Pimp My Ride was probably one of the best or worst car shows on TV in the 2000s. If you don’t know, the premise was that the rapper Xzibit would interview some beater-owning aspiring reality TV star and then hand their car over to West Coast Customs who would customize it based on their interests. Not all of the customizations were good ideas.
Take this Range Rover from Pimp My Ride’s fifth season. A 23-year-old engineering student by the name of Tad drove a 1989 Range Rover he bought from his grandpa for $3,500.He mentions that his ultimate goal is to go back to his home country of Ethiopia to help with water treatment there.
He asked Pimp My Ride to help him out since he was embarrassed by his car.
And boy did they help him out. During the brainstorming session, Mad Mike, who arguably had some of the most outlandish ideas on the show (hence his name) threw out the first idea: a rooftop Data Tech satellite dish. Part of an entire in-car system that allowed for internet, HDTV, and VoIP phone calls. And for some reason, he wanted to throw in two 23-inch monitions on motorized hinges in the rear cargo area for browsing the internet, watching tv, and...who knows?
The paint job wasn’t understated either. The original paint was some kind of custom checker print that Tad said was on there when he got it. So West Coast Customs went with something just as attention-grabbing. The exterior was painted in a color called Candy Tangerine and accented by pearl white racing stripes. That pearl white didn’t stop there though. A pearl white brush guard was fitted to the front to match the wheels and running boards. Inside it got “better”. A blue interior with a water bed in the back. This didn’t make sense as both Tad and his friends complained about the fact that his car didn’t have a rear bench.
In the rear, they installed a machine that someone on their modification team said was “able to make water right out of thin air.” And for some reason, they thought it was a good idea to install automated flags that rise up out of the front fenders as if he’s driving a state vehicle. One flag was the Ethiopian flag and the other was Old Glory.
So to recap, they took a 1989 Range Rover that weighed more than 4,000 lbs, put a 120 lb satellite dish on top which required reinforcing the roof, two 23-inch LCD screens in the back, and a 400-pound water bed that held 50 gallons of water. So how did he like it?
He loved it I suppose. It’s hard to tell for sure since most of the reactions on the show were faked. I’m sure it was better than before. The show didn’t fix any mechanical issues that the cars had. So while his Range looked better, that doesn’t mean it worked or drove any better, especially considering the added weight. I couldn’t find any info regarding what happened to Tad and his Range Rover, but hopefully, things worked out for him.
Did you or someone you know work on, or own a car that was featured on a 2000's reality TV show? Contact me at LHodge@Jalopnik.com. I’d love to hear about it!