Disney Vehicles Found in the Real World

Disney animators love to give character to inanimate objects. And when they are fleshing out a human character, they usually imbue any objects they use or possess with a complimentary character trait.

While looking through my pictures from both the Motor Muster and Old Car Festival, held in Greenfield Village each year, I began to notice that I had some interesting Disney car tie-ins. Don’t know what I mean?


Exhibit One: Herbie Blushes

I was taking close-up pictures of some of the cars to get cool reflections and to optimize the shapes and features of each car. The shot above, of a Volkswagen Beetle, made me think of an embarrassed Herbie!


Exhibit Two: Prof. Ned Brainard’s Flying Model T Ford

Inside the Henry Ford Museum you can see how an actual Model T Ford was constructed, and sit in or pose with an original model, as above. Yet no matter how much Flubber I used, I just couldn’t get this one to fly!


Exhibit Three: Cruella De Ville’s evil-looking Bugatti

I’m not sure just what model Cruella’s car was supposed to be in the animated film 101 Dalmatians, but it looks an awful lot like the vintage Bugatti above. Think how cool it would have been if this white Bugatti was covered in spots! But being as there are only 3 or 4 of these left in the world, and only this one in North America, I don’t suppose the museum will be upgrading the paint any time soon.


Exhibit Four: Doc Hudson as The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

The film Cars by Pixar came out in 2006 and I took the above picture in 2009. At the time, I never even clued in that I was looking at the inspiration for Doc Hudson’s racing career. And it took until 2014 for me to even realize I had this shot! It just goes to show that you never know when a Disney reference will pop up in your life.

For more information about this Disney reference, please visit my post entitled Keith Partridge Buy’s Pixar’s Doc Hudson over at My Dreams of Disney.


Exhibit Five: Interpol car from Muppets Most Wanted

Not an exact match, but when art imitates life, art often takes liberties. I think the essence of the fake car is definitely present in the real car! Sadly, no muppet emerged from the yellow version.

So if Beaker were a car, he’d end this post simply by saying: “Beep, beep!”

Doc Hudson

Keith Partridge Buys Pixar’s Doc Hudson

With Disney buying so many franchises lately, I was surprised to find someone who could actually buy a little piece of the Mouse! But as I was watching another Season One episode of The Partridge Family (ep. 21 – A Partridge Up a Pear Tree) the first scene showed Keith cleaning up his ‘new’ car. The plot involves how broke he becomes trying to keep it on the road.

And I noticed right away that it was a fabulous Hudson Hornet from the 50’s! Sound familiar?

Doc Hudson 001

It’s Doc Hudson! I’m thinking this was after his big crash but before he got fully restored and found a new life in Radiator Springs. Obviously, between those times, he ended up in the loving hands of Keith Partridge (above).

Here’s a pic showing Doc all fixed up:

Toy Cars Doc Hudson +

This is a die-cast model of Doc without his racing stickers, as we would see him in Radiator Springs. And next is a pic I took recently at the Art of Animation Resort in WDW, Florida:

Doc at AoA Resort

Looking good! As you compare the real Hudson Hornet to the Pixarified version, you’ll notice a little artistic licence was taken with the side trim and ol’ Doc was supposed to have a radio antennae sticking out of his forehead between his split windshield. But over all, our Pixar pals did an amazing job of staying true to the original car design.

Now all silliness aside, how many of you have actually seen a real Hudson Hornet? Well, if not, here is a little history on the car, and where you can see it today (from Wikipedia):

Hudson was the first automobile manufacturer to get involved in stock car racing. The Hornet “dominated stock car racing in the early-1950s, when stock car racers actually raced stock cars.”

During 1952, Marshall Teague finished the 1952 AAA season with a 1000-point lead over his closest rival, winning 12 of the 13 scheduled events. Hornets driven by NASCAR aces Herb Thomas, Dick Rathmann, Al Kellar, Frank Mundyand, and Tim Flock won 27 NASCAR races driving for the Hudson team.

In the AAA racing circuit, Teague drove a stock Hornet that he called the Fabulous Hudson Hornet to 14 wins during the season. This brought the Hornet’s season record to 40 wins in 48 events, a winning percentage of 83%.

Overall, Hudson won 27 of the 34 NASCAR Grand National races in 1952, followed by 22 wins of 37 in 1953, and capturing 17 of the 37 races in 1954 — “an incredible accomplishment, especially from a car that had some legitimate luxury credentials.”

The original Fabulous Hudson Hornet can be found today fully restored in Ypsilanti, Michigan at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, a facility that was formerly home to Miller Motors, the last Hudson dealership in the world.

And I’ll conclude this post with a picture of what one of the Fabulous Hudson Hornets looked like, this one driven by Herb Thomas:

Fabulous Hudson Hornet

{Editor’s Note: Lee keeps turning out some great Disney information from old television shows!  Who would have thought that Doc Hudson would appear in the Partridge Family? Have you ever seen some Disney characters or things appear in your favorite shows?  Let us know in the comments, and thanks!}