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Pixar is one of the most beloved production companies of all time, mostly because the company can make audiences fall in love with anything – a toy cowboy, a robot garbage compactor, and even a whole community of talking automobiles.
And that’s exactly what they did with our favorite cars in the series Cars.
The Cars series is one Pixar franchise that has stood the test of time, partly due to its fun-loving cast of lovable fast cars. You don’t have to be Elon Musk or Jeremy Clarkson to appreciate this series’s cars (and famous quotes).
The trilogy got its own land at Disney’s California Adventure theme park – so you know it has to have some powerful quotes.
Since we all love and care about the little town of Radiator Springs (and the film franchise Cars), we’ve collected the top Cars’ movie quotes from the Cars franchise.
While these quotes are focused on the series’ best quotes about love, they cover life, belief, and everything in between. As such, they’re an amazing testimony to excellent scriptwriting and storytelling at Pixar.
Below, you’ll find the top Cars quotes from your favorite characters like Lightning McQueen, Sally, the tow Mater, Doc Hudson, and many more. Let’s jump into it!
1. “Oh, I love being me.”
Who said it: Lightning McQueen
In the first Cars movie, when we first meet the racecar Lightning McQueen (played by Owen Wilson), he’s a hothead of the highest order, and this quote exemplifies what he thinks of himself and the world he lives in. He’s a hot rod racing car focused on winning the Piston Cup, and many cars adore him. For instance, in this scene, he meets two fans who “flash” him (with their headlights, of course), and he says the following quote.
Mia: I’m Mia!
Tia: I’m Tia!
Mia, Tia: We’re like your biggest fans!
Mia, Tia: (as they flash their headlights at him) Ka-chow!
Lightning McQueen: Oh, I love being me.
Check out the full scene above.
2. “Holy Porsche…”
Said by: Lightning McQueen
When Lightning first sees Sally Carrera (played by Bonnie Hunt) for the first time, it’s a bit of a bumpy start – Lightning is being held liable for tearing up the tracks around the town of Radiator Springs in the court of law.
While Lightning thinks Sally is there to represent him, she represents the town itself – making her a natural adversary for Lightning, especially after he embarrasses himself by hitting on her like a total jerk.
His punishment ends up being that he has to work with Bessie to repave the road (to which Mater says, “I’d give my left two lug nut for something like that.”
When Lightning meets Bessie, he is… how do you put it… less than enthused. The scene is bookended by Mater (who just played his legal defense), reminding him that he owes “$32,000 in legal fees.” Check out the end of this scene here:
3. “…Why didn’t you go back?” “I fell in love.”
Said by: Sally
After McQueen starts opening up to the town and even does his part to begin to repave the roads, Sally warms up to him.
But there’s still an inkling that McQueen wants to run away from this “hillbilly hell” before he’s done with his court-ordered duty. So Sally takes McQueen out for a drive and shows him what brought a high-power attorney like her to a town like this.
It’s a beautiful romp around the countryside, without any words at all, with a beautiful score by Randy Newman. Check it out here:
But then, once they arrive at their destination, Sally shares the Wheel Well Motel with McQueen, and he finally asks her what brought her out to Radiator Springs, to begin with. Here’s the full text of the scene:
Lightning McQueen: You know, I don’t get you. How does a Porsche like you end up in a place like this?
Sally: Well its really pretty simple. I was an attorney in LA, living life in the fast lane
Lightning McQueen: Oh you were, were you? Were you rich?
Lightning McQueen: Just clues to the puzzle.
Sally: Yeah, okay. Well that was my life, and you know what? It never felt happy.
Lightning McQueen: Yeah, I mean, really?
Sally: Yeah so I left California, just drove and drove, and finally broke down right here. Doc fixed me up, Flo took me in… well they all did. And I never left.”
Lightning McQueen: Yeah, yeah. I mean I understand you need a little R and R, recharge the old batteries. But after a while, why didn’t you go back?
Sally: I fell in love.
Lightning McQueen: Oh…
Lightning McQueen: “Corvette?”
Sally: No. I fell in love… with this.
And if you’ve ever seen the movie (or been to Cars Land in Disney’s California Adventure), you’ll probably fall in love with Radiator Springs, too.
4. “You’re in love with Miss Sally. Yes you do. You love her, you love her, you lover her-“
Said by: Mater
After Mater, the tow truck (voiced by stand-up comedian Larry, the cable guy), finds out McQueen will be staying at the Cozy Cone with Sally, Mater teases McQueen about his feelings for her. It’s a great bit, made even greater by Sally overhearing them. Here’s the text of the scene:
Mater: Well, we better get you back to the impound lot.
Lightning McQueen: Oh you know, actually Sally’s gonna let me stay at the motel.
Mater: Ah. Getting cozy at the cone, is we?
Lightning McQueen: Oh no, no. Are you kidding? besides, she can’t stand me and I don’t like her to be honest.
Mater: Yeah, you probably right. Hey, look, there’s Miss Sally!
Lightning McQueen: What? Where?
Mater: (laughing) You’re in love with Miss Sally!
Lightning McQueen: No, I’m not.
Mater: Yes, you do.
Lightning McQueen: No way.
Mater: Way. Come on. You’re in love with Miss Sally
Lightning McQueen: Okay, that’s real mature, Mater, real grown up.
Mater: You love her. You love her. You love her. You love her-
Lightning McQueen: All right, okay, Mater, Mater, enough.
Mater laughs, please with himself. He’s also driving backwards now…
Lightning McQueen: Will you stop that?
Mater: Stop what?
Lightning McQueen: That driving backwards. It’s creeping me out. You’re gonna wreck or something.
Mater: Wreck? Shoot! I’m the world’s best backwards driver! Just watch this right here, lover boy.
Although it doesn’t go quite as intended between Sally and McQueen later that night, it does lead to the day trip to Wheel Motel scene above, and it’s a fun romp with the wild Mater (whose backward driving really gives new meaning to the term “self-driving cars.”)
5. “Black-wall tires, they blend into the pavement, but these white-wall tires, they say look at me, here I am, love me!“
Said by: Luigi
Okay, this quote isn’t exactly about love, except maybe in the context of “self-love,” but Luigi (played by Tony Shalhoub) is one of the best and funniest characters from Cars.
We had to give him a shout-out with this hilarious scene. Here’s the full exchange:
Lightning McQueen: All right, Luigi, give me the best set of black walls you’ve got.
Luigi: No, no, no! You don’t-a know what you want! Luigi know what you want. Black-wall tires, they blend into the pavement, but these white-wall tires, they say look at me, here I am, love me.
Lightning McQueen: All right, you’re the expert. Oh, and don’t forget the spare.
Luigi: Perfecto. Guido!
Guido: Pit Stop!
Luigi: Ha ha ha, what did Luigi tell you, eh?
Lightning McQueen: Wow, you were right, better then a Ferrari, huh?
Luigi: Eh, no.
Like a great engine, the Cars series is full of the sound of a great cast. The fact that the series got greats like Shalhoub, George Carlin, Paul Newman, and even John Goodman to play Sullivan Truck (essentially a cameo from Monsters’ Inc.) speaks to the caliber of the series.
And if you didn’t know this fact, the semi-truck Mack is played by John Ratzenberger from Cheers, who has a cameo in nearly every Pixar movie.
This famously started with the character of Hamm in Toy Story. The character Darrell Cartrip is played by and based on the driver Darrell Waltrip, and Bob Cutlass is played by Bob Costas, while the talk-show host “Jay Limo” is played by legendary talk show host Jay Leno.
Another cool cameo is retired NASCAR driver Mario Andretti, who plays an old racecar by the same name. Another famous racecar driver, Michael Schumacher, gets a cameo as a Ferrari whose biggest idols are Luigi and Guido!
6. “There’s a lot of love out there, man.”
Said by: Fillmore
The Cars franchise has a ton of great characters who all live in the city of Radiator Springs. Among the great American and sports cars of my dreams cars also have a good deal of vintage and older cars represented in Radiator Springs.
One of them is the hippy VW van Fillmore, played by the late great George Carlin. Known for his free lovin’ 60s-inspired stoner comedy, Fillmore has a bunch of classic lines throughout the three films, although Carlin was only able to voice the first film.
Fillmore: There’s a lot of love out there, man.
Sarge: Don’t embarrass me, Fillmore.
There’s so much great Fillmore content. Jokes about organic fuel, oil companies, and consumer objects Check out this recap of his best moments (especially his banter with Sarge) here:
7. “McQueen and Sally parked beneath a tree, K-I-S-sumthin’, sumthin’, sumthin’ … T!”
Said by: Mater
While this is a hilarious quote from Mater, it comes right at the end of a romantic scene between Sally and McQueen. Let’s just say Mater interrupted the moment. Way to read the room! Here’s the full quote:
Lightning McQueen: You know, I’ve really missed you Sally.
Sally: Well, I create feelings in others that they themselves don’t understand, and blah blah blah blah…
They lean in to kiss…
Mater: McQueen and Sally, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S- uh… I-N-T!
Lightning McQueen: Great timing, Mater!
8. “These are good folk around here who care about one another. I don’t want them depending on someone they can’t count on.”
Said by: Doc Hudson
Sometimes the love you have is for a community, not an individual. And that’s true in Doc Hudson, the grumpy old race car (and “fabulous Hudson hornet”) who is like an idol to Lightning McQueen.
The much older racecar eventually becomes McQueen’s role model and helps the new car beat rookie race car Chick Hicks (played by Michael Keaton) in the tie-breaking race.
While the hot car Chicks wins first place by a technicality, it’s Doc Hudson’s spirit that truly teaches McQueen how to be a car of character.
As you may remember from the movie, a big wreck at the end of Doc’s last race ruined Hudson’s career.
Even though he made a comeback the following year, the world had moved on, and the once great car left “that part of my life” behind. Not to give away any spoilers, but history nearly repeats itself at the end of Cars.
This is why, before the younger cars eventually win him over, Hudson shares this quote with McQueen. It’s a warning not to let down the town that took him in after the world abandoned him.
Played by the ineffable Paul Newman, Doc Hudson (like Newman) was one of a kind. Undoubtedly the coolest car in the Cars universe, Hudson (and Newman) are sorely missed.
The coolest part about Newman playing Doc Hudson was that Newman was a racecar driver early in his career. The team that made Cars actually had a bunch of unused clips of Newman from the first movie that they could use in Cars 3, both from cut lines and stories he told on the mic.
Here are all of Doc Hudson’s scenes from Cars 3 that used these clips.
9. “Wait, why do you know his name? And don’t say it like that. It’s three syllables, not ten!”
Said by: Lightning McQueen
From: Cars 2
While love is often selfless, it sometimes manifests as jealousy, and that’s where these funny quotes come from. In Cars 2, McQueen gets jealous when he realizes Sally might have a thing for the Italian racecar Francesco Bernoulli.
Of course, as with many circumstances, the spell becomes broken when she meets the real Francesco, proving McQueen and Sally’s love is stronger than this minor hiccup.
Check out the clip above to see what happens when Bernoulli and Sally meet.
Lightning McQueen: Oh, it’s the Italian Formula car. His name is…
Sally: (trilling the R’s) Francesco Bernoulli. No wonder there’s a crowd.
Lightning McQueen: Wait, why do you know his name? And don’t say it like that. It’s three syllables, not ten!
Sally: He’s so good looking, what, with those big, open wheels…
Lightning McQueen: Wait, what do you got against fenders?
Sally: Nothing! Nothing.
Lightning McQueen: What’s wrong with fenders? I thought you liked my fenders”
Cars 2 is full of many iconic international “car” actors, like the British James-Bond-inspired Holley Shiftwell and her co-spy Finn McMissile, as well as famous driver Lewis Hamilton, the actual Lewis Hamilton plays, a world champion driver in real life.
10. “But then one day, the letters started coming in. And every last one of them was about you.”
Said by: Smokey
From: Cars 3
Love can be between two friends or lovers, from an individual to a community or from a coach to a student.
That’s exactly what Doc Hudson’s storyline exemplified in the third Cars film. Without giving too much away before you read the quote that says it all, just think about your own life; has there ever been a mentor whose advice meant the world to you?
What about a parental figure who wasn’t your biological parent but still cared for you when they didn’t have to? Or a teacher or trainer who pushed for you to do greater things than even you knew you were capable of?
You might not think of training as love, but they call it “tough love” for a reason. That’s what this scene is all about. Here’s the full quote:
Smokey: “You got the first part right. The crash broke Hud’s body, and the no more racing broke his heart. He cut himself off, disappeared to Radiator Springs. Son of a gun didn’t talk to me for fifty years. But then one day… the letter started coming in. And every last one of them was about you. Yeah. Hud loved racing. But couching you? I’d never seen the old grump so happy. Racing wasn’t the best part of Hud’s life. You were….Hud saw something in you that you don’t even see in yourself. Are you ready to go find it?”
Smokey and Hudson weren’t the only teachers that Lightning looks up to in Cars 3. The car Cruz Ramirez ends up teaching Lightning how to compete with a new generation of racecars for one last ride and trains him at the Rusty Rust-Eze Racing Center.
This is very true in life – remember that the old generation has so much to teach us, but don’t forget that the new generation has a lot to teach.
11. “Don’t fear failure. Be afraid of not having the chance, you have the chance!”
Said by: Sally
From: Cars 3
In the same spirit as the last quote, in Cars 3, McQueen has given up after a generation of new racecars have blindsided him and pushed him out of the sport he loves. Sally visits him and gives him exactly the pep talk he needs.
Sally: How you feeling?
Lightning McQueen: Yeah, great. Really, really great.
Sally: been thinking about Doc again?
Lightning McQueen: Yeah. You know they told him when he was done? he didn’t decide. I don’t want what happened to Doc to happen to me.
Sally: But that hasn’t happened.
Lightning McQueen: No. But I can’t go out on the track and do the same old thing; it won’t work!
Sally: Then change it up! Try something new.
Lightning McQueen: I don’t know Sally, I-
Sally: Don’t fear failure. Be afraid of not having the chance. You have the chance. Doc Didn’t. And you can either take it, or you can do what you’ve been doing. Sitting. In here. For months. And by the way, I love what you’ve done with the place. I mean the monster movie lighting, and the, uh, musky air freshener, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re not working that primer, because WOW. I have never found you more attractive. And now that I’ve been here a couple minutes, the stench? I’m getting kind of used to it-
Lightning McQueen: Okay, okay, Sal. I get it.
Sally: I miss you, Lightning. We all do.
Lightning McQueen: (heavy sigh) Try something new, huh…
We all need encouragement from time to time, especially from our loved ones. In some respects, the opinions of others are vital to our survival as a community. Without each other, we are fallible, but as a group, we can become unstoppable.
And that’s the magic of Pixar – it can take something as inanimate as a car, personify it, and make us fall in love with an entire community of cars, each with its own character quirks and vital humanity.
The characters in Pixar’s Cars are what kept the series going for so long, and their humanity helps hold a mirror to our own.
Without the love of our friends and families, we can easily fall into the paralysis of self-doubt. But by guiding and encouraging each other with love, we can find the strength to love ourselves. And with that love, we can accomplish anything.
Grant Harvey is a freelance writer, screenwriter, and filmmaker based out of Los Angeles. When he’s not working on his own feature-length screenplays and television pilots, Grant uses his passion and experience in film and videography to help others learn the tools, strategies, and equipment needed to create high-quality videos as a filmmaker of any skill level.