A Pimp My Ride-style television show under development by the Middle East broadcaster MBC will pit rival mechanics against each other to create the most outrageous "restyled" cars. The US TV show sees teams collaborate to create "ghetto-fabulous" customised cars, but the MBC spin-off will feature a new twist, according to Bear Garcia, a car designer who is involved in negotiations for the show.
"The show will be like Pimp My Ride but with a twist, because there will be different garages working against each other to create the best car. I want to be one of the builders [of cars on the show] - I don't think it will be a hosted show." Mr Garcia, a veteran of the custom car scene who has recently moved to Dubai, confirmed he was involved in negotiations for the new show. "We have negotiated a 13-episode agreement for a general customised car TV show with MBC Action, which is in its final stages and can take off any time from now," he said.
Mr Garcia is a former employee of the West Coast Customs "car restyling centre" in the US, which has created customised cars for celebrities including Paris Hilton, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Snoop Dogg. "The customised car market in the region is still young but booming," said Mr Garcia. "That is why I came over here to be part of its growth." A spokeswoman for MBC confirmed that a car-related show was under development, but said the name of the show and its participants were still under negotiation.
"We are developing and producing a new car show to be aired on MBC Action post-Ramadan. It is too early to elaborate further on this," said the spokeswoman. During his employment at West Coast Customs, Mr Garcia appeared as a car builder on the Street Customs TV show, which aired on Discovery's TLC channel. West Coast Customs was also involved in MTV's popular Pimp My Ride show. Following his move to Dubai, Mr Garcia now plans to boost the car modification market in the Middle East and says media exposure is one of the best ways to do this.
"We will also be appearing on MTV Arabia as part of the Custom Design Cup," he said, referring to the first car design competition in the Gulf that is open to all. The Custom Design Cup is organised by the Middle East Motor Tuning Show (MEMTS) and aims to give ordinary people a chance to have their own interior and exterior designs brought to life. Mr Garcia and his team will have a budget of Dh100,000 (US$27,226) to bring the winning designs to life on a Dh180,000 Ford Mustang, with the project's progress followed on TV.
The resulting customised car will then be auctioned at the opening of MEMTS, which runs from October 14-18 at the Expo Centre Sharjah. Winners of the competition for both interior and exterior designs will receive cash prices of $1,000 for each category as well as being featured on the subsequent MTV Arabia's programme about the competition. Mr Garcia is hoping the two potential TV appearances will help pave the way for television shows focusing on customised cars, which have taken off in Europe and the US. Mr Garcia also runs the Bespoke Auto Design garage in Dubai, with his shop featuring in both TV shows.
He said the UAE was a prime location for the business because expatriates and Emiratis were willing to lavish money on customising their vehicles. "In the long term, we plan to have 50 per cent of our business at Bespoke in building cool cars and another 50 per cent in sponsorship deals on TV." firstname.lastname@example.org