''Cars'' character based on NASCAR fan -- Mater the tow truck owes his name to a North Carolina car enthuthiast

By Steve Daly
June 16, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

He’s a scene-stealer in Pixar’s Cars. But Mater the redneck tow truck (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) has a human alter ego: Douglas ”Mater” Keever, a 48-year-old construction superintendent who hasn’t missed a race in years at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway outside Charlotte, N.C. Director John Lasseter met Keever there in 2001 and decided that ”he defined NASCAR fan.” So Lasseter borrowed the oh-so-country nickname Keever got as a kid (chucking ”tuh-maters” at farm hogs) and also gave him a Cars voice cameo as a motor-home race fan. Says Lasseter of the real Mater’s Southern-fried twang, ”It’s the kind of stuff you cannot reproduce. It’s the real thing.” —Steve Daly

type
  • Movie
Genre
mpaa
  • G
runtime
  • 116 minutes
director
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