Finally Malaysians will be able to enjoy the similar magic and joy that Xzibit and the auto-pimping crew of West Coast Customs once brought to countless car owners in the States as our own MTV Pimp My Ride Malaysia will soon go on air! Premiering this 30th November over at Astro’s Channel 713, make sure to tune in at 10pm as our local rapper Altimet and MTV VJ Richard Herrera will take you through the journey of pimping out the old and rusty rides that lurks in our streets.
But before the airing of the first ever episode, we were invited to take a peek on the ongoing project that they were working on and have a little chat with the two hosts over at Racing Fit Motorsports in Bandar Sunway, and get an early hint of how the show in going to rock our auto scene in Malaysia. Both Altimet and VJ Rich were more than keen to share their part of the show, which was no surprise to have them hosting the local version of Pimp My Ride.
Q: How is this one (Pimp My Ride Malaysia) different from the one Xzibit hosted earlier on in the States?
Altimet: I think the first one is obviously we are doing it in Malaysia, so we are bound to follow the laws here, just like in the US where they followed theirs. It is also different in fact that there are two of us, so it is more of a team effort. And you will get to see cars that you would not be able to see on Pimp My Ride US like our own Protons and Peroduas.
Q: What are the process included in bring in getting the car to be pimped out? Is it similar to what we have seen in the earlier Pimp My Ride version?
VJ Rich: Well basically his (Altimet) job is to go and meet the person and get to know them, pick the car and he brings the car to me here at the shop. And it may be a bit different from than what Xzibit had to do because the guys at West Coast Customs, they have all worked together before. But a lot of our people, they know each other but they never really had to work together in one project.
So they all come together and get their ideas down, and then they see the plan and they execute it. It is really cool, especially for this one as it is for the first time and you know things are not going to go as smooth as you want them to, but they pulled it together for this car and it really came together nicely. If you saw the car when it first came in, it was totally a different thing. Seeing it in TV is one thing, but to actually see it and getting into the car itself is a whole other experience.
Q: So this first car was from Kuantan; did you have to drive the car all the way here?
Altimet: We drove it, but of course not all the way. We actually took turns in driving it, and also for the second one that was from Terengganu.
Q: In shooting this first project makeover, what was the most challenging moment the both of you had to go through?
VJ Rich: I’d say at least for us, for the shooting, was that there were so much going on at different times, which means that you really need to be there all the time when the camera is shooting because when they put together all the footage, there is a lot of good stuff that even we do not get to see. Some of the interesting stuff happens when they are tearing apart the car, the crew’s collaborating on something, trying to figure out how to get it to work.
I can only imagine what they have to go through because they are here a lot more than we are. For us, the challenges are in the form of capturing everything, on what’s going on because there were a lot, and we try to get the best of the entertaining stuff.
Q: Do you guys have a creative input, or a say in how the car should look like, or is it also a surprise to you guys?
Altimet: We know how it is going to go, but we don’t know how or what details are going to go into it. Like for this car, he likes superhero movies. So then, the word goes that we will be making an “Iron Man” theme into it. So we know it is using an “Iron Man” theme, but we have no idea it is going to look like that. So I think, in terms of how it looks, it is based on the person’s interest and what the team can actually do on a limited time. Of course if given more time, they could do a whole lot more stuff. But the best part of the challenge is a limited time to complete the whole project.
Q: So what is your favorite ride, either locally on internationally?
VJ Rich: I like those Protons, they are pretty tough cars. Because the guy was telling me that the engine was actually quite good and if you maintain it, it will actually outlast the bodywork of over ten times or so. The body will fall apart way before the engine will. Because they look like 100-years old but they still run! And to survive in this heat, they have to be solid cars.
Q: Could you tell us a bit of the second car, and the condition it was in; let’s say in a scale of 1 – 5?
VJ Rich: They are chopping it down as we speak, and it is a Satria. And I’d put a 2 for it. It was pretty bad.
Altimet: Of course, it was running. It had sports suspension on it, and you know that they are quite hard. But I think there was something wrong with the suspension. The aircond did not work, and it smells because there were leaks on the roof, and also because of that, there was a puddle of water in the glove compartment.
Q: And you have to drive this one also?
Altimet: Yes, we drove this one also. But like mentioned earlier, it was not all the way that we drove it. And this car did not have the gear knob, so shifting was pretty tricky.
Q: Were you awkward of the conditions of the car that you have to pick up?
Altimet: No, because I have been in some cars that are as bad as that. I had a car; my first car had its own problems, so I can understand the situation. Maybe at that point of time, you just can’t make your car better, so it really left some memories.
VJ Rich: It is like a snowball effect; one little thing goes wrong, everything else can also go wrong. Because if you let something go, it will just keep getting worse and before you even know it, it just takes over the whole car.
Q: Does this rebuilding project bring you any memories of your first car, and what was your first car while we are still in the topic?
Altimet: My first car was the old Toyota Corolla, the KE70 if I am not mistaken. I bought it for RM7500 cash.
Q: Do you still have it?
Altimet: I don’t, I sold it to someone. It just could not run anymore because the engine block cracked, and then I sold it for RM2500. But it was a good five years with it, it went to Genting, Singapore, Penang, it had gone almost everywhere and had served me very well. And now it has transformed into a drift car, and it is actually a very good car for drifting, right?
Q: Yes, it is. And what about yours, Rich?
VJ Rich: 1985 Ford Bronco. It’s not like the old one like O.J. Simpson’s, but it is the big and boxy one, and of course it comes with a couple of stories with it. I had to drive it to high school every day; 35-40 minutes drive everyday on the highway and it did not want to go on the highway. It made a really loud noise when you step on the gas, and it is not that “acceleration” kind of sound. But I had it for quite a while and drove it into the ground. And since it was ‘85, the years were hard on it. It has to go through the winter where they salt the roads, and the salt tears up the metal where it rusts up the body and create holes in the floor and the water will come up.
But the moment when I know it is the end for me is when the upholstery on the ceiling starts to fall. So when you are sitting in the car and you can’t see, so you have to pull it up to see upfront. That was the worst for me; everything else I could handle but that is just the limit.
Q: Those are some nostalgic memories. As for this almost-done pimped ride, have you guys tried sitting in the car?
VJ Rich: Oh yeah, it is very relaxing in the car. It is like in a movie theater.
Altimet: We actually watched the Avengers in there, the whole movie.
An “Iron Man” theme with the interior that matches a movie theater; those are some pretty big hints on what they are working on here. But whatever it is, surely it is an outstanding job done by our local “pimpers” that even both Altimet and VJ Rich were feeling comfortable enough to sit back and enjoy the whole 2+ hours of the famous Marvel Comic movie.
So again, make sure to not miss the first episode of MTV Pimp My Ride Malaysia brought to you by Xpax’s “Whatchuwant?” showing this Friday, 10pm at Astro Channel 713 and witness the transformation of Zarith’s crumpled blue Saga into a serious head-turner!