- “Is that what I think it is?”
- ―Flo, whenever she spots visitors approaching Radiator Springs
While she was staying in Radiator Springs, Flo and her friends who resided there had many customers, buying whatever they wanted. Sometime around the 1960s, however, the Interstate 40 was built to bypass the town, and it, along with the rest of Route 66 was completely forgotten. Because of this, Flo and the rest of the citizens did not have anything to sell for years, their own buildings' neon lights were unable to be fixed, and many other buildings were put out of business.
- Flo first arrived in Radiator Springs as a touring Motorama girl. She was headed west with a transport of models, when her chaperone blew her transmission just outside of town. Flo and the other Motorama girls spent an unforgettable weekend in Radiator Springs; new tires from Luigi, souvenirs from Lizzy and a new paint job from Ramone. But when it came time to paint Flo, Ramone threw down his airbrush. Not because he was too good to paint her, but because she was too good to paint. The next day when the girls left, Flo stayed. She and Ramone have been together ever since.
A backstory revealing Flo's first visit to Radiator Springs and her first meeting with Ramone was scrapped from the first film after the storyboards were done, though it was used in Flo's bio in the Car Finder game on the Cars Blu-ray. When her gang, the Motorama Girls, arrived in the town, they got all sorts of souvenirs from every citizen there, but when it was Flo's turn to be painted by Ramone, Ramone could not paint her, saying that he could not "touch a classic". While the Motorama Girls left the town, Flo stayed in Radiator Springs to be with Ramone.
Flo is a kind and caring character, though her sassiness can get in the way of her other traits at times. Nonetheless, she still has a helpful persona and enjoys helping and socializing with her customers. Flo is also very loving, especially towards her husband Ramone, whom she loves dearly. Flo loves how her husband changes his paint job constantly instead of just staying in one color all the time.
Flo has light green paint on most of her bodywork, with a bit of white on her sides. She has green eyes, whitewall tires, two large tailfins, and tiny headlights that seem to have a resemblance to dimples, and a license plate that reads "SHO GRL", meaning "showgirl". Occasionally, she has a tray attached to herself while she is serving her customers.
She is based on a 1957 GM Motorama Show Car, although GM did not host any shows in 1957. She also has some resemblance to a 1951 Buick XP-300, with one exception being that her tailfins are bigger.
Flo spent around forty years running her cafe without the presence of customers. One night, while she is working in her shop, racecar Lightning McQueen drives wildly through Radiator Springs while he is being chased by the town's police car Sheriff, hitting some of the oil cans that Flo had placed around the cafe, and inadvertently destroying the main road in the process. The very next morning, Sheriff takes McQueen to the courthouse, where everyone, including Flo, is cross with McQueen for his behavior. Although Doc Hudson, the town's judge, immediately wants McQueen to leave the town, the attorney, Sally, points out that they need McQueen to fix the road, since, without a road, travelers cannot come to anyone's stores. Flo states, for example, that without customers to come to her gas station, she will have to close it down and depart the town, even meaning that the whole town is left without gasoline. To Flo and everyone else's delight, Doc agrees that McQueen must fix the road, and is not permitted to leave until he does so.
Presently, while McQueen starts his work, Flo sees two travelers, named Van and Minny, approaching Radiator Springs. She tries to sell some fuel to them, but Van politely declines, saying that they were already filled up. While the rest of the townsfolk try to get them to purchase something from their own shops, Van and Minny state that they are only struggling to find the Interstate, and soon leave after being given a souvenir by Lizzie. With Van and Minny gone, Flo and the townsfolk get back to work, as Sally comforts them with the fact that the travelers are sure to tell their friends where they went. Shortly, however, McQueen, who is determined to get his work finished in time to get to his big Piston Cup race in Los Angeles, uses his maximum strength to pull the town's road-paving machine quickly, but it only makes the road worse, not pleasing any of the townsfolk. To see who should repave it, Doc challenges McQueen to a race, and Flo and the other citizens watch the race take place near Willy's Butte. Although Doc makes a bad start, McQueen soon falls into a cactus patch, giving the victory to Doc. Flo is present along with Mater, Fillmore, Sarge and Ramone when McQueen does work removing the old tarmac that evening and claims that she herself is getting thirsty from watching the progress. She and most of the other citizens go to sleep by the time McQueen begins repaving the road.
When she wakes up the next day, Flo and the others find that the section of the road going up to the crossroad had been finished, and the tarmac looks smooth enough that Flo and Ramone decide to take a cruise on it. While McQueen gets back to work on the rest of the road, Flo observes Ramone cleaning a house's fence, and is impressed by his work. The following day, the rest of the citizens, except Doc, come to Flo's cafe to take a relaxing time, and she admires her husband's new paint job, just as McQueen arrives to tell them that he just heard Doc used to be a Piston Cup champion. However, neither of the townsfolk, including Flo, believe him, claiming they have never seen Doc drive that fast. Yet, Flo and the others watch Sally take McQueen for a drive up to the Wheel Well Motel to show him about the town's past. Unexpectedly, a stampede of tractors drives into the town, having gotten loose after Mater took McQueen out tractor tipping last night. Ultimately, with Mater's help, the tractors get rounded up.
Surprisingly, Flo and the others wake up to find that the road has been finished and there is no sign of McQueen. Flo assumes that McQueen has left, but ironically, he has not, as he decided to help everyone in town, including to help Flo fix her neon lights and everyone else's in time for the evening, perfect for everyone to take a cruise around the town, including Flo to cruise with Ramone. Before long, Flo notices a lot of people approaching the town, and the townsfolk suspect they are customers, but they turn out to be the press and McQueen's transporter Mack, relieved to have finally found McQueen, and soon take him to the Los Angeles International Speedway to prepare for the final Piston Cup race. Sad to see McQueen go, Flo and her friends head back to their homes and turn off their lights, along with hearing that Doc had called the press to tell them where McQueen was.
Thereafter, to make it up to them, Doc invites Flo and most of the citizens, to the Los Angeles International Speedway to be part of McQueen's pit crew during the race, while Sally, Red, and Lizzie stay behind to watch it on TV at Flo's cafe. Their presence comforts McQueen, since he was struggling in the race due to thinking about his new friends, and helps him to concentrate on catching up to his opponents. With a backward lesson learned from Mater, a fast pit stop from Guido, and the use of an old trick taught by Doc, McQueen takes the lead and is just about to take the victory when all of a sudden, Chick Hicks, fed up of being in third all the time, rams The King off the track and sends him into a horrifying crash. To Flo and pretty much everyone's confusion, McQueen screeches to a halt before he can finish the race, and goes back to assist The King to the finish line. Delighted, Flo and her friends congratulate McQueen on his great sportsmanship, and in return, McQueen moves his racing headquarters to Radiator Springs, in hopes that it can be popular again. With the town back on the map, customers drop by to fuel up at Flo's cafe, and she also hires McQueen's biggest fans, Mia and Tia, as her waitresses while continuing to spend some time with her friends.
Flo makes a non-speaking appearance in the short, where she and her friends are gathered up at her cafe right as Mater, who had been playing a lot of pranks, plays one on McQueen. Presently, Sheriff tells them all a story about the ghostlight, a blue light said to haunt anywhere at nighttime, and that they should all be careful as they head back to their homes, before wishing them a good night, and everyone except Mater rushes back to their homes. To pay Mater back for his pranking, McQueen and Guido trick him into thinking the ghostlight is after him, and Flo and the others watch him drive around the county panicking until he becomes exhausted and finds out that it was only a lantern that was making the blue light. With Doc warning him about the Screamin' Banshee, Flo and everyone else wish Mater a good night and rush back to their beds.
Flo makes background appearances in the Mater's Tall Tales episodes Mater the Greater, Tokyo Mater, Monster Truck Mater and Heavy Metal Mater. She makes a notable appearance in Mater Private Eye, when McQueen asks her to put some air in his tires, before Mater suddenly appears and starts telling his story of being a private eye. When the story is finished, Carmen and her musicians appear out of nowhere, and Flo and the others watch as Mater joins in to do the conga.
Her first speaking appearance in the Cars Toons series is the Tales from Radiator Springs episode Hiccups, where Flo serves a drink to McQueen, revealing that he is her favorite customer. However, when he finishes his drink, McQueen gets the hiccups, and Flo asks for any volunteers to help cure them. Ultimately, Sally cures them, although Sheriff gets the hiccups himself.
In The Radiator Springs 500½, Flo dresses up to make herself look like someone from the 1900s, as part of the celebration for when Stanley found the town. In a short time, however, a bunch of off-road racers, led by Sandy Dunes, come to challenge McQueen to a race. While the race occurs, Mater takes Flo and the others on a leisurely drive as scheduled. Unaware to them all, the racers have taken a wrong turn far ahead and go completely off-course. While the townsfolk roam through the Taillight Caverns, the taillights' lights are reflected by Flo's paint. By the time Flo, Mater and the others arrive back in Radiator Springs, McQueen and the other racers are lost in a spooky forest and get frightened by many different corpses, before finally arriving back home safely.
Flo returns in the second film with a much minor role. When McQueen comes back home from winning his fourth Piston Cup trophy, Flo and the others congratulate him on his win, and are honored to have him back. That evening, Flo and the other citizens go to the Wheel Well Motel to spend some relaxing time. At one point, Mater calls into the Mel Dorado Show to have a conversation with Francesco Bernoulli about McQueen. Intentionally, Francesco brags about how McQueen would come to a race with him, which catches the attention of everyone at the motel. Presently, McQueen comes to the scene and takes the phone to handle Francesco himself. To bring the conversation to an end, Miles Axlerod invites McQueen to compete in the World Grand Prix alongside Francesco, and McQueen agrees, much to Flo and her friends' delight. As McQueen, Mater, Luigi, Guido, Fillmore and Sarge board their flight to Tokyo, Flo, along with Ramone, Sally, Sheriff and Red, bids goodbye to them all, and they all watch the plane take off.
Weeks later, McQueen radios the town to report that Mater has gone missing. Eagerly, Flo goes with Ramone, Sally, Sheriff and Red to meet McQueen and his crew in London, just as the final World Grand Prix race is minutes away from starting. While Sheriff and Sarge get help from the police and British Army to search for Mater, Flo stays with the others to support McQueen in the race. Sometime during the race, Mater comes down to the pit lane to warn the team that some hostile lemons have planted a bomb in the pits, and orders them to evacuate. Just then, secret agents Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell radio Mater to alert that he had been tricked and the lemons have actually put the bomb on him instead. A few moments later, McQueen comes into the pits and spots Mater. Panicky, Mater flees from the pits to keep everyone out of danger, but McQueen chases after him, and Flo and the others watch the rest of the action on their television, where McQueen grabs onto Mater's hook, and Mater uses a pair of rockets to make themselves go at a faster speed and zoom through the streets of London.
When Flo and the others go to help them, they find that the lemons are surrounding McQueen, Mater, Finn and Holley, and jump in to help them battle the lemons. Flo gets involved by shining her headlights in Vladimir Trunkov's eyes, blinding him long enough for Sheriff to place a parking boot on him. After every lemon gets arrested, everyone has their eyes on the bomb, which is already ticking away. At that point, Mater figures out the solution and heads to Buckingham Palace, with Flo and everyone else following him. When he gets there, he expresses that Axlerod is the leader of the lemons, and the only one who can deactivate the bomb with a voice command. While Axlerod denies this, Mater continues, saying that Axlerod and the lemons have a hidden oil reserve that is supposed to make them rich if everyone gives up alternative fuel, and in order to make that happen, they made engine blowouts occur during every World Grand Prix race with Axlerod's supposed renewable fuel, allinol, coming into contact with an electromagnetic pulse. With no other choice when he gets confronted, Axlerod deactivates the bomb, and is confirmed to be the mastermind. That evening, Flo and the others attend a knighting ceremony to watch Mater get knighted by the Queen.
When Flo and her friends head back to Radiator Springs, Mater tells them all his story of being involved in Finn and Holley's secret mission, during which Flo serves drinks to all the tourists listening to Mater's story. Presently, Finn and Holley arrive to greet Mater and all of his friends. Flo is the first to notice that Holley had gotten a dent from when she was saving Mater and McQueen from two particular lemons, named Grem and Acer, while they were in London, and promises Holley that Ramone will get it fixed, but Holley prefers to keep it so that she can remember it forever just like Mater. Subsequently, the town hosts a race for every World Grand Prix racer to compete in. Minutes before the start, Flo and Sally make positive comments about Francesco's appearance, and Flo expresses that she "is about to go get herself some coolant." They both join their friends at Willy's Butte to cheer on for McQueen as he takes the lead in the Radiator Springs Grand Prix, and later experience Mater join in with the use of his rocket jets.
Flo returns in the third film, but makes fewer appearances than in the second film. While McQueen is racing against a pack of rookies in the Piston Cup, including a very competitive car named Jackson Storm, Flo continues to work at her cafe while Sally, Mater, Luigi, Guido, Fillmore and Sarge support McQueen at his races. As McQueen recovers from a recent crash, everyone watches Rusty and Dusty Rust-eze on a videophone telling McQueen to come to the newly built Rust-eze Racing Center. Flo stays behind in Radiator Springs while Luigi and Guido also go with McQueen and Mack to the center, where McQueen gets trained by the center's trainer Cruz Ramirez in an attempt to fight back at Storm in the Florida 500. At the end of the film, Flo and the other citizens watch McQueen and Cruz have a race around Willy's Butte.
In the story mode, Flo is sometimes found driving around Radiator Springs, Ornament Valley and Tailfin Pass in the exploration mode. The only road race she appears as an opponent in is Sally's Sunshine Circuit, when she volunteers to compete in a race versus Sally, Mia and Tia to see who will take a drive with McQueen. She is also mentioned twice by Mack, when he sarcastically says that he will "bust his trailer hitch" if she pumps any more fuel into him before he transports McQueen to the Palm Mile Speedway, and when he later says that Flo has been taking good care of him while McQueen was getting his gear back from the Tuner Cars and Chick. Flo is also a playable character in arcade mode, but requires 6,000 bonus points in order for the player to unlock her. She has great speed and acceleration, but only decent handling and average stability. She can be used in most road races (the exceptions being Rustbucket Race-O-Rama and Monster Truck Mayhem), Doc's Lesson: Powerslide, Sarge's Boot Camp and Mater's Backwards Lesson.
Flo appears in two minigames: Fill 'Er Up and Drive-in And Out. In Fill 'Er Up, with the rush hour occurring, Flo asks McQueen to help her out in filling her customers up with fuel. In Drive-in And Out, she appears as one of the cars the player must move out of the way to clear a path for McQueen out of the Radiator Springs Drive-In Theatre. Ramone also mentions a plan to go to a dance with Flo in Hip-Hop it up. If the player completes the Fill 'Er Up game, they will unlock a Legends Race against Flo.
McQueen's racing headquarters is being built along with a new racing stadium near Radiator Springs in the story mode. Flo is usually found roaming around Radiator Springs while the player drives McQueen around the town, Ornament Valley, and Tailfin Pass, but also competes in one road race, being Fillmore's Nature Preserve, and is the second car that the player controls in the second team relay race. Strangely enough, Flo does not appear in the final cutscene that shows most of the other characters gathering together for a group photo in front of McQueen's newly built headquarters. Flo is once again a playable character in arcade mode, only this time she is unlocked from the start of the game. She can be used in road races, team relays, stadium races, Fillmore's Fuel Frenzy levels, and Doc and the Law's Race 'n' Chase levels. Her stats differ from the first Cars game in that she has a full boost rather than speed, her acceleration is much poorer, her handling is slightly better, and she has high stability.
In the story mode, Chick determines to battle McQueen for the Race-O-Rama title and the ownership of Radiator Springs. When they do the first races in Radiator Springs, Ornament Valley and Tailfin Pass, Flo participates in Road Race 1 and Point to Point 1. She then travels to Santa Carburera along with McQueen to do Point to Point 2 and Candice's Glam Tour. When Candice loses, she decides to do some shopping to get over it. Flo is able to notice that Candice sounds upset, to which McQueen points out that he noticed too. Flo is later seen competing in Point to Point 4, Off Road 1 (not on the PlayStation 2 version), Road Race 3 and Street Race 1 (not on the PlayStation 2 version). In the third Transporter level, the player must get their character to take a flyer to the Wheel Well Motel and meet Flo there. After McQueen wins the duel against Chick, Flo and the townsfolk congratulate him on winning the Race-O-Rama series, although Chick swears for revenge. In the arcade mode, Flo can be played as in road races, relay races, the Auto Cross levels, the Photo Op levels, and the Transporter levels.
The World of Cars Online
Before the game was shut down, Flo could be seen around her cafe.
Cars 2: The Video Game
Flo appears in the game as a downloadable character for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. The player has to pay $0.99 in order to download her. She is one of the heavy racers, meaning she has a lot more power than speed.
In the first Disney Infinity game, Flo appears as an NPC in the Cars Play Set, giving out missions to the player alongside Fillmore, Ramone, Luigi and Finn. At one point, Chick comes to Flo's cafe, disinterested with the appearance of Radiator Springs. Flo thinks he is a customer and asks if she can get him anything, but Chick declines and heads off at Flo's suggestion. Subsequently, Flo asks the player to deal with Chick. Sometimes, Flo appears as one of the opponents in the races. At the end of the play set's story, when Chick's engine malfunctions and Finn plans to take him to the impound, Ramone and Flo decide instead to have Chick painted red with lightning bolts, much to Chick's dismay.
To unlock Flo for use in the Toy Box mode, the player has to unlock a character's second character chest or the avatar vault. In the second and third games, the player must place McQueen's figure on the INFINITY base in order to unlock Flo in the Toy Box 2.0 and 3.0 modes.
Flo can be seen roaming around Radiator Springs and sometimes sleeping at her cafe in the town mode. Occasionally, like all the other characters, she will ask to go to a particular place, and the player taps the building for her to go there. When all of Mater's races are completed, the player unlocks Flo and her own racetrack. She also has two additional paint jobs, Femme Fatale and Ice Queen, unlocked either by using gems or doing practice races on Flo's track.
Flo appears in Radiator Springs Racers, accompanying Ramone in his shop as he gives the guests' vehicles new paint jobs. In Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy, when Chick lowers Lightning's oil level, Flo appears to refill him as part of Cruz activating team mode.
- The name "Flo" is shared with the imaginary sister of Deb in Finding Nemo.
- She resembles Al's car in Toy Story 2.
- According to Disneystrology, Flo's birthday is November 12.
- Eric Carpenter (June 13, 2012). "Life changed at her café when Pixar dropped in: Fran Houser said her Route 66 Midpoint Café in Texas was a sleepy spot – until the "Cars" movie premiered.", Orange County Register. Retrieved on June 13, 2017.
- "Car Finder" (supplementary material on Blu-ray Disc release of Cars). 2007. Blu-ray Disc. Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2007.