Thursday December 6, 2012
Pumped up to pimp
By SHARMILA NAIR
Have an old battered car that gets more mockery than mileage? Pimp My Ride is here to the rescue.
SOME people say that the car you drive defines who you are. Well, that is cool if you happen to be driving an Aston Martin, but snap out of it people. Most “ordinary” folks drive ordinary cars and their primary use is to get from point A to point B – come rain, shine and the infamous Malaysian traffic jam.
However, there are those who drive “special” cars – rusty, breakdown-prone, tin cans on four wheels which unfortunately get the driver a snigger, a whisper and a curious look or two when they stop at traffic lights. Oh, and these cars may also be hazardous to their drivers as well as other road users out there.
Cue Pimp My Ride Malaysia, the saviour of all dying vehicles.
Based on the hit original MTV series of the same name (well, except the “Malaysia” bit), Pimp My Ride Malaysia is hosted by MTV VJ Rich and local rapper Altimet. The show is set to rescue all vehicles that are nearing their “retirement” age and breathe new life into them.
“I had been in cars that were as bad (as the ones that were brought in) and I even owned a car that had a leak, so I can understand the situation. (People) do want nice cars ,but at a certain point in time, they just can’t get a better car,” said Altimet in an interview last month.
“It’s great to have a Malaysian version of this programme and Pimp My Ride is definitely one of my favourite MTV shows. Co-hosting with VJ Rich is such an honour and getting actively involved in the show is icing on the cake for me.”
He added that looking at the old and beaten up cars selected for a makeover definitely brought back some fond memories of his first car.
“My first car was a Toyota Corolla. I bought it for RM7,500 in cash, ‘cause you know how rappers do it right? They buy everything in cash!
“I gave him (the dealer) a wad of bills and he gave me the key to the car,” said Altimet.
That got Rich talking about his first car as well, a 1985 Ford Bronco, but mind you, it’s not like the “cool, white” one that former American football player OJ Simpson drove during his infamous police chase in 1994.
“It was kind of boxy and it just swallowed petrol. I had to drive it to high school 35 to 40 minutes on the highway, and it didn’t want to go on the highway. It made a really loud noise when you stepped on the pedal, and not in the ‘acceleration’ kind of way ... but it sounded more like it was ‘ugh’ (dying),” said the American-born Filipino, VJ Rich with a laugh.
“It’s like a domino effect. When one thing goes wrong, everything else can go wrong, too. When you let one thing go, it just gets worse and before you know it, it takes over the whole car,” he added.
Because the hosts know what it feels like to be stuck with a beaten up car, they are really excited to be part of a show that helps transform these damaged vehicles.
For the next three months, viewers will get to follow Altimet and Rich as they spend time at automotive workshops in the Klang Valley, helping car owners to pimp out their cars.
From custom rims and paint work, to body kits and lowered suspensions, to plush interiors and the latest in lighting, audio and video accessories, six lucky car owners will get their cars tricked out.
“It’s fun working on this gig. We come in and there’s something new everyday,” said Rich.
In last week’s Pimp My Ride Malaysia premiere, the audience got to see Mohamad Zariq Mohd Zaki, a 20-year-old student from Kuantan, Pahang who entrusted his hand-me-down car to the crew.
“The crew members and I took turns to drive it down to Kuala Lumpur from Kuantan. It was quite an experience,” shared Altimet.
Although the hosts are not heavily involved in the creative process, they do have a general idea of how the car would turn out in the end.
“We know the direction of the team with a vehicle, but in terms of how the car turns out, it’s based on the person’s interest and what the team can do with it. Of course when you give them a lot of time to work on the car, they can do more but one of the challenges here is that they have to work within a certain time frame,” said Altimet.
In the next episode, the viewers will get to see a questionable-looking car which the rapper drove from Terengganu.
“The air conditioner didn’t work, it smelled and because of a leak, the glove compartment was filled with water. It was a manual car and it didn’t have a gear knob,” Altimet recounted his experience with a laugh.
To see how the car gets all smart and shiny, check out Pimp My Ride Malaysia tonight at 8.30pm on MTV (Astro Channel 713).
Catch Pimp My Ride Malaysia repeats on Dec 8 at 1am and 10pm on MTV (Astro Channel 713).