As we at Hagerty continue our efforts to save driving, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out other institutions doing the same good work. Thank you, Pixar and Disney. I’ve seen firsthand how the two are bestowing a love of the automobile to an entirely new generation of gearheads.
About a year ago, my 3-year-old son would watch Frozen and Moana with fervor. Great movies though they are, I can only take so much. One particular dreary afternoon I could simply not “let it go” any longer and I put Cars on. Our lives would never be the same. His favorite thing to do is sprint around the house after dinner while my wife and I wave a checkered flag that he took upon himself to construct. Over the weekend I ripped apart a Brio train and donated the chassis to a Lightning McQueen Hot Wheels car so the little racer can compete against Shinkansen bullet trains in our living room.
Who is Lightning McQueen, you ask? He’s the main protagonist of the Cars series. While this is a children’s movie, it's also a movie for car people, made by car people. The movies—of which there are currently three films, with another on the way—star folks like Paul Newman, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mario Andretti, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, and Jay Leno. What’s more, the majority of the characters in the movies are vehicles that look and sound like the real thing. If that makes perfect sense, you’re already a fan.
Here’s a list of the 10 best character car combinations from the first three Cars movies:
Tow Mater — 1955 Chevrolet Task-Force 3800
Despite the, um, truckloads of chrome trim available to bling-out these ’50s trucks, the most down-to-earth character in the series doesn’t mind being a little rusty around the edges of his wrap-around windshield.