How I Made Money Off Pimp My Ride

Pimp My Ride

The internet just exploded with scandalous news. From Huffington Post to Gawker comes the big reveal that the aught's favorite TV show, Pimp My Ride, was, in fact, a scam.

As Twitter has blown up with the "news" so has my phone. Why? Because ten years ago my ride was pimped. From my fake audition to the bullshit contract they made me sign, here’s what really happened.

I lived in L.A. at the time and was picking up a friend to go to the beach (it was L.A., after all). My friend brought his friend who was a production assistant on a little show on MTV about cars. My car, a white Chevy Cavalier convertible named Betsy, had originally belonged to my grandparents, then my brother, and was finally passed on to me when I was 17. To say that the car was mistreated would be a misuse of "mistreat." The primary means of entering and exiting the car was jumping in, Dukes of Hazzard style. My friend’s friend, who I’ll call Dave cause I can’t remember his name, took one look at my hunker and said, “Have I got the show for you!”

I remember going home and looking up the show. Season one had aired. Already a DailyWorth woman at heart, my first question was: How much can I make off this? I looked up the season-one cars and found a couple already on eBay. In its current condition, my car was worth nothing — pimped, it was worth thousands. I was in.

So yup, the whole scene of me begging to have my car pimped? Not real. My “audition” process was Dave introducing me to the producers, who came up with my angle. I was a 22-year-old film lover working hard to go to grad school. (I was a 25-year-old cocktail waitress planning to move back to New York.)

Next came the part when Xzibit showed up at my house to tell me I’d been chosen. Not my house; not a surprise. What was a surprise was when the producers made me react, and react, and then react again to Xzibit showing up. Finally coercing me into doing a cartwheel. (Note: Don’t do a cartwheel on television. Also, even if you think a show is really small and no one will see it, for goodness' sake, put on some makeup and brush your hair.)

Next they took my car for the quickie makeover. Right? Nope. They actually hijacked my car for several months (though I had a nicely working rental). Finally came the day for the big reveal. They filmed my reaction to the car at least 10 times — before I’d ever even seen it. And when I did, holy hell, poor Betsy looked like Barbie’s Dream Car From Hell. It was neon pink and turquoise and had a video projector and popcorn machine. (Remember, I was a “film lover.”) But why should I describe it? I’ll let Wikipedia do it for me:

A digital projector was mounted on the trunk lid that could pivot so that the projector faced forward and could turn any wall into a drive-in movie theater. A popcorn maker was also installed in the center console and individual DVD players were also stuffed into the headrests so the rear passengers could each watch their own movie.

There was also a suntan lotion dispenser and plenty of other jazz (all of which was mine to keep). It was pimped to the nines — and hideous. But I didn’t care. I drove it once and then promptly stuck it in the garage where it could appreciate value. There was just one teeny snafu: My contract stipulated that I, Brooke Siegel, could NOT sell the car. (I don’t recall how long I had to wait, or perhaps I wasn’t allowed to advertise it as being on Pimp My Ride.) The premise of the show was that this was my dream car — and producers didn’t want people hawking their rides immediately.

So what’s a girl to do? Go to the DMV and gift her car to her boyfriend. Then have him sell it. A clever gambit (if I do say so myself) that MTV's lawyers didn’t find quite so charming. The car sold to a woman in Texas for around $7,500. I used that money to move to New York and start my new life. So thank you, Pimp My Ride.

As for Xzibit, he was lovely — high as a kite and lovely.

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Brooke Siegel is the editor in chief of DailyWorth. You can find her here and on Twitter

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