Disney-Pixar "Cars" Movie Premier
The Fabulous Hudson Hornet
Lowe's Motor Speedway
May 24-27, 2006

Storyboard for the car we built for the Disney-Pixar movie "Cars".

It's not 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 world.
(photo on right by Jeff Siner, Charlotte Observer)

The first 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 Siner)

The guy on my left is John Lasseter, the genius behind Pixar. Here's the car just before Paul's first test.

Me, Mark, 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).

More poser 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?

Here's Newman, 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.

Newman telling 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 maiden drive).

Mark is 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.

Paul is 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.

Here's 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.

The "King" 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 look on.

D.W. himself, 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.

The Hudson was also featured on "Live with Regis and Kelly", which aired live at the Lowe's Motor Speedway the day of the movie premier.

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.

Here I 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.

The smile tells it all.
(photo by Jeff Siner, Charlotte Observer)
Thanks also to Lee Giannone and Dave Schnorr for their photo contributions!

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