino told Huffington Post that his car was made with low quality materials. He mentioned that the TV screens did not work after the show ended and the LED lights mounted on the seats were warming up so badly that they couldn’t be left on. There was also a cotton candy machine installed into the trunk of his car, but because there was not enough room, the cotton candy strands were just flying through the car.
6 Additional Accessories Were Not What They Seemed
Even if those additional accessories appeared mounted on the cars on the show, apparently working, that was not the actual intention. Seth Martino’s robotic arm is one of those cases, according to Huffington Post. On the show it seemed that the arm was controlled by a man through a laptop, but the truth was that it was not even linked to the car. It was just lying there, with a lot of wires coming out from it. By adding this to the other faulty accessories, it seems that none of the cool stuff were true. Doing things just to be done and making viewers praise the show based on nothing else but lies was not something viewers expected from MTV.
5 Some Of The Cars Remained With Stock Engines
According to Huffington Post, Seth Martino said that he did not receive that many updates as it was claimed under the hood of his car. The team that worked at the car did not solve the real problems of the engine and because of this he even struggled to get the car home. The engine lasted in that state only for a month and then he had to start saving and spend $1,700 from his own pocket to solve the problem - and eventually replace the entire engine. The crew was not paying attention at the real problems of the cars, on the contrary, they left them unsolved and focused on getting as many compelling and glamorous features and products to advertise. It could have been so much easier and better to simply check the cars and repair them while thinking of how to bring new customers. In this case they would have received only positive reactions.
4 The First And The Final Reactions Were Staged
Seeing Xzibit at the door was not entirely staged, because the contestants were told to wait and open the door for a $100 or “ya boy Xzibit” as Huffington Post mentions. According to Ranker, Jake Glazier was not enthusiastic enough when he saw his car and the producers had a long 10-minute talk with him just to make him be more excited. He mentioned that his reactions were based more on silent shocks than on jumping up and down and shouting. Justin Dearinger was also told by the producers to show more enthusiasm when he saw his pimped out car.
3 The Houses Of The Contestants Were Rented By The Producers
Each episode started with Xzibit knocking on a different door and bringing the good news to the lucky contestant. Unfortunately, those were not the houses of those kids. MTV rented all of the houses for the show and the contestants were supposed to wait inside for the knock, then open and be surprised.
According to Consumerist, Brooke Siegel mentioned she was one of the contestants that were instructed to wait in a rented house, rehearse the excitement and then fake her story to be catchy.
She then mentioned that her favorite car, a Chevy Cavalier convertible, did not end up as she had wanted or dreamed it and it ended up being sold after it was kept in the garage for a long period time.
2 Xzibit Was In Fact A Cool Guy
According to Huffington Post, Hochberg explains that Xzibit is a great guy. Both of them interacted more closely and Hochberg mentioned that the rapper is very talented, a natural host, funny, cool and that he enjoyed the time during which they had worked together. However, the contestants did not get the chance to talk to Xzibit more than a few words, but none of them said bad things about the rapper. Those who had an opinion said that he was easygoing, chill and fun and that he smoked very often. Jake Glazier remembered that he was talking to Xzibit one time about the weekend to come and the rapper told him he wanted to go to kill Satan in hell and make boots out of the devil’s skin. Jake thought that was a nice talk.
1 Even If The Show Was Based On Lies, The Contestants Would GO Through It Again
Some of the contestants would do all of it again if they could, even if there were multiple problems associated with their appearance on the show. Jake Glazier told Huffington Post that he had missed the show and that he did not have any real complaints. Justin Dearinger mentioned that he was in fact helped by the show because he was a very shy guy, but the show had offered him confidence and the girls’ attention. Seth Martino, on the other hand, was not truly eager to repeat the experience, but he did laugh about it and mentioned that he had got a story to tell that not many people have experienced.
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