Pimp My Ride: Where Are They Now?

At the heart of ‘Pimp My Ride’ was more than just an ambitious promise to transform cars; it was about the unique characters who made those automotive dreams a reality. It first premiered in 2004 on MTV with the charismatic Xzibit as the host, and gave us an inside look into the world of car customization. With a combination of humor, heartwarming stories, and jaw-dropping makeovers, the show isn’t just about the cars, but more about the people and their stories. From installing fish tanks to chandeliers, no request was too outlandish for the talented crew.

In its initial seasons, the show took place at West Coast Customs, showcasing the talents of the likes of the genial manager Quinton Q Dodson, the hands-on owner Ryan Friedlinghaus, tire guru Alex, fabric master Ishmael Ish Jimenez, engineering whiz Michael Mad Mike Martin, accessory aficionado Big Dane, and a team of proficient painters including Aren, Buck, 2Shae, and Luis. But as seasons progressed, changes were afoot: Dodson left to explore new ventures, and by season 5, the focus shifted from WCC to Galpin Auto Sports. Here, the ensemble featured the dynamic Beau Boeckmann, the returning Mad Mike, experts like Jason Ewing and Gyasi, the dedicated Luis, Diggity Dave, Rick, Cabe Sipes, and Shop crew Z.

Over six seasons until its conclusion in 2007, the show invited a plethora of memorable guests, from everyday people with heartfelt tales to celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger making surprise appearances. The true magic, though, lay in the hands of the cast — the crew that turned automotive dreams into reality. Through controversies, shifts, and countless impressive makeovers, the cast members left an indelible mark on fans. With so many memorable personalities, one can’t help but wonder — where are they now? Let’s delve into the lives of these cast members and uncover what they’ve been up to post their ‘Pimp My Ride’ journey.

Where is Ryan Friedlinghaus Now?

Ryan Friedlinghaus has been on quite a journey since the curtains closed on that MTV show. Ryan is still the owner and CEO of West Coast Customs. Ryan has also launched an academy to nurture the next generation of car customization enthusiasts. Unlike MTV’s format where cars are built for chosen participants, ‘Street Customs’ delves into the ongoing customizations commissioned by WCC’s clients.

Ryan encapsulated the essence of the show when he remarked that he wanted to build cars on TV, not for TV. As the show progressed, it evolved from spotlighting individual car enthusiasts to catering to elite celebrities and globally recognized brands. Names such as Carroll Shelby, Shaquille O’Neal, the royal family of Dubai, and Justin Bieber all feature in its extensive clientele list, along with brands like Chronic Tacos and Vans.

However, success often comes with its set of challenges. The economic downturn due to the 2008 financial crisis led him to make tough decisions, laying off half of WCC’s workforce and navigating a market shift from new car customizations to repairs on used cars. In 2010, their designs graced the silver screen when they customized three 1955 Ford F-100 trucks for the film ‘The Expendables’. They even crafted a bespoke vehicle for the blockbuster ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘ in 2015.

The landscape of Ryan’s television career also underwent changes. ‘Street Customs’ metamorphosed into ‘Inside West Coast Customs’. A noteworthy incident from this period was a controversial publicity stunt orchestrated with rapper will.i.am in 2012, in which will.i.am’s DeLorean, customized by WCC at a cost of $700,000, was stolen. In 2017, the television show made its return to Velocity, getting renewed in early 2018.

However, with recognition comes scrutiny. Reports have surfaced concerning underpayment issues at WCC. In 2014, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found WCC in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act for not paying proper wages and maintaining records. Faced with legal action, Friedlinghaus opted to pay a fine totaling $174,422, covering back wages and penalties. Following the settlement, it was confirmed that WCC corrected its violations and is now compliant. Despite these controversies, Ryan lives happily in California with his wife Meagan Friedlinghaus. He and his wife are parents to two sons — Dylan Friedlinghaus and Ryan Friedlinghaus Jr.

Where is Quinton Q Dodson Now?

As the sales manager for West Coast Customs, Quinton was integral to both the show and the workshop’s operations. His camaraderie with Ryan Friedlinghaus, the genius behind WCC, captivated viewers. But as three seasons rolled by, Dodson felt it was time to shift gears and explore new horizons. His path post ‘Pimp My Ride’ illustrates a relentless pursuit of passion, irrespective of the domain.

After leaving the television limelight, Q made a detour into the realm of media by setting up Qarz Productions in New Orleans, focusing on television and film productions. The venture marked his initial foray into a space distinct from automobiles, yet, it showcased his versatility as an entrepreneur. However, the siren call of the automobile world was inescapable. Q’s stint with Galpin Auto Sports, although brief, was noteworthy. Here, he further honed his skills in the niche domain of VIP sales, forging valuable relations across the industry. Simultaneously, he pursued his passion project – the Q Venom. This ambitious endeavor aimed at transforming a 2013 Shelby Super Snake into a beastly spectacle with a slew of custom upgrades.

A significant turn in his journey was his association with Trion SuperCars in Las Vegas. Taking on the mantle of Technical Facilities Manager, Dodson embraced emerging technologies, from 3D Printing to advanced electrical machines, ensuring that the supercars rolling out were nothing short of masterpieces. In his most recent endeavor, Dodson co-founded HR Headlight Restoration, reflecting his constant drive to innovate in the automotive sector. This initiative, although not as glamorous as customizing luxury cars, resonates with his core belief in pragmatic solutions to everyday problems. Now, Quinton leads a contented life in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

Where is Mike Martin aka Mad Mike Now?

From the deserts of Operation Desert Storm to the bustling auto workshops in Los Angeles, Mike Martin, fondly known as Mad Mike, has come a long way. An icon in the car customization industry, Mad Mike’s expertise in automotive electronics was first showcased to the world through ‘Pimp My Ride’. But what has this “Man with the Plan” been up to after the MTV cameras stopped rolling?

Mad Mike’s background as a soldier, serving as a Radar Operator and Technician, provided the strong foundation upon which he built his automotive empire. Post ‘Pimp My Ride,’ Mike continued to shine, making appearances on notable shows such as ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’, ‘Jimmy Kimmel’, and the ‘Funk Master Flex Radio Show’, to name a few. His expert opinion was also sought after when he served as a judge in the first season of Car Warriors.

Away from the limelight, Mad Mike’s passion for cars never waned. He currently works full-time at Galpin Auto Sports in Southern California, an acknowledgment of his unmatched skill in the automotive electronics realm. Furthermore, he has ventured into the world of merchandise with his brand, Mad Mike Connected, where automotive enthusiasts can get a piece of Mad Mike’s creativity.

But there’s more to Mike than just cars and electronics. His big heart extends beyond the garage, dedicating time to community organizations, including the Disabled American Vets, Keep America Clean, Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Personal life remains a treasure for Mad Mike as he cherishes moments with his grandkids, amidst the ever-bustling Los Angeles County. In essence, the journey from a dedicated serviceman to a car customization mogul remains an inspiring tale of passion, determination, and sheer talent, exemplified by none other than Mad Mike.

Where is Ishmael Ish Jimenez Now?

After captivating audiences with his impeccable craftsmanship on the hit show ‘Pimp My Ride’, many fans have wondered what became of Ishmael Ish Jimenez. Today, Ish continues to showcase his talent at West Coast Customs, holding his esteemed position as the fabrics and interior specialist. Beyond his professional prowess, Ish’s personal life also gleams with contentment. His Instagram gives followers a heartwarming glimpse into his role as a devoted father. He frequently shares precious moments spent with his daughter, reflecting his profound love and dedication towards his family.

Where is Xzibit Now?

Xzibit has immersed himself into the booming cannabis industry. He owns the cannabis brand ‘Napalm’, a testament to his innovative spirit and forward-thinking mindset. In 2022, showcasing his knack for strategic partnerships, he collaborated with Buddies Brand Inc., a leading cannabis firm with an expansive retail footprint spanning California, Washington, and Oregon. Not one to rest on his laurels, by 2023, Xzibit further expanded his entrepreneurial ventures. He struck an exclusive licensing and distribution agreement with Flora Arbor, allowing him to cater to the thriving Illinois cannabis market.

But Xzibit’s journey hasn’t always been a smooth one. Post ‘Pimp My Ride’, the rapper-turned-actor faced some financial challenges. 2008 marked a noticeable dip in his earnings, a year in which he didn’t release an album and took on roles in movies like ‘The X-Files: I Want to Believe’ and ‘American Violet’. Though his financial struggles intensified, leading him to file for bankruptcy in 2009 and 2010, Xzibit showed resilience by diversifying his skillset.

Xzibit’s journey into the 2010s included appearances in the crime series ‘Detroit 1-8-7’, a role in the fantasy film ‘Malice n Wonderland’, and a spot in the design team for ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’. 2012 was a significant year for him, marking the release of his album ‘Napalm’, and his tour announcement, Collateral Damage, which was set to span the globe. He also showcased his versatility with an acting stint in ‘Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden’ and appearances on the TV series ‘Hawaii Five-0‘.

In the music world, Xzibit remained active, collaborating with famed acts like Dr. Dre and appearing on the latter’s album ‘Compton’. Fans were thrilled in 2016 when he announced a forthcoming album with Dr. Dre’s production and joined the cast of the hit show ‘Empire’ as Shyne. On a personal note, Xzibit faced challenges, notably the loss of his prematurely born son in 2008. Despite these personal and professional ups and downs, Xzibit has shown resilience, remaining a significant figure in the entertainment industry. Whether through his music, acting, or personal journeys like the Gumball 3000 rally, Xzibit continues to engage and inspire his fans. A father to two children, Gatlyn and Tremaine Joiner (Tre Capital), Xzibit, currently resides in LA County, California.

Where is Beau Boeckmann Now?

In the bustling streets of Los Angeles, the name Beau Boeckmann resonates with anyone with a penchant for sleek cars and impeccable designs. Beyond the realm of television, he has delved deep into the automobile world. Boeckmann holds the esteemed title of president at Galpin Auto Sports (GAS), the iconic American custom car and automobile repair shop. They tailor and remodel vehicles that reflect the unique essence of their drivers. This illustrious shop doesn’t stop at customization – they also cater to specialty parts and accessories, marking them as a holistic automobile haven.

Boeckmann’s work and GAS’s expertise have also brilliantly exhibited in the 2008-2009 television series ‘Knight Rider’. Tasked with crafting the show’s star, the 2008 Ford Mustang’s version, the GT500KR, GAS demonstrated exceptional skill and commitment, reshaping the iconic car in just a week. The term Galpinized has become synonymous with award-winning, custom-designed vehicles under Beau’s leadership. His achievements aren’t limited to television or custom cars.

Over the years, Boeckmann has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including the prestigious Visionary Award from the Peterson Automotive Museum. His induction into the National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame further cements his legacy in the automobile world. Serving on elite panels and committees for giants like Ford and Aston Martin, Beau Boeckmann’s influence and vision continue to drive the automobile industry forward. Currently, Beau enjoys the sunny landscapes of California, residing with his loving wife and two daughters.

Where is Jason Ewing Now?

After the curtains closed on ‘Pimp My Ride’ in 2007, Jason steered his career toward the automobile tech landscape. He started with Autopage, rising to prominence as one of their national trainers and technical support agents. By 2010, his prowess led him to transition to Automotive Data Solutions, where he honed his expertise for nearly a decade. Teaming up with Wade Beebe on training events across the nation, Jason’s passion and dedication were evident. Jason’s role at Idatalink was pivotal, providing both tech support and training. It was only a matter of time before he found his way to Firstech in 2019, where he currently works.

Settling down in the picturesque state of Pennsylvania, Jason cherishes his time with his wife, Amy, and their two daughters, Jenee and Arianna. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as his eldest son, Ryan, has also ventured into the world of car customization. Excelling in tinting and remote starters, Ryan operates out of a shop where Jason once honed his skills. But Jason’s commitment to his community goes beyond cars. As an elected School Board Director in his home district, he serves as vice-president, ensuring a brighter future for the younger generation. But that’s not where his community service ends.

In what might be surprising to some, Jason is a certified firefighter with specializations as a drone operator and vehicle rescue expert. When he’s not responding to a fire call or addressing school-related matters, Jason is engaged online, assisting car enthusiasts on Facebook groups.

Where is Cabe Sipes Now?

After bidding adieu to the spotlights of ‘Pimp My Ride’, Cabe ventured into the fast-paced world of online gaming. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to launch paybackgames.com, an online gaming platform tailored for Xbox enthusiasts. This enterprise thrived under his guidance until he decided to sell it in March 2013. Yet, Cabe’s connection to customization and sound wasn’t ready to fade. Evidently, his passion for audio led him back to an industry he adored.

Founding ‘Custom Audio Reimagined’ marked his illustrious return. Custom Audio Reimagined does real-world reviews of aftermarket products as well as consulting and training for audio companies and installation facilities. Adding another feather to his cap, Cabe recently joined the esteemed ‘Performance Auto and Sound Magazine’ team. As a contributing editor of ‘Cabe’s Corner’, he brings forth insights and reviews that resonate with audio enthusiasts and car aficionados alike. Currently, Cabe lives in Lafayette, Indiana, home.