Radiator Springs is the primary setting of the Cars series. 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 people 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, in the early 1980's, Interstate 40 was built near Radiator Springs, which greatly decreased traffic for Radiator Springs, since the Interstate bypassed the town in 1983. Finally, in the mid 1980's, 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. Around the 1970s, 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.
In 2006, 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.
As the World Grand Prix is suspended due to Axlerod's conspiracy, the fourth Grand Prix eventually takes place in Lightning's hometown, Radiator Springs.
Radiator Springs is along Route 66, which travels from Los Angeles, California, to Chicago, Illinois. It is surrounded by red rocks and desert, and is not near any large cities, so Radiator Springs must be on Route 66 in either California, Arizona, or New Mexico. According to The Art of Cars, Radiator Springs is located in between Gallup, New Mexico, and Kingman, Arizona (which both can be heard in the end credits song). Since Gallup is on the far west side of New Mexico, Radiator Springs is most likely in Arizona. The truckstop that Mack and Lightning McQueen passed by on their trip could not be west from Houck, Arizona, because of a sign which reads "LAST TRUCKSTOP FOR 500 MILES", and since Houck is on the far east side of Arizona, the truckstop was most likely in western New Mexico, and if Mack drove for only a few hours more after the truckstop before he fell asleep, then Radiator Springs is most likely in eastern Arizona.
- Sally Carrera
- Lightning McQueen (new resident)
- Mack (new resident)
- Mia and Tia (new residents)
- Otis (possible resident)
Buildings & Attractions
- 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) (now gone)
- 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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