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Doc Hudson
Performer: Paul Newman (Cars, Cars video game, Mater and the Ghostlight)
Corey Burton (all other media)
Appeared in: Cars
Mater and the Ghostlight
Cars 2 (mentioned and in pictures only)

Doc Hudson (also known as The Fabulous Hudson Hornet or simply Doc) is the one of the two deuteragonists of Cars.

Doc is a car of few words but many talents. He not only serves as the town judge, he's also Radiator Springs' resident doctor. Doc is respected and admired by the townsfolk for the way he looks out for their health and tends to their aches and pains. No one knows too much about Doc before he came to town. He keeps his private life private. But if you've got a bad spark plug or a rattle in your engine, his door is always open.[1]

Cars

Doc

Doc outside his clinic in Radiator Springs

He was once one of the most famous racecars in history; he won three Piston Cups, and still holds the record for most wins in a single season. However, it all changed for Doc when he was involved in a terrible crash during the final lap of the 1954 Piston Cup championship race, which saw him put out for the next full season. Upon his return, he was received with a complete absence of fanfare and told that he was a has-been who had been passed up for the next rookie in line. He reluctantly resigned from the sport, and vanished from public. He eventually settled in a forgotten town called Radiator Springs and moved into a house in the nice town. In his house he kept a newspaper article on the career-ending crash as a reminder never to return to the life that nearly killed him.

Doc2

Doc returns to the racing world as McQueen's pit stop chief

Jaded by the racing scene, he left that world, apparently taking out time to study medicine. The famous #51 disappeared into obscurity, leaving many wondering where he had gone. He instead opted for a simple navy blue paint job and the life of a physician in the tiny town of Radiator Springs, the "shining Gemstone" of the Mother Road - Route 66. He runs the Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic as a "Doctor of Internal Combustion". As times changed and the town got bypassed in favor of Interstate 40, Doc stayed on, even when the population had dwindled to a meager dozen or so residents. He is respected, well-loved, and serves not only as the town's physician, but as its judge as well. However, nobody in the town had any idea of his past as a racer; he was just an ordinary Hudson Hornet to them.

Docandlightningrace

Doc becomes Lightning McQueen's racing mentor

Upon meeting Lightning McQueen, who had accidentally destroyed the main road in town, Doc saw far too much of his past in the rookie. He wanted to send the racecar out of town but Sally persuaded him to commit Lightning to community service by paving a new road. Only after an hour, the rookie attempted to quickly finish the job, only to do a sloppy job. Doc ordered him to tear up the road and redo it. However, he challenged Lightning to a one-lap race around Willy's Butte if he wanted his freedom. He anticipated that the racecar who is too used to asphalt would not do well on the dirt track and lose control on the final turn right into a cactus patch. Doc then watched with smugness as Lightning began to work overnight before going to sleep.

The next day, everyone wakes up to find that Lightning had paved a good road up to the intersection, at least half of the job; Sally commented that Doc should've thrown the rookie into a cactus patch a lot sooner. Doc then found Sheriff watching Lightning attempted to make the last turn around Willy's Butter, having ran out of asphalt in the middle of the night. Doc volunteer to take over watching Lightning and attempts to give him racing advice on how to make the turn. However, Lightning failed to understand it and rudely drove off, so Doc let him be.

On the third day, Doc is operating on Sheriff when Lightning rudely burst into his office, wanting to ask for his gas ration. Doc ordered him to wait by Flo's V8 Cafe. Soon after, he finds Lightning in his garage, having discovered his identity as the Hudson Hornet. He was less than happy when Lightning discovers his past. Doc refused to speak of his past and called his trophies "just an empty cup". Later in the day, Doc put on his racing tires to take a lap around Willy's Butte and successfully made the turn. But when he realized that Lightning was spying on him and prompted drove back to his home. Lightning followed him and asked why he gave up on racing. Doc then reminded him of his crash in '54 and how the sport rejected him after he recovered. Though Lightning insisted that he's not like the sportscars who rejected him, Doc demanded to know if he had ever cared about anyone besides himself. When the rookie hesitated to answer, Doc tells him that the Radiator Springs residents look out for each other. Lightning then retorted that Doc too is selfish, not opening about his past to his friends. Instead of countering, Doc tells him to finish the road and leave town.

On the fourth day, Lightning had finished fixing the road and decided to stay for a while, Doc was unable to bear having him around any longer and called the news and press to immediately take him away to the Piston Cup, declaring that it is best for everyone. But seeing how disheartened everyone was by his unplanned departure, Doc realized that Lightning had become more important to them than he thought. He eventually admits the truth to everyone about his racecar days and he took back his old #51 colors to become Lightning's pit crew chief, bringing nearly the entire town (except Sally, Red, and Lizzie -- who watched the race on TV) to the Piston Cup to support Lightning as his pit crew (and in an ironic twist of fate, finally received that long awaited fanfare for his return). When Chick Hicks caused Strip "The King" Weathers to crash, in a similar manner to Doc himself, Lightning chose to forfeit the race to help the King cross the finish line. Doc then expressed how proud he is of Lightning.

By the end of the film, Doc opts to keep his racing colors, and becomes a trainer as well as a friend to Lightning. Just like Lightning, Doc learned some lessons: friendship, promises, how greed affects others, and that secrets can't be kept forever.

Mater and the Ghostlight

Doc appears in the short film, where he scares Mater into believing in a monster called the Screamin' Banshee, which actually ends up existing.

Cars 2

DocHudsonCars2

Russian dubbed version of him in newspapers

Hudsonhronet

The Hudson Hornet logo on Lightning McQueen's front hood in memory of Doc

Doc died prior to the events in Cars 2, but posters of him are still shown in his museum. In memory of him, the Piston Cup was renamed the Hudson Hornet Memorial Piston Cup,[2] and gets a new logo with an image of the Hudson Hornet and the words "Hudson Hornet" above it. It appears prominently on Lightning McQueen's hood. Doc’s office was converted into the Hudson Hornet Racing Museum.

When Lightning was showing Mater his new Piston Cup, they were talking about him. Also, during the race in Tokyo, Darrell Cartrip mentioned that McQueen's mentor, the Hudson Hornet, was one of the best dirt track racers in history. On the dirt section, Mater told Lightning to do what Doc has taught him (turn right to go left). Which he did and took the lead.

The circumstances of how Doc died are unknown.

John Lasseter was at first adamant that Paul Newman would return to voice Doc Hudson, even though he had announced his retirement from acting. After Newman's death, Lasseter said that they would see how the story goes with Doc Hudson.[3] Story supervisor Nathan Stanton said: "we felt, after really tooling around with the idea of him being in the film and how do we properly use him, it just felt right that we should have his character have passed away also [as Paul Newman]."[4] John Lasseter said that he realized "Doc Hudson was Paul Newman. The character was written after listening to him talk about his passion for racing," and that, "We pay homage to Doc Hudson, which is paying homage to Paul Newman."[2]

Trivia

Incrediblesdochudson

A simple model of the Hudson Hornet in The Incredibles.

  • A blue Hudson Hornet can be seen in The Incredibles, an easter egg appearance of Doc Hudson.[5] Even though Cars was released after The Incredibles, development of the film was well under way.
  • Doc Hudson is a 1951 Hudson Hornet.
  • The Hudson Hornet was one of the first cars used by drivers in the beginning of NASCAR.
  • The story of the Fabulous Hudson Hornet is true. Many Hornets used in NASCAR at that time actually used that quote on their body paint design. Hudson won the championship from 1952-54.
  • Despite the fact that Doc died before the events of Cars 2, he actually appears in Cars Land in the Radiator Springs Racers ride, implying that the events of that ride may have occurred after the events of the first Cars film, but before the events of the second. After you get tires from Luigi or a paint job from Ramone, you'll meet Doc, who is your crew chief for the race. Doc will be giving you some racing advice through out the race. At the end, Doc will say that you did a good job. All his lines are archival records of Paul Newman.[citation needed]
  • Although Doc's number was 51, there was no actual #51 Fabulous Hudson Hornet in real life.
  • His license plate is 51HHMD, which is a reference to his year and track number (51), model (Hudson Hornet) and profession (medical doctor).
  • He was Paul Newman's last non-documentary role. Also, like Newman, he has blue eyes.

Gallery

Die-casts

Quotes

From Cars

  • "Hey! Was that floating like a Cadillac, or was that stinging like a beemer? I'm confused. You drive like you fix roads! Lousy! Have fun fishing, Mater."
  • "All right! I wanna know who's responsible for wrecking my town, Sheriff. I want his hood on a platter! I'm gonna put him in jail 'til he rots. No, check that... I'm gonna put him in jail 'til the jail rots on top of him, then I'm gonna move him to a new jail and let that jail rot. I'm -... Throw him outta here, Sheriff! I want him out of my courtroom! I want him out of our town! Case dismissed!"
  • "They [his sponsors] quit on me. When I finally got put together, I went back expecting a big welcome. You know what they said? 'You're history.' Moved on to the next rookie standing in line. There was a lot left in me. I never got a chance to show 'em. I keep that to remind me never to go back. I just never expected that that world would... would find me here."
  • "I knew you couldn't drive. I didn't think you couldn't read."
  • "You look! All I see is a bunch of empty cups."
  • "These are good folk around here who care about one another. I don't want them depending on someone they can't count on."
  • "I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right."

From Cars 2

Mater: "Wow! I can't believe they renamed the Piston Cup after our very own Doc Hudson!"
Lightning McQueen: "I know Doc said these things were just old cups, but to have someone else win it just didn't feel right, you know?"
Mater: "Well, Doc would've been real proud of you, that's for sure."
—Lightning McQueen shows Mater his new Hudson Hornet Piston Cup.
Brent Mustangburger: "French rally car Raoul ÇaRoule is counting on a big boost headed through there."
Darrell Cartrip: "And don't forget Lightning McQueen. His mentor, the Hudson Hornet, was one of the greatest dirt track racers of all time. In my opinion, McQueen is the best all-around racer in this competition."
Brent Mustangburger and Darrell Cartrip mentioning Doc Hudson.
Mater: "McQueen, it's time to make your move! Get on the outside, and show 'im what Doc done taught you!"
Lightning McQueen: "10-4, Mater."
—Mater tells Lightning to take the turn by telling him to do what Doc taught him.


References

  1. "Cars Finder" (supplementary material on Blu Ray Disc release of Cars). 2007. Blu Ray Disc. Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 UP TO SPEED: ANIMATING AND VOICING THE CHARACTERS Top Talent Steers “Cars 2”
  3. Will Paul Newman's Character Return For 'Cars 2'?
  4. Story Supervisor Nathan Stanton CARS 2 Exclusive Interview
  5. Disney Pixar Facebook Account

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