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6 Shows like Pimp My Ride: Cruising in Style

Adam Pothitos itcherThough we drive cars every single day, most of us will never get the chance to drive a truly unique one, like those featured in ‘Pimp My Ride’. Similar shows like ‘Street Customs’, and ‘Trick My Truck’ offer us a glimpse into the world of vehicle customizations, which often result in some truly spectacular rides. ~ Adam Pothitos

Pimp My Everything

Though there are now multiple similar series, ‘Pimp My Ride’ is the undeniable king of car modification shows. The interactions between the crew, the flashy customizations, and the show’s very title have become legends in the industry.

The show’s title is also instantly recognizable as it has spawned tributes, parodies, and an endless amount of pop-culture references.


Shows Similar to ‘Pimp My Ride’…

‘Inside West Coast Customs’ (Discovery, 2011-2014)

If the titular West Coast Customs shop sounds familiar, it’s probably because it was featured in the first four seasons of ‘Pimp My Ride’. In each episode, car customizer Ryan Friedlinghaus and his crew take a normal vehicle and turn it into a unique piece.

The exact modifications always depend on what a particular client wants as the show frequently features vehicles from major companies and celebrities.

Similarity Match: 90%
‘Inside West Coast Customs’ follows a format that is extremely similar to ‘Pimp My Ride’. The style is distinct enough to make this a unique show that stands on its own feet.

‘Overhaulin’ (TLC, 2004-2008 & Velocity, 2012-2015)

The show has a very unique premise that separates it from similar offerings. People who know someone who owns an old, rusty, or abandoned vehicle nominate them as the show’s “marks”. Once the crew has selected an appropriate mark, they act as if they’re in trouble and steal their cars away using one scheme or the other.

Once everything is ready, Chip Foose and his crew turn the vehicle into a unique masterpiece. Though this premise can become old if you’re planning on binge-watching the series, it’s still an interesting distraction.

And if you are interested in the process then read up on what happens behind the scenes.

Similarity Match: 85%
Unlike ‘Pimp My Ride’, ‘Overhaulin’ is mostly concerned with restoring and tuning the vehicles instead of turning them into flashy custom pieces. The two shows are presented in different ways yet the format feels very familiar.

‘Trick My Truck’ (Country Music Television, 2006- )

The so-called “Chrome Shop Mafia” is a group of veteran mechanics who can turn any truck into a pimped up vehicle. Each episode chronicles the entire process, starting by selecting a deserving trucker and their vehicle.

As the name suggests, the trucks are heavily modified both inside and out. The crew details every part of the process while the modifications are also summarized at the end of every episode.

Similarity Match: 85%
The influences of ‘Trick My Truck’ should be obvious to everyone as the only real difference between this show and ‘Pimp My Ride’ is the focus on truck-like vehicles.

‘Unique Whips’ (Speed Channel, 2005-2008)

Though other shows feature celebrity appearances, ‘Unique Whips’ was dedicated entirely to them. The show is centered on Unique Autosports as the shop customizes the vehicles of several celebrities.

As you might expect, the customizations in ‘Unique Whips’ are often quite subtle when compared to series similar to ‘Pimp My Ride’. Still, the celebrity appearances and the interactions between the crew make for a very entertaining show.

Similarity Match: 80%
Unlike ‘Pimp My Ride’, the crew of ‘Unique Whips’ is mostly interested in making a vehicle presentable instead of flashy.

‘Wrecks to Riches’ (Discovery Channel, 2006-2007)

Barry White and his crew find old muscle cars, restore them and turn them into so-called ‘super muscle cars’; the vehicles are then auctioned off across the United States.

In each episode, White needs to find a wrecked car that is not too destroyed. The restoration and customization process is shown in great detail. The auctions are also an important part of the show as they are all unique in their own right.

Similarity Match: 75%
Unlike similar shows, ‘Wrecks to Riches’ shows us what it’s like to restore cars for profit instead of fun. As such, the show is like a mix of ‘Pawn Stars’ and ‘Pimp My Ride’.


If You Like ‘Pimp My Ride’, You Will Like…

The cars you’ll see in TV series like ‘Pimp My Ride’ may feature some unique characteristics but, in the end, they’re still just cars. Some of these vehicles may even be masterpieces, but you might want to take things a step further!

‘Monster Garage’ (Discovery Channel, 2002-2006)

Host Jesse James and a group of five mechanics and car customizers take a simple vehicle and attempt to turn it into a “monster machine”. Examples include a Geo Tracker modified into a hot air balloon and an F-150 pickup truck modified to shake nuts from trees. 

The customizations in ‘Monster Garage’ are truly unique and they result in crazy vehicles that most of us would love to try out.

‘Monster Garage’ follows a format that should feel familiar to all ‘Pimp My Ride’ fans. This show has far stricter rules, though, despite being about insane vehicles.


Slam the Brakes

Car customization TV shows all have something unique to bring to the table. Some feature crazy modifications while others offer interesting insights into the restoration process. Regardless of what you may enjoy about them, I’m sure you might watch other similar shows.

If that’s true, feel free to share your favorite shows in the comments below!

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