“CARS” tells the story of a hotshot rookie racecar driven to succeed who discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs, where the town’s offbeat characters help him realize that there are more important things than trophies, fame and sponsorship.
- DOC HUDSON - Paul Newman
- SALLY - Bonnie Hunt
- LIGHTNING McQUEEN - Owen Wilson
- MATER - Larry the Cable Guy
- THE KING - Richard Petty
- RAMONE - Cheech Marin
- LUIGI - Tony Shalhoub
- FLO - Jenifer Lewis
- SARGE - Paul Dooley
- THE SHERIFF - Michael Wallis
- FILLMORE - George Carlin
- LIZZIE - Katherine Helmond
- MACK - John Ratzenberger
- CHICK HICKS - Michael Keaton
“Sally is the only modern car in the town of Radiator Springs,” says John Lasseter, the director of “CARS” and one of Pixar Annimation Studios’ founding members. “She’s a Porsche 911 and she’s beautiful, beautiful.” Adds Lasseter, “It’s interesting that people mostly think of a Porsche as powerful and a guy’s car, but the lines on a Porsche are so beautiful that it fits perfectly for the character of Sally.”
While the virtual Porsche is the only contemporary car appearing in a leading role, Sally Carrera’s selection was not a case of corporate product placement. The model’s unique attributes of being high-performance, yet stylish and sophisticated, led the film’s creators to cast Sally as a Porsche.
While an actual Porsche 911 has 320 horsepower, and can go from 0-60 in less than five seconds, the development of the virtual “Sally” and the movie took more than five years, and paralleled many of the same stages used in the creation of an automobile.
In 200x, Porsche Cars North America provided a 911 to the Pixar Animation Studios during the course of production so that animators, designers, sculptors and story-tellers could see, hear and feel a real Carrera first-hand, and then take that reality and translate it into the animated character of Sally Carrera, voiced by actress Bonnie Hunt.
Similar to the creation of a new vehicle, after initial sketches were done, Pixar created prototypes of their visions with clay models. With a real life-size Porsche 911 in the Pixar studios, artists closely studied the vehicle’s design, movement, and dimensions. Lasseter’s mandate was that the “CARS” cast of characters must appear as real as possible, and he insisted on what he called “truth in materials,” which meant that the animation could not stretch or squash the cars in a way that would be inconsistent with their solid metal frames.
In addition to supporting the creative process, Porsche also provided an actual 911 that was custom-made into a life-size version of Sally Carrera, which is now touring with her co-stars, Lightning McQueen, Mater and Mack, across the country with stops in over 40 cities, and highlighted by an appearance at the film’s world premiere in Charlotte, NC at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
The Hudson was only produced for seven years.The car was produced initially by the Hudson Motor Company of Detroit. it was a 27-time winner on the NASCAR tour in 1952. The car was re-styled into a more conservative version as Hudson Motor’s factory closed in 1954 and the car was made by the newly formed American Motors. By 1958, production ceased and American Motors focused on its other models.
In the movie Cars, Doc Hudson is anything but a speedy character. A car with a mysterious past, Doc Hudson — with crystal blue "eyes," naturally — keeps to himself and is the town doctor and judge (running the local mechanic shop). Doc has no patience for the town’s own hot shot racing car, Lightning McQueen, "played" by Owen Wilson. And in the end, Doc teaches Lightning McQueen a lesson in speed and character.
Lightning McQueen is a racing car who has just lost a big race. He’s big dream is to win Piston Cup, the grand prix of American racing and to be the youngest car ever to win this contest.
He’s on his way to the race when he gets lost, and then, more humiliating, impounded. Once released, he meets the population of Radiator Springs, led by Doc Hudson,, who may be an old-timer but probably knows something about Hudsons that Lightning doesn’t: Because of their "step-down design," they had a lower center of gravity than the Big 3 models of its time and won stock car races by making tighter turns. He can reach an impresive speed of 200 mph and his remarkably quick 4.5-second zero to 60 mile-per-hour time.
Mater is a good old boy, with a big heart and the only tow truck in radiator Springs. Mater Runs Tow/Mater Towing and Salvage and manages the local impound lot. The character quickly grew to become a favorite with the filmmakers, and the inspired choice of Larry the Cable Guy as the vocal counterpart helped to really set things in motion.
Though a little rusty, he has the quickest towrope in Carburetor Country and is always the first to lead a helping hand. Mater sees the bright side of any situation and is the first to befriend McQueen.
The King, Strip Weathers, is a 1970 Plymonth Superbird and a racing legend. He has won more Piston Cups races than any car in history (200 races and seven NASCAR titles), but has managed to keep his priorities straight. He’s a down/home guy who knows that it takes more than trophies to make a true champion.
Above all else, The King values hard work and sticking togheter as a team. He is planning on retiring at the end of the season and Lightning McQueen would give up just about anything to fill his treads.
Ramone is a 1959 Impala low-rider who owns and operates Ramone’s House of Art, the local custom body and paint shop. Ramone is an artist - a true magician with paint and metal, but he hasn’t had anyone to paint in years. So, for now, his only canvas is himself, he repaints himself daily.
While wainting for a paying customer to come he hopes that McQueen will consent to letting him add a few new flourishes. His philosophy is cruise low and slow. He is married to Flo, his sweetheart of many years.
Luigi is a 1959 Fiat 500 who runs the local tire shop, Luigi’s Casa Della Tires, "Home of the Leaning Tower of Tires." A big-hearted, gregarious and excitable Italian, Luigi serves up more than a new set of wheels for his customers with his positive energy. An avid racing fan, Luigi is excited to meet McQueen.
Flo is a 1950’s show car - a sassy, no-nonsense lady, with the biggest heart in town. She runs the local diner, Flo’s V-8 Cafe, the only gas station for miles around, where she still serves the "finest fuel in fifty states." Flo’s is a popular gathering spot for the locals to sip some oil, share some gossip, and listen to a little motherly advice from Flo herself.
While traveling across country as a glamorous Motorama girl, Flo Passed through Radiator Springs and met ramone. It was love at first sight and the two have been married ever since.
Sarge is a 1942 WW2 Willy’s Army Jeep, a patriotic veteran to the core. He proudly flies the Stars and Stripes and begins each day with a rendition of Reveille. If he’s not busy running the local army surplus store, Srage’s Surplus Hut, he can ofteh be found precisly manicuring the law in font of his Quonset hut.
When he’s not working, Sarge spends his time arguing with his next door neighbor, Filmore. Although he likes to complain about his VW bus neighbor, he knows that life is more interesting with Fillmore around. Actor Paul Dooley ("Breaking Away," "Desperate Housewives") sounds off as this regimented vehicle whose bark is worse than his bite.
Sheriff is a 1949 Mercury Police Cruiser. He’s the type of cop who had a few too many doughnuts in his time. he is the keeper of the peace radiator Spring and takes his job very seriously.
He enjoys telling stories about his beloved Mother Road and taking the occasional nap behind the Radiator Springs biliboard.
Fillmore is a 1960 Volkswagen Bus and Radiator Springs’ resident hippie. A believer in individuality and all things natural, he brews his own organic fuel and preaches its many benefits. Visitors can try Fillmore’s specials flavors in the tasting room behind his love-bead and tie-dye-covered geodesic dome.
His many conspiracy theories and "naturally" unkept yard drive his neighbor Sarge, a veteran army jeep, absolutely nuts, but despite their frequent disagreements, they can’t live without one another.
Mack is a 1985 Mack Super-Liner and McQueens trusted driver. Though McQueen may not realize it, in the racing world, Mack is McQueen’s one true friend. He may look like a typical trailer on the outside, but inside Mack’s trailer is nothing but posh luxury.
Ratzenberger -Mack’s voice - said: “My character is rugged, strong, broad-shouldered, yet sensitive. He’s not going to get you there fast, and it’s not going to be flashy. But you’re going to arrive where you intend to go - eventually. He’s very reliable and loyal. He’s got a work ethic and he wants to make sure the job gets done the right way. I love working for Pixar because of the enthusiasm they bring. You want to play with them and be in their sandbox. John inspires you with his passion and direction.”