|“||I know his type. Racecar. That's the last thing this town needs.||„|
|~ Doc Hudson to McQueen's type to Sally.|
"Doc" Hudson Hornet (also known as the Fabulous Hudson Hornet or simply Doc) is the deuteragonist of Pixar's 7th full length animated feature film Cars and a posthumous character in its 2011 sequel Cars 2 and its 2017 threequel Cars 3.
He 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 about being a famous race car private and after Lightning McQueen came to town he was first upset and hates him due to he is a race car and he wrecked the road by accident but after he shown he changed he lets Lightning set up his racing headquarters in Radiator Springs and become McQueen's mentor.
"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."
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.
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.
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. As he prepared to go to sleep, Doc watched with smugness as Lightning miserably began to work overnight.
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 Butte, 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 to try the course again, 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 and he doesn't want them reliant on a selfish car like him. Lightning then retorted that Doc is no better than him, not opening about his past to his friends. Instead of countering, Doc angrily 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, as Sally saw him talking to one of the reporters thanking him for the call, Sally was shocked and upset by this, as he declares that it is best for everyone only for Sally to retort "best for everyone or best for you? Seeing how disheartened everyone was by Doc's selfish unknown problem towards McQueen, and Sally calling him out on his selfishness, and McQueen's unplanned departure, as he's taken away without saying goodbye. Doc realized that Lightning had become more important to them than he thought and instantly regretted his actions as he is left alone at the blinking traffic light.
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.
Doc died before 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, 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.
The circumstances of how Doc died are unknown.
Doc has appeared in flashbacks, which appears almost the entire film. After his crash and defeat by Jackson Storm, Lightning watch a video of 1954 of how Doc crashed and ending his career. He is voiced by the unused recording of Paul Newman in the first film.
- Jeff Bridges, Bryan Cranston, James Caan, Christopher Lloyd, Clint Eastwood, Kurt Rusell, Ron Perlman, John Goodman, Robert De Niro, Mel Brooks, Dustin Hoffman, George Clooney, Harrison Ford, the late Christopher Plummer, Colm Meaney, Danny DeVito, Sam Elliott, Bill Murray, Sylvester Stalone, Tommy Lee Jones, Jonathan Banks and Burt Reynolds were all considered for the role of Doc Hudson before the late Paul Newman was casted.
- 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 performed by Corey Burton for this ride.
- He is the first main character of Pixar to die, followed by Bing Bong from Inside Out.
- He is the only character in the Cars franchise to die off-screen.
- Doc Hudson was Paul Newman’s last acting role.
- Like Paul Newman, Doc has blue eyes.