Hero Overview

~ Lightning McQueen's catchphrase.
Speed. I am speed!
~ Lightning McQueen's famous quote.

Monty "Lightning" McQueen is the overall main protagonist of the Disney/Pixar Cars franchise. He is also the deuteragonist of Cars 2 and Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales and one of the main characters of Cars Toons: Tales of Radiator Springs. He is a famous race car who lives in a small desert town called Radiator Springs.

He is voiced by Owen Wilson who also played Jedediah Smith, Marmaduke and Reggie. In the show’s (excluding the episode, Radiator Spring 500 1/2), He is voiced by legendary voice actor, Keith Ferguson.


At first, McQueen was brash, selfish, and arrogant, overconfident that he can win the Piston Cup on his own, without help from any pit crew. But he did show to feel a lot lonely that he didn't have any friends. But Lightning soon comes to realize his hotshot ways will not help him when he ends up stranded in Radiator Springs, a town located on the fabled Route 66, thanks to a prank played on his big rig Mack by the Delinquent Road Hazards while traveling to the Piston Cup Championship tiebreaker in Los Angeles. With help from Mater, Doc HudsonSally Carrera, and Sheriff Lightning gets back on track and makes it to the race in time to face defending Piston Cup champion Strip "The King" Weathers and his arch-nemesis, the villainous Chick Hicks.

Physical Appearance

McQueen has blue eyes and red paint as his main color. His car model is said to be a stock car and more curvaceous Le Mans endurance racer mixed together, while the Cars Blu-ray Car Finder game states it to be a 2006 handmade one of a kind car. When he is originally sponsored by Smell Swell in the World of Cars book, he has a red ducktail spoiler, the Smell Swell logo on his hood, and his racing number, 95, painted green on his sides, along with a thin, yellow lightning bolt.

When McQueen gets sponsored by Rust-eze, he has the team's logo on his hood and the back of his sides, along with the name put on his spoiler, which is still a ducktail. His own name is seen on each side of his roof, and he has chrome bolt stickers on his front fenders. He has a large lightning bolt shape on his sides that is yellow at the front, and orange at the back, and has individual black and white lines. His racing number is painted yellow, orange, and red, and is located on his roof and sides. Additionally, he has several decals of the Piston Cup teams over and under the end of the bolt shape, as well as stickers that look like headlights, which he does not actually have, and are the reason why he is usually called "Stickers" by Sally. His racing number is also displayed on one of them. He even has black tires which have on them the Lightyear brand, which is a reference to Goodyear and Buzz Lightyear, and red rims. His back bumper is painted yellow, which references the yellow back bumpers of NASCAR rookies' cars.

While he helps out the residents of Radiator Springs, he gets a new paint job, which is a darker red, with a half of a long oval shape painted in wheat and with a thin bolt shape inside. His racing number, name inscription, bolt stickers, and sponsor are absent along with his spoiler, and he gets his racing tires replaced with whitewalls. However, when he gets taken to the Los Angeles International Speedway by Mack and the press, he gets his Rust-eze customization and racing tires back.

After finishing the Piston Cup season, he gets another repaint, which regains the oval shape and thin bolt, but slightly shorter, with his racing number in black inside a white circle that has black borders. Additionally, his bolt stickers are again absent. He also has less Piston Cup decals, which are all located on the bottom of his sides. He uses this when he is not racing, as he has his original paint job in Cars (video game)|Cars: The Video Game.

In his first appearance in Cars 2, McQueen regains his original red shade, his bolt stickers, and the original Rust-eze appearance of his racing number, and has a dark red bolt that is the same size as his original bolt shape, along with a thin yellow bolt across. The Rust-eze logo is absent at the back of his sides, and he has the "Hudson Hornet Piston Cup" logo beside his front fenders.

When McQueen takes part in the World Grand Prix, he uses a new paint, which removes the Rust-eze logo and bolt stickers, and has the "Hudson Hornet Piston Cup" logo on his hood. His Piston Cup decals, which were all still on the bottom of his sides, are replaced by the World Grand Prix and Allinol logos. His ducktail spoiler is replaced by a raised one, which has the name of Rust-eze replaced by the World Grand Prix logo. He also uses different sets of tires outside races and has a large bolt shape that is again orange and yellow in the same locations, but with green borders, and the back of the bolt is styled after flames, which there is also a dark red flame behind the bolt. The borders of his racing number are also changed from white to green. Besides his front fenders, he has an idol that is almost shaped like a crest, which the World Grand Prix logo and symbol inside it on the top, with the United States flag and his racing number beneath. Additionally, he gets his headlight stickers replaced with actual headlights.

Soon after, as shown in Cars Toons: Tales from Radiator Springs, McQueen regains his bolt stickers and has all of his World Grand Prix markings removed. He regains the same number of decals from his original Rust-eze paint job, put in the exact same locations. On his spoiler, he has an inscription of Radiator Springs' name as well as a symbol of Radiator Cap Mountain.

In his first appearance in Cars 3, he has a new design which is a large bolt but with his sponsor's name Rust-eze at the back of the bolt. He has a bolt on his hood with the same Rust-eze word, retaining his actual working headlights and the flames from the second film and ducktail spoiler from the first film.

Four months after his crash in the Los Angeles International Speedway race, he is seen in his primer colors while still sporting the 95 decals on his sides before being repainted in his original paint job by Ramone.

Once in the Rust-eze Racing center, he receives his electronic suit in which enables Cruz Ramirez to track his top speed through her agent Hamilton (only at close range). With the help of Mack and Luigi, he covers himself in mud under the alias Chester Whipplefilter in order to keep himself low profile in Thunder Hollow before Cruz Ramirez accidentally exposes him to the public after her victory. He finally accidentally loses his electronic suit in Thomasville during his training with Cruz, Smokey, and the retired veteran racers at night.

After his (indirect) and Cruz's victory in the Florida 500 race, he gets a new paint job as the Fabulous Lightning McQueen, sporting Doc Hudson's colors, the Rust-eze logo on his hood and 95 on his backsides, his lightning bolt stickers on his front sides, and the Fabulous Lightning McQueen logo on his sides. On his rear, he sports For Doc Hudson as he assumes his career as Cruz's crew chief and mentor in Dinoco-Rust-eze.


Speed. I am speed!
~ One of McQueen's catchphrases
One winner, forty-two losers. I eat losers for breakfast!
~ Lightning McQueen
I'm faster than fast. Quicker than quick! I am Lightning!
~ Lightning McQueen
~ Another one of Lightning McQueen's catchphrases.
No, no, no! No tires! Just gas!
~ Lightning McQueen
Checkered flag, here I come.
~ Lightning McQueen
Adios, Chuck!
~ Lightning McQueen to his pit crew chief
…A rookie has won the Piston Cup.
~ Lightning McQueen
‘First one to California gets Dinoco all to himself.’ Oh, we'll see who gets there first Chick.
~ Lightning McQueen to his arch-rival, Chick Hicks
Oh! I hate rusty old cars! This is not good for my image.
~ Lightning McQueen, referring to Rusty and Dusty Rust-eze, the creators of the Rust-eze Medicated Bumper Ointment, who asked to make their product his sponsor
Oh, no! Oh! maybe he could help me! (Sheriff then backfires and McQueen thought he was shooting at him) He's shooting at me! Why is he shooting at me?!
~ Lightning McQueen while being chased by Sheriff.
Officer, talk to me, babe. How long is this gonna take? I gotta get to California, pronto.
~ Lightning McQueen to Sheriff
Hey, thanks for coming, but we're all set. He's letting me go.
~ Lightning McQueen
Oh, I am so not taking you to dinner!
~ Lightning McQueen to Sally
~ Lightning McQueen
Goodbye, Radiator Springs and goodbye, Bessie! California here I come! Yeah!
~ Lightning McQueen
No. No. No. No. No. Out of gas? How could I be out of gas?
~ Lightning McQueen when he runs out of fuel while trying to get back to California
Hey! Big fella! Yeah, you in the red. I could use a hose down help me wash this off!
~ Lightning McQueen asking Red to wash off a tar stain Bessie left on him
I'm a precision instrument of speed and aerodynamics.
~ Lightning McQueen
I'm a very famous race car!
~ Lightning McQueen
Mater, let me get this straight. I can go when this road is done. That's the deal, right?
~ Lightning McQueen
Look, Doc said when I'm done I could go. That was the deal!
~ Lightning McQueen
Hey, look, grandpa, I'm not a bulldozer. I'm a race car.
~ Lightning McQueen to Doc Hudson
Speed. I'm speed. Float like a Cardiac, sting like a Beemer.
~ Lightning McQueen boasting about his speed.
Thank you, Mater! Thank you!
~ Lightning McQueen
Radiator Springs! A happy place!
~ Lightning McQueen's sarcastic remark about Radiator Springs
Great! I'm talking to Bessie now! I'm talking to Bessie!
~ Lightning McQueen
So you're a judge, doctor and a racing expert.
~ Lightning McQueen on Doc Hudson's three different occupations.
Mater I can't. I don't even have a horn.
~ Lightning telling Mater he can't tip tractors because he lacks a horn.
I'm not a baby.
~ Lightning McQueen
He has a Piston Cup?
~ Lightning McQueen when he sees the Piston Cup trophy in Doc Hudson's garage
Did you know Doc was a famous race car?
~ Lightning McQueen telling the citizens of Radiator Springs about Doc Hudson's secret past.
Come on. I'm a race car, you're… a much older race car, but under the hood, you and I are the same!
~ Lightning McQueen to Doc Hudson
How could a car like you quit when you are the top of your game?
~ Lightning McQueen asking Doc Hudson why he quit racing while he was on the top (which he actually didn't do of his own volition)
I'm not sure these "tires" can get me all the way to California.
~ Lightning McQueen
Hey! Is it getting dark out?
~ Lightning McQueen
Victory. One winner, two losers.
~ Lightning McQueen
I think The King should finish his last race.
~ Lightning McQueen as he helps Strip "The King" Weathers reach the finish line after Chick Hicks caused him to spin out, at the cast of his own victory
This old race car once told me something. It's just an empty cup.
~ Lightning McQueen to The King when he points out that he sacrificed his victory to help him.
Not today old man. I know all your tricks.
~ Lightning McQueen to Doc Hudson
Yes, Mater! You ARE the bomb! That's what I'm trying to say here! You've always been the bomb, and you'll always BE the bomb!
~ Lightning McQueen going after Mater, unaware that Mater has a bomb on his air filter
I'm coming for you, Storm
~ Lightning McQueen as he prepares for a race in Florida and his revenge on Jackson Storm


  • The emblem "95" is a reference to the year 1995 when the first Toy Story (and Pixar) movie was released. Originally, though, his number was going to be "57" (John Lasseter's birth year).
  • Lightning McQueen was named after late supervising Pixar animator Glenn McQueen who died of melanoma in 2002.
  • McQueen happened to be one of the most popular characters of Pixar.
  • Lightning McQueen is unique among other Pixar protagonists, as he does technically both lose and win, as that he gave up his Piston Cup title to Chick Hicks so he can help The King finish his last race, but it was meant as a lesson for him as he learned that helping others is more important than winning races and that his heroic actions made him earn applause from the crowd. Therefore, McQueen still loses, but his good sportsmanship makes him the true winner of the eyes of his fans and his new friends from Radiator Springs, due to the actions of Chick Hicks.
  • The biggest reason why Chick and McQueen are arch-nemeses is that both hate each other very much at the same level.
  • Lightning McQueen, along with Woody from the Toy Story films, are the only Pixar movie franchise protagonists to be the protagonist of more than one movie in their series. (Although in Cars 2, Lightning was the deuteragonist.)

External links


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