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Pimped-Out Car

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"I don't get it. Who wastes money tricking out a car? It's frivolous and ridiculous. Not to mention it compromises the integrity of the vehicle."

Any car that's weighed down with aftermarket accessories, improvements, and optional trim. Done well and tastefully by a professional installer, this can result in a Cool Car, especially if the car becomes speedy, or durable, or loaded with gadgets that do something useful, like a towing winch on an off-road Jeep. Unfortunately, whereas in The '70s, the misguided customizer could only fit an 8-Track player and an imitation gold steering wheel, the onward march of technology also means an ever increasing amount of pointless electronic window-dressing can be fitted into a car, such as neon lights underneath, multiple subwoofers and a loud amplifier. In some cases, this can result in a Rice Burner. Some add-ons, like hydraulics, may be cool and fun on a Low-Rider, but you can't exactly fight crime with them.

Some of the improvements can even be mundane, like Cup Holders.

Not to be confused with a hot rod, which involves taking stuff out of a car and then stuffing a big V8 engine in.

A Super-Trope to Thememobile (character-style pimping) and Itasha (otaku related pimping the car). May relate to Absurdly-Long Limousine.

For the clothing equivalents, see Pimped-Out Dress and Pimped-Out Cape.

This trope is Truth in Television, as everyone has at least a chance to see a modified car of this type, either a Shelby Mustang or a Hennessey Venom GT. So, No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Anime and Manga 
  • F is a famous example in The '80s, where the tractor that belongs to the protagonists of the series was modified with an old Porsche engine and is capable to race to 150+ km/h and even having a Nitro, seen in the first episodes that can easy overpass a racing citycar and make some competence to a BMW.
  • Wangan Midnight's authorical ancestor, Shakotan Boogie, features lots of Bōsōzoku-styled lowriders ranging from the main characters' Soarer, Fairlady Z, Skyline, and even minor character cars such as AE86 and other cars, to the extreme. Wangan Midnight itself doesn't feature this too much, with the closest we can get being Tatsuya Shima's widebody "Black Bird" Porsche 911 Turbo.
    • Nobu Setoguchi's RX-7 in the C1 Runner sequel/spinoff was also done this way.
  • GTO: The Early Years: Eikichi and Ryuji steal a König KS Benz car from a mechanic shop, mistakenly thinking it was the Cedric (also stolen) that they'd asked the mechanic to modify to look like a König. Eikichi then modifies it further by making the doors open vertically and adding teeth and eyes to the front.

    Comic Books 
  • Tank Girl. Several times, in fact!
  • Archie once had a shiny new exterior installed over his beloved, beat-up antique jalopy. It didn't fool anyone for long because "Betsy's" interior was as broken-down as ever.
  • The Batmobile.
  • The Redbird, which has a lot of the same improvements as the Batmobile plus a couple unique to itself.
  • Sin City has its fair share as almost every car has a souped-up engine and is in pristine condition for vintage automobiles.
  • Spider-Man: Overdrive has this as his superpower: he can turn any motor vehicle he gets near into a heavily armed, turbocharged street machine while also adding loads of bling as well. Unfortunately, this is all he can do, which means that any time he gets stuck without a car he's completely useless.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Tuner Cars in Cars that come upon Mack nodding off on the interstate and nudge him off the road.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live Action TV 
  • Walter Denton's jalopy on Our Miss Brooks. Although usually a wreck, sometimes he amps up the engine, other times he simply adds seat covers.
  • The entire premise of Pimp My Ride is to create such vehicles.
  • Psych: One episode sees Shawn and Gus investigating a chop shop. Shawn gets Gus's car pimped out in the process, much to the latter's horror due to it being a company car (and the modifications costing their entire paycheck). Shawn insists the new look is "fresh to death."
  • Naturally this is occasionally seen on Top Gear, although it's not always 'Pimping' in the true sense.
    • One episode had them turning a Renault Avantime into a Mitsubishi Evo beater which was all about tuning the mechanicals not sticking TVs into the headrests.
    • The cheap police car challenge, where they strapped paint guns, wheel spikes and numerous blue lights on some old bangers was more in the spirit.
    • The amphibious car challenge where James May equipped his Triumph Herald with a detachable mast and a sail.
    • In another episode Clarkson namechecked Pimp My Ride, declared the typical results to be ridiculous and then set out to 'Quaint My Ride' by stripping out the interior of an old Mercedes S-Class and replacing it with an interior based on his house - wooden floor, stove, wingback armchair and a bookcase.
    • And then there was the attempt to transform a Fiat Multipla into the "ultimate car for old people." Among its many "improvements" it featured a 50cm long foam rubber front bumper, a speedo that only goes up to 20 mph, a transport cage on the roof for taking along a cat, a wooden box on the roof with a balloon and fireworks that are remotely activated so you can find you car again if you forgot where you parked it, gigantic side mirrors, cushion seats in the rear, climate control that could be set to either hot or cold (which was a failure as James May pointed out, because for old people there should be only one setting - "just right"), and the whole car was painted "hearing aid beige".
  • Though it's just an ordinary vehicle, in Better Call Saul, novice drug dealer Daniel "Pryce" Wormald's brand-new Hummer H2 - with spinning rims and flame paint job - gets treated like this because of his reckless spending. At one point, Nacho calls it "a school bus for six year old pimps", and upon receiving it as part of a tradeoff with Daniel that Mike had brokered, he announces his intentions to have it destroyed at a chop shop.

    Music Videos 
  • In The Offspring's music video "Pretty Fly For a White Guy" (not to be confused with the trope it named), the titular white guy added hydraulics to his car, which might have been a pinto.
  • My Chemical Romance's "Na Na Na" video. The Trans Am with a rocket launcher.

    New Media 
  • There's a website called Ultimate Taxi, and that taxi seems to fit this.

  • Many customized cars based on real cars in Hot Wheels are this trope, either original customizations or based off real custom cars in car shows (for example, the 2014 SEMA Show Mustang). Some original Hot Wheels cars made real, like the Twin Mill, are basically Pimped-Out Hot Rods.

    Video Games 
  • Need for Speed features this since High Stakes, with Underground expanding on this idea. It was removed in Hot Pursuit 2010, meaning that it wouldn't return (other than Shift 2: Unleashed and possibly The Run) until the 2015 reboot onwards.
  • Juiced obviously follows up from Need for Speed, but the game's racing style has more emphasis on racing simulation until the more arcade-y Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights released.
  • Forza allows you to do your cars Need for Speed-style, before bringing them to race tracks. Hot Wheels expansions in later games are also filled with this trope by default due to having cars made real in custom car shows.
  • An option for cars in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and its successor Grand Theft Auto V. Just make sure you store one in a garage to keep it. Doubly so in Grand Theft Auto Online because it's an MMO and real people are liable to be jealous of your sweet ride.
  • Saints Row 2 had even more and better car-pimping options than San Andreas did.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Ratchet's ship in Going Commando could be massively upgraded with weapons, boost, shield, that affected its exterior. Also some purely ornamental shape upgrades, and many different paint jobs that could be unlocked then purchased. Up Your Arsenal has the same ship, but it only has the cosmetic upgrades in that game.
  • Rage (2011) gives you upgrade options for engine, armor, suspension, etc.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune from the third game onwards introduces the Dress-Up system. Completing Ghost Battle races fills up a meter that, when full, grants you new cosmetic upgrades for your vehicle, such as tires, spoilers, decals, and even neon underglow. These parts don't influence your car's performance, so you can be as plain or as ricey as you want.

    Web Animation 

  • Poked fun at in the Strong Bad Email "Car", where Homestar tricks out his hat.
  • In Mystery Skulls Animated, Lewis uses ghost magic to pimp out what was originally a delivery truck into a dekotora monster covered in pink flames, skulls, and thorny vines.

    Western Animation 
  • Every car in Motorcity looks amazing, and are often locked and loaded with laser guns, cannons, and all sorts of tricked-out gadgets.

Alternative Title(s): Pimped Out Vehicle