Pimp My Ride

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Pimp My Ride
Pimp My Ride logo.jpg
Created by
Presented by
Theme music composerJeff Cardoni
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes73 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Bruce Beresford-Redman
  • Rick Hurvitz
  • Larry Hochberg
  • Jennifer Colbert
  • Tess Gamboa
  • Joel Raatz
  • Mark Ryan
  • Brian York
CinematographyScott Sandman
  • Brian York
  • Mike Bary
  • Stephen Baumhauer
Running time27 minutes
Production company(s)R-Lab
MTV Series Development
Trifecta Entertainment and Media
Litton Entertainment (2008)
Original networkMTV
Original releaseMarch 4, 2004 (2004-03-04) – December 30, 2007 (2007-12-30)
External links

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, CA, 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.



Seasons 1–4[edit]

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.

Seasons 5–6[edit]

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[1])
  • 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

Replacement vehicles[edit]

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.

Worldwide popularity[edit]

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.

Pimp My Ride was broadcast in Arab countries on both MTV Arabia and MBC Action.

Accusations of fakery[edit]

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.[2]

DVD releases[edit]

U.S. version[edit]

Title Region 1 Region 2 DVD Extras
The Complete First Season March 22, 2005[3] February 6, 2006[4] TBA
The Complete Second Season TBA May 21, 2007[5] TBA

International adaptations[edit]

Official adaptations of Pimp My Ride, produced or co-produced by international MTV affiliates, include:

For cars[edit]


  • Pimp My Fahrrad[6] (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.[7] 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[8] (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".

Pop culture references[edit]

Since the show's debut, Pimp My Ride has been referred to numerous times by other television shows and comedic acts.

Parodies of the show include:

  • As part of a 2006 advertising campaign, Volkswagen created a popular series of television commercials called Un-Pimp My Ride, starring Swedish actor Peter Stormare as a German engineer named Wolfgang who hosts the commercial in a manner similar to Xzibit, but instead destroys the participant's gaudy, poorly modified car and replaces it with a new Volkswagen GTI.
  • Xzibit was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and appeared in a sketch called "Pimp My Bride", which shows a typical bride being instead dressed in lingerie, with an LCD screen attached to her back. Mad TV presented a similar sketch with the same title.
  • Robot Chicken had a segment in one episode, with a show titled "Pimp My Sister".
  • In episode 8 of Season 1 in The Boondocks entitled "The Real", Riley was able to convince two reality makeover shows to work on his Granddad's belongings. One of the shows is "Pimp My Ride", to 'pimp out' his Granddad's car. Xzibit also did the voice-over of his animated self in this episode.
  • Chav My Motor was an April Fool's Day satire which aired in 2006 on VH1 in the UK, based on the boy racer culture of car modification amongst chavs.
  • Pimp My Kettle (MTV Australia) was a series of short mini-documentaries about pimping kitchen kettles (also hosted on the website). The website also includes pictures of real kettles pimped by artists and professional car customizers.
  • Proxenete My Brete (Quebec, Pimp my Lemon) was a parody of the show performed by teenagers of Zebu production from Vaudreuil. The three internet episodes are extremely satirical, usually involving "pimping" the car with a non-existent budget and with things such as cardboard skirts, wooden spoilers, Christmas lights, aluminum foil rims, etc.
  • Skanger me Banger (Irish)[9] is a parody web video set in inner city Dublin in which "Colin Farrell" improves a Honda Civic owned by Damo (Andy Quirke)
  • In series 3 of Bo' Selecta!, there is a short sketch entitled "Pimp My Bride" in which a comedic imitation of Michael Jackson helps people by giving their wives a makeover.
  • On the Drake & Josh episode "I Love Sushi", the boys enter a contest for a television show called "Pump My Room". They win & the people tell Drake & Josh to leave their home so they can remodel their home. It turns out they rob them of everything & that it's really a phony TV show.
  • In an episode of We're Experiencing Technical Difficulties, there is a short segment called "Pimp My Grandma" which took aspects and effects straight from Pimp My Ride.
  • A 2013 ad campaign for Škoda Auto, starring Xzibit, shows (fictional) contestants on Pimp My Ride excited to see the results of their junk car being overhauled, unaware that their car was simply replaced with a Škoda Yeti.
  • In 2016, YouTube content creator Filthy Frank created a video called "Pimp My Wheelchair", in which he makes an upgraded wheelchair for a disabled person.

Other references to the show include:

Legal action[edit]

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.

Similar programs[edit]

United States[edit]

Other countries[edit]

  • 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Van Luling, Todd (February 25, 2015). "Here's What Really Happened To The Cars From 'Pimp My Ride'". The Huffington Post.
  3. ^ 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),...
  4. ^ Amazon.co.uk: Pimp My Ride : Complete Season 1: Xzibit: DVD
  5. ^ Amazon.co.uk: Pimp My Ride – Series 2: Pimp My Ride: DVD
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ "MTV Pimps Europe, One Country at a Time". Der Spiegel. July 28, 2005.
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ http://bebo.com/skangermebanger

External links[edit]