"Cars" Movie Premier
The Fabulous Hudson Hornet
Lowe's Motor Speedway
May 24-27, 2006
the car we built for the Disney-Pixar movie "Cars".
often you see Paul Newman at a press conference, but because
the movie "Cars", was close to his true love of
racing cars (besides Joann), he sat for an hour and answered
questions from more than 100 journalists from all over the
(photo on right by Jeff Siner, Charlotte Observer)
time Paul saw the car was at the press conference. Mark and
I got a big old bear hug! When Paul is happy, he shows it.
Here, Mark and I are standing for the first of many ego pictures.
Incidentally, Mark Schomann has been one of my long-time friends
and is our team engineer. (photo on left by Jeff
on my left is John Lasseter, the genius behind Pixar. Here's
the car just before Paul's first test.
and Dave, our famous graphics dude. The million dollar pose
on the right - Owen Wilson (Lightning Mc Queen), Bonnie Hunt
(Sally), Paul Newman (Doc Hudson), and John Lasseter (Oscar
winning writer, producer, director of Toy Story, Finding Nemo,
and the Incredibles).
shots...Jimmy Johnson and I. Jimmy was giving rides to all
the Disney-Pixar big wigs. Bonnie decided I was the coolest
guy on earth, so she wouldn't leave me alone. Here, we are
posing for another photographer with John.
Am I the only guy who loves the paparazzi?
Humpy Wheeler (who raced Hudsons in the early days), and Disney
movie mogul, Dick Cook. In the photo on the right, I am sitting
with Stan Barrett, the famous stunt man and Nascar driver.
stories to Humpy. The photo on the right is a great picture...it's
Hud checking out Dr. Hud. Paul is actually talking the Mike
Whitcomb, who is the lead driver for the Petty Racing Experience.
We had him shake the car down to make sure it was o.k. for
Paul to drive (we didn't want Paul hitting the fence on his
helping Paul in for his second day of driving. The first day,
we kept a short gear in the car to keep it under 100mph. The
second day, Paul demanded we give the car a proper Charlotte
setup. Because we were based at the Richard Petty Driving
Experience workshops, they gave us the tall rear end, shock
absorbers, and all the setup specs so the car would do 180.
in and Mark hands him the steering wheel. I designed two trunk
lids; one, which represents Doc Hudson in the movie, and the
other one consisted of the spoiler. This is Nascar approved
and Newman did reach speeds in excess of 165mph.
Newman at speed. The spoiler did help keep the car stable,
but the smile on the front bumper let too much air under the
car so at 160mph, she got a little light in the front. Next
time we take the car on the super speedway, we'll devise a
front splitter with an air dam, which will eliminate "the
uneasy feeling" at speed.
also raced Hudsons. He had a great time hanging out with his
movie voice buddies.
Richard was Strip Weathers, a Superbird, in the movie.
Humpy and the King
Daryl Waltrip, and John check out the big 410 (big block Ford)
engine. Scott McLearen did a fine job with the engine and
transmission for this project.
D.W. talking to
John and Owen.
was also featured on "Live with Regis and Kelly",
which aired live at the Lowe's Motor Speedway the day of the
We'll tell you
the whole story of how Doc came to life and the complete build
of the car tomorrow.
Dave, Kevin, Mark
and Doc on the red carpet.
We were the last
car to come off the carpet after the movie.
am...a man and his machine...actually I am wondering how pissed
off my customers are that we did this project on top of everything
else we we're doing. I know they'll get over it because they
are all really great guys.
tells it all.
(photo by Jeff Siner, Charlotte Observer)
Thanks also to Lee Giannone and Dave Schnorr
for their photo contributions!