Even before we owned a car, we dreamed of getting our ride pimped out by Xzibit on his hit MTV show.
As adults, we may wonder about how practical it would be to fill your trunk with a popcorn machine and some subwoofer speakers, but when we were young and naive we dreamed of owning the cars from this show. Of course, you should take everything on reality TV with a grain of salt, and the transformations on Pimp My Ride were no exception.
Ten years after the show ended, fans have been checking up on former contestants and finding out whether or not they still like their tricked out rides. It turns out that despite the overjoyed reactions we saw on TV, not everyone was so happy with their new car.
“(My car) was basically a polished turd,” says Seth Martino, who appeared on season six of the show. He says that he had to pay $1,700 out of his own pocket to fix his car’s broken engine before he could drive it off the set. Meanwhile, the TV screens the show installed in his ride never worked once the cameras stopped rolling.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: a lot of contestants from Pimp My Ride have their own horror stories about the show.
HuffPost tracked down former Pimp My Ride contestants, and they had some harsh words about their experience on the show.
Some say their cars spent as long as seven months in the garage, although crew members argue that most rides were souped-up and returned in under two weeks. Contestants complain they had to pay fees out of their own pocket for some repairs, and others say their fancy add-ons were stripped off before the cars were given back.
Justin Dearinger, who had a pop-up champagne server and an in-car theater put in his ride, says they were taken out of his car for safety reasons once the show wrapped. Even the signature 24-inch rims were usually swapped out for smaller ones.
And those happy reactions at the end of each episode? Contestants say they were forced to record multiple takes until the crew were satisfied with their reaction. Others complain that their backstories were manipulated by producers.
One man had candy bars stashed in his car so Xzibit could joke about his weight, and another says he was told to break up with his girlfriend so the garage could build him a car for picking up chicks.
The show’s casting director, Nick Chiodini, defends Pimp My Ride, saying “the intention was never to make it seem like we were fixing these cars and turning them into $1 million cars on the inside.” Instead, it was about “fulfilling a dream for a kid in college.”
To be fair, most contestants say that appearing on the show and meeting Xzibit was fun…even if their car wasn’t exactly pimped out.
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