- “You're in Radiator Springs, the cutest little town in Carburetor County.”
- ―Mater introducing the town to McQueen.
Radiator Springs, Arizona is the primary setting of the Disney/Pixar Cars franchise. Located in Carburetor County, gateway to Ornament Valley and the Cadillac Range, Radiator Springs is a town along Route 66 that was greatly diminished when a new interstate bypassed the town completely. However, with the events of the film, the town is revived and turned into Lightning McQueen's racing base.
Radiator Springs was founded by a steam car named Stanley in 1909; a statue of him can be seen outside the town courthouse. Stanley, who was selling radiator caps in Ornament Valley, found an oasis of water and called it "Stanley's Oasis." There, he also found new customers, so he decided to build a town there called Radiator Springs, After Stanley's death, more cars came to live in Radiator Springs, and the town grew to become a popular rest area where almost all cars would stop to shop and fill their gas tank. However, Interstate 40 was soon built next to Radiator Springs, which greatly decreased traffic for the little town. Finally, Route 66 was decommissioned.
In 1954, famous Piston Cup racer Doc Hudson suffered a serious accident that landed him in the hospital. Hudson later recovered and returned to the Piston Cup, but found that no one showed interest in him anymore and disappeared from the public eye. He later found shelter in Radiator Springs, where they hired him as the mayor.
Years later, famous racecar Lightning McQueen destroyed the town's main road in a hurry to get to a Piston Cup race in Los Angeles, California, and was arrested and given five days to fix the road. He soon became friends with the Radiator Springs populace, and after his race, he set up his racing headquarters in the town, putting it back on the map.
- Although Lightning McQueen ventures far from home in an effort to rediscover what makes him a great racer, his heart will always be in Radiator Springs. But it’s been a few years since his hometown last saw the big screen. “We had to upgrade it a little,” says production designer Bill Cone. “The rest of the world will have the kind of detail we’re capable of achieving now, so we needed to bring Radiator Springs into the same movie.”
Places of interest
- Budville Trading Company (closed)
- Carburetor Repairs Emporium (closed)
- The Cozy Cone Motel
- Eat (closed)
- Fillmore's Taste-In
- Flo's V8 Cafe
- Foggy Windshield (closed)
- Glenrio Motel (closed - building became the Racing Museum)
- Hudson Hornet Racing Museum (Previously Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic) (In Cars 2)
- Lightning McQueen's Racing Headquarters
- Lube O Rama (closed)
- Luigi's Casa Della Tires
- Miss Piston (closed)
- Mr. Curb Feeler (closed)
- Mrs. Muffler (closed)
- Muddy's Mudflaps (closed)
- The Oil Pan (closed)
- Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic (Doctor Hudson: Dr. of Internal Combustion) (In Cars)
- Pop N Patch Tire Repair (closed)
- The Racing Museum (building was previously the closed Glenrio Motel)
- Radiator Springs Courthouse & Fire Department
- Radiator Springs Curios Shop
- Radiator Springs Drive-In Theatre
- Radiator Springs Garage (closed)
- Radiator Springs Municipal Impound
- Ramone's House of Body Art
- Sarge's Surplus Hut
- Sarge's SUV Boot Camp
- Sparky's Spark Plugs (closed)
- Stanley's Oasis (In Time Travel Mater and Radiator Springs Racers) (mostly gone, watertower and oil bottle house remain)
- Tow Mater Towing & Salvage
- Tractor Pasture
- Willy's Butte
- Wimpy's Wipers (closed)
A simplified version of the town is the setting of the Cars Race Rally attraction in the Toon Studios area of Walt Disney Studios Park in France. Disney California Adventure Park has a themed land under the name of Cars Land, which was opened on June 15, 2012.
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