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In one scene of the first movie, Sally recalls as far back as 40 years earlier, when things were different. Although we don't see her in the flashback all other Radiator Springs folks are there and don't seem to be that young already.

Forty years ago, that Interstate down there didn't exist. Back then, cars came across the country a whole different way. Well, the road didn't cut through the land like that Interstate. It moved with the land, it rose, it fell, it curved. Cars didn't drive on it to make great time. They drove on it to have a great time.

— Sally Carrera, Cars (2006)

So how old are they actually?

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  • 6
    As old as the models they are based on one supposes.
    – Paulie_D
    Jul 5, 2017 at 12:22
  • @Paulie_D assume it's set in the present, and not the past nor some post-BnL dystopia.
    – OrangeDog
    Jul 5, 2017 at 12:48
  • @OrangeDog I have no idea what that means. We don't know ehen Car is set (we can only approximate) but since most of the characters are based on actual models that's the only indication we have.
    – Paulie_D
    Jul 5, 2017 at 13:48
  • That's my point: given we don't know when it's set, the age of the actual models is of no use.
    – OrangeDog
    Jul 5, 2017 at 13:49
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    "In one scene of the first movie, Sally recalls as far back as 40 years earlier, when things were different." I can describe something that took place 200 years ago, that doesn't make me that old; and I'm not "recalling" it.
    – sirjonsnow
    Jul 5, 2017 at 20:12

1 Answer 1

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According to the licenced 'Meet the Cars' factbook, Lightning McQueen is a...

"2006 Custom-Built Piston Cup Racer".

...and given that the current 2006 Piston Cup is his rookie year, this makes him just under 1 year of age at the time of the first film.

enter image description here Meet the Cars

Sally, by comparison, is a ...

"2002 Porche Carrera"

... making her approximately 4 years of age at the start of the first film.

enter image description here

Since the installation of the highway took place "40 years ago", her recollection of the town before the Interstate can only be based on other people's descriptions of what happened, rather than any first-hand knowledge.


Purely for the record, the other characters in Radiator Springs are described thusly;

  • Fillmore - 1960
  • Ramone - 1959
  • Luigi - 1959
  • Flo - 1956
  • Red - "1950s"
  • Doc Hudson - 1951
  • Sheriff - 1949
  • Sarge - 1942
  • Lizzie - 1923

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