- “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 on May 9, 1909, and a statue of him is outside the town courthouse. Stanley, who was selling radiator caps in Ornament Valley, found an oasis of water, later called Stanley's Oasis. There he also found new customers, so he decided to build a town there. He named it "Radiator Springs". Later, Stanley married Lizzie. After Stanley's death, more cars came to live in Radiator Springs, and the town grew. It was a popular rest area where almost all cars would stop to shop and fill their gas tank. However, Interstate 40 was later built near Radiator Springs, which greatly decreased traffic for Radiator Springs, since the Interstate bypassed the town. As result, in the mid 1980s, the Route 66 was decommissioned.
In 1954, famous Piston Cup racer Doc Hudson suffered a massive accident that found him in a hospital for several years. After Hudson fully recovered and returned to the Piston Cup, but found that the sport had left him behind because of new-comers, sponsors, the money had been spent, and the competitiveness in the races had grown. Hudson felt like nobody appreciated him anymore and retired completely from the Piston Cup before vanishing off the face of the Earth. Eventually, Doc Hudson found shelter in Radiator Springs. His wisdom tough grandpa-like attitude earned him respect from the town enough that in the late 1980s, Hudson was hired as mayor, judge, and the CEO of the town.
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 for five days to fix the road. He soon became friends with the Radiator Springs populace, and after his race, he set up a racing headquarters in the town, and the town started to grow again.
- 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 Café
- 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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