‘Please, MTV, Pimp my Ride’. That was the trademark statement in the reality show Pimp my Ride. What would MTV be without this show? The show brought all kinds of gearheads together to see the wonders done on really awful cars. The end result was always perfect – or so we thought. That was way back in 2004.
It was supposed to be a reality show, but was it? Was every script in this car show unrehearsed? Were the people surprised as they seemed to be? How about those slick cars that you would drive home? Were they that good and nice?
In a way, Xzibit who was a popular figure, would come to you, pick your car and proceed to modify it. The end result was incredible. We the viewers were impressed. We would not miss an episode. Probably we even wished to take that junky car in our garage to Xzibit! The modifications were done at West Coast Customs (WCC) and later at Galpin Auto Sports (GAS).
But amidst all the hype this show had, many people started poking holes as it grew later on. Something wasn’t right. There were many silent complaints as compared to loud compliments. Well, the majority won. Roll on the years, and some contestants have come out to confirm what many feared. Some parts of the shows were fake and scripted to fit the show’s agendas. It was not so smooth as the ride seemed.
But it’s not just Pimp My Ride. Many times MTV has lied to us about cars. So, what was fake, what was scripted? You’ll find that out here. So read on.
16 Backstories were fabricated
We know that it was a Reality Show and a ‘good’ drama and a ‘good’ storyline would improve the views. For ‘Pimp My Ride’ it emerged that many contestants’ backstories and some of their interests were made up. Why? As it was the norm, every show would start with a contestant being surprised and the viewers would have to listen to the contestant’s story which would seem true – or so it seemed.
But it was not. Well, according to one contestant, he had lots of butts installed on his car with the reason that the producers had been told his mother puffed in the car twice...
15 Some additional parts never worked
What was more pleasing to a contestant and a viewer rather than seeing a finished pimped car that worked effectively? Well, am sorry to disappoint you but there were cases of the additional parts not working as they were expected to. The interior and exterior modifications pleased the people. One would take the car in a heartbeat. They looked that good. Imagine having an aquarium fitted in your car!
According to Screenrant, Seth Martino had TV screens installed and LED lights fixed in his seats. The screens did not work and it was impossible for him to drive with the LED lights on as they would make the seats hot.
14 The inside didn’t match the outside
Was Larry Hochberg's lame excuse behind this? He had said that the cars seemed old, rusty and would still have mechanical issues even when worked on and that the production team and car shops had gone miles and miles to acquire the parts. Well, literally, MTV had sent someone to some desert junkyard in Arizona to get a car’s replacement hood. Jake Glazier case seemed to prove that.
The car wouldn’t work as expected and the buyer complained that the car blew up. It means some shoddy job was done on the car’s powertrain. There were cases of interior modifications done that did not even work effectively. For the cameras, a ‘small hand’ modification would be controlled by a connected laptop but they would make the viewers believe it is working perfectly.
13 Parts Removed After Cameras Stopped Rolling
It was so bad that some parts that made the cars seem cool were removed after the cameras went off. Who would know anyway? They had already aired their success. According to Hollywood reporter, Jake Glazier, a season four personality, had issues with his car muffler and he needed it sorted.
The show fixed a fake exhaust pipe with the assertion that the car needed the ‘new sound’. The pop-up champagne holder that was fitted in Justin Dearinger car was also removed after the cameras went off. Credit to the show for this. For Seth Martino, his Nissan Maxima was fitted with gullwing doors but they were later taken down after the show aired.
12 They Took More Days/Months
Pimp my Ride brought out the notion that the cars were being restored in a number of days. Unknowingly to the viewers, this was not the case. The cars took months and months to become a finished product. West Coast Customs and GAS were not that fast. Imagine having your car at the workshop for six months just because of a restoration spree.
Majority of the contestants were teens and this ‘incompetence’ gave them a tough time. Daily activities and school stuff would not be carried out as usual. What’s more, is that MTV could not step in and offer a long term alternative to this. It made the contestants incur unnecessary costs as they awaited their cars.
11 Staged surprise scenes
The show would begin with Xzibit knocking on the contestant door to surprise him/her. For one, the houses were rented – the first staging level. Next, one would be expected to wait for that Xzibit knock while in the house. They would then jump up and down and show that ‘emotion’, making it seem so real. What we did not know is all this was staged.
Otherwise, how would a whole TV show set up cameras in your home and get all the perfect shots without you noticing? According to Huffingtonpost, Jake Glazier says "I guess I didn’t show enough enthusiasm" and the director tells him to "be energetic and jump around and scream." He remembers the crew yell "RE-DO."
10 50 Cent showing rented cars
In the MTV show, MTV Cribs, there was a feature whereby Hip-hop heavyweight 50 Cent was featured. According to Nickiswift, he made us believe he owned Ferraris. Well, he didn’t. He showed off three Ferraris, an Enzo, a 599 and a Ferrari F50. The cars had initials of ‘SC’, a person who posted the same cars. Who is playing who?
Well, 50 Cent has gone forth and acquired an impressive fleet but during the MTV Cribs airing, we were duped. Still, with 50 Cent, life is not easy of late. Too many debts and repossessed cars. Probably it might be coming back to him.
9 Real Mechanics Didn't Exist
The show cast, normally, though not always, did a good job on cars and there is no doubt that it was among the most notable shows to the gearheads. However, one thing many didn’t know is that there were no real mechanics on the show. They wouldn’t sort a mechanical issue like the ‘pros’ they seemed to look like.
Larry Hochberg somehow confirms they did not work mechanically on all cars because… they were so old and rusty that they would eventually break down no matter how hard they would work on them. Jake Glazier sold his car and the buyer would later complain that the car broke down prompting for a real mechanic visit.
8 Messing cars on purpose
We clearly understand that the motive behind this show was to restore cars and modify them to really impressive makes. Well, does that justify messing cars on purpose to gain that popularity and the views? MTV messed big time on this stunt.
According to Cyberbreeze, if the paint job was messed up, then it fitted the producers’ narrative. After all, they had no mechanic expertise. Well, for Justin Dearinger’s car, an aircraft remover was used to remove paint on it. As if that was not enough, they proceeded to make his bumper seem like it was falling off. This was to show people the level of restoration done.
7 Did not adjust cars according to weight
For a good mechanic with the necessary expertise, he knows that for every adjustment he makes on a certain part, some other part may be affected so aligning helps all this. To our men in WCC and GAS, they had zero interest in such basics. After all, you will be duped with how amazing these cars look. No one will inquire about how they came to be, what were the parts that were adjusted and all that.
According to Huffingtonpost, Seth Martino, a contestant, claims to have had a hard time driving home. He felt like he was driving a boat! He claims they added weight with the modifications and did not care to adjust the suspension to complement the weight. You can imagine the look of the car.
6 No selling the cars on eBay
eBay was a word you would not expect to hear from a Pimp my Ride contestant. Sadly, it popped up. Due to the low-quality job they would do on the car, excluding the visible exteriors, cars would bring up problems thereafter as seen in this piece. Some would opt to sell it rather than incur major repair costs. They had to salvage what was meant to be salvaged by the WCC and GAS people.
Well, Pimp my Ride had news for them. They could not sell the cars on eBay. That was the rule. But it seems a frustrated contestant agreed that rules are meant to be broken. Jake Glazier decided to sell it only to be told to pull the post down.
5 They had a tow truck hired for dysfunctional cars
Was it a foreseen scam? We know cars fail and all that but why would a restoration show have a tow truck at their disposal after an upgrade? Well for Pimp my Ride, this was not a wonder. It used to happen. Xzibit would paint a picture of him driving the car to WCC for the work to begin, but thanks to the tow truck, this would be achieved.
According to Hollywood Reporter, the producer actually confirmed that the tow truck was at their disposal in case the cars did not run. He further says that the cars would have wiring issues and he would take them back to WCC and GAS. What’s worse is that he says, only the cars that needed fixing would be sorted, according to Huffingtonpost.
4 Contestant preferences were not respected
Imagine getting free modifications from the show and you decide to sell it. You expect such cars being like a souvenir to you. I mean it’s a Pimp my Ride product! But no, they were getting sold. Why? The show did not follow any contestants opinions on how they wanted their cars modified.
On the screen, we would get the different tastes of the contestants. How they wanted their cars, the different colors and the dislikes they had. However, this did not play any major part in the modification. We ended up with a contestant who hates red having purely red leather seats and interior, another having a fitted candy machine in the car and other sad cases.
3 Rented homes for the contestants
The contestants would be picked from their homes and be treated to the ‘surprise’ of being involved with the show. Some would actually come from their homes but others would have a home rented for them so that they would ‘open and meet Xzibit’ and the crew.
Brooke Siegel confirms she was rented a house according to Consumerist. She was told to wait for the crew and open the door for them. They went further to even rehearse the ‘surprise’ expression she would pull. She eventually proceeds to say that the Chevy Cavalier convertible did not end in the way she wanted and it was eventually sold.
2 Upgrades Against The Rules
In the world of modifications, there are some modifications that are just against the rules. But modifications like underground neon lights have long been banned as they bring visibility issues to other road users. Well, the attention that Pimp my Ride wanted, came from the wrong end, the cops.
After Justin got his modifications, police would pull him over always and he would explain why he had the modifications on. However, before the police pullover, Pimp my Ride had to take down the pop-up champagne holder that had been fixed in Justin’s car, right after the cameras stopped rolling since that was straight out against the rules.
1 Birdman and Bow Wow showing rented cars
Like 50 Cent in MTV Cribs, these two were also featured and they played the same cards played by 50 Cent. They bragged with rented cars. For Birdman, MTV rented him a Rolls Royce and a 1972 Chevrolet Caprice. For Bow Wow, he claimed to own a Lamborghini, a Bentley and a Cadillac Escalade.
Roll on the years, these two are living separate lives. Birdman is rich with a huge collection of cars. A Maybach Exelero takes the center stage in his fleet. There are also plenty of Lamborghinis, a Bugatti and so on. For Bow Wow, debts have been the order of the day with several cars being repossessed.
Sources - Screenrant, Hollywood Reporter & Complex