There’s an American TV show (shows on MTV in both the US and UK) called “Pimp My Ride” – They’ve made a UK version now…
Now, the American (original) versions works – set in California (home of the “hot rod”) they take various kids old bangers, usually kids who’ve got problems or give to the community, and “Pimp” them (fix up the problems, repaint (usually with neon colours and flames), redo the interiors, fit TVs, computers, games consoles, new sound systems)
In the US, this concept works, they’re following 50 years of customising old cars – and it’s a fairly entertaining show (thanks in part to the host, Rapper Xzibit and the crew at West Coast Customs who do the work)
In the UK however, it feels somewhat contrived, as over here the trend for custom cars involves taking an old Vauxhall Corsa and putting the biggest spoilers you can find on it to make it look, well, ridiculous, then adding illuminated washer jets, huge alloy wheels, and a stereo so loud it can be heard half a mile away.
So when MTV announced they were doing a UK version, I had visions of “Chav My Ride” – (see the photo at the bottom of this page for the GLC’s “Chavalier”) – however, so far, they’re following the US show, almost too closely, with host Tim Westwood taking the role of Xzibit as host – and the cars getting similar treatments with repairs, paintwork, new interiors, stereos etc – however there just isn’t the heritage in customising cars over here, to the point where the UK version of the show is done in the “PMR garage” – rather than a existing customiser!
Harmless entertainment, absolutely – daft, a bit fun, yeah, think “Changing Rooms meets Top Gear” – and the first car – a 40 year old Morris Minor got the full treatment with a games console, surf rack, hot-rod paintwork, and full leather interior, and it has to be said, it didn’t look terrible!