|Pimp My Ride|
|Theme music composer||Jeff Cardoni|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||73 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||27 minutes|
MTV Series Development
|Original release||March 4, 2004 –|
December 30, 2007
Pimp My Ride is an American television series produced by MTV and hosted by rapper Xzibit, which ran on MTV for six seasons from 2004 to 2007. Each episode consists of taking one car in poor condition and restoring it, as well as customizing it. The restoration and customizing were done by West Coast Customs for the first four seasons, then Galpin Auto Sports for seasons 5–6.
The show had several international adaptations, including Pimp My Ride UK, Pimp My Ride International (in central Europe), and other adaptations in Brazil, Indonesia and the Baltic countries. It also spawned imitators, including the CMT series Trick My Truck.
This show picks young car owners living in Los Angeles or elsewhere in Southern California. An episode of Pimp My Ride generally begins with the participant showing his or her car off, and convincing MTV that it needs to be "pimped". After this segment, the host (normally rapper Xzibit, but there are occasionally guest hosts such as Chamillionaire) shows up at the participant's house, takes a look at the car himself, makes wisecracks about the particular things that are wrong with it, and promises the owner a complete makeover of the vehicle.
After examining the car, Xzibit takes it to a custom body shop (West Coast Customs (WCC), in Corona, California, in Seasons 1–4; replaced by Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) starting Season 5), where the shop team generally replaces most of the components and rebuilds the interior and exterior from scratch.
Each car is a custom "pimp", tailored to the personalities and interests of the owners. For example, a Need for Speed: Underground fan had his car painted to look like one specially customized in the Need for Speed: Underground 2 game, while a bowler had a ball spinner installed in his trunk, a badminton player had a badminton net installed in the back of his Dodge Caravan, and a surfer got a clothes dryer in the back of his Volkswagen Type 2. Work usually includes new paint, accessories, chrome, tires, and rims, and internal electronics (DVD players, video games, large TFT screens, and other cutting-edge accessories). Most changes are only cosmetic, and mechanical work is generally only done to enable the car to run; the show has replaced entire engines with new engines. Both WCC and GAS are well known for putting their own whimsical touches in their work, such as the aforementioned dryer, or an electric fireplace in the trunk of another vehicle.
At the end of the show, the car is revealed to its owner, as well as all the details of the renovation and the custom features; in addition, the participant is usually given a gift somehow related to the car or the owner's hobby.
The West Coast Customs employees shown on the series included:
- Good-natured manager Quinton "Q" Dodson (seasons 1–3)
- Owner Ryan Friedlinghaus
- The heavily pierced tire-specialist Alex
- Tough-looking interior and fabric maven Ishmael "Ish" Jimenez
- Electronics (and outrageous engineering) expert Michael "Mad Mike" Martin
- Accessories specialist, the appropriately named "Big Dane"
- Paint guys Aren, Buck, 2Shae, and Luis. The latter carried on into the following seasons.
After the third season, WCC manager "Q" announced that he would not be willing to take a role in the show anymore. Q cited a desire to expand the company's business with a customs shop in St. Louis, Missouri called Coast 2 Coast Customs. Ryan Friedlinghaus, the owner of WCC, was featured in Season 4 as the "lead" for discussions on customizing the cars.
In the fifth season, the show moved to another garage, Galpin Auto Sports (GAS), as Ryan, the WCC Owner, moved his shop to Corona, California and signed a deal with another television production company. However, the show retained Mad Mike (who quit at WCC and signed at GAS), now dubbed a "car customization specialist". The new cast consisted of:
- "Owner" Beau Boeckmann (in reality, Vice President of Galpin Auto; the owner of Galpin Auto was his father, Bert Boeckmann)
- Electronics expert and "The Wizard of Wiring" Michael "Mad Mike" Martin
- Wiring and fiberglass fabrication "Jason" Ewing
- The wheels & tires specialist Gyasi
- Paint & body Luis
- Accessories specialist Diggity Dave
- Interiors Rick
- Fabricator Cabe Sipes
- Shop crew Z
On three occasions – all season finales – did the show not "pimp" the original automobile.
- In the final episode of season 1, the car to be pimped was actually two-halves of Ford Escorts welded together to make one car, a "cut and shut" job, and was declared unsafe.
- In the final episode of season 2, the participant was studying to be an auto mechanic, and WCC decided to let him "pimp" his car as a study project.
- In the final episode of season 5, Xzibit felt that the owner's car, a Nissan Pulsar, was not worth fixing, as heat from the car's engine and battery fluid was leaking into the cab, creating a fire hazard.
In all these instances, the vehicles of the participants were replaced with brand new cars, with extensive modifications made to customize each new car for the owner.
Pimp My Ride was one of MTV's most popular shows with nearly all of its worldwide viewers, and also in the U.S., where it ranked second only to The Real World.
Canada's music network, MuchMusic, aired the show until MTV Networks signed a deal with CTV, which resulted in MuchMusic losing their rights to MTV programs. MuchMusic's French-language sister station, MusiquePlus, aired the show subtitled in French under the title Pimp mon char ("char" is Quebec French slang for "car"). The show would eventually re-air on Much in the Summer of 2008, showing the later seasons.
Accusations of fakery
Various participants who had their cars overhauled on Pimp My Ride have stated that elements of the show were faked. These include cars getting their paint removed and additional litter put in before taping in order to make their starting condition look worse; cars getting outfitted with elements that were removed right after taping, like a robotic arm; and contestants being coached to act more enthusiastically than they would normally act after the final "reveal". Participants have also said that the overhaul process, implied in the show to last no more than a few days, actually lasted 6–8 months.
|Title||Region 1||Region 2||DVD Extras|
|The Complete First Season||March 22, 2005||February 6, 2006||TBA|
|The Complete Second Season||TBA||May 21, 2007||TBA|
Official adaptations of Pimp My Ride, produced or co-produced by international MTV affiliates, include:
- Pimp My Ride International (across Europe), a European version of the show where cars are pimped from all over Europe in the Netherlands at All Stoff. The show is hosted by American rappers Lil' Jon and Fat Joe.
- Pimp My Ride UK (United Kingdom, 2005-2007), presented by the DJ Tim Westwood. Carisma Automotive are the customizers for the UK version.
- Pimp My Ride Baltic (2008).
- Pimp My Ride Brasil (Brazil, 2007-2008), presented by singer Jimmy London from the rock band Matanza.
- Pimp My Car (Indonesia), which aired on MTV Indonesia.
- Pimp My Ride France(fr) (France, 2009-2011), which aired on MTV France. The show was presented by Ramzy (fr) and had two seasons.
- Pimp My Fahrrad (Germany), which aired on the German-language MTV Central. In the show, the Hamburg-based bike shop Junior's Club (referred to as "Elbcoast Psycles" on the show) redoes almost an entire bicycle ("fahrrad" being the German word for bicycle), usually leaving only the frame intact. While the show could be seen as a parody of the American original, it is also a loving tribute, using all the elements of the American show with a bicycle twist (Germany's safety guidelines are among the strictest in the world, and getting a road permit for thoroughly customized vehicles borders on the impossible. Similar rules apply in most of continental Europe). It is hosted by German actor Oliver Korittke.
- Pimp My Whatever (Germany). A spin-off of Pimp My Fahrrad in which ElbCoast Psychos return to "pimp" anything from a bathroom and a doghouse to a birthday party or even someone's brother. Pimp My Whatever is hosted by MTV presenter Patrice Bouédibéla. Both shows are located in Hamburg
- Pimp My Wheels (Italy). Airing on MTV Italy, this show turns old rusty motorscooters or motorcycles into brand-new shiny vehicles. Hosted by the Italian hip hop group Gemelli Diversi.
- Pimp My Room (The Netherlands) features some friendly competition between three students to see who will win the university student bedroom or apartment overhaul. Subsequently, the room is "pimped".
- Pimpa Meu Feed (Brazil). Airing on MTV Brazil social media, the show helps participants to boost their instagram, leverage the number of followers and get involved in this (much desired) life of influencer. It is hosted by Leo Picon and Ste Viegas.
Viacom, the owner of the Pimp My Ride franchise, has made legal threats against a number of small business owners over the use of the words Pimp My... in business names. Businesses using the names Pimp My Pet and Pimp My Snack have been threatened with legal action for an alleged breach of a trademark owned by Viacom. The website Pimp My Snack is now known as Pimp That Snack.
- Monster Garage: Also features outrageous custom engineering of vehicles, albeit within an entirely different program format.
- NASCAR Angels: Rebuilds cars (cosmetic, and mechanical) for needy, or deserving fans.
- Overhaulin': Car restoration, but with an emphasis on performance enhancements, and focused around American muscle cars and pickup trucks.
- Trick My Truck: CMT's equivalent to Pimp My Ride features the Chrome Shop Mafia customizing semi-trailer trucks for lucky fans.
- Unique Whips: The East Coast equivalent of West Coast Customs
- Meke My Waka (New Zealand) A similar program shown on Māori Television.
- All the Gear No Idea! (United Kingdom), on the Men & Motors channel, dealt with motorcycles, with the bike being shipped to US customiser LA County Choprods for work. Unlike other similar shows, the owner of the bike also received a makeover.
- Dale' Sayaratak (Arabic: دلع سيارتك "Spoil Your Car"), which aired on MBC 1. The popular malt beverage company "Barbican" sponsored this show and they also "pimped" the cars and showed them in their commercials.
- Wheeler Dealers, a British television program about car makeover and restoration.
- Van Luling, Todd (February 25, 2015). "Here's What Really Happened To The Cars From 'Pimp My Ride'". The Huffington Post.
- Amazon.com: MTV's Pimp My Ride – The Complete First Season: Danny (VIII), 2Shae, Aren Fanning, Ryan Friedlinghaus, Tim Westwood, Q (IV), Alex (XXI), Jimmy (IX), Abraham (III),...
- Amazon.co.uk: Pimp My Ride : Complete Season 1: Xzibit: DVD
- Amazon.co.uk: Pimp My Ride – Series 2: Pimp My Ride: DVD
- "MTV Pimps Europe, One Country at a Time". Der Spiegel. July 28, 2005.
- "Leo Picon e Ste Viegas comandam o "Pimpa Meu Feed"". MTV Brazil (in Portuguese). May 27, 2020.