Pimp My Ride was an MTV reality series that ran from 2004 to 2007. Hosted by Xzibit, the show featured a new car in every episode, which was then restored and customized by a custom body shop.
Whatever happened to these vehicles that were featured on the show? Were they sold or broken down? Let’s find out.
Pimp My Ride – About the Show
Pimp My Ride premiered on MTV on March 4, 2004. Created by Rick Hurvitz and Bruce Bereford-Reman, the show followed the same format every episode: vehicle owners from the South California area would have to convince the network that they have a car that needs to be “fixed”.
After the initial segment, rapper Xzibit, the host of the show (Chamillionaire also served as a guest host in some episodes), would show up at the individual’s house. He would go on to examine the vehicle and point out various issues before promising the owner a complete makeover for the vehicle.
Xzibit would proceed to take the car to a custom body shop. From season one to season five, they were taken to West Coast Customs, an automobile repair shop in Corona, California. Later in seasons five and six, they were taken to Galphin Auto Sports in Los Angeles, California.
Once at the shop, the vehicle would be completely rebuilt- both the interior and exterior. Not only that but many of the car’s components, such as the bumpers and lights, would be replaced. In addition to that, they would also add new tires, rims, paint, and internal electronics such as TFT screens, video games, and DVD players.
The mechanics would then “pimp” out each car, according to the interests and personalities of the owners. For example, one individual, who was a fan of the racing game, Need for Speed: Underground had his vehicle customized so that it looked like one of the ones from the game. Another individual, who played badminton, had a net installed at the back of his minivan while another, who was a bowler, had a ball spinner made and installed in the trunk of his car.
At the end of every episode, the host would reveal the “pimped out” car to the owner, with details on the various custom features. More often than not, they would also give the participant a gift that’s related to their hobby.
Popularity and Claims of Deception
Pimp My Ride was one of the most popular shows on the network, with viewers not only in the United States but in several other countries as well. In fact, it ranked second in viewership only to the reality show The Real World, which was, at the time, hailed for depicting issues of religion, death, sex, politics, abortion, and substance abuse.
In Canada, the show aired on the specialty channel MuchMusic for several years, before transferring to CTV, after MTV signed a deal with the former. MuchMusic’s sister station, MusiquePlus, which is in French, also aired the show with French subtitles under the name “Pimp mon char.” The show eventually reaired on the channel in 2008.
As popular as the series was, however, there were several claims of deception by participants who appeared on the show. More specifically, those who appeared in the fourth and sixth seasons stated that several elements, which were featured in the series, were either faked or exaggerated. For example, many of the houses that appeared in the show (which viewers were led to believe were the contestants’ houses), were rented by the network.
The initial condition of many vehicles was also staged to look poorer than they actually were. For example, the bumpers were loosened in several cases, to the point where they were dangling. The paint on the car was also removed on several occasions to make the condition look worse than it was. In some cases, trash was also deliberately placed in the interior of the vehicle.
Not only that but several of the participants have stated that their reactions during the final reveal lacked authenticity as it was often filmed several times. In some cases, they were also told how to react. For example, some were told to express more enthusiasm and excitement between takes. Some of the customizations added to the vehicles during filming were also subsequently removed as they collided with state and local traffic laws.
While their vehicles were being worked on for the show, a process that often took up to six or seven months (it only appeared to last for a few days or weeks on the show), the participants were also left without transportation.
Seth Martino, one of the participants from season four, also claimed that he was emotionally abused by the show’s producers as he was forced into embarrassing his own grandparents. While the show introduced his car as an “undrivable monster that was littered with trash by his cigarette-addicted grandmother”, the cigarettes, according to Seth, was actually placed in his vehicle by the show’s producers but he was forced to present the backstory about his grandmother for the show.
Where are the Cars From Pimp My Ride In 2023 – Recent Updates
Justin’s Toyota Rav 4
Justin and his 1997 Toyota Rav 4 appeared on the sixth season of Pimp My Ride. In a later interview, he stated that the work on his vehicle took nearly five months. To make matters worse, when he actually brought the car home, several of the things that were installed during the show were taken out. And the customizations that did remain often led him to get pulled over by police and he would have to explain to them that he was on Pimp My Ride.
In the end, he disliked the new vehicle so much that he eventually went to another car shop, where he added another $20,000 worth of customizations. However, that was short-lived as the car eventually went up in flames due to a wiring problem.
Jake’s Buick Century
Jack Glazier appeared in the fifth season of Pimp My Ride with his 1986 Buick Century, which had the infamous subwoofer that was capable of ear damage at max volume.
According to Jake, the mechanics on the show didn’t actually fix the mechanical problems that his vehicle had. In fact, it was so bad that he wanted to sell the car altogether after the show. However, he had signed a contract with MTV prior to being on the series that prevented him from selling it on eBay.
Fortunately, he was able to contact those who made the infamous subwoofer and they bought the vehicle from him. He then used the funds to purchase a new car- one that he can actually drive on the streets.
Andrew’s Cadillac Fleetwood Hearse
Andrew’s vehicle was unique in that it was an actual hearse – it was the same as those used in funeral homes. Funny enough, the vehicle also worked very well for him. According to a Reddit user, Andrew ended up using the car for his college bills.
Seth’s Nissan Maxima
Most people agree that Seth Martino got the worse “upgrade” out of all the participants. He even called the new vehicle “useless” as it still had the many issues that it had before, which rendered the new customizations and mods unusable.
for instance, he pointed out that he couldn’t drive the car with the seat LEDs as the motors would burn his body. The cotton candy machine, which they had installed inside the vehicle, was also unusable as it didn’t come with a lid, meaning that any cotton candy would simply be thrown all over the inside of the car.
What’s worse, is that the entire revamp took seven months, and even after that, it was undrivable. In the end, Seth had to pay another $1,700 out of pocket to get it in driving condition.
Keth’s Ford Escort
Kerry appeared on the show with a one-of-a-kind Ford Escort. When the mechanics got to work on his vehicle, they discovered that it was actually two 1989 Ford Escorts glued into one. For this reason, it was referred to as the “Franken Escort”.
It was also the only car on Pimp My Ride to have been declared “un-pimpable” by the auto mechanic shop, West Coast Customs. According to a Reddit user, MTV ended up getting Scion’s marketing team to donate a new vehicle for the series airing.
Another Redditor wrote that Kerry received a huge offer of $100,000 for his “Franken Escort” after the show aired. Despite the large sum, however, he decided to keep the vehicle.
Having said all that, the majority of those who appeared on the show were still happy with their vehicle’s cosmetic facelift (the transmissions and engines were never touched by the automobile shop). Many of them also spoke highly about meeting the rapper and host Xzibit.