Meet the inspiration for Tow Mater

Cars on the Route – Tow Mater

119 N Main St
Galena, KS
620 783-1366

Souvenirs, Inspiration for “Cars” character

This old Kan-O-Tex station is where “Cars” director John Lasseter and Pixar’s Joe Ranfit saw the old mining boom truck that inspired the “Tow Mater” character (voice over by Larry the Cable Guy). In fact, the personality of Tow is said to come from “Crazy Legs” Dean down the road at Eisler Brothers in Riverton, KS and Harley Russell, co-owner of the Erick, OK must-stop the “Curiosity Shop.”

Previously called “4 Women on the Route” – it is a great place to stop by and enjoy a little history, food, and shopping — the vintage station at the north end of Main Street in Galena was purchased and restored by 4 women from Galena (hence the name): Betty Courtney, Melba Rigg, Renee Charles and Judy Courtney. They are working hard to lead the rebirth of Galena’s stretch of Historic Route 66.

They sell sandwiches, snacks, antiques, Route 66 and Car’s items, including several made by local craftspeople and artists. Outside the building there are several vehicles, including “Tow Mater.” (For trademark reasons, Four Women are calling their boom truck “Tow Tater.”)

To read more about sites that inspired “Cars” be sure to read Ron Warnick’s blog – Route 66 News

(Why do the folks sell Tow Tater not Mater souvenirs? Copyright issues…)

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(Photos © copyright 2006-2013 Kelly Ludwig, all rights reserved)