Cameos, in-jokes, re-used animation, and other trivia from Cars 3.

References to Cars

  • A lot of the soundtrack in the film is recreated from the first film's soundtrack.
  • The movie opens with a race at the Motor Speedway of the South.
  • The Los Angeles International Speedway also reappears, this time as the track where McQueen had his fateful crash.
  • The film includes early on a musical montage of Mack riding on the highway through various landscapes.
  • The final race at the Florida International Speedway has many parallels to the tie-breaker race in Cars. Some of the most notable are Cruz Ramirez having to race past the pace car named Pat Traxson to enter the track, the surprise arrival of a crew chief (Doc Hudson in Cars, McQueen in Cars 3), and Cruz having to use a technique showcased by Doc earlier in the film to pass her rival racer.
  • McQueen's crash mirrors the crash of The King (and by extension the crash of Doc Hudson) in the way he tumbles sideways on a considerable distance.
  • When Mr. Drippy, the water truck at the Thunder Hollow demolition derby, falls on his side, he makes the same noise as the tractors when they tip over.
  • The scene of Doc explaining the aftermath of his crash to McQueen is replayed in a flashback.
  • After the final race, McQueen says about Cruz that "she's got a lot of stuff!" mirroring what Doc told McQueen following the tie-breaker race in Cars.
  • The opening scene of the film mirrors the opening of the first movie. McQueen is saying his "Speed, I am speed!" routine from the first movie, accompanied with the same kind of cuts from black to racing cars.
  • While in Thunder Hollow, McQueen says, "Turn right to go left!" twice, referencing his take on Doc's advice to McQueen about drifting. Also, just like McQueen in the original film, Cruz Ramirez doesn't understand what he means by this at first.
  • Near the end of the movie when several next-generation race cars are being interviewed about the disappearance of McQueen, one of the racers, Ryan Laney, says, "Didn't he pull this when he was a rookie?" referencing the events of the first movie where McQueen got lost in Radiator Springs on his way to the Los Angeles International Speedway.
  • At the end of the film, Cruz Ramirez jokingly calls Lightning McQueen an old man, like McQueen did with Doc Hudson at the end of the original film.

References to Cars 2

  • Sterling has what appears to be a small picture of Miles Axlerod in his office.
  • When Lightning McQueen is watching TV inside of the sleeping Mack, John and Nancy, the couple in France, can be seen kissing on the bridge in the show he is watching.
  • While on the simulator, McQueen makes the same scream from when Mater's parachute is deployed while they are traveling to Buckingham Palace.


  • Todd the Pizza Planet Truck can be seen in the Demolition Derby race as a competitor. His roof rocket is briefly featured when it flies off into the crowd after he ends up in a crash.
    • Also in the Demolition Derby, there's a race car that's ramming another car that has the pattern of the Luxo Ball on its hood, left and right sides of the car.
  • During a montage showing Jackson Storm's victories, a track sponsored by BnL (Buy n Large) from WALL•E is briefly shown in the film.
  • The tree from A Bug's Life makes an appearance in Sterling's office.
  • Ernesto's guitar from Coco can be seen hung on the wall behind the band playing at the Cotton Pin Bar in Thomasville.
  • Two racers sponsored by TripleDent Gum, the gum company from Inside Out, can be seen in one of the races. Their names are Terry Kargas and Cam Spinner.
  • The image Cruz Ramirez displays for the homesick trainee is a main location from Coco.
  • A113 is prominently featured as Sterling's office number.
  • On promotional images for the film, Shannon Spokes' press number is shown to be A113.
  • Mater's license plate, like in every Cars film and piece of merchandise, is A113.
  • The billboard on the bridge under which Mack sleeps is advertising the Sleep Well Motel, the motel that Bonnie Anderson and her toys stayed at in Toy Story of Terror!.
  • A miniature of Cinderella's carriage from the 1950 Disney movie of the same name appears on a shelf in Sterling's office.
  • A few allusions to Apple are made:
    1. Cruz's training machine that she brings to the beach has the Macintosh start up sound, which can also be heard in WALL•E as the titular character's start up sound.
    2. Both the stock and the next-gen racers sponsored by Apple and bearing the number 84 participates in the Florida 500.
    3. The devices Mater and McQueen use to chat have Apple design cues.
  • Doc's line, "You might want to take notes on this one," is from Cars: The Video Game whenever he passes another car.


  • At the Thunder Hollow Speedway, Mack disguises himself as a representent of "Jocko Flocko's Party Supplies". Jocko Flocko is the name of a rhesus monkey that served as the co-pilot of Tim Flock, a racer from the '50s and one of the drivers of the real-life Fabulous Hudson Hornet.
  • This is the third Pixar film to feature the Also Spratch Zarathustra score after Toy Story 2 and WALL•E.
  • The render farm being utilized to render Cars 3 runs more than 60,000 cores. The memory the average core is 10 gigabytes, compared to the 4 gigabytes per core recently used for Inside Out.[1]
  • Five areas in the southeast U.S. were visited to research the history of stock-car racing: the North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina,  Occoneechee State Park and Speedway, Daytona International Speedway in Florida, and the Sonoma Speedway.[1]
  • 85 percent of the clouds in Cars 3 came from the cloud library for The Good Dinosaur.[1]
  • 81,924 storyboards were created during the production of the movie, although only 10,102 made it into the final sequences.[1]
  • This is the only Cars film in which Lightning McQueen doesn't say his famous catchphrase "Ka-Chow!".
  • This is the second Cars film to be composed by Randy Newman, as Michael Giacchino composed Cars 2.
  • This is the only Cars film not directed by John Lasseter.
  • Cars 3 marks Cars as the second Pixar franchise that has become a trilogy, after Toy Story 3 in the Toy Story franchise.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Getting Geeky With Lightning McQueen - 'Cars 3' Fun-Facts, June 7, 2017.

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