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Thai Shop Builds Real-Life Replicas Of Lightning McQueen Based On The Toyota Celica


Lighting McQueen, the starring figure in Pixar’s popular Cars movie franchise, is not a vehicle that you expect to see in real life. A body shop in Thailand, however, took the challenge and created life-sized replicas of the cartoon, using the Toyota Celica as a base for the conversion.

Unlike his friend Sally, which is clearly a Porsche 996, Lighting McQueen is a generic stock car that is not based on the lines of a specific model. Still, the curvaceous shape of the bodywork, the racing wheels, the special livery, the smart headlights, and the signature smile on the front bumper can be replicated in a real-life vehicle, albeit with slightly toned-down proportions.

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This is exactly what the artisans of P.S. Modify had in mind. The shop, located in the province of Chon Buri in Thailand, is known for producing replicas of rare Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Porsche models based on mainstream vehicles. For their latest project, they deviated from this rule, bringing the iconic cartoon to life.

As you can probably see from the greenhouse and the roofline, the model is based on a sixth-gen Toyota Celica (1994-1999). However, every single body panel – minus the roof – has been altered, making the Japanese sportscar virtually unrecognizable. The front overhang has been extended to fit McQueen’s face structure, the bespoke front and rear fenders make it significantly wider even than the Celica GT-Four, while the tail has a vertical cut for a NASCAR effect. The team went as far as creating functional headlights and taillights that are styled after the cartoon.

As a final touch, the real-life McQueen was painted red with yellow graphics mimicking the original racing livery, alongside “Lightyear” lettering on the tires, side-mounted exhaust pipes, and properly whitened teeth. This applies to the first replica as P.S. Modify has already completed a second vehicle featuring the blue-themed Dinoco livery from “Cars 2”. This one also gets the larger rear spoiler and a slightly different smile to differentiate it from its brother.

Setting aside the front windshield cover with the cartoon’s eyes, both Lighting McQueens appear to be fully functional and driveable, retaining the bulletproof Celica underpinnings. The lack of intakes on the front bumper could have a negative effect on engine cooling since not much air goes through McQueen’s mouth. Still, driving a vehicle like this on public roads would certainly attract lots of attention.

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Photos by P.S. Modify Chonburi


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