Number 95 Lightning McQueen is still a hotshot racecar, but his rookie days are past him. Now a permanent resident of Radiator Springs, Lightning has become a bona fide worldwide celebrity as winner of four Piston Cups.
After his latest win, Lightning returns home to enjoy life in the slow lane for a while with sweetheart Sally, best friend Mater and the rest of his Radiator Springs family. His off-season is unexpectedly cut short when Mater inadvertently prompts Lightning to enter the World Grand Prix, a high profile, three-part exhibition race that will take him around the globe.
With a fresh custom paint job and real, working headlights, Lightning sets off to Japan, Italy and England with Mater in tow for the adventure of a lifetime. But competing against the fastest cars in the world tests more than his racing skills when Lightning realizes his wide-eyed best friend may not be the pit chief nor ambassador he needs to navigate the unfamiliar international terrain.
Quotable Quote: "Ka-Chow! Float like a Cadillac, sting like a Beemer."
In the now-popular tourist destination of Radiator Springs, the rusty old tow truck Mater has a number of roles, including proprietor of Tow Mater Towing and Salvage, grand storyteller and the heart and soul of the town. But Mater's favorite title is best friend to Lightning McQueen. Mater values each and every dent he’s earned on his escapades with Lightning over the years, and anxiously awaits further fun with his friend when Lightning returns with his latest Piston Cup.
Cheerful, honest and loyal to a fault, Mater rushes to his best friend's defense, which ultimately lands the off-duty Lightning in an international racing exhibition: the World Grand Prix. When Lightning invites Mater to come along as a member of his pit crew, Mater leaves Carburetor County for the first time ever.
Not long after their arrival in Tokyo, Mater learns that the world outside of Radiator Springs is decidedly different and its newfangled ways may take some getting used to. But when he's mistaken for an American secret agent, he falls into an intriguing adventure of his own. Caught between supporting his best friend on a globe-trotting racing competition and his new role in international espionage, Mater ends up in an explosive chase through the streets of Tokyo and Europe alongside a team of British spies and international bad guys.
Quotable Quote: "No need to watch where I'm goin'. Just need to know where I've been!"
Sally, a baby blue Porsche 911 Carrera, is the proprietor of Radiator Springs' Cozy Cone and Wheel Wagon Motels and the apple of Lightning McQueen's eye. Longing for Lightning's return from his latest Piston Cup race season, Sally is looking forward to a long drive with "Stickers," as she affectionately calls Lightning.
When Lightning commits to racing in the World Grand Prix the same night of his return, Sally remains steadfastly supportive of her star racecar. She even convinces Lightning to take his best friend Mater along for the ride of a lifetime. Though Sally stays behind in Radiator Springs, even she lights up for the open-wheeled racing cars from Europe — but only Lightning truly makes her motor purr.
Quotable Quote: "Come on, let's take a drive!"
Ramone owns and operates Ramone's House of Body Art, Radiator Springs' custom body and paint shop. Ramone is an artist — a true magician with paint and metal. There was a time when his only canvas was himself, so he repainted himself daily. But since Lightning McQueen helped put Radiator Springs back on the map, Ramone has had his share of customers — including the star race car himself.
Before heading off to the World Grand Prix, Lightning stops by Ramone’s for a new paint job... and Ramone does him up gooood.
Quotable Quote: "Low and slow."
Flo is a sassy, no-nonsense lady with the biggest heart in Radiator Springs. She runs the local diner, Flo's V-8 Café, the only gas station for miles around, where she still serves the "finest fuel in 50 states."
Flo is Ramone's main squeeze. As a touring Motorama girl in the 1950s, Flo was passing through Radiator Springs and when she met Ramone, she was hooked.
Quotable Quote: "Well, then let's cruise, baby.
Lizzie is a Radiator Springs original. She's a little old lady, but still an active businesswoman who uses her moxie to sell bumper stickers, mud flaps and other Route 66 memorabilia from her curio shop. She's as feisty as she is brash.
Lizzie's unswerving frankness and offbeat comments keep the townsfolk and tourists on their toes, even though she has no idea what she's just said.
Quotable Quote: "You keep talking to yourself people will think you're crazy."
Sheriff is the local law enforcement and the keeper of the peace in Radiator Springs. He takes his job very seriously. Sheriff enjoys telling stories and taking the occasional nap behind the Radiator Springs billboard. That's where he was when Lightning McQueen first zoomed into town years ago, which led to a messy car chase that didn't end well.
These days, Sheriff welcomes the hotshot racer Lightning home to Radiator Springs with all four tires.
Quotable Quote: "Not in my town you don't!"
Radiator Springs' resident hippie Fillmore is an easy-going, peace-loving 1960s Volkswagen van. And as his friend and neighbor Sarge likes to say, "once a hippie, always a hippie." At his popular shop Fillmore's Organic Fuel, Fillmore brews his own fuel, which he sells with Bohemian accessories like tie-dyed mud flaps.
But when he learns that the World Grand Prix will be run exclusively on the alternative fuel Allinol, Fillmore closes up shop and signs on as the fuel expert for Team Lightning McQueen.
Quotable Quote: "You know, some automotive yoga could really lower your RPM's, man."
Radiator Springs resident Luigi is a big-hearted, gregarious and excitable Italian Fiat 500. A tire virtuoso and owner of Luigi's Casa Della Tires, he and his sidekick Guido join Lightning and Mater as members of Team Lightning McQueen for the World Grand Prix. Luigi is also an aficionado and fanatic for all things Italian, and is particularly enchanted with Ferrari race cars.
When the competition takes the team to his hometown of Porto Corsa, Italy, Luigi is over the moon to introduce the Radiator Springs crew to his charming village and the wonderful ways of Italy. His family welcomes the gang from Radiator Springs in a big, passionate Italian way: Amore!
Quotable Quote: "Whitewalls say 'Look at me, LOVE me...'"
Guido, the little Italian forklift, is the backbone of Casa Della Tires. He's Luigi's assistant and best friend, and together they are the biggest Ferrari racing fans in Carburetor County. A car of few English words other than "pit stop," Guido is a force to be reckoned with when he's changing tires in the pits during a race.
Joining Team Lightning McQueen for the World Grand Prix, Guido will get to show off his turbo-charged, pedal-to-the-metal pit stops on the global stage... and maybe, just maybe, he'll see some Ferraris!
Quotable Quote: "Pit stop!"
Green Army Jeep Sarge is a patriotic veteran who runs the Radiator Springs Army surplus store, Sarge’s Surplus Hut. Sarge’s no-nonsense attitude often leads to bickering with his hippie friend, neighbor and polar opposite, Fillmore. Despite their differences, the two are almost inseparable — even throughout their world travels.
A security specialist with military connections around the globe, Sarge joins Lightning and Mater at the World Grand Prix as a member of Team Lightning McQueen.
Quotable Quote:"The '60s weren't good to you, were they?"
Mack is Lightning McQueen's trusted long-haul driver, crisscrossing the country from race to race, always with a smile on his grill. After dropping Lightning off in Radiator Springs with his fourth Piston Cup championship trophy, Mack sets off with the rest of the pit crew for a well-deserved vacation.
Who knew that Lightning would end up jetting off to a race around the globe in the World Grand Prix?
Quotable Quote: "Thank the manufacturer! You're alive!"
Doc Hudson is a car of few words, but many talents. He not only serves as the Town Judge he's also Radiator Springs' resident doctor. Doc is respected and admired by the townsfolk for the way he looks out for their health and tends to their aches and pains.
Before landing in Radiator Springs, Doc was a Piston Cup series racecar, when tracks were dirt and cars were tough. His low center of gravity and cornering ability were tough to beat.
Doc's racing days ended when he arrived in Radiator Springs, but with Lightning McQueen in town he tries on those old racing tires and realizes he's still got it. At the 200-lap Piston Cup tie-breaker, Doc became the rookie's pit crew chief... which continues to this day.
Quotable Quote: "Turn right to go left."
Mia and Tia
Mia and Tia haven't missed a race in over a year, but they'd be the first to tell you that they are not race fans, they are Lightning McQueen fans! Painted in his signature red and covered in Lightning stickers, the girls scream like crazy when he poses for photos, and they scream like crazy all the way home just thinking about him.
With Lightning missing in action, his two biggest fans Mia and Tia were devastated, and that's when Chick Hicks swooped in to console them... loading them up with his own merchandise and a free Hostile Takeover Bank sponsored paint job. Mia and Tia accepted the offer, not because they were Chick Hicks' fans, but because that color green complemented their eyes.
Quotable Quote: "We love you Lightning!"
Dale Jr. — a.k.a. Junior — is the noteworthy Piston Cup racer #8. Always a gentleman, Junior has deep respect for his fellow racecars, especially The King who has always been an inspiration to him.
Racing sensation Dale Jr. has wasted no time gathering victories and creating a commanding track presence, since winning Piston Cup Rookie of the Year honors in 2000. His drive and charisma have scored with fans too — he's earned The Piston Cup Most Popular Driver award four years running! But when it's all said and done he's really just a shy guy, who enjoys quiet time with his friends and family.
Quotable Quote: "Wow. Unbelievable. That many wins in a single season."
Claude Scruggs is the high-performance, pedal-to-the-metal Piston Cup Leakless racer #52. Some would say Leakless Adult Dripping Pans is not a prestigious sponsorship, but Scruggs would disagree. He's been the #52 yellow, black and white racer for more than two decades and he wears the Leakless logo with pride.
His fan base might be a bit older but thanks to the automotive boom of the late 1940s there are a lot of them and their enthusiasm for the sport and for Scruggs is so intense they can barely contain themselves.
Mario is a legendary Piston Cup racecar with a zest for speed. He believes every day is a beautiful day for racing.
Considered one of the most universally successful racers in history, Mario Andretti has done it all! Name a race circuit, series, or track and you can be assured that Mario has garnered victories on every one of them. Not many cars know this, but Mario is actually an old friend of Doc Hudson. They were fierce competitors on the track, but good friends off the track.
Quotable Quote: "Good morning to you... Fred."
Aiken Axler — Piston Cup Nitroade racer # 28 -- captured the 2003 Vitoline Rookie-of-the-Year honors in his first full season of Cup competition. He has finish 12th, 7th, and 8th in the final point standings over the past three years.
Off the track, Axler enjoys maintaining his top racing form by exercising daily and practicing a form of meditation called Tai Rod. He and fellow Piston Cup racer, Darrel Dragger, formed the alternative country trio "Three Cycle" and performed at the 2004 Piston Cup awards ceremony!
Winford Bradford Rutherford — Piston Cup RPM racer # 64 — values his sponsorship. An Ivy League school may seem like an unlikely place to get started in the racing world and yet only a couple of years ago, Rutherford was grille-deep in physics books, learning about momentum, velocity, and anything else that would give him an edge on the track.
His doctor and lawyer friends at the country club thought he was crazy, but the studying paid off. Winford is now a highly respected Piston Cup racer. He uses his vast knowledge of physics to cheat the wind and outmaneuver his fellow racers, who affectionately call him "The Professor."
Chick Hicks is a racing veteran with a chip on his shoulder, a ruthless competitor who has cheated his way into more second-place finishes than any other car. He always finished runner-up just behind the world's greatest racing champion, The King.
He'd been counting down the seasons to The King's retirement so that he could take over the Dinoco sponsorship. He was sure "the beginning of the Chick era" was set to kick off. Unfortunately, the only thing standing in his way was Lightning McQueen, the hotshot rookie.
In the final lap of the Piston Cup tiebreaker, there was nothing between Lightning and the finish line. But when Chick rammed The King into the wall, Lightning went back to help the race veteran... and Chick won that day, but nobody much noticed. It was Lightning who won their hearts. Chick didn't even get offered the big Dinoco sponsorship!
Quotable Quote: "Seriously, that was some pretty darn nice racin' out there. By me!"
The King, Strip Weathers, is a racing legend. He has won more Piston Cup races than any other car in history, 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 together as a team. He planned on retiring at the end of the season.
The King has seen it all. From his humble beginnings on the Piston Cup circuit to the glitzy sponsorship and media attention he has today. This seven-time Piston Cup Champion is the winningest race car in all of Piston Cup history. He loved every second of his racing career, but The King was ready for a slower pace. He looked forward to more time with his queen, Mrs. The King.
Quotable Quote: "He's the real deal, Junior. The Hudson Hornet was my inspiration."
Bob Cutlass is a world-renowned play-by-play sports announcer. He's covered every sporting event from tractor pulls to monster truck rallies, including the last three Auto Games. But he's most famous for teaming up with former Piston Cup racer Darrell Cartrip to announce Piston Cup racing on the Racing Sports Network.
Bob provides the insight and depth of analysis that sets him apart from his colorful partner. Though renowned for being cool and collected, when the excitement of the Piston Cup tie-breaker came down the last straightaway, even he was speechless.
Quotable Quote: "Welcome to what has become, quite simply, the biggest event in the history of racing!"
Darrell Cartrip is a legendary Piston Cup race car. Always ready with a wild exaggeration, Darrell delights fans alongside smooth-talking Bob Cutlass for every major Cup event, calling the play-by-play and adding humor and personality to the commentary.
A Southern gentleman and ex-Piston Cup champion, DC knows what it takes to win. He's been down there on the track, in the pits and in the grease, and he'll tell you all about it. But when the green flag drops to start the race, he's all business. That is, until he shouts his signature, "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity boys! Let's go racing!"
Quotable Quote: "Tickets to this race are hotter than a black leather seat on a hot summer day!"
Wingo is a member of the car gang that terrorized Mack. He enjoys traveling in a tight caravan, where he can make quick maneuvers and show off his amazing handling — provided by the numerous spoilers mounted to his rear!
In grade school, Wingo's outrageous paint schemes didn't follow the school's strict paint code, and got him into big trouble. These days, Wingo makes a good living designing paint schemes for an illustrious clientele at his own custom paint shop. Now that his paint jobs don't get him into trouble Wingo and his gang find new ways to get into trouble.
Quotable Quote: "Right back at ya!"
The leader of the gang, Boost does not suffer from the lack of self-esteem. Equipped with a neon under-car kit that lights up his whole body, Boost can impress any car on the road with the flip of a switch, including himself.
Boost wasn't always a gang leader. When he was younger he worked at a garage for elderly cars, where he befriended an early drop-tank racer who turned him onto the ways of racing with Nitrous. Learning from the master who racked-up records on the Great Salt Lake, Boost promised the old timer he'd keep the traditions alive.
Quotable Quote: "We got ourselves a nodder!"
DJ is a proud member of a pumped-up car gang and partially responsible for Lightning McQueen falling out of his trailer and getting lost. With dozens of speakers and a jukebox built into his paneling, DJ combines his love of loud music with his love of harassing cars on the highway.
From an early age DJ, whose full name is Devon Montegomery Johnston the third, was interested in all kinds of music. He had a massive appetite of collecting records and was a gifted student at an East Coast music conservatory.
One evening at a friend's party, Devon met Wingo. An expert in paint and body modification, Wingo designed a custom paint job for Devon and wicked sound system to match. Now going by the name DJ, Devon revels in his treble, but never loses touch with his base!
Quotable Quote: "What up?"
Snot Rod is an early '70s muscle car and a member of the car gang. With massive rear slicks and a protruding blower, Snot Rod has developed a sneezing problem that gets him into trouble. When he sneezes, his tires burn out and fire shoots out of his tailpipes.
Snot Rod took his doctor's advice and headed west to find some clean, crisp mountain air to relieve his chronic allergies. On the way, he met up with Boost, DJ, and Wingo! The highly modified car group made him the gang's head of security and crowd control.
He still has allergies and explosive sneeze attacks, but his ability to clear the road of pesky traffic is unmatched and much appreciated by his buddies who like the road all to themselves.
Quotable Quote: "Ah... Ah... Ah-choo!"
Red is a gentle giant; a big strong fire engine who's painfully shy and quite sensitive. When he's not cheerfully helping out his neighbors, you can find him lovingly watering the flowers he grows in town, or hiding out in the firehouse where he lives beneath the Court House.
Red may not be a fire truck of many words, but what he doesn't say he shows through his generous actions. Whether it's putting out a tire fire or caring for the beautiful flowers in town, Red is there to support and protect his beloved town.
Red takes negative comments about his town very personally. So if you have something bad to say about Radiator Springs you'd better watch out. Because, if there's one thing Red is not afraid of, it's his emotions.
Quotable Quote: Red's too shy for words
Tex is the owner of Dinoco Oil. Tex and Dinoco represent the best sponsorship any race car could dream of. Don't let the horns mounted on his grill fool you, he's a big-softie. He'll give you the hard sell in the boardrooms, but he understands the "there's more to racing than just winning."
Tex has been Dinoco's team owner and talent scout for over 20 years. Sure, he's a smooth-talker from the Lone Star State, but he's also a genuine guy with a big heart. He knows it takes more than flash and big talk to win — it takes loyalty, smarts and a lot of hard work. And Tex ought to know; he started Dinoco with just one tiny oil well, and now he runs the largest oil empire in the world.
Quotable Quote: "Come on, King, make us proud, boy!"
Hailing from the salt-corroded roadways of the east coast, Fred is the epitome of a rust bucket. He's a loyal Rust-eze customer and a diehard Lightning McQueen fan. His personalized plates read, "Fred," and if given the chance, he'd give his front bumper to be noticed by Lightning — then again, it's so rusty, it may just fall off!
Fred truly is racing's number-one fan. Some cars have better wax jobs, or attached bumpers, but do they have the heart and dedication Fred has? Not a chance. Between Fred's racing blog, podcast, Web sites and daily call-ins to numerous radio shows, it's amazing Fred has time to get to any actual races.
Quotable Quote: "He knows my name. He knows my name!"
Michael Schumacher is a Ferrari F430, the most famous Formula One race car in the world, and Luigi and Guido's idol. So when he cruises into Luigi's Casa Della Tires and orders tires for himself and his two Ferrari friends, Luigi and Guido do what anyone would do... they faint!
With over 90 wins and seven championship titles to his name, Formula One racer Schumacher is one of the most celebrated race cars ever. Making his way up the ranks of the European road racing leagues, he went on to achieve a racing career so successful that his record will most likely never be surpassed.
But when it comes down to it, there's nothing Michael loves more than spending time with his family.
Quotable Quote: "Lightning McQueen told me this was the best
place in the world to get tires."
Tractors are dozy, docile, and dopey. They may not be the brightest bunch, but they make great fun for Mater and Lightning McQueen when the two go tractor tipping. When they're not chewing weeds in the fields, they're wreaking havoc in town, driving Frank, their chaperone, red with anger.
Tractors are hard workers. They enjoy what they do, plowing through the fields on a nice warm day, and then falling asleep under the moonlight. But every so often they wake up to the sounds of snorting and giggling trailing off into the distance, and they find themselves lying on their backs staring up at the stars. But they don't mind. It's actually kind of nice to sleep lying down for a change.
Quotable Quote: "Oh! Oh! Oh! Mooooooooooooo!"
Frank the Combine
Frank is a hardworking combine. He spends his days in the fields harvesting, threshing, and cleaning grain — then it's off to oversee the tractors work for the rest of the afternoon. By the end of his long day, Frank is ready to power down for the night and prepare for the early morning ahead.
So when Mater and Lightning McQueen's tractor-tippin' antics wake Frank out of his precious sleep they quickly devised an escape route... doing what any car would do — they RAN!
Quotable Quote: "Mmmooooooooooooooooooo!"