Screensavors: Pimp my Peugeot!

It's fun to see other jalopies get juiced, even if the spontaneity of this reality show sometimes seems a little forced.

pimp my ride 88 (photo credit: )
pimp my ride 88
(photo credit: )
The doors squeak. The interior's ripped. The AC's dead. And every time they get into it, the kids beg for someone to please, "pimp my ride." No, I don't get much respect driving my 1989 Peugeot 309, especially from the younger generation. That's why, ever since they first caught the MTV-produced Pimp My Ride (now being shown locally on AXN), the children have been praying that rapper Xzibit and the rest of the show's ensemble would show pity on my motor vehicle and snazz the thing up. While it's not likely this will happen, it is fun to see other jalopies get juiced, even if the spontaneity of this reality show sometimes seems a little forced. The basic premise has the owner of a less-than-limo, rent-a-wreck type car or truck showing off their street-challenged ride to MTV, begging for them to send Xzibit and his crew to work their pimpin' magic. In the episode we caught this past week, 18-year-old Jared pleaded for mercy over his beat-up 1985 Ford Ranger pick-up, which, at the show's introduction, was declared by Xzibit as, "lost in the woods." The kid's certainly got a point. We learn that, ironically, he delivers auto parts in the junk heap, it's got a duct tape tailgate, a bobble-head mirror that doesn't stop shaking, a "weather vane" antenna made up of a piece of jiggly wire and an interior whose guts are falling out. And that's the good stuff. Jared's friends are always ragging on him because of his wheels of misfortune, including girlfriend Mattie who sympathetically offers, "My heart felt for him because it's such a pile…" Enter Xzibit. "Jared has no idea I'm about to take his pick-up and really pick it up," he says as he "shows up" at Jared's house to admire the truck and deliver the news. The "surprise" meeting between the two seemed a little much for us. "You gotta be joking man, no way!" says Jared when he opens the door in an exchange that didn't quite go over as genuine. Even Xzibit is impressed by the truck's awfulness. Asked if the pile of junk has a name, Jared quips, "The one we hear most is, 'embarrassment.'" But the real fun is at West Coast Customs, the specialty auto shop where cars get pimped. It seems that the shop's crew are the real stars of the show. Just about everyone there has a cool nickname or other interesting feature, like tire-dude Alex who has spikes in his chin. There's Cue, who runs the shop that magically transforms the cars into the neatest things ever. And, Mad Mike, Big Dane and a host of others who are all over Jared's ride in a flash. "This is the last time you'll see this rolling trash can in this condition," says Cue. Snap! They've installed a system that does away with door handles, popping them open with a push of a button instead. Pow! They're installing a Nintendo Game Cube in a game lounge they've built in the back of the truck, along with a Ping-pong table, Jared's favorite game. "Jared used to be totally out of the game, but now he's a player," notes Cue as his man Ish adds an interior featuring flames and tweed, while another applies a tangelo paint job. Remember, this is, as Cue notes, "Cally," where what you drive defines you. It's truly remarkable to see the team turn a piece of junk into a gem, with $30,000 worth of goodies going into the remake. And while the script may not win any awards ("I can't believe my truck went from a pile to style!" declares Jared after freaking out when he sees the new look), this isn't supposed to be Masterpiece Theater, just a half hour of fun under the hood. Until I win the lottery, the kids are going to have to put up with the dodgy doors and the sweatbox atmosphere of the Peugeot, but who knows - maybe someone at MTV will read this and pimp my ride! Pimp My Ride airs on AXN at 8 a.m. and 5:25 p.m.