The epilogue shows a map of the area of Arizona around Radiator Springs, including car-related place names such as "Carburetor County" and "Cadillac Range". The latter is a large north-to-south mountain range with many fin-backed jagged peaks, a reference to the famous Cadillac Ranch sculpture in Amarillo, Texas. Where the main road crosses the Cadillac Range is marked "Tailfin Pass 5942" (i.e. feet altitude, = 1.8111 kilometers).
Cadillac Range is a large north-to-south mountain range with many fin-backed jagged peaks. Radiator Cap Mountain has the shape of a radiator cap, as its name suggests.
Willy's Butte resembles the landmark of Mexican Hat, Utah, but also resembles a classic Pontiac hood ornament. A few of the mountains in the background are shaped like cars.
The mountains on each side of Carburetor Canyon are shaped like cars. A Carbuertor is a device that blends air and fuel for an internal combustion engine.
The track on which the opening race (Motor Speedway of the South) takes place is based on an enlarged version of Bristol Motor Speedway.
The venue for the Piston Cup tiebreaker race (the Los Angeles International Speedway) is a conglomeration of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena where the Rose Bowl is located, as well as the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
The Scoring Pylon (showing numbers 43, 86, and 95) is taken from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Ornament Valley is a reference to Monument Valley. Some of the mountains and hills are in the shapes of cars.
Lizzie's Curio Shop in Radiator Springs resembles the crazy Route 66 jumble of memorabilia and knick-knacks at Hackberry General Store in Hackberry, Arizona and the Sand Hills Curiosity Shop, aka the City Meat Market building in Erick, Oklahoma. The shop is also inspired by the Continental Divide Indian Market, in New Mexico. The yellow billboard reading "HERE IT IS" with an image of a Model T is based on the Jack Rabbit Trading Post signage in Joseph City, Arizona.
The Cozy Cone Motel's design is based on the two Wigwam Motels along Route 66, in Holbrook, Arizona and Rialto, California. These were once two out of seven built motels, with individual cabins shaped like teepees. Three Wigwam Motels remain; the third (and oldest) is in Cave City, Kentucky, far from Route 66. The recently restored Tee Pee Motel in Wharton, Texas, south of Houston, is of similar design but unrelated. The name "Cozy Cone" was inspired by the Cozy Dog Drive-In of Springfield, Illinois, which lays claim to being birthplace of the corn dog.
The wheel form of the Wheel Well Motel complements the old car shape of the hill where it's built. This motel's location is inspired by the Chief Yellowhorse's location in New Mexico.
Flo's V8 Cafe is designed to look like a V8 engine head on, with a circular air filter, tappet covers, spark plugs, pistons and connecting rods as the supports for the shelter. The blinking neon lights on the spark plugs blink in the firing order of a Ford flathead V8.
Ramone's House of Body Art is based primarily on the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas. It opened in 1936 as Tower Conoco (from its distinctive Art Deco spire) with the U-Drop Inn Cafe and a retail building attached. Many other establishments built along Route 66 in its heyday had Art Deco elements that might be reflected in the design of Ramone's.
The railroad grade crossing/level crossing at which Lightning McQueen outruns Trev Diesel on his way to Radiator Springs is protected by a pair of antique "upper-quadrant" wigwag crossing signals which accurately depict those once made by the Magnetic Signal Company in both appearance and start-up. Few are left in actual operation in the United States, and many have been replaced with modern crossing gates, red lights and bells.
The Leaning Tower of Tires is probably based on The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
This hill with a tunnel in it over the road has the shape of a car.
The bridge that McQueen sees Sally driving on resembles several bridges on Route 66, including the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge in Tulsa, the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, California, and the now-closed bridge over Diablo Canyon at Two Guns, Arizona.
Marché Aux Pièces: An important metal construction, which seems to be an old railway station, that houses many part dealers, including Tomber. It also includes the shape of cars' headlights.
Santa Ruotina is similar to Bologna and Romagnan Appennine's village. The church includes shapes of wheels and headlights.
In front of the church, there's a Maserati statue, with the Trident, the statue is similar to Bologna's Neptun statue.
Porto Corsa was inspired by the cities of Genoa, Vernazza, Positano, Monte Carlo and Portofino. To create the look of Porto Corsa, the designers combined the racetrack of Monaco with the terrain of the Amalfi Coast. The Porto Corsa Marina is shaped like a hubcap. A hill on the left is shaped like a car.
The casino in Porto Corsa is built on a rocky outcropping shaped like a 1948 Fiat 500 Topolino. The casino also includes shapes of headlights
A concept art showing what the casino is made up of, including some car statues.
The tower that Grem and Acer are on has the shape of a car grill on each side.
There are car statues outside the casino.
Some houses in Porto Corsa have chimneys shaped like an exhaust pipe.
At the meeting of the Lemon families in the casino, the table around which they meet is decorated with piles of lemons, a clear allusion to their nickname of Lemons. There are also car statues around the room, including some little ones around the plates of lemon fruits on the table.
A few of the buildings have shapes of headlights and car grills. A car statue is on a fountain.
The Triplet Arrows, seen in the Cars video game, are inspired on the actual Twin Arrows of the U.S. Route 66.
The World's Largest Ball of Fan Belts, seen in the Cars video game, is inspired by one of the various record fan belts.
Radiator Springs is along Route 66, which travels from Los Angeles, California, to Chicago, Illinois. It is surrounded by red rocks and desert, and is not near any large cities, so Radiator Springs must be on Route 66 in either California, Arizona, or New Mexico. But Sally mentioned that she left California, so Radiator Springs might not be in California. 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). Since Gallup is on the far west side of New Mexico, Radiator Springs is most likely in Arizona. The truckstop that Mack and Lightning McQueen passed by on their trip could not be west from Houck, Arizona, because of a sign which reads "LAST TRUCKSTOP FOR 500 MILES", and since Houck is on the far east side of Arizona, the truckstop was most likely in western New Mexico, and if Mack drove for only a few hours more after the truckstop before he fell asleep, then Radiator Springs is most likely in eastern Arizona.
Porto Corsa is in Italy, which the race takes place in it when it's a fictional place, despite that the other World Grand Prix races took place in real cities, as London and Tokyo are real. Its location in Italy and on the map is revealed on Holley's hologram heads-up display screen when Finn tells her to contact Stephenson to take them and Mater to Porto Corsa, which the screen shows a map showing France and Italy, and the rail route from Paris to Porto Corsa, and showing Porto Corsa's name at its location. The map is mirrored in the film, but the photo below is luckily facing the right way.
Republic of New Rearendia is also a fictional country. It was formerly an European colony, and recently became independent (at the time of the events in Cars 2). However, it is unknown from the world, and is desperate to put their name on the map. But they have high hopes that the participation of their young racer Rip Clutchgoneski to the World Grand Prix will give to the Republic some attention. The location of New Rearendia in the world is unknown.
The name of one of its towns is known: Rip's hometown, named Wheeli.
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