Chalk it up to TV magic if you wish, but it turns out the legendary Pimp My Ride wasn’t what it seemed.
In a new (and rather disappointing) investigation by The Huffington Post, several contestants from the show stripped back Xzibit and company’s pimped-out-car miracles and revealed some behind-the-scenes faux pas. Through interviews with Season 4’s Jeff Glazier, Season 6’s Seth Martino and Justin Dearinger, and former co-executive producer Larry Hochberg, a few little-known secrets about the former hit show were revealed.
Here are a few things you’d (probably) be surprised to know:
The final “pimped out” rides didn’t actually, well, ride.
“There wasn’t much done under the hood in regards to the actual mechanics of the vehicle,” according to Seth Martino. “For the most part, it needed a lot of work done to make it a functioning regular driver, which they did not do.” Martino said he had a hard time even driving the car home. “They added a lot of extra weight but didn’t adjust the suspension to compensate so I felt like I was in a boat, and every time I hit a bump the car would bottom out and the tires would scrape inside the wheel well.”
Some of the added features didn’t function very well:
That said, it seems as if things were occasionally put into cars with no intention of them ever working in real life. For example, a robotic arm installed into Seth Martino’s car was, as he put it, actually solely “controlled by commands that were entered into a laptop by the spiky haired guy off screen.” In reality, it “was just a robotic arm with a bunch of wires hanging out of it.”
Other features were removed from the vehicles altogether after the taping:
In Justin Dearinger’s Reddit AMA, he claimed that “they actually take out a lot of the stuff that they showed on TV,” such as in his case, a “pop-up” champagne contraption and a “drive-in theater.” Further explaining to HuffPost, Dearinger said that they removed the champagne part because the show didn’t want to condone drinking and driving. The theater was removed for not being street safe.
According to Larry Hochberg, however, the removals were done with a specific purpose in mind. “Sometimes we did things for safety reasons that the kids on show interpreted as us ‘taking away’ some items,” he said. He gave an example where 24-inch spinner rims on a 1977 Cutlass would look amazing for television, but “out of abundance of caution” they’d end up switching the spinners to “beautiful 20s for daily driving.”
The excitement by contestants before and after their rides were made over was usually staged:
At the beginning of segments, Xzibit would be shown ringing the doorbell to a contestant’s house to surprise them. But these houses were often times not the contestants’ homes; instead, each dwelling had been rented by MTV. Contestants were told to wait in the house and that at the door would either be someone holding something like a $100 Pep Boys gift certificate or it would be “ya boy Xzibit.”
Less real was the famous freakouts of contestants jumping up and down when their pimped out car was revealed. All contestants spoken to ended up having to do multiple takes of their reaction, with Justin Dearinger explaining, “I guess I didn’t show enough enthusiasm.” The director specifically told him to “be more energetic and jump around and scream.”
For Jake Glazier, MTV “pretty much just went with what I told them,” but with exaggerations. Glazier had said that his grandmother smoked in the car. For the show, MTV threw an “extra few dozen cigarette butts in the car to make her just look like a total disgusting person.”
But if you ever doubted that Xzibit was as cool as he looked, that happens to be one of the more true parts of the show. While former contestants admittedly did not spend a lot of time with the host, they all attested to his pimp-approved demeanor.
To continue crushing your dreams about MTV’s legendary Pimp My Ride, read the full article here.