Strip ‘The King’ Weathers is one of the emotional cornerstones of Pixar’s Cars. He’s also a blue ’69 Dodge Charger Daytona Hemi, voiced by Richard Petty. Studio boss John Lasseter is the devout petrolhead son of a parts manager at a Chevrolet dealership, and Cars was partly a paean to racing, partly prompted by a Lasseter family roadtrip. But it was also inspired by a documentary called Divided Highways, which examined the impact of the US interstate highway system – in particular, on the Mother Road, Route 66. “Car people are tremendously passionate.
Cars are their life. I really wanted to be able to get the details right for them,” Lasseter notes.