Affordable ways to pimp your ride

‘Pimp My Ride’, that show on MTV hosted by Xzibit is what opened most of our eyes to the incredible and incredulous things we can do with our cars. There was that one episode when they put a blender in the boot of someone’s car because they had noticed the person liked juice, so why not have a blender so they can make fruit juice on the go? I don’t know, some of those add-onssometimes left me shaking my head.

Why would anyone want to change the awesomeness their car comes with off the production line? Well, that’s because on the production line, all these thousands of cars come off looking pretty much the same and yet people like being different. It really comes down to tastes and preferences of different people. For others, it is a matter of standing out. You can’t afford the super cars that announce themselves so your next best alternative is to customise your budget car so people can pick it out from a line-up and be like, oh, that there is gundi’s car. Whatever your reasons, you have decided to pimp up your ride, so we are here to let you know how to go about it in Kampala. To begin with, there are three areas of your car that can get some pimping, that is the interior, the exterior and the engine.

For the interior, you want to make this area comfy and appealing to your senses so that you and your passengers enjoy all the time they spend inside of your car. Most people usually do the basic pimping of their car interiors by getting better looking seat covers, hanging something from the rear-view mirror, adding a cover to the steering wheel, changing the rugs and/or changing the radio. These are the most common interior enhancements you will find in most of the cars you enter. They usually don’t cost that much and a budget of at most 500k can take care of this. Some of the items can even be found with the street vendors that usually appear when there is jam at the common problematic junctions. If you want to take things further, you have enhancements like adding a small screen so you can watch movies, TV or play games, replacing or adding extra speakers to improve the sound in the car, adding LED mood lights, completely replacing the seats so you have different features like a leather finishing or even a seat that massages you. Other advanced enhancements include adding appliances like a fridge, microwave or even a blender, if love your fruit punch that much. Depending on who you go to and the quality of the parts you add, these advanced changes will cost you anywhere between 1m to 10m plus.

Next up is the exterior of the car. This is where the first impressioning happens, where you will either make your car memorable or an eyesore. Again, there is the basic stuff and the hard cores changes. The basic stuff involves changing the colour, tinting your windows,sports rims, adding some stickers, either for a radio station, company branding, your kids’ school, a cause or the more artsy stuff like tribal patterns, slogans, stripes, etc. You can also add front and back bumpers to protect your car from the perverted boda bodas, taxis and other cars that want to rub up against your sexy machine. The more advanced stuff in this area involves making changes to the body and shape of the car. Desh Kananura, probably the most (in)famous car enthusiast around town changed his striking orange Audi Q7 into a pickup. Other ambitious tinkerers have converted their cars into convertibles (talk about taking things literally), added tractor wheels to small saloon cars, winged doors and so on and so forth. The possibilities are endless here. Budget-wise, exterior modifications usually cost more than interior ones so unless it is a minor change like adding rims, painting or adding neon lights.Make sure your disposable income for this undertaking is sizable. 5m and above is a good starting point.

The final area that can undergo pimping is the engine components that make sure your car gets you from Point A to Point B. Pimping here can involve overhauling the entire engine and replacing it with something stronger, adding an extra exhaust pipe, giving your ride flame-throwing abilities, adding nitro for that extra boost and hissing sound and so on. Once again the possible changes are numerous so it’s really a matter of wallet weight and how unique you want your car to be. Like the exterior modifications, engine changes tend to be costly especially since so much can go wrong, so you need to be confident about your bank balance before opening that bonnet.

In Uganda the most popular upscale pimper of cars is Kings Gadgets which used to be on Kampala Road but moved to Garden City Mall on Yusuf Lule road. They have been in business for as long as I can remember and were the first recommendation everyone I asked gave. There is also UG Rides which showcased at the third annual Auto Show which was hosted in Munyonyo last year. The next best place, if your trust/hustling skills are super high, is Ndeeba which is now the car parts capital of Kampala after Kiseka market was dissolved. If the thought of going through all the options available in Ndeeba and the endless haggling with the vendors while being on the lookout to make sure your existing parts are not stolen gives you a headache, the best option would be to ask the mechanic you frequent to get you the spare parts and come and fix them for you at his garage while you read the day’s papers. The latest entrant on this scene is a gentleman called Godfrey Namunyewho has a garage aptly named ‘Pimp My Ride Uganda’ ( located in Makerere where he uses fibre glass to modify the bodies of cars. If you really want to stand out, this is the guy to go to. He was even been featured on BBC showcasing some of the products of his works, most of which look like futuristic concept cars. If you are looking for an expensive hobby, you can also do the pimping yourself if you have the know-how, or are patient and determined to learn how to do it.

With this information overload, we wish you the best of luck.

ROKE at home ROKE at work ROKE on the go

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