If you’re like other millennial car enthusiasts, you could only dream of getting your
car souped upon “Pimp My Ride” in the mid-2000s.
The original ‘Pimp My Ride’
If you didn’t already know, West Coast Customs was home to MTV's hit TV show “Pimp My Ride.” Hosted by American rapper and actor Xzibit, the U.S. version ran for 73 episodes and soon attracted a fan base across the globe. As a result, international versions were released around the world.
Over a decade since it was on the air, the UK is rebooting “Pimp My Ride” with some help from a team at eBay. In 2005, “Pimp My Ride UK” debuted and lasted only three seasons. Restoration and modification work was done by the Carisma Automotive team, while English DJ Tim Westwood hosted.
Other “Pimp My Ride” variants were filmed in Indonesia, France, and Brazil.
‘Pimp My Ride’: Fun facts
If the pimping time frame seemed a bit unrealistic, it's because it was. While it may look like it takes a couple of minutes to pimp each vehicle, in truth it took anywhere from one to two weeks to complete an episode.
When the customizations lasted longer, contestants were only reimbursed for rentals for a couple of months and had to shell out their own cash until the upgrade was complete.
According to an exposé on the reality show, a lot of the auditions were fake. Most contestants snagged a spot on the show because they knew someone who worked on it, and they pretended to be surprised after being briefed by producers.
The contestant’s sob stories were real—well, sort of. They were often portrayed in poor light, with exaggerated financial circumstances. Producers tugged on audiences’ heartstrings by heightening the contestant’s personal struggles and milking emotions.
Over-the-top gadgets and random candy machines that dispersed candy were added for shock value. Oftentimes, cars were cosmetically fixed but weren’t practical enough to take on the road.
While it may have been the initial motivation for contestants to appear on the show, they were actually prohibited from selling their vehicles afterward. MTV had them sign a no-sale clause in their contracts that didn’t allow them to auction their car on eBay for quite some time.
Some questionable modifications were against the law. Remember the vehicle with a champagne-popping contraption? Since the gadget promoted drinking and driving, MTV had to remove it before giving the keys back to its owner.
The “Pimp My Ride” cars themselves became celebrities. Fans would stop drivers to try to get a look and feel of the vehicles. One contestant even got pulled over by the police simply because they wanted to check out the car. At least he didn’t get a ticket.
The revamped ‘Pimp My Ride’: the deets
The new version is hosted by British rapper Lady Leshurr, known for her Queen's Speech series of freestyles. According to
Motor Authority, “It remains to be seen if she'll be able to match Xzibit's sublime mix of hilarity and goofiness that made the original so popular with car and non-car people alike.”
This time around, the show will focus heavily on the environment. Fans will learn the benefits of eco-friendly do-it-yourself style mods using refurbished parts from eBay's Certified Recycled Hub. But don’t worry—there’ll still be plenty of wild colors, screens, sound systems, and maybe even some
crazy car wraps.
The new team is slated to work on a Mitsubishi GT, adding some tweaks inspired by the Fast and Furious franchise. The show will be filmed at high-performing tining shop Wrench Studios, located in Ashford, England. The studio already has a large YouTube fan base where they've featured countless high-horsepower builds.
Other cars that will make an appearance over the course of the first six episodes include a 1992 Mitsubishi 3000GT and a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle.
The new “Pimp my Ride” premiered on Aug. 19 on MTV UK’s YouTube channel, funded by eBay.