MTV's "Pimp My Ride" was a big deal back in the mid-2000s.
If you don't recall, the so-called "reality show" took a kid with a garbage car and "pimped" it out, adding TV screens, sound systems, spinning rims and the like.
It was hosted by rapper Xzibit and made for some quality television.
If you need a little refresher, here's an episode of the show:
But, according to an in-depth investigative report by The Huffington Post, the show wasn't all it was made out to be.
In fact, much of the show was a fabrication. This may not be a major surprise now, but at the time, most people seemed to believe in the honesty and the mission of the show.
HuffPo spoke to Jake Glazier from season four of the show and Seth Martino and Justin Dearinger from season six.
They all revealed the sad truth that many of the aspects of the show existed only for the benefit of the television audience.
For instance, many of the parts added to the cars were taken out immediately after filming. The "Pimp My Ride" guys removed a "pop-up" champagne machine and a "drive-in theater" from Dearinger's car because of safety concerns.
Other things were added to cars for a sheer visual "wow factor" but were never meant to actually work.
One such thing, a robotic arm, was placed in Martino's car. But, according to Martino, it "was just a robotic arm with a bunch of wires hanging out of it." It didn't serve any real purpose.
In some cases, the additions by West Coast Customs made the cars more dangerous than they were before they entered the shop.
Martino said the LED lights added to the seats of his car would heat up to unsafe temperatures.
They took the gull-wing doors off because the pistons used to lift them kept them from putting seat belts in the back, which was highly dangerous.
Often, the exteriors of the cars were redone, but little was done in terms of the mechanics of the cars.
There wasn't much done under the hood in regards to the actual mechanics of the vehicle. For the most part, it needed a lot of work done to make it a functioning regular driver, which they did not do... 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.
After about a month of this, Martino had to use his own money to replace the car's engine.
Dearinger's pimped out car actually blew up. Though, in all fairness to "Pimp My Ride," this occurred five years after the show and after a great deal of work on the car by other body shops.
Still though, it doesn't reflect well on the guys over at West Coast Customs.
Here's video of Dearinger's car bursting into flames:
The cars also took about six months to pimp, not a few days as the show would have you believe.
But, for all the show's trickery, one thing was genuine: Xzibit's craziness. According to Glazier,
I don't remember why [Xzibit] brought it up, but we were just kind of talking about what we were doing that weekend and he said he's going to go down to hell to kill the devil so he can make some Satan skin boots.
So, at least something good came out of "Pimp My Ride."