A Cars Inspired Road Trip: Part 1

KaChow!

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It is no secret that in my house the #1 Disney Movie (still edging out the Avengers, only slightly) is Cars…no, not Cars2 or Cars but the original Cars  The #monsterchild (now 12) literally wore out 3 DVDs when he was little from watching the movie repeatedly.  In fact, I still remember a road trip to Carlsbad Caverns that Cars was played continuously for the 8-hour drive, both ways.  I remember smiling to myself as he would laugh always in the same parts, no matter how many times he had seen that scene and how at 2 years old he could practically recite the entire movie.  #Mosterchild was then and still is Lightnings #1 Fan.

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It was a magical moment at Walt Disney World when he met Lightning in person, or should I say in “car”.

The #monsterchild is not the only one in the house that loves CARS, my husband has been a fan of any kind of car since he got behind the wheel, I won’t tell how long ago that was.  As a teenager he restored several cars along with his brother and father.

Today, that passion of restoring cars continues with #monsterchild and Boo.  Did I mention that we even have a Doc Hudson waiting his turn to be restored to his glory days?

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Cars was set in the fictional town of Radiator Springs, but did you know that many of the places you see in the movie are based on actual places along Route 66 and even some of the characters are based on real life “characters” along the way.

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Last Spring, we took a road trip on the Mother Road to Disneyland and along the way we stopped at those places. Follow along the next few weeks as I look back at that trip and share the real places along Route 66 that inspired the fictional town of Radiator Springs depicted in Carsland and at Disney California Adventure.

Our trip began only a few blocks from our home on Historical Route 66…

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In it’s hay day, Route 66 beckoned millions of travelers to California, but like the road in Cars it was by-passed when the interstate opened (I-40) and literally left the road any many towns along it abandoned.

As we turned onto Route 66 it was just a few more blocks before we came to what I consider to be the first two inspiration points, Flo’s Diner & Sarge’s Garage…

While I know that there are many Quonset huts that can be found along Route 66, but I like to think of the one near my home as the inspiration for Sarge’s, after all it was at one time an army surplus store.

Next door is the remains of an old drive in diner, which you can find in the design of Flo’s V-8 Diner…

Leaving the Mother Road for the Interstate we travel just outside of Amarillo and stop at the Cadillac Ranch…

 

 

Looking at map of the “Carburetor County” region, where Radiator Springs is located, you find the Cadillac Range a few miles away. In the film, it appears as mountain range whose jagged peaks are reminiscent of the famous sculpture, the “Cadillac Ranch”.

Ten Cadillacs were driven into a field, then half-buried, nose-down, in the dirt (supposedly at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza). They faced west in a line, from the 1949 Club Sedan to the 1963 Sedan de Ville, their tail fins held high for all to see on the empty Texas panhandle, just like the Cadillac Mountains of Cars.  While the Cadillac Ranch is in our own backyard, this is actually the first time the boys have ever seen it up close and personal.

Stay tuned next week as we continue down the Mother Road in our Road Trip to bring Cars to life…

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