The first film’s portrayal of the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs brought the Mother Road’s story to a new generation of travelers.
The inspiration to Tow Mater was a rusty 1951 International boom truck now owned by Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas. The Route 66 souvenir shop also owns a Tow Mater facsimile for parades that sits next to the original boom truck; both are called Tow Tater.
Larry the Cable Guy had a stand-up gig Saturday at the nearby Downstream Casino in Quapaw, Oklahoma. Although I couldn’t find anyone with photographic evidence, Larry finally did meet Cars on the Route’s Tow Tater parade unit for the first time.
And here’s the evidence — Larry autographed the unit’s glovebox door. Needless to say, that door now will be kept under lock and key at Cars on the Route.
Renee Charles, one of the founders for Cars on the Route, said the Tow Tater parade truck was parked on one end of the casino’s stage. Although the original “Cars” movie was released almost 10 years ago, the Tow Mater facsimile drew a big crowd of gawkers who recognized it.
Perhaps Larry someday will make his way to Galena and meet the original “Tow Mater” in person.
(Images courtesy of Renee Charles and Downstream Casino’s Facebook page)