If you were watching the MTV during the last decade, you probably came across an episode of the fan favorite show Pimp My Ride. The show was helping people who drove awful and damaged cars. A lot of them were not even street legal.
The famous rapper Xzibit shows up, jokes about the car, meets the owner, and then drives the car back to West Coast Customs. In their garage, they modified the cars for the first four seasons. Galpin Auto Sports took over for the remainder of the show.
The show was well known far and wide for upgrading trash-looking vehicles with some completely ridiculous upgrades. One car was fitted with a badminton net in the back. There were always unnecessarily huge rims and an awesome-looking custom paint job.
The show was very entertaining. It ran for six seasons between 2004 and 2007, with 30-minute episodes. Unfortunately, everything was not as it was shown on the reality show. Behind the scenes, there was a lot of manipulation with the goal of making a good story. After a decade since it has ended, the truth is starting to come out, and many of the fans are disappointed.
Let us look at the 10 secrets of the popular MTV show.
10. Strict Rules After the Show
Secrets coming out years after the show went off the air is no coincidence. One of the conditions for the car owners was the signing of a long contract, which stated what the owners could do after the show. For example, participants on the show were not allowed to say their car was on the show if they wanted to sell it. There were also certain places where they could sell them, in order not to raise the price of the car because of the show’s modifications. If they wanted to keep the car, of course, they were allowed to brag to their friends about it being on the show. There were also other restrictions, all to try to prevent the public from actually finding out about the shady work on the cars.
9. Some Upgrades Were Fake
Surely, the best parts of the show was seeing the end product. Final minutes served for someone from the garage, usually Mad Mike, to take the owner on a tour of his or her new car. They would show all the new additions that they installed in the car. However, some of these were completely fake, and only there for the cameras. One owner, Jake Glazier, needed a new muffler, but instead of just fixing it, the shop installed a fake exhaust pipe. They tried to make it look like that is what the car needs to sound like. Martino, another participant, got a fake robotic arm installed. It did not serve a purpose, it was only there to look cool. Someone off-screen controlled it for the episode. The shop had the cars for months, and you would think that they could make at least the necessary upgrades.
8. Participants Were Aware Mtv Was Coming
Every episode starts with an audition video, where the person shows off how terrible their car is. They emphasize worst parts of the car to convince MTV to come and modify it. They end the video by saying the iconic line, “Please, MTV, pimp my ride!” Then Xzibit enters the show accompanied by early-2000s video editing, which might seem funny for todays’ standards. He comes to the home of the owner, checks the car, makes jokes, and then knocks on their door or rings the bell. When they open it, they look very surprised and satisfied, giving the cameras a great reaction for the show.
If you think about it really, you can easily tell that the participants knew MTV and Xzibit were coming. They have an obvious microphone on them to capture the reaction. Also, everyone is always at home at that moment. In addition, there is no way they would not notice a camera crew setting up their equipment outside their house and not come out to check why. According to some participants, they knew MTV would come but they were not sure about Xzibit. They thought it would either be a producer with a prize because they did not make the show, or Xzibit telling them that they did.
7. A Tow-Truck Was Used
After parting ways with the owner, Xzibit makes jokes about the car and sometimes sits inside to drive it to West Coast Customs. Of course, this was not the case, as the city is huge and it would not be convenient for him to drive that much in an awful vehicle. A tow-truck was always ready to tow it back to the shop. The last thing they wanted is for the car to fall apart or get into a car accident, causing more damage.
One of the producers also admitted after the end of the series that a tow truck was always on hand, even at the end of an episode when the cars are supposed to be upgraded and ready to go. You know, just in case the vehicle did not run… It is understandable that they wanted to have a “just in case” option, but this really does not look good for the show, and says a lot about the modifications and the fixing of cars.
Owners were probably not thrilled to see their pimped-out cars on a tow truck because they would not start.
6. Participants Had to Fake Their Reactions After Seeing Their Cars
Have you ever thought about what happens if an owner does not like the way their car turned out? With that many cars, there must have been at least a few unhappy customers. The producers had a solution for this, as the owners had to twice fake the reactions when they see their car. This way MTV always had something to edit into in the final show, even if the owners were not completely satisfied with the reactions.
Some participants had to be trained how to show more enthusiastic reactions. One contestant said that one of the mechanics walked him around the studio and told him that the team worked hard on his car for months, and that they now need him to be more enthusiastic about the result.
5. The Cars Attracted Cops
The cars from the show are all very noticeable because of their custom paint jobs, rims, crazy doors or other equipment. Naturally, they attract a lot of attention. Sometimes this attention is okay, as it is nice to get attention from a love interest, as well as being the new cool guy on the block. However, nobody really wants extra special attention from cops while driving. The cars from Pimp My Ride attracted cops like moths to a flame.
One of the contestants, Justin Dearinger, said that he was pulled over almost daily, only because the cops wanted to chat about the car. He was always wondering what he did wrong, only to realize that cops just wanted to talk about his episode of the show, and how the experience was. Luckily for Justin, most of the cops were very cool about it, and would let him go after a brief chat.
4. Mtv Used Staged Houses
MTV was famous for using staged houses to film the opening scenes of the episodes. Some people were picked up at their real homes, while others were brought to set houses. The reasons for doing this were probably plenty. Some contestants lived with families so MTV would have had a lot more people to deal with in order to get the right shot.
This also makes sure that the actual contestant opens the door instead of other members of the household, who may just close the door for the crew instead of calling the right one. In addition, if the contestant does not live in the best of neighborhoods or lives in a house difficult to film around, no one has to know the truth. It is not familiar how many houses MTV rented for their show. It would be very fun though to watch the episodes and try to see if the same house appears in more of them.
3. One of the Cars Burst into Flames
Already mentioned Justin Dearinger was not initially happy with how MTV modified his car, even though he got used to it eventually. He added around US $20,000 worth of new modifications to his car after the show. He finally got his car the way he wanted, but it all went up in flames, literally.
However, this was not the fault of anyone on MTV or Galpin Auto Sports. The fire started because of a faulty wiring, which was installed by one of the other shops where the car received additional upgrades. Thankfully, Dearinger was unharmed, although he was in the car when things started going wrong and had to pull over when he saw smoke coming out of his car. The fire department came and contained the fire.
The car was totaled and could not be salvaged, meaning that Justin lost the car on which he spent so much money. MTV is probably very glad that no one can pin this one on them. Even if some modifications do not work, they do not present a danger to the driver or the environment.
2. Mtv Tried to Convince a Guy to Dump His Gf
The stories that the producers gave the owners were not always completely accurate. In addition to giving them a theme like being love-struck or loving food very much, sometimes they also made up intriguing backstories.
Jake Glazier did not just receive a fake favorite color or a sob story. They apparently tried to convince him to break up with his girlfriend before the show, to make a better story of him needing an upgraded car to attract women and not be lonely anymore. They could have just lied about it instead of trying to convince him to actually do it, right? Glazier refused of course, as it did not make any sense to go through with it.
One of the MTV representatives, Larry Hochberg, said later that he was not ever aware of this, as it would not help the show in any way.
1. People Were Not Chosen from Their Videos
From the way it is edited, it looks like the clips at the beginning of episodes were from an audition video, which the contestants had to make and send to MTV who would then pick out the worst cars and modify them. Unless every participant somehow owned professional cameras and lighting in 2005, it is obvious they were already working with MTV at the time of making their “audition” clips.
How did MTV chose who would be on their show then?
Our friend Justin Dearinger, for example, attended a casting call at GAS with around two hundred other busted and run down cars in desperate need of a rework. After that, he went to a final audition with fifteen other people. There, he made a video of the car, which the producers received. They told him that whoever made the best video that day would get an episode on the show. Actually, all of them got their episode for the season. They called him back in about a week or so to start shooting. It turns out that there was a video involved after all, but it was very clearly not the same one from the start of the episode.
Are you disappointed in the show after learning about these behind the scenes secrets? Some of us surely are, as we all imagined what it would be like to own a crazy modified car like those on the show. It was fun to watch it, and a bit less fun to learn the hard truth. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining show, much more than other reality TV that MTV produced in the last decade.