Reality TV took MTV by storm in the 1990s, and by the early 2000s, the channel seemed to have little interest in music. During this time, MTV debuted the series Pimp My Ride, a show that featured rapper Xzibit hooking up young adults by taking their beat up old cars to West Coast Customs for a complete overhaul. Contestants on the show would see their old hoopty transformed into an outrageous pimped out vehicle that was sure to completely change their lives. People from all backgrounds appeared on the series with the hopes of having Xzibit pop up on their door step to let them know that their car was about to be given the royal treatment. The series was a huge success for MTV, and Pimp My Ride aired 73 episodes over the course of 6 seasons. The show even produced a spin-off video game, and was a fixture in pop culture for several years.
Despite what you may have seen from the show during its run on MTV, former contestants have shared what truly happened when cameras weren't rolling. Let's just say that the producers of the show wish that this information had not surfaced. Everyone knows that everything isn't always peaches and cream while filming a television show, but few could have known that things were truly this bad for the people who ended up on the series. Forget everything that you thought you knew about Pimp My Ride, because the 15 secrets will leave you speechless.
15 One Car Went Up In Flames
Imagine finally having your dreams come true and having the boys at West Coast Customs completely transform your car. You no longer have to ride around in a piece of trash, and your 15 minutes of fame are at their white-hot peak. Now, take those awesome thoughts and throw them out the window after your pimped-out car turns into a gigantic fireball on the side of the road. One of the show's contestants experienced this problem several years ago. The whole incident was recorded, and the video was subsequently uploaded to YouTube for our viewing pleasure.
Now, it is worth noting that the owner of the car had spent his own time and money customizing his vehicle after the show. It is safe to assume that West Coast Customs was not responsible for the calamity that ensued, but we can't help but feel bad for the guy. His dream car literally went up in flames.
14 Many Customizations Were Removed After Filming
If we are being totally honest, some of the things that the boys at West Coast Customs put into these vehicles were downright absurd. Sure, it is fun to watch and see on television, but installing a cotton candy machine or a coffee bar into a vehicle is just ridiculous. Apparently, most of what was installed was simply for the show, and a great deal of customizations that were installed in the vehicles were removed after filming of the episode wrapped up. Whether it be for safety reasons or for the modifications being completely useless, the producers of the show had plenty of things removed from the pimped-out vehicles.
Half of the fun of watching Pimp My Ride was seeing all of the crazy things that they would put into the cars, so it sucks to hear that a lot of it was removed. Kudos to MTV for keeping things interesting.
13 The Stuff They Left In the Cars Didn't Even Work
Now, MTV ensured that plenty of things were removed from the vehicles, but they also left enough customizations in the cars to keep their contestants happy. This, as it were, also came back to bite MTV in the behind as contestants revealed that most of the mods that were installed in the vehicles didn't even work. One former contested used the robotic arm that was installed in his car as an example. He maintains that the arm was completely useless and said, it "was just a robotic arm with a bunch of wires hanging out of it." This mod in particular was one of the coolest on the series, and learning that it didn't work makes you feel bad for the guy.
Can you imagine having something as interesting as a robotic arm installed in your car only to have it not work and take up space? We have to imagine that you would be pretty pissed off.
12 The Cars Received Little Maintenance
One thing I always wondered while watching Pimp My Ride is whether or not West Coast Customs actually, you know, worked on the cars. Sure, the point of the show was to give these kids the most outlandish cars possible, but what's the point of having a cool looking car if it runs like junk? Former contestants on the show say that there was very little maintenance that was done to keep the cars running well, implying that the series only cared about the outside of the vehicles. MTV has since said that some of the vehicles were "so old and rusted that they would have mechanical issues no matter how much work you put into them..." One contestant, Seth Marino, even had to save up to buy another engine after his car stopped running.
Not every contestant has spoken out against MTV and criticized them for not fixing their cars, so it can't be said that everyone experienced the same things. But, where there is smoke, there is fire.
11 MTV Rented Fake Houses For The Contestants
Admittedly, this might be one of the weirdest things that we have uncovered about Pimp My Ride. Each episode began with Xzibit making his way to people's doorsteps to let them know that their dream of being on the show was coming true. The contestants would promptly flip out over meeting the rap star, and the realization that they were going to have amazing vehicles was nice to see. But, it turns out that MTV didn't actually come to their house. Instead, they opted to rent houses and have the contestant wait inside for the big meet. While we understand why MTV chose to do things this way, you can't help but wonder how awkward it was for the contestants.
Seeing them meet Xzibit was always super cool, but all was not as it seemed. The next entry on our list reveals another dirty secret about the series, this time involving its beloved host.
10 Sometimes, Xzibit Didn't Even Meet Them At The Door
As it turns out, Xzibit wasn't always on hand to meet up with the contestants on the show. Contestants were instructed to be inside of the house that MTV had rented and wait for a knock at the door. They would either be greeted by a person holding onto a gift certificate or by Xzibit himself. Getting picked to be on the show would have been a great feeling, but opening the door to find some random dude holding a gift certificate would be super weird. Nevertheless, the contestants would eventually get to meet and work with Xzibit, and he's apparently a super cool guy.
It is understandable that Xzibit wouldn't be there to surprise every contestant on the show, so good on them for jumping up and down like maniacs. He was balancing his music and television career at the time, and his schedule was probably super hectic. However, them freaking out over actually meeting the rapper was always funny.
9 They Did Multiple Takes Of The Big Reveal
After putting in a ton of work and love into each vehicle that made its way onto the show, contestants were brought to West Coast Customs to see the big reveal for their pimped-out vehicles. The contestants would freak out after seeing their cars, and they would be left nearly speechless while making their rounds to give each maintainer a handshake. This, however, didn't always go off without a hitch, and there were times where multiple takes were required to get the shot that the producers wanted. That's right, if a contestant wasn't over-the-top with their reaction, they would be forced to redo the big reveal all over again. One contestant was even pulled aside by a maintainer and was instructed to be more appreciative.
For being a reality show, there was a lot about Pimp My Ride that was completely scripted, and learning about these re-shoots just goes to show you that even reality television is not without its lies.
8 They Made People Look Bad Intentionally
In line with the show doing re-shoots for the big reveal, MTV decided to fabricate certain things about contestant's backgrounds and even went out of their way to make them look bad. Of course, this was done in an attempt to make the show far more dramatic to appeal to its audience. One contestant described his experience on the show, and mentioned that producers used his obesity to make him look bad. They allegedly spread a bunch of candy around the inside of his car to make it seem like he had a major sweet tooth, hurting his feelings in the process. He didn't stand up for himself when the incident occurred, electing to just go with the flow.
We all know that reality television is anything but real, and television studios use this to their advantage. However, taking advantage of an overweight kid for a cheap laugh is pretty low, but hey, it is MTV after all.
7 One Guy Was Asked To Leave His Girlfriend
Fabricating stories and making contestants look bad for the sake of a cheap laugh is pretty lame, but asking someone to leave their girlfriend is just ridiculous. Sadly, this was the case for contestant Jake Glazier, who was pressed to leave his girlfriend for the sake of the show. Having a dump of a car couldn't possibly land someone a girlfriend, and that was the angle that MTV allegedly wanted to take for Glazier's segment. They were planning on spinning a story that included Glazier needing his car to be pimped-out in order to find love, which is both ludicrous and sort of hilarious. Needless to say, Glazier was not on board for the idea, and he ultimately stayed with his girlfriend.
Since this accusation came to light, MTV producers have since refuted the claim. Larry Hochberg, the co-executive producer of the series, has spoken out against this claim and the claim that they fat shamed another contestant.
6 MTV Made The Original Cars Look Worse Than They Were
The premise of Pimp My Ride was simple: take an old, run down vehicle, and turn it into a dream car that would stand out everywhere it goes. Cars are a status symbol, and having a custom vehicle from West Coast Customs was sure to make anyone's life better. But, in order to achieve the most dramatic effect possible, contestants have come out saying that MTV made their run-down vehicles look even worse than they actually were. Allegedly, one contestant had their bumper damaged by the crew, and paint was used to make their car look like a complete junker.
This was an interesting piece of information to discover about the series. On one hand, MTV was already going to invest plenty of time and money into the vehicles. On the other hand, they once again went out of their way to make their contestants look bad for the sake of entertainment.
5 Customizations Took Several Months
Thanks to the magic of television, each episode of Pimp My Ride would see an entire makeover take place over the course of a 30-minute time slot. Most people who watched the series assumed that the customizations would only take about a week or so, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Apparently, in order to truly pimp out each vehicle, West Coast Customs would take several months for the dramatic transformation. That's right, these kids would have to go several months without their trash vehicles just to get back a vehicle that looked great but ran like crap.
While they were waiting for their vehicles, contestants on the series were relegated to using rental cars, which is never a fun experience. I would imagine that spending several months using rental cars sucks, and the contestants who discussed their experience confirmed this. But, this begs the question of who exactly was paying for the rentals.
4 MTV Took Months To Reimburse Rental Car Fees
The rental cars that contestants used while they were waiting for their new vehicles came directly out of their own pockets. MTV would eventually go on to reimburse them for their troubles, but seeing as how the contestants had garbage vehicles, the financial burden of paying for their rental car up-front had to be a taxing experience. Contestant Seth Martino said that he would have to drive from his home in West Covina all the way to LAX just to make a payment for the rental car. For reference, that drive can take around an hour depending on traffic, meaning that Seth spent roughly 2 hours round-trip just to swipe his credit card at LAX.
It is pretty shocking to learn that MTV didn't pay for their rental cars up-front, instead choosing to have the contestants pay for everything. Yes, the eventually paid them back, but that is a pretty weak move.
3 The Pimped Out Cars Were Frequently Pulled Over
It is not uncommon to see suped-up sports cars get pulled over by cops, and truth be told, it can be pretty funny. The contestants who appeared on Pimp My Ride have come out and said that they were frequently pulled over because of their new pimped-out vehicle. Contestant Justin Dearinger said that he was "getting pulled over on a daily basis" because of his pimped-out vehicle. He then went on to say that he would have to tell any officer that pulled him over that his car had appeared on the show. That process had to be incredibly frustrating for him. Coincidentally, this is the same contestant whose car burst into flames on the side of the road.
Finally, something that we can't blame on MTV producers. Each contestant knew that they were going to get a vehicle that was over-the-top, and they had to know that run-ins with street cops were right around the corner.
2 Contestants Weren't Allowed To Sell Their Cars On eBay
There have been some conflicting reports on this one, but we still had to include it on this list because contestants had varied experiences on the show. One contestant was looking for a quick cash-in after their time on the show, and they placed their pimp-out car on eBay looking for a buyer to take it off of their hands. Allegedly, MTV had the ad removed from the website, dashing the contestant's chance to make a quick buck. However, another contestant only had his car for about a month before he was able to sell it to another person. He may have gone through a friend or another platform to sell the vehicle, though. The vehicle that was sold broke down less than a month after trading hands, which had to have pissed off the buyer.
MTV seemed to be pretty strict about contestants placing the vehicles for sale on eBay, but some were still able to net a handsome profit from their new cars. Jake Glazier claims that he raked in $18,000 by selling his car.
1 Xzibit Smelled Like...
Truth be told, there are so many words that we can plug in to this title, and the opportunity of leaving a cliffhanger was just too satisfying. To quell your suspicion, Xzibit is said to have smelled like weed by contestants who got to spend time with him on the show. This, of course, shouldn't really surprise anyone who has listened to his music or have followed his career. Xzibit is a huge advocate for marijuana use, and has even gotten into the business himself. It may be stereotypical, but rappers smelling like weed is nothing new to anyone.
Aside from reeking of weed, Xzibit is also said to be a super chill dude. This could be because he was high while filming the show, or it could be because he is just a really nice guy. We are willing to bet that it is a combination of the two.