If you're a fan of the movie Cars, or of any of Pixar's other movies, you might know that the studio loves their Easter eggs – tiny little details thrown in that you'll miss if you blink. Some of them are throwbacks to older movies, like the pizza truck from Toy Story making an appearance, but some of them are a little more obscure. Cars, and its sequel Cars 2, are full of easter eggs and details that even the most die-hard gearheads might have missed. So here's a list of 13 of our favourites. Cars 3 is in theatres June 16, and it will probably be full of these little treats too.
The first time Lightning McQueen flashes past the camera, you'll see that he has a yellow stripe on his rear bumper. That's not just part of his red and yellow Rust-Eze paint job. The race takes place in McQueen's rookie Piston Cup season. NASCAR fans might recognize the yellow stripe as a rookie stripe. The yellow stripe is NASCAR's way of telling other drivers that they might want to be careful around that car. Take a look in Cars 2 and the stripe is gone.
Most of the cars in Cars have licence plates that refer to the name of the car, but some are a reference to the actor voicing them. Finn McMissile, voiced by Sir Michael Caine, has a plate that reads 314 FMCM March 14 is Caine's Birthday.
Other plates have a little bit more meaning. Luigi, the Fiat 500 that runs Luigi's Casa Della Tires is a huge fan of Ferrari. So much that his licence plate reads 44.5 10.8. That's that latitude and longitude for Modena, the Italian city where Ferrari was founded. It's home to one of the brand's factories and the famous Fiorano test track.
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Richard Petty voices The King, a Plymouth Superbird in Petty blue. But Mrs. The King is voiced by Petty's wife Lynda. Her car was based on a 1974 Chrysler Town & Country station wagon. That's the car that the Petty family used to travel from track to track.
Even the tiniest characters in Cars are cars. Take a close look at the flies buzzing around in various scenes. Those bugs are bugs! Vintage Volkswagen Beetles.
When the Sheriff first pulls over Lightning in the first movie, he says "You're in a heap of trouble, boy." That's a callback to a series of Chrysler ads from the early 1970s.
When the gang heads to Paris in Cars 2, the movie shows the Pont des Arts in Paris. In the movie, the iconic bridge is a open-spandrel arch bridge. Take a close look at the arch: it's a leaf spring pack from a car or truck.
London's Big Bentley clock has clock faces made from radiator grilles adorned with Bentley's flying B logo. But the inscription under the clock face reads "domine salvam fac coronam victoriam primam" or "God save Crown Victoria the first." It's a reference to both the iconic taxi cab and police car Ford Crown Victoria and the real Big Ben's "O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First."
Take a look up in the sky. Even the planes are cars in Cars. Those contrails, the condensation trails left behind high-flying aircraft, are actually tire treads.
Most of the scenery looks like cars or has some elements from a car worked in. You probably noticed that the mountain range behind Radiator Springs looks like the famous Cadillac Ranch.
But that's not all. Most of the buttes in the area look like the noses or hood ornaments of cars, usually in vintage 1920 and 1930s style. Even when they travel to Porto Corsa, the casino is built on a rock that looks like the front of a Fiat 500 A Topolino. That unique grille is seen on many buildings in the Porto Corsa area.
This one has a bit of a spoiler for the second movie. Sir Miles Axlerod's undoing comes from Mater noticing he uses Whitworth bolts, and that their normal wrenches won't work. Whitworth thread is a real thing. It was the world's first national screw thread standard. It's different from both the SAE standard used on older domestic cars and the now more common ISO metric thread. Whitworth nuts and bolts were used on older British cars, and need Whitworth wrenches.
Finally, Flo's V8 diner. The diner is clearly a V8 engine, with cylinder heads over the drive-in bays and an air filter main building. But it's not just any V8, it's a flathead V8. And the neon spark plugs sticking out? They actually flash in the correct firing order for a Ford Flathead V8.