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An aerial viewpoint of the town.

Lightning McQueen: "Where am I?"
Mater: "Where are you? Shoot! You're in Radiator Springs. The cutest little town in Carburetor County."
Lightning McQueen, trying to remember where he is

Radiator Springs is a town featured in Cars where Lightning McQueen ends up after clumsily destroying the town's main road.

Town history

Statue of Stanley, the town's founder.

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.[1] 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 the mayor, judge, and CEO of the town.

In 2006, rookie 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.


Radiator Springs is located within Carburetor County, right on the edge of the county line. The town is nestled in between Cadillac Range and Ornament Valley.

Radiator Springs is along Route 66, which travels from Los Angeles, California, to Chicago, Illinois. 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). Gallup is very close to New Mexico's western border, therefore Radiator Springs is likely situated in Arizona. Radiator Springs is likely in the eastern part of Arizona, while the the truck stop they pass by would be in New Mexico.

This means that Radiator Springs is likely a reference to Peach Springs, Arizona,[2] where Route 66 follows the valley, and I-40 bypasses the town. But the few minutes of driving referenced to by Sally are in reality closer to 30 minutes.



Current Residents

Former Residents

  • Doc Hudson, deceased between the events of Cars: Race-O-Rama and Cars 2
  • Stanley, deceased
  • Big Al, whereabouts unknown

Video Game Residents

Buildings & Attractions

Inside town


Location Gallery