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"Speed. I am speed."
—Lightning McQueen
Lightning McQueen (original name: Montgomery McQueen) is the protagonist of Cars and Cars 3 and the deuteragonist of Cars 2. He appears in almost every main installment of the Cars series, with the only exceptions being media based on the Planes series. He is a Piston Cup race car that has won 7[3] Piston Cups since his debut in the 2006 season. Lightning resides in the small town of Radiator Springs in Carburetor County, where he has his own racing headquarters, as well as his own stadium. According to Brian Fee, he is 40 years old as of 2017.[4] That means he was born in 1977, therefore he is 43-44 years old in 2020.


History

Cars

In Cars, the film opens at the Motor Speedway of the South, where cocky and self-centered Lightning McQueen is competing in the Dinoco 400 for the title of the Piston Cup champion. After a three-way tie between him, seven-time champion The King and consistent runner-up Chick Hicks, McQueen makes a bet with Chick, where the first one to reach the tie-breaker race at the Los Angeles International Speedway wins. Desperate to win, McQueen rushes to Mack, who forces him to make an appearance at his sponsor's tent, which McQueen hates. Soon, the two are on the road, and McQueen urges Mack to drive through the night, without resting. A sleepy Mack is later harassed by a gang of delinquents, who accidentally open McQueen's trailer and unknowingly release him. Lightning wakes up in the middle of the highway, and quickly tries to catch up with Mack. However, after mistaking a Jerry Recycled Batteries for him, McQueen figures his best option is to search for help on the Interstate. McQueen rushes past a sleeping police officer named Sheriff, who chases him through the town. Scared, McQueen accidentally rips up the road with a statue of the town's founder, which ultimately lands him in the town's impound. When he wakes in the morning, he discovers he is in the deserted town of Radiator Springs, where the embarrised residents sentence him to community service, and make him fix the road by pulling a road paver named Bessie. Persistent of making it to Los Angeles before Chick, Lightning first attempts to escape, but runs out of gas and is returned to the town, where he tries to fix the road quickly. The residents feel disrespected due to the rushed bumpy road, and Doc Hudson, the town's lawyer and doctor, challenges him to a road race, which Lightning loses, due to lack of familiarity with dirt tracks. Though initially hesitant to affiliate himself with the townsfolk, Lightning ends up making friends with the residents, particularly the absent-minded Mater, and the beautiful attorney Sally Carrera, whom Lightning quickly gains a crush on. After learning of the history behind both the town and Doc Hudson, who was previously a famous dirt track racer, Lightning finds Doc practicing out at Willy's Butte. Later, McQueen finishes the road, and while the townsfolk originally think he left without saying goodbyes, McQueen surprises the residents by arriving and asking for a new paint job and new tires. That night, while enjoying a "cruise" with the residents, the Press find McQueen and take him away to the tie-breaker. At the race, McQueen is surprised to see his Radiator Springs friends have arrived to serve as his racing team, and with the help of his team, especially Guido, who performs the quickest pit stop in Piston Cup history, Lightning finds himself well ahead of Chick and The King. However, sick of constantly coming in second, Chick performs a PIT maneuver on Weathers, causing him to spin out and crash. When McQueen remembers Doc's words about winning, Lightning gives up his victory and instead decides to help Strip to the finish line, much to the happiness of the fans. Though Chick technically won the race, he is ignored and instead fans congratulate McQueen. Lightning decides to permanently establish Radiator Springs as his hometown, and the publicity sparks great interest in the town.

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Cars: The Video Game

In the Cars video game, written by Pixar and considered a continuation to the story and is cannon in the cars universe along with the rest of the in the rest of the cars video game series, Lightning McQueen finds himself at the start of the next Piston Cup season. With the help of the citizens of Radiator Springs, McQueen readies to start his quest for the Piston Cup, taking lessons in powersliding from Doc, boosting from Fillmore, and racing backwards from Mater. With his skills, Lightning once again makes a championship run in the Piston Cup, much to the irritation of Chick Hicks, who hates him. Fearing his title is in jeopardy, Chick enlists the assistance of The Delinquent Road HazardsDJ, Boost, Wingo, and Snot Rod —the same rowdy cars who detoured McQueen to Radiator Springs, to hijack McQueen's racing gear from Mack on Interstate 40. Lightning is able to retrieve the goods and bring the delinquents to justice before winning the next race, which sends Chick into a frenzy. Lightning challenges Chick to a Grand Prix in Radiator Springs, followed by one more Piston Cup race in LA. Lightning wins these events, taking the Piston Cup in his sophomore season. At the end, Lightning, Mater, and Sally decide to take a celebratory trip across the country. When asked if he brought his trophy, Lightning notes he did not, but left it in a good place, at Doc Hudson's clinic next to the legend's own three Piston Cups. Though Lightning McQueen is still sponsored by Rust-eze, players are able to unlock McQueen with a Dinoco paint job while playing as him in Story Mode, Arcade Mode,

Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales

Lightning now serves as the deuteragonist in Mater's very own show.

The show begins with Mater telling Lightning what he used to be and did in the past. However, Lightning never believes Mater (as he wasn't there), and whenever he asks Mater if the stories really happened, Mater will always say, "Don't you remember? You was there, too!". Then, Mater continues the stories, including Lightning's sudden participation. The episodes end with Mater leaves, often followed by the characters and/or references from Mater's stories, implying that the stories might be real.

Cars 2

Cars-2-lightning-mcqueen
In the sequel, Lightning returns as the deuteragonist.

This time around, Lightning is racing in the first ever World Grand Prix to determine who's the world's fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours, and hilarious surprises.

696px-Lightning cars 2 piston cup paint job

Lightning in the sequel.

"Number 95 Lightning McQueen is still a hotshot racecar, but his rookie days are past him. Now a permanent resident of Radiator Springs, Lightning has become a bona fide worldwide celebrity as winner of four Piston Cups.

After his latest win, Lightning returns home to enjoy life in the slow lane for a while with sweetheart Sally, best friend Mater and the rest of his Radiator Springs family. His off-season is unexpectedly cut short when Mater inadvertently prompts Lightning t

Cars-2-lightning-mcqueen

o enter the World Grand Prix, a high profile, three-part exhibition race that will take him around the globe. {C With a fresh custom paint job and real, working headlights, Lightning sets off to Japan, Italy and England with Mater in tow for the adventure of a lifetime. But competing against the fastest cars in the world tests more than his racing skills when Lightning realizes his wide-eyed best friend may not be the pit chief nor ambassador he needs to navigate the unfamiliar international terrain."

Along the way, Lightning realizes what Mater is: Not the perfect crew chief, and not the world's best spy, but his best friend. He searches for Mater and finally finds him on the race track, scared to take action. But Lightning convinces his friend to continue his unfinished spy work. And in the end Lightning decides to treat Mater better...and to start taking racing advice from him.

Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure

He appears in the first Cars level, where he is looking for a new car in his racing team, which is the player. But first, the player has got to try out, so he/she has to pass the Tow Mater Fancy Drivin' Challenge. Mater says that he designed the course specially so that only the best drivers in the whole world can finish it. McQueen says that he's got great confidence, and that if Mater says you're good enough, that's good enough for him, before Mater says that it's what the Tow Mater Fancy Drivin' Challenge says, not himself. The player follows Mater through the course before in the ending cutscene, Mater says to the player that he/she is awesome, before McQueen says that Mater's right and that was some of the best driving he's ever seen, before saying to the player that they're going to be a great addition to his team. Holley Shiftwell then appears saying that was a impressive display. Mater then introduces the player to Holley, explaining that she's his girlfriend. Holley then says that their friend, the player, would make an excellent racer, but an even better spy, and that they have a mission that is perfect for the player's speed and talents, before saying that is if McQueen doesn't mind waiting, before Mater says that McQueen can wait, before he asks McQueen if he will. He then answers, "Well, who am I to interfere with British Intelligence?" He also becomes playable in the levels when the player collects 4 hidden Buddy Coins in each level in the hidden areas and heights.

Cars Land

Lightning McQueen also appears in Cars Land with his girlfriend, Sally Carrera. They greet the theme park guests who board the cars on the ride, Radiator Springs Racers in which they act like sportscasters.

He can be seen driving through Radiator Springs in his World Grand Prix paint job. However, in Radiator Springs Racers, he is in his Cars paint job. He and Sally will welcome the theme park guests in the ride car to the race when you arrive in Radiator Springs, and either tell you to go into Luigi's Casa Della Tires or Ramone's House of Body Art for either a tire change or a paint refresh. After the race, he and Mater will congratulate the guests for winning. Mater says that "you beat McQueen!" Lightning replies to Mater and says he wasn't racing. Cruz Ramirez if you don't race!" There are other phrases used.

Cars 3

Lightning McQueen returned in Cars 3 as the protagonist on which he tries to prove to be better than Jackson Storm who sacrificed his career to Cruz Ramirez who was better than Storm and became her mentor.

Appearances

Die-Casts

The Toys There are many different die-cast Lightning McQueens. Here is the list of McQueens in the order of their release:

Canon:

  • Lightning McQueen
  • Dirt Track Lightning McQueen
  • Dinoco Lightning McQueen
  • Radiator Springs Lightning McQueen
  • Cruisin' Lightning McQueen
  • Bling Bling Lighting McQueen
  • Tongue Lighting McQueen
  • Bug Mouth Lightning McQueen
  • Cactus Lightning McQueen
  • Lightning McQueen with Bumper Stickers
  • Tar Lightning McQueen
  • Spin Out Lightning McQueen
  • Impound Lightning McQueen
  • Lightning Storm Lightning McQueen
  • Tumbleweed Lightning McQueen

Trivia

  • McQueen's appearance bears very little resemblance to modern NASCAR sedans. He instead resembles a C6 Corvette, but using NASCAR technology.
  • McQueen's two-tone design appears to be an homage to the C1 Corvette, complete with whitewall tires.
  • His Surname could be a reference to Hollywood Actor Steve McQueen especially since he loved fast cars and drives one in his films, Le Mans,Bullit and others.
  • The original design has a lot of differences:
    Hqdefault

    Mater as Lightning McQueen in "Community Service"

    • There is a "57" instead of a "95" (This is mentioned somewhere else, don't remember.)
    • He has no logos or anything on him.
    • The spoiler is smaller.
  • In "Community Service", Mater took his body and stated that he "always wanted to be a race car". However, it turned out to be a nightmare Lightning was having.

Official Artwork

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