In Cars, upon meeting Lightning McQueen, Doc saw far too much of his past in the rookie. He was less than happy when Lightning discovers his past. After Lightning finished fixing the road he damaged and decided to stay for a while, Doc was unable to bear having him around any longer and called the news and press to immediately take him away to the Piston Cup, declaring that it is best for everyone. But seeing how disheartened everyone was by his unplanned departure, Doc realized that Lightning had become more important to them than he thought. He eventually admits the truth to everyone about his Racecar days and he took back his old #51 colors to become Lightning's pit crew chief, bringing nearly the entire town to the Piston Cup to support Lightning as his pit crew and in an ironic twist of fate, finally received that long awaited fanfare for his return.
By the end of the film, Doc opted to keep his racing colors, and became a trainer as well as a friend to Lightning. Just like Lightning, Doc learned some lessons: friendship, promises, how greed affects others, and that secrets can't be kept forever.
Cars: The Video Game
In Cars: The Video Game, Doc usually helped Lightning practice. His most notable lesson was when he taught him how to powerslide, also known as drifting, on dirt. In the video game, he appears at the cut-scenes for Doc's Lesson: Powerslide and Doc's Challenge, where Lightning McQueen went to meet him in Willy's Butte, but he was late. Then he tested Lightning at the Willy's Butte track, and he did good. Then they had a race. After the race, Doc said that the car that Lightning notices (who was Chick Hicks) was watching the competition, and that he will meet Lightning soon. He was confirmed as Lightning's chief at the Palm Mile Speedway, when he confronted Chick for his obnoxious behavior and to stop bugging McQueen.
He didn't appear again until later on in the story, in Doc's Check-Up, when Lightning is brought in for a "check-up" around the town, a race against Doc and some of the other townsfolk, which Lightning easily wins. McQueen also told Doc that he liked the new upgrade he gave him. He later appeared at the cut-scene for Smasherville International Speedway where he told Lightning to save meeting Chick for the track. He told him that he will be fine. At Los Angeles International Speedway, he was seen driving with Lightning when he was on his way on his trip. He told him to be careful. In the final cutscene, Doc was seen driving with Lightning, Mater and Sally, to celebrate the winning of Lightning's first Piston Cup. Along with his three trophies, Doc put it on display on the outer windowsill of his clinic, for the public to see.
Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures
In Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures, He appeared in the cut-scene of the Doc's Tune Up activity, which he asks McQueen to help out with his job. He also appeared as one of the characters to race against in Legends Races.
In Cars: Mater-National Championship, Doc plays a minor role in the story at the very beginning, when he tells Lightning, Philip and Fred to get off the main road. After being recognized, he is given the offer to join the race. He also appears during the stadium races, and in Fillmore's Fuel Frenzy, where he competes with Lightning, Mater and Fred.
In Cars: Race-O-Rama, Doc Hudson now owns his own racing academy, who races in the Race-O-Rama. In the game, he's kind of your instructor. During several races, he might say something to you sounding like it's coming from a headset. He also appears in most of the races. In Transporter 1, you had to bring something to him. In the final scene, he says to Lightning that he did a good job winning the Race-O-Rama.
The World of Cars Online
Doc appeared in the World of Cars Online, where he would give missions for the player. However, once the Cars 2 update was released, Doc was removed from the game.
Due to the death of Paul Newman, Doc doesn't physically appear in Cars 2. At some point between the events ofCars: Race-O-Rama and Cars 2, Doc deceased possibly of old age, as indicated at the beginning of Cars 2. In memory, the Piston Cup was named after him, the Hudson Hornet Piston Cup; the new logo was also put on Lightning's hood in his new paint job for the World Grand Prix. He also appears on some pictures and a newspaper, the same one as seen in Cars. His clinic was turned into a museum about him, called the Hudson Hornet Racing Museum.
When Lightning was showing Mater his new Piston Cup, they were talking about him. Also, during the race in Tokyo, Darrell Cartrip mentioned that McQueen's mentor, the Hudson Hornet, was one of the best dirt track racers in history. In the scene when Lightning was about to take the dirt turn at the race in Tokyo, Japan, Mater told Lightning to do what Doc has taught him, which he did and took the lead.
The circumstances of how Doc died are unknown.
John Lasseter was at first adamant that Paul Newman would return to voice Doc Hudson, even though he had announced his retirement from acting. After Newman's death, Lasseter said that they would see how the story goes with Doc Hudson. Story supervisor Nathan Stanton said: "we felt, after really tooling around with the idea of him being in the film and how do we properly use him, it just felt right that we should have his character have passed away also [as Paul Newman]." John Lasseter said that he realized "Doc Hudson was Paul Newman. The character was written after listening to him talk about his passion for racing." and that "We pay homage to Doc Hudson, which is paying homage to Paul Newman."
Despite Doc's death before the events of Cars 2, he actually appears in Cars Land in Radiator Springs Racers. After getting tires from Luigi or a paint job from Ramone, you'll meet Doc, who is your crew chief for the race. During the race, Doc will tell you through his headset some racing directions. He will say you did a good job at the end of the race.
If you listen carefully, he says different phrases for the left car and the right car:
"Come on in, Rookie. It takes more than new tires to win a race. I'm your new crew chief, and I'll tell you when to pitch it hard and get it into the groove, so pay attention and do us proud."
"Come on in, Rookie. Shiny paint don't win a race. Now get out there and do us proud."
When the car comes out of Luigi's or Ramone's
"Show me what you got, kid!"
"Give it everything you got!"
Coming around Radiator Cap Mountain
"Hold tight around the turn!"
"Dig into that turn!"
Half-way around Radiator Cap Mountain
"Now power through those hills!"
Going over the hills, towards Willy's Butte
"Pour it on!"
"Drive into like an open stick!"
Entering Willy's Butte
"Hot shot, you won! I knew you had it in you, kid. Congratulations!"
"Way to go, hot shot! You tore up that track like a real dirthouse!"
Crossing the finish line.
It's possible that it was too late to remove Doc from the ride and replan it when Cars 2 came out, which can be the cause for Doc's appearance. Another possibility is that the events of that ride may have occurred after the events of the first Cars film, but before the events of the second. He is voiced by Corey Burton, or had archival records of Paul Newman.
Doc Hudson is based off of the real 1951 Hudson Hornet, which is where his name, number and paint scheme came from. He is painted blue, with chrome lining and whitewall tires.
His license plate is "51HHMD", which is a reference to his year and track number (51), model (Hudson Hornet) and profession (medical doctor).
Doc is painted dark blue, with chrome decals and rims. Back in his racing days, Doc sported red rims and the words "Fabulous Hudson Hornet" painted in yellow on his doors, along with the number 51.
Doc has always been grumpy, ever since he was kicked out of the racing league. Doc had been passing down his knowledge to Lightning, and it can also be noticed that he is very serious and makes sure Lightning has enough off-road practice.
While no official age for Doc has been stated, it can be said that he is at least 58 years of age, as he was alive since at least 1951, and his last appearance in the Cars series was in Cars: Race-O-Rama, in 2009.
Powers and abilities
Though initially leaving his past shrouded in mystery, Lightning discovered the newspapers from when Doc crashed in 1954 in a racing accident, leaving Doc with no other choice but to reveal the details of his racing career. He was an incredibly gifted racer, speciallizing in the area of dirt track racing, an ability that Hudson later passed along to his student McQueen.
Hudson also has medical experience, as he is the town doctor. Additionally, Doc serves as the judge for Radiator Springs.
Doc is often seen as a "grumpy old man" similar to Skipper Riley, who often doesn't show much interest in Lightning, but he is still proud of what he has become. In media such as books and comics, Doc is often seen as McQueen's crew chief, most often when Piston Cup races are being depicted.
Though he wasn't much of a social person, Doc was shown to be on mostly friendly terms with the residents of Radiator Springs, particularly with Lightning McQueen, though he seemed to hide it.
Though a bit grumpy to others, the only enemy Doc has been shown to have is Chick Hicks - he seems to share a dislike of him with Lightning, due to his constant bragging and bad attitude towards McQueen and his team.
Doc is sometimes referred to by McQueen as "Old Timer" due to his older age. Additionally, Doc was referred to as the Fabulous Hudson Hornet when he was a professional dirt track racer.
"All right! I wanna know who's responsible for wrecking my town, Sheriff. I want his hood on a platter! I'm gonna put him in jail 'til he rots. No, check that... I'm gonna put him in jail 'til the jail rots on top of him, then I'm gonna move him to a new jail and let that jail rot. I'm -... Throw him outta here, Sheriff! I want him out of my courtroom! I want him out of our town! Case dismissed!"
"Hey! Was that floating like a Cadillac, or was that stinging like a beemer? I'm confused. You drive like you fix roads! Lousy! Have fun fishing, Mater."
"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right."
"I knew you couldn't drive. I didn't think you couldn't read."
"You look! All I see is a bunch of empty cups."
"They [his sponsors] quit on me. When I finally got put together, I went back expecting a big welcome. You know what they said? 'You're history.' Moved on to the next rookie standing in line. There was a lot left in me. I never got a chance to show 'em. I keep that to remind me never to go back. I just never expected that that world would... would find me here."
"These are good folk around here who care about one another. I don't want them depending on someone they can't count on."
"Not all my tricks, rookie!"
Mater: "Wow! I can't believe they renamed the Piston Cup after our very own Doc Hudson!" Lightning McQueen: "I know Doc said these things were just old cups, but to have someone else win it just didn't feel right, you know?" Mater: "Well, Doc would've been real proud of you, that's for sure."
—Lightning McQueen shows Mater his new Hudson Hornet Piston Cup.
Brent Mustangburger: "French rally car Raoul ÇaRoule is counting on a big boost headed through there." Darrell Cartrip: "And don't forget Lightning McQueen. His mentor, the Hudson Hornet, was one of the greatest dirt track racers of all time. In my opinion, McQueen is the best all-around racer in this competition."
—Brent Mustangburger and Darrell Cartrip mentioning Doc Hudson.
Mater: "McQueen, it's time to make your move! Get on the outside, and show 'im what Doc done taught you!" Lightning McQueen: "10-4, Mater."
—Mater tells Lightning to take the turn by telling him to do what Doc taught him.
Names in other languages
Wójt Hudson / Hudson „Huragan” Hornet
Mayor Hudson / Hudson "Hurricane" Hornet
Doc's racing number was a reference to the first year of the Hudson Hornet's movement, 1951.
A blue Hudson Hornet can , an Easter egg appearance of Doc Hudson. Even though Cars was released after The Incredibles, development of the film was well under way.
The Hudson Hornet was one of the first cars used by drivers in the beginning of NASCAR.
The story of the Fabulous Hudson Hornet is true. Many Hornets used in NASCAR at that time actually used that quote on their body paint design. Hudson won the championship from 1952-54.
Although Doc's number was 9, there was no actual #9 Fabulous Hudson Hornet. (Marshall Teague, however, did use the number 6.)
He was Paul Newman's last non-documentary role. Also, like Newman, he has blue eyes.
Doc Hudson is the third Cars character whose original actor died, preceded by Red and Fillmore and followed by El Machismo.
Cars: Fast as Lightning features and unlockable building titled the "Doc Hudson Statue", a statue of Doc that can be unlocked by unlocking Lightning McQueen.