Route 66 News

Another look at Radiator Springs

The “Cars” movie Web site has provided Route 66 aficionados another way to look at the fictional town of Radiator Springs.

In the showroom that contains the film’s major characters, you can download portraits of them. Many of the portraits also contain images of the businesses the characters own.

For instance:

Ramone’s body art business strongly resembles the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas.

Here is Sarge’s Army surplus store. To me, his neon sign looks like the one from the now-defunct Howard Litch Garage in Galena, Kan.

Here is Flo with her Flo’s V-8 Diner. The top of the restaurant resembles a car air filter.

Here’s Doc Hudson’s office, which has nice art deco touches.

Here’s Luigi and his tire business.

Here’s Guido, who’s a sidekick to Luigi.

UPDATE: For a more detailed look at the real-life Route 66 inspirations to “Cars,” go here.


160 thoughts on “Another look at Radiator Springs

  1. Thomas Huxley

    Excellent! Its nice to see Ramone with a different paint job. It will be interesting to see him in the film with a different paint job every day supposedly.

  2. Ron

    Good catch. I didn’t notice Ramone having a different paint job until you mentioned it.

    Hope he doesn’t get hepatitis with all that new body art. 😉

  3. Lightyear

    je viens régulièrement en ce lieu pour lire des infos sur CARS, j’apprécie même si je dois traduire les écrits.

    j’ai à moi, un site (forum) d’infos sur les films d’animation en général, de tous les studios !!

  4. Ron

    Here’s a Babel Fish translation of the above comment:

    “I come regularly in this place for reading infos on BUS, I appreciate even if I must represent the writings. I have with me, a site (forum) of infos on cartoon films in general, of all the studios!!”

    Here’s my message to Lightyear:

    “Merci de venir à mon site Internet. J’espère que vous appréciez le film de “voitures” quand il est libéré en début June. Avez-vous jamais conduit l’itinéraire 66? Je le recommande.”

  5. Karren

    I saw the movie yesterday and it was very spectacular.The animation took 5 years to make, which is very long!

  6. Frank Warner

    I just noticed. Those mountains in the background, I was trying to place them. Now it hits me. They aren’t real mountains. They’re movie mountains based on those Cadillacs buried in the ground along Route 66 west of Amarillo, Texas!!!

    Look at those Cadillac fins. Those mountains are the Cadillac Ranch! Ha!

  7. Frank Warner

    My brother and I were out along Route 66 about 10 years ago. From the corner of Kansas to Flagstaff, Arizona, it’s amazing scenery. For us, Route 66 is a kind of memory lane.

    When we were kids back in 1960, the family car overheated on Route 66 near Erick, Oklahoma, on our way to my soldier father’s new post in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. A local rancher came out on his horse and gave us water to get us going again. He also let us kids ride that horse, named Rex. That family no longer lives in Oklahoma, but we won’t forget them or Route 66.

    I don’t remember that waterfall anywhere along Route 66, but there were plenty of glorious mountains, buttes and mesas. There must of been some spectacular waterfulls out there, too.

    Which state is Radiator Springs in? Considering how the movie showed so many saguaro cactuses, Radiator Springs must be in Arizona. Maybe the Painted Desert, leading to the Cadillac Range.

  8. Norm Miller

    July 2nd, 2006
    This was a unique presentation of human interest in compassion for others. Well done. All ages can feel the developed personalities that come together as a team. Mankind still has a chance for good things to come out of a individual with extreme goals of fame and money. IF you have not been or driven on the Scienic Route 66 – it is a thrill to see, just don’t get in a hurry to be somewhere else.

  9. Darian

    I love Ligthning Mcqueen he is so AWESOME!!!!IM YOUR #1 FAN!!!!!ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Damian

    Mater is the man Git R Done Disney does it again and if you like cartoons and driving Cars and Route 66 is magic and a wonder of the world that is left to be recongized.

  11. Tony2007

    I love the scene where McQueen and Doc are about to race, and Luigi and Guido are all dressed up in Ferrari signs. And that Italian-flag wig on Guido is hysterical.

    I saw that the first time and said, “That’s me… a Formula 1 fan in America. Nobody’s heard of it… nobody understands it.”

    Pit stop!

  12. Cesar Paz

    I look on the internet, and i figure out tha the movie Cars shows,diferent place a long route 66. To Jesse Lynn Radiator Spring is a recreation of Cool Spring, Az .

  13. GUEST

    Radiator Springs is the name of a fictional town in the animated Disney/Pixar film Cars. The rural desert town is located in the fictional Carburetor County on U.S. Route 66, not far from Interstate 40 In The State of Arizona.

  14. Juana Cordero

    My daughter Hillary Cordero loves the movie Cars, she loves Ligthning Mcqueen and my son Thomas cannot speak well yet but he screams “can can” (which means, “the cars”) when we play the movie. I personally love the idea of hearing again about route 66. I want to congratulate everybody who worked on this movie. JOB WELL DONE!

  15. Jeffrey C

    I am four years old from Sydney Australia and i would love to come to America to ride down Route 66 one day. I like McQueen the most because he is fast and good friend. I also like The King too.

  16. elizabeth

    i loved cars!what i liked the most was when at the end of the movie,everyone started coming back at radiator springs!and when lighting mcqueen saw the tatoo on sally!


  17. Erica

    My son is 3 and he has watched the movie sooooo many times that we (grandma, grandpa, dad, mom and big sister) all know it by heart. My son mumbles alot but it is neat to watch the movie with him. He says all the lines. If you dont own it I suggest you go out right now and buy it!

  18. Your Biggest Fan (not joking)

    I like Lightning McQueen because he is a good friend and I like the way race cars look, and he’s really fast! I’m your #1 fan!!!!!!!!

  19. I love it!

    I LOVE Cars!!! It was the best movie I ever saw. I LOVE Lightning McQueen!! I’m your biggest fan and I’m not kidding!!!!

  20. So awesome!!!

    When I started watching the first five minutes of Cars, I was hooked. The movie is so awesome!!!! I love Lightning McQueen so much! He is the best! I usually don’t like watching movies that much, but this one was fantastic!!!! On a scale of one to ten I would give it one million! It is awesome! The best movie ever!

  21. Pearse Campbell

    I’m just after watching the film, My son fell asleep half way threw it, My eyes were glued to the screen it, Dissapointed 2 find out there is no place called Radiator Springs, Still has to be in my top 10 films of all times, McQueen rules Posted Pearse (25) Tomas (3)

  22. Elena

    Cars is fantastic the cars are so expressive. My fav are Guido and Luigi since I’m from Italy the Michael Schumacher cameo is unique

  23. tony

    i cant stop watching this movie and i’m 63 yrs old its rich in characters and leaves with a good message and wishing it was a couple of hours longer LOL

  24. Alice

    io sono italiana e tifo alla grande luigi e giudo!! p.s. ho 10 anni
    i’m italian, i love luigi and guido! i’m 10 years old!

  25. Ben O'Connor-Kelly

    Ben from Ireland. My favourites cars are Lightening Mc Queen & Luigi. They make me laugh. I am 5. Thank you for the movie. I REALLY LOVE CARS SO MUCH.

  26. snowdann

    After watching Cars and wondering which town on Route 66 is most closely located to the physical location of the fictitious “Radiator Springs” given the map they show in the movie I’d have to say Peach Springs, AZ.
    Get out your atlas and take a look. I wanted to head there to the caverns last year but didn’t have enough time.

  27. Nicole

    My son, Dalton, is 6 months old, on January 28th, he loves this movie, he will sit for the whole entire thing and just stare at the tv, if you get in his way, he screams and as soon as you move, he stops…Its so funny, this movie, I even love it. The best part in the movie is when Guido changes Lightning’s Tires in the race, and the other team just drops their jaws, I think that is the greatest. The only thing that really upsets me is that I can not find Guido stuff anywhere.

  28. Taciana

    My two kids can’t get enough of this movie. I saw a documentary on Route 66 not long ago, and I learned that this movie adapted scenes from specific places locations and people. Its nice to see a children’s movie has incorporate America’s history in animation.

  29. Antonio

    these are a very cool cartoons I love them I am a very aficionado and I can’t stop see this movie. cars is awsome….. that’s great.

  30. Anonymous


  31. louie dominguez

    my son has to watch Caaaaarz every day as soon as we get home. i pu the movie on, then find my self watching with him. all the characters in the movie were excellent.

  32. Henry

    Looks like the movie, Cars, will become a legend just as Route 66 itself is. I watch the film every day with my young son Daniel – its so real at time you’re time warped into another dimension. Excellent.

  33. Rhenda

    Hey, the movie Cars is one of my fav’s. I heard that a couple from Erick, Oklahoma were in it. Could someone help me out in figuring out which charater it was!

  34. mikey

    my name is michael and i am obsesed with the movie cars my favourite car is king and my big sisters fave mater i dont like lightning he is stupid

  35. bre

    hello my name is bre

    i am mickeys big sister and i love mater he is soooo funny i think it is a great movie


  36. grace

    My son,Rafael (2,5) watch Cars everyday. Although he can’t speak fluently,he pay attention for the Cars characters. He often make demonstrate with his cars..and laugh together with McQueen, Mater etc. He enjoy the soundtrack too, especially Real Gone,when Elvis say “Uh”. This is the greatest movie I’ve ever seen. Thank God and thank you to PIXAR. Dad-gum….

  37. George

    We are going to Vegas in about a week. “Cars” has inspired us to buy the Route 66 maps and take a detour on the way. We love the movie and every time we watch it, we see something new. Such a cool movie!!!!!

  38. Chris Mulligan

    I watched this amazing film 14 times in the first twelve days I owned it… and have been watching it regularly (not at quite the same ratio) ever since. To me, it combines four major attractions: NASCAR…. A Love Story…. A Cool Soundtrack…. And Route 66 (my wife and I took a road trip through some of it in ’01). The segment with McQueen and Sally at the overlook, and the subsequent flashback to the “old” Radiator Springs (with James Taylor’s contribution) was quite emotional, having driven through some of those towns.
    A wonderful film, indeed.

  39. Heather Nofer

    i really want to go to radiator springs! It looks really cool not just from the movie cars but also in the pictures i have seen. I plan to go there for a trip after i graduate!!

  40. khodi

    cars is the best movie is radiator springs a real place? my favourite character is mater! hes soo funny!!

  41. BARRY

    Just finished watching this movie for the fifth time in one week with my kids. I wish to see similar scenery from the movie in real life and bring the whole family to see it.

  42. alfonso

    en realidad me gusto mucho la pelicua pues habla de mas alla de un premio habla de el gran corazon que todos debemos de tener hacia todas las personas asi sean de un gran estatus social o de una familia humilde debemos de ser todos asi gracias por demostrarle eso a la gente .,

  43. anonymous

    most movie reviewers think the pixar’s latest release Ratatouille is their best and will be their most popular ever. I do hope that people will not forget Cars just like Happy Feet has been forgotten. But I doubt it because great movies like Cars will always be enjoyed by future generations just like other classics like Electa Glide in Blue, Badlands, and Martin Scorcese’s Goodfellas are still popular.

  44. Ron

    I’ve never seen one online. But there is a black-and-white photo of the Howard Litch Garage sign in the Kansas chapter of the book, “Route 66: The Mother Road.”


    Me emociono cada vez que veo la película… es increíble cómo este film te puede enseñar acerca de la AMISTAD, la LEALTAD, la HUMILDAD… Es difícil encontrar personajes más “humanos” en el cine y aún en la vida real, ayer vi la pelicula por tercera vez con mi novia… y me preguntaba por qué ella no tenía ruedas., jejeje

  46. chris

    in july 2007 I AWS ON THE ROUTE 66 i did the whole route from chicago all the way to L.A. i was in galena to,and who was there also
    yes tow Mater,he was parkt on a old building there, you can see it to on did you now galena is radiator springs,and is a very nice place,whole the route 66 is a nice route to be. i love it there
    chris from belgium europe


  47. Deborah

    My 2 year old grandson lives and breaths “car-cars” he watches the movie every day, several times a day. I love to watch it with him and see his face light up, he even says some of the parts along with the cars when they talk. Best kids movie I have ever seen.

  48. Teri

    Visit Arizona and Utah and you will see a lot of similarities between the scenery from the movie with the real thing. When Sally says ‘welcome to Radiator Springs, gateway to Ornament Valley’….it is actually a reference to Monument Valley, a real place out west. There are places out there that have holes in the rock that you drive through, and tall waterfalls. Anyone who has ever been to Yosemite can attest to that (I know I can!) That waterfall with bridge in Cars reminds me of a little bit of Multnomah Falls in Oregon. But you gotta drive down Route 66 and see it to believe it. What happened to the fictional Radiator Springs being bypassed, actually happened to towns in AZ in real life when they built I-40 to save time. There’s many a ghost town out there worth visiting. I wanna move to AZ someday….it’s the greatest place to be!

  49. greg booth

    the movie was great after watching it my 11 year old son wanted to see old 66. we live in arizona and rode 66 on a harley road king its was a trip hewill always rember.

  50. Emilee Holt

    i like LIGHTNING MCQUEEN because he seems like a really good friend to Mador. I liked the movies CARS because its a good kid movie .

  51. dazza

    I loves cars n these pics are so cool. I love the way the artist or cartoonist has but them at their businesses, it’s pretty cool

  52. Anonymous

    Terri – February 3, 2008

    The best Disney movie ever. I’ve become obsessed with purchasing the “cars” characters too! Thanks Pixar! Keep up the wonderful work!

  53. Todd

    I was not happy to see that some critics had dissed this movie. Who knows what they base their judgments on. This is my all time favorite movie and I am 46! Also, PIXAR along with DISNEY has a habit of inserting hidden Mickey’s in their films. You can see the one in this film during the flashback sequence. Look at the top of Flo’s V-8 cafe as the camera pans past it. Cheers!

  54. Robert Frost

    Teri, October 2007.

    Yes you are right Ornament Valley is reference to Monument Valley, however I can go one further. The reference to Radiator Springs Gateway to Ornament Valley in real life would be Welcome to Kayenta, Gateway to Monument Valley which is a real life statement.

  55. Victoria, Germany (Bavaria)

    That movie CARS is wonderful. Our son is 2 and he loves it. His favorite scene is when the cars start to dance and the lights are on. Currently he’s watching it …..

  56. megan connor

    I LOVE MY MOM BECAUSE SHE GOT ME THIS MOVIE AND FOR MILLIONS OF OTHER REASONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. yola

    esta pelicula tiene un mensaje especial de como nos pasa a todos que le restamos importancia a las cosas simples de la vida , a mis hijos les encanta la pelicula

  58. Lina and julian

    My son is two years old and knows every word. We loved it so much that his whole room top to bottom is covered in the theme cars. We enjoy sitting together and watching it thanks so much fo a wonderful movie tht me and my son can spend quality time together and watch.

  59. Joel Prantle

    Teresa and I have 8 kids and they love this movie Cars:
    thanks for the vary nice kids show.

    Lord Bless
    Joel and Teresa Prantle
    Wade, Rachel, Caitlin, Ethan, Elisha, Tehya, Josiah, & Christian !

  60. Keisha Aslinger

    My fav character is lightning Macqeen because he is just so funny and so obsessed with that race he had too get to. This is a great movie for any kid out there and even teenagers also because it is a good clean movie.

  61. Roy Martinez

    I am 52 years old, and I watched this movie just this last summer of 2008. I also just opened a new business manufacturing a new exhaust device and I had murals painted all around all four walls inside. I handed a picture of lightning McQueen to the artist who was doing the work. He likes Jessica Rabbit, so he air brushed Jessica standing next to lightning. It looked so good that the rest of all the art work are charactors, and scenes from the movie sets. I must say that this artist does fantastic work, and it is so cheerful to just walk in and look around. I am setting up my train sets on a loft and right after the holidays 2008, I am going to construct Radiator springs

  62. adam torres

    i personally own a 64 vw bus like filmore in the movie and my kids love cruzing in it . a lot of the people that come up to us say thats the filmore in the movie cars i guess thats why my kids enjoy the movie so much great movie cant say how many miles we put on the dvd but also the historic meaning meant a lot to me appreciating the past

  63. El Capitan

    I’m 34 years old. I’m a captain in the US Air Force. I tell everyone that “Cars” is my 2 yr old’s favorite movie. Then one day I realized…it’s my favorite movie too.

  64. reggie garcia from atlanta Ga..

    seriosly this movie made a big immpact on this town thats been forgotten my two sons love it,they wont see ther movie than cars every time I put it on I see it at least 15 min I even know every single word its about to say I’ll tell U it a nice kids movie first time that a kids movie hat I can see it as much as them.

  65. megaheat2008

    Radiator Springs is the name of a fictional town in the animated Disney/Pixar film Cars. The rural desert town is located in the fictional Carburetor County on U.S. Route 66, not far from Interstate 40 In The State of Arizona.

  66. Andre Theriault

    I was in Williams Arizona 2 weeks ago and I had to see this movie once again. It makes me think soo much about Williams and all the history around Route 66.

  67. orlando benavides

    need the second part of the movie, in my family have seen about 350 times at least, my kids love the lighthing and all the characters.

  68. vanessa y sergio

    i really liked the movie cars its one of the few cartoons that are interted n funny and its not only for kids also for grownups i wish they make another one its a good movie..

  69. Kat

    When will Cars II come out? My 3 yr old watches this movie at least 3 times a day. It is continously on tv. I’ve never been a cartoon person, or someone who could watch the same movie over & over, but this one I can. Absolutely luv it. We laugh out loud evrytime we watch it. It’s a movie for evry audience

    1. Anonymous

      Doesn’t Filmores “house” strongly resemble the building that is located near Meteor Crater in Arixona???? Not sure if that place is even open anymore, but looks like a tourist trap at one time.

  70. grndma and grandpa

    My grandson is just turning 2 and he is in love with cars, where was the waterfall filmed at, it is beautiful, wonderful movie

  71. nadeen

    u know what i haven’t seen a waterfall 4 real life so maybe one day me and my family might go 2 route 66 i really hope so!!!!!!!!!!!

  72. Kevin

    Is radiator springs is a real town???I want to know that if radiator springs is a real town or not.I like the movie ”cars” though.Can someone answer me?

    1. Ron

      No, it’s not a real town. It is, however, a composite of real Route 66 towns such as Seligman, Ariz., Glenrio, Texas, and Tucumcari, N.M.

  73. claire young

    our 3 year old son loves this film and he has watched it about 50 times so far, we would love to go and do route 66 maybe one soon.

  74. Becca Laurie

    Oh I love this movie and so does my lil brother. We watch it almost everyday because it’s a movie about cars. He always says “me want blue truck like mator and red fire truck.” ah good times 🙂

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