Cameos, in-jokes, re-used animation and other trivia about Cars.
- During "Life is a Highway," the birds from For the Birds can be seen sitting on a telephone wire.
- Dinoco, The King's sponsor, is also the gas station Buzz Lightyear and Woody get stranded at in Toy Story.
- The snowman from Knick Knack is seen in the snowglobe in Lizzie's Curios Shop.
- A camper van (name is Syd VanDerkamper) who is watching the final race, is surrounded by flamingos which is a reference to Knick Knack.
- The Pizza Planet delivery truck, which has shown up in every Pixar film except The Incredibles, appears before the final race, next to the Elvis camper in the left background behind Bob Cutlass. He also appears during the Life is a Highway sequence at a Dinoco station, reproducing how the truck appeared in Toy Story, at a Dinoco gas station.
- During the end credits, car-stylised versions of Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc. are seen playing at the Radiator Springs Drive-In Theatre.
- A camper has an image of the Jackalope from Boundin' on his back.
- Two trucks at the Top Down Truckstop have Mr. Incredible's trademark red-dotted lowercase "i" on their trailer.
- Also, some of the trucks' trailers have either "TS" or "FN" written on them, a possible reference to Toy Story and Finding Nemo, respectively.
- In the teaser trailer, many of the cars have the Toy Story 2 and A Bug's Life logos on them.
- The tires of Piston Cup racers are Lightyear tires, which alludes both to the tire manufacturer Goodyear and to Buzz Lightyear. They also bear the inscription "Section 4 Gamma Quadrant", the location where Buzz is seen in the video game in Toy Story 2.
- Chick Hicks's number (86) is a reference to the year Pixar was founded. Lightning McQueen's number (95) is a reference to the year Toy Story was released in the theaters. McQueen's original number was (57), the year Pixar's CEO John Lasseter was born.
- During the introductory race, there is a white car with the Apple, Inc. logo. Steve Jobs, who was in charge of Pixar, founded Pixar after George Lucas sold the graphics research production to him.
- Cars is the second Pixar film to have a post-credits sequence. The first is Finding Nemo.
- At the tie-breaking race at the Los Angeles International Speedway, while three fighter jets pass over the stadium, Pixar Animation Studios can be seen among the nearby buildings, although the real studio is located at Emeryville, near San Francisco, not at Los Angeles.
- Cars is the first Pixar film since Toy Story 2 to be directed by John Lasseter.
- Ornament Valley, near Radiator Springs, is shaped like car hoods. The mountain range surrounding Radiator Springs is called Cadillac Range. The mountains are shaped like quarter panels of 50's Cadillacs, in reference to Cadillac Ranch.
- The neon lights on top of the canopy at Flo's V8 Cafe fire in the same pattern as a 1932 Ford V8 Flathead.
- On average, it took 17 hours to render each frame of the film. In addition, it was the first Pixar film to use ray-tracing to accurately create the reflections on the cars.
- Cars was originally going to be called Route 66, which would make a lot of sense because of the location that the movie takes place in. The release title was chosen to avoid confusion with the 1960s TV series of the same name as the working title.
- This is the first Pixar movie that used the word "hell", when Lightning and Sally mention Radiator Springs as "Hillbilly Hell". The second time was Ratatouille.
- One of the cars in the first race is sponsored by "Leak Less". A bottle of "Leak Less" fuel is seen in WALL•E.
- Cars is the seventh Disney·Pixar feature film, and the first film by Pixar released when it was bought by Disney.
- The film is also the second Pixar film to have an entirely non-human cast after A Bug's Life.
- The plot of Cars bears a striking resemblance to that of Doc Hollywood.
- Cars received a 74% "Certified Fresh" rating on the movie review website, Rotten Tomatoes. This is the second lowest rating ever given to a Pixar film, after its sequel Cars 2, which got an even lower rating.
- Many famous people, particularly from the automobile racing world make a cameo appearance in Cars which include Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mario Andretti, Michael Schumacher, Bob Costas, Darrell Waltrip and Jay Leno; references to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Elvis also appear, although it is not known if the former is voiced by himself. The latter certainly isn't as he died in 1977, long before Pixar was founded.
- This inspired Vídeo Brinquedo to make The Little Cars in the Great Race, a rip-off of this film.
- In the scene where the race announcers are talking about the popularity of the race, it says that the whole town of Emeryville is closed for the race. Emeryville is the location of the Pixar Studios.
- In Lightning's dream about being Lightning Storm, a car gets zapped and emits the Wilhelm scream. The Wilhelm scream is a sound effect used in many movies.
- In the teaser trailer, there is a car sponsored by "Jumbo Pretzels". This is presumably the same company that was seen in A Bug's Life under the name "Jackson's Jumbo Pretzels."
- All of the vehicles in the series appear to have their windows completely opaque and blanked out, and no convertibles nor any vehicles without roofs actually appear (the vehicles that do resemble convertibles always have their roofs up), and it's heavily implied that they all may not be hollow.
- This is the last Pixar film to have a fullscreen format for its US home release.
- This is Pixar's longest film to date, spanning 1 hour and 56 minutes.
- Originally, the film was going to be about an electric car living in a gas-guzzling world. Interestingly enough, the original concept also featured Fillmore and Sarge.
- This is Joe Ranft's last film, since he died in a car accident the year before, while the film was still in production.
- This is the last Pixar film to have a VHS release (though rare), and the first to have a Blu-ray release.
- The opening race contained 60,000 seated cars and an additional 700 cars in the infield and aisles. The final race had 100,000 seated cars, plus an additional nearly 1,500 cars in the infield and aisles. There are nearly 13,000 cars entering the Final Race stadium to find seats.
- Lightning McQueen has 14 different paint variants, ranging from subtly different amounts of dirt and dust to the completely new paint jobs near the end of the film.
- There are a total of 21,566 lights in four different shots when Lightning McQueen and Mack first get on the road to California.
Top Down Truck Stop
Pixar had another idea for getting Lightning McQueen separated from Mack. In this deleted scene, Mack stopped at Top Down Truck Stop to get a car wash. After a while, Lightning got impatient, so he went out of his trailer to look for Mack. He met Mia and Tia, who were waitresses at Top Down Truck Stop. The characters that became Rusty Rust-eze and Dusty Rust-eze were there too. Meanwhile, Mack finished his car wash, and Lightning was still hanging out with his fans. Mack didn't know Lightning wasn't in the trailer, so he drove away without him. Lightning said that he must get back to Mack, but he couldn't find him. He looked at where his trailer was parked, and the car wash, but Mack wasn't there. Then he saw Mack driving down the Interstate, so he rushed after him. He drove through a red light, and almost crashed. He drove up the exit ramp, going the "wrong way." He had to dodge a bunch of cars on the road, and then the whole road was blocked by trucks, so he drove off the road. A watermelon truck dropped watermelons on him. Finally, Lightning got back on the road, and tried to find Mack.
Lightning had caught up with Mack, but found out it wasn't Mack. The truck drove away, leaving Lightning at the crossing. Lightning didn't know what to do. Then, on his left, he saw the Interstate, so he quickly raced towards it. Next, it became dark, and then a "thud" happened. Lightning found himself going off the road. Then he fell down a hill, and crashed into a bunch of branches. He bumped into a car behind him. He turned around, and the car was a dead car. Lightning freaked out. He looked around, and more dead cars were everywhere. One was even hanging on the tree. Several of them had branches growing through them. Lightning then imagined that some of those dead cars were about to grab them with tree branches. Really, he crashed into a fence. The fence got tangled on him. On the other side of the fence was the engine of another dead car. Lightning got back on the road, and tried to run away from the dead car's engine. Lightning eventually got untangled and ran away. The dead car's engine seemed to have exploded.
Lightning was asked to do a race in Radiator Springs, but he refused, and chose to do standard community service instead. He was sleeping in the impound. While he was sleeping, he had a nightmare. In the nightmare, Doc Hudson, Mater, and Sheriff had put his engine in a steamroller. He tried to escape. He drove through the fence, and Sheriff chased him with his siren. He flipped a switch on the back of Lightning, which turned on a machine that splats asphalt on the road. Then, another machine that sprays the yellow line in the middle turned on. In the whole sequence, asphalt gets splatted on the road, the steamroller wheels flatten it, and the yellow line gets painted. Also, Doc has put Mater's engine into Lightning's body, so now Mater was a racecar. He had fun being a racecar, and Lightning was worried he will wreck his body. Then, Mack came back, and he mistook Mater for Lightning. Mater got into Lightning's trailer, and Mack drove away. Lightning tried to get Doc and Sheriff to get Mater back, but they wanted him to continue fixing the road. Lightning looked down the road, and there was lots of road to fix. Then Lightning really woke up, and found himself in his regular body. He saw the steamroller body on the side. He decided to change his mind and do the race instead.
Radiator Springs was having a karaoke night. Flo was singing a song. Lightning asked Ramone how he and Flo fell in love. Ramone started his story. Some Motorama Girls came to Radiator Springs from Detroit, Michigan. Nobody had seen anyone like them before. They had a chaperone, who broke down, and that's why they were in Radiator Springs. The girls had some time to kill, so they did what they do best. They had lots of fun. They drank fuel, they danced the conga, and Red gave them car washes. Then they came to Ramone's to get paint jobs. Ramone gave them some paint jobs. Finally, on the last car, Ramone dropped his air brush. Flo asked, "What's the matter? You're too good to paint me?" Ramone said, "No, baby. You're too good for me to paint. I can't touch a classic." The next day, the Motorama Girls left, and Flo stayed. And that's the story of how Ramone and Flo fell in love. Lightning asked how Ramone knew she was the one. Ramone replied, "You just know, man. You just know." Meanwhile, Flo finished her song.
This deleted scene later became a storytellers' story titled Showstopper.