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Headscratchers / Cars 3

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Aging Process

While the other two movies slightly touch on aging in the cars themselves, Cars 3 makes it more obvious. I don't remember where, but the Director; Brian Fee hints that Lightning McQueen is in his 40s despite still looking like he did in ''Cars''. But I had notice that the characters' model year aren't exactly indicative of their age except in relive to what era they are from. I can only assume their model year is a point of physical maturity for them. Cruz does mention growing up and having a childhood which implies their is some convoluted aging process at work that is probably better left ambiguous. It could also be a stage by stage metamorphosis that involves factories and manufactures "standardizing" or "customizing" them.
  • This film in particular shows the flaw in using cars and drivers interchangeably, because of the whole aging thing, but also shows all the reasons why aging shouldn't be a problem. It's one thing if you're going to claim that the Cars in these movies are like people, where they're "born" how they are, and paint is the equivalent of clothing, and tires, shoes. But in the same film they show Cruz getting a spoiler, and having exhaust work done. Not to mention whatever happened offscreen to get Lightning Mc Queen put back together. So the question remains, if the cars in the film are mechanically just like the real thing, then why should age ever be an issue? True, tech has indeed advanced considerably from decade to decade, and even in the real world, a new family car could give a 90's sports car a run for its money. But there's also nothing stopping someone from upgrading that 90's car with modern equipment and parts. Let alone comparatively trivial things like reducing the drag co-efficient.
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  • I think the case is the "age" is based on the years they've existed since manufacturing. Either that or based on their mileage.

Purpose of Primer

While the main Cars 3 mentions Lightning's primer coat as a Beard of Sorrow, I can't help but think it's a equivalent to either bandages or a cast. My reasoning behind this is because in real life, primer along with a bonding agent is used for repairing tears in the metal, large dents and to protect the metal from eroding. It wouldn't be out of the realm possibility that this would be a common medical practice in the Cars universe, particularly for bad crashes. It is possible that seeing a car still in a coat of primer after being repaired is something out of the ordinary or maybe unsightly since Sally was using some reverse psychology (though she may have been genuine about him looking attractive in primer) to coax Lightning out of Doc's garage after being shut in there for months.
  • Considering primer goes under the paint of all cars, how paint is the Cars universe equivalent of clothes, and his pretty lethargic attitude until Sally coaxed it out of him, it's more likely it's supposed to represent him sitting around in his underwear.
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The Next Generation Racers

Seriously are the mass produced compared to the older generation racers? The tie in book 'meet the cars' kinda implies as such with regards to the 4 next gens who are voiced by real NASCAR racers and the next gen Apple car. Is it possible that Jackson Storm is Super Prototype of the next gens since his tie in origins book suggests that he was created in some lab.

What are the crabs?

The best this proper can come up is either tiny bulldozers...or some other kind of a more claw-based construction-type vehicle.

The Demolition Derby

Wasn't Cruz prematurely declared the winner? Lightning was still mobile at the time.
  • Lightning had also lost a wheel... In real racing terms, it would be like looking at a person who is still fresh while another person has gained a noticeable bad limp. You call a medic and get that limp looked into, Buster!

The Merchandise

Why is it treated as something only retired racers do? From the very moment Lightning McQueen debuted, he was a spokesman for an ointment brand. Is it that shameful for racers to use their name to promote products? Sterling just added more products to the list.
  • It's probably more along the lines of 'retired racers have nothing else to do but to do commercials and PR stunts'. If he was still an active racer he would be concentrating on training and racing to do more than a couple.
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The 95 on Primer!McQueen

What exactly is the purpose of the temporary 95 stickers on both of McQueen’s door panels? We can still tell it’s him without them since he’s a costom build. Is their some obscure rule for Piston Cup racers to still wear their number after being repaired to indicate where the number goes when they get repainted? Or is it for identifying purposes to show that; yes this primer-grey ghost of a hot rod with azure blue eyes is in fact Lightning McQueen, and... he ain’t doing so hot...

Possible dialogue induced plot holes?

While Lightning goes on his tirade about how Cruz is slowing him down after being exposed to the paparazzi at Thunder Hollow, he mentions two instances that somewhat contradict curtain parts of the film.

Lightning's Performance

After the Next-Gens appear, the dialogue explains that Lightning Mc Queen is suffering badly against his new opponents, yet his finishes (and performance at the Los Angeles 500, at least before his crash) seem to suggest otherwise. During the montage, Lightning finishes no lower than 8th place, and by NASCAR standards, that's pretty good, ESPECIALLY against cars of a completely different classification. Hell, during the Florida 500, he handily makes his way through the field, with a projected finish within the top 10 according to Smokey. Top 10's are very respectable in real life stock car racing. The waning of a drivers' finishes is kind of a normal thing in real racing (just look at Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. at the ends of their careers), yet both those drivers continue(d) to have a large following. Wouldn't Lightning have absolutely no problem staying in until his career unwinds like most normal race drivers with the fact that he's still clearly capable of beating most Next-Gens? Realistically, he AND Cal both had at least five or maybe more years left in their careers if real life NASCAR is to be believed.
  • Honestly, these movies pretty much zigzag with their adoption of NASCAR. Presumably using original NASCAR rules (i.e. actual stock cars), in a modern setting. Ironically, if they fully adopted modern NASCAR rules, where every car was more or less the same, with a different shell, the "aging" theme would make a lot more sense. After all, if the cars were mechanically the same, actual driving ability would be far more important. However, by using completely different vehicles, where their performance is a major part of being competitive, one has to ask why doesn't 95 simply get upgraded, with all that new tech and design improvements that the "next gen" racers have?
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