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Mater's namesake is Douglas "Mater" Keever, who the Cars staff team met while researching for the film. Mater's voice and vocal patterns are inspired by Harley Russell from Erick, Oklahoma, who the Pixar team met on the real-life Route 66. Some of his catchphrases, such as "Git-R-Done!" and "I don't care who you are; that's funny right there!", are phrases commonly used by Mater's voice actor, Larry the Cable Guy. Larry the Cable Guy spent time with Harley Russell when researching the role.
Mater's physical appearance is based on a 1951 International Harvester boom truck, a vehicle that was used in mine shafts in Cherokee City, Kansas. Additionally, the Cars "Rev'd Up" DVD released in 2006 describes Mater as inspired by a 1957 Dodge truck. One of Mater's signature talents is his claim of being the the "world's best backwards driver", a trait inspired by Route 66 Assocation president Dean Walker, who is known for his ability to twist his feet around and walk backwards.
In Cars, when Lightning McQueen wakes up after accidentally ripping up the main road of Radiator Springs, he is greeted by Mater. McQueen almost succeeds in tricking Mater into releasing him, but Sheriff arrives before Mater is able to.
After McQueen is escorted to his trial, he is required to have a lawyer, but he does not have one. Mater volunteers to fill the role, but they do not win the trial, and McQueen is sentenced by Doc Hudson to community service, in which he must repave the destroyed road with a machine called Bessie. When McQueen is introduced to Bessie, Mater is ordered to hook McQueen up. However, Mater removes his parking boot prior to hooking him up, giving Lightning an opportunity to speed away. However, he shortly runs out of gas, and he is returned to the town.
After speaking to Mater about his sentence, Lightning finds a loophole, in that the quality requirements of the road were never established, so Lightning rushes the road, creating a bumpy mess. Mater excitedly claims to be the first one on the new road, but as he drives along, he bumps up and down, losing nuts and bolts in the process.
Insulted by the quality of the road, the townspeople scold McQueen, but Doc chooses to settle the matter by challenging Lightning to a one-lap race around Willy's Butte. Confident in his ability to win, Lightning accepts, and the race takes place. Once it starts, however, Mater and the others are surprised when Hudson remains stationary as Lightning speeds off. However, McQueen fails to round the final turn, and he speeds off-course and into a cactus patch, which Mater then fishes him out of with his tow hook.
Lightning tears up the road and starts over, and the next day, Sheriff orders Mater to watch the prisoner while he is away. Mater pledges his allegiance, but when night falls, Mater takes Lightning Tractor Tipping. Mater demonstrates how to play the game by tipping tractors one by one, but when Lightning tries, he revs his engine and tips all of the remaining tractors simultaneously. The two laugh until they learn the noise has attracted Frank, the dangerous combine. The two barely manage to escape the field with their lives, but forget to close the gate.
On the drive home, Lightning talks to Mater and realizes that, for the first time, he has made a friend. The two discuss various things, such as Lightning's crush on Sally Carrera, and how Mater claims to be the "world's best backwards driver". He demonstrates this ability by driving around the town and narrowly avoiding a series of obstacles, with assistance from his rear-view mirrors. Sally, overhearing their conversations, Sally offers Lightning a place in the Cozy Cone Motel.
The next day, when McQueen returns from a drive with Sally in Tailfin Pass, he is greeted by Mater, who hurriedly informs them that is anyone were to ask of their whereabouts the night before, they were out smashing mailboxes. Mater is followed by a group of tractors that come stampeding through Radiator Springs, and the townspeople attempt to round them up, while Mater is scolded by Sheriff.
The next morning, the Radiator Springs residents awaken to a completed road, with McQueen nowhere to be found. Assuming he left, the townspeople reminisce of him. However, Lightning arrives and disproves their claims, and Lightning, wanting assistance for his big race, calls upon his friends to help prepare him. With a new appearance, Lightning and the Radiator Springs residence enjoy a cruise night, which is interrupted when the press arrive and take McQueen away to the race. As they leave, Kori Turbowitz thanks Doc for calling them about McQueen's whereabouts, and everyone goes to sleep, with Mater reflecting on how he did not receive the opportunity to say "goodbye" to him. Doc is left alone in the streets, feeling guilty.
At the tie-breaker race in Los Angeles, Lightning finds it difficult to concentrate due to reflecting upon memories of his friends. However, Lightning is excited when he finds that Mater and his other friends have come to serve as Lightning's pit crew, with Mater in charge of holding the pit stop flag. Mater also receives his wish of being able to say "goodbye". Although Lightning loses the race, his good sportsmanship leads Tex Dinoco to offer him the Dinoco sponsorship, and while he declines, he asks for Rotor Turbosky to give Mater a ride above Radiator Springs. During his ride, Mater finds McQueen and Sally at the Wheel Well Motel, and he teases them about their relationship.
Cars: The Video Game
In Cars: The Video Game, Mater is the announcer for the Radiator Springs Grand Prix in McQueen's dream. After Lightning wakes up and speaks to Lizzie, as well as a group of Mexican and British cars, he visits Mater, who he wakes up and asks to go Tractor Tipping. The two leave for Frank's fields, and Mater jokingly accuses McQueen of being scared of Frank. In the Tractor Tipping event in story mode, players take control of Mater throughout all seven levels.
When Lightning returns back from his third Piston Cup race, he visits Mater during the night, and Mater gives Lightning a lesson in backwards driving. McQueen is able to master this ability, and when players perform the maneuver, they will earn a number of Bonus Points based on how long they drive backwards for. After the race, Mater attempts to spell Lightning's name backwards, and calls him "Mr. Gintil", leaving McQueen confused, as, when spelled forward, it spells "Litnig".
Shortly after this, when Lightning is driving near the Rustbucket Stadium in Ornament Valley, he finds Mater repeatedly ramming into a stack of crates and tires. When questioned, Mater explains he is practicing for the Rustbucket Race-O-Rama, a demolition derby race between him and his cousins. One of them, named Tommy Joe, drives up, and Mater introduces him to Lightning. Tommy Joe greets him by bumping into him, which Mater explains is his way of saying "hi". While McQueen is offered a spot in the race, he decides to sit out. In the event, the player controls Mater in the twelve-lap race. Mater wins, and gives his prize of one boost tank to McQueen.
In the Radiator Springs Grand Prix series of races between Lightning and Chick Hicks, Mater is one of television announcers, alongside Darrell Cartrip. When Lightning returns from winning the final race of the Piston Cup season, he takes a drive with Mater, Sally, and Doc.
Mater is also seen during the cut-scene of Fill 'Er Up, when he comes into Flo's V8 Café as Lightning's first customer. He also appears during the mini-game, as one of the café patrons that the player must provide service to.
Mater and the Ghostlight
Mater stars as the lead role in the short Mater and the Ghostlight. One night, Mater decides to play pranks on his friends in Radiator Springs, including scaring Lightning at Flo's V8 Café. While teasing McQueen, Mater exclaims that Lightning looks like he has seen the Ghostlight.
Sheriff warns Mater not to mock the Ghostlight, and tells a story about the mysterious creature. He explains how the Ghostlight is a blue, translucent glowing orb that haunts Radiator Springs, and which particularly dislikes the sound of clanking metal. Sheriff recalls the tale of a couple that got lost in Carburetor County, and all that was found of them was two out-of-state license plates. Following his story, everyone wishes Mater good night and they return home, leaving Mater alone in the night.
Mater, scared by Sheriff's tale, begins nervously driving home. When he arrives at his garage, he is spooked by a blue light resembling the supposed appearance of the Ghostlight, but he is relieved to find it is only a Vroomaroundus Bugus. Just as Mater begins to relax, he notices another blue light, this time immediately behind him. Panicking, Mater frantically drives away, screaming in horror. However, unbeknownst to Mater, the light is merely a lamp placed on his tow hook by Lightning and Guido, who watch Mater's reaction with satisfaction.
In his frenzy, Mater speeds all around Radiator Springs and its neighboring areas, including Willy's Butte and the Tractor Pasture. As Mater starts to lose energy, he slows down, realizing the "Ghostlight" is actually just a lamp. Mater's friends reveal their trick and have a good laugh, but Doc warns Mater of the Screamin' Banshee, before everyone rushes to sleep, once again leaving Mater out alone. Following the credit sequence, Mater finds himself under the Screamin' Banshee, though Mater is unaware of the giant vehicle's identity. Mater warns the vehicle of the Screamin' Banshee, before cautiously driving away, leaving the Banshee confused.
In the cutscene for Team Relay #1, Mater speaks with Lightning, Luigi, Guido, and Giovanni, and the group of cars agree to have a relay race. The player's team consists of Lightning, Doc, and Mater. Shortly after this event, when Lightning visits Mater with his newly acquired monster truck tires, Mater becomes jealous and wants to be a monster truck too. With help from Sarge's metal detector, Lightning tracks down spare parts, and returns them to Mater. During the night, Mater gets his new tires fitted, and he breaks through the wall of Luigi's Casa Della Tires, scaring Luigi and Guido. When McQueen confronts him, Mater refuses to take the tires off, while crushing things in his junkyard, even his own house.
When Mater visits his cousins in Ornament Valley after taking the monster truck tires off, he finds them admiring a new rally car named Emma at the Rustbucket Stadium. The player controls Mater in all four Rustbucket Races. Following Mater's victory in Rustbucket Race #4, Emma asks Mater to show her around town.
In Tailfin Pass, when Lightning meets Koji for the first time, he introduces him to Mater, who claims to speak Japanese. Mater attempts to translate Koji's remarks, and after thinking for a long time, he claims Koji seeks to race McQueen driving backwards with four flat tires while blindfolded. Though confused, Lightning agrees to a standard race with Koji. After the race, while practicing his drifting, Mater hits a bump just before the bridge and is sent flipping through the air. However, Mater sticks the landing, although slightly hurting himself in the process. Later, the player controls Monster Mater during the three Monster Truck Waypoint Races in story mode.
Mater is also a playable character in the Arcade and Versus modes. He is usable from the start of the game, though some of his additional paint jobs must be purchased with Bonus Points. His stats include 2 for boost, 3 for acceleration, 4 for handling, and 4 for stability.
Monster Mater is also playable in Monster Truck Waypoint Races. Monster Mater's stats include 2 for boost, 4 for acceleration, 1 for handling, an 1 for stability.
Mater's Tall Tales
The first eleven Cars Toons episodes are part of a mini series called Mater's Tall Tales. These shorts feature Mater in the lead role, and involve Mater telling a tall tale about his past to Lightning McQueen, and occasionally other listeners. Though McQueen is typically skeptical following one of Mater's stories, in all episodes except Tokyo Mater, something occurs to increase Mater's credibility.
In Rescue Squad Mater, Mater tells about his career as a firefighter. According to Mater, he worked alongside a team of professionals, putting out fires. Once, when called to attend a burning building, Mater saved Lightning from a fire, and brought him to the hospital. Mater reveals that he was also once a doctor, and he performed surgery on McQueen. Lightning interrupts and claims the story is false, before a nurse arrives and greets Mater.
In Mater the Greater, Mater tells the crowd at Flo's V8 Café about how he was once a daredevil, performing stunts such as jumping over a line of rusty cars, and holding onto an airborne plane without falling. Mater claims his biggest stunt of all, however, was jumping Carburetor Canyon. When Lightning attempts to call his bluff, Mater claims Lightning did the stunt, too. McQueen curiously asks what happened, and Mater informs him that he was not successful. As Mater leaves, he is followed by Lug and Nutty, the two pitties from his story.
While Mater and McQueen are driving through the Bulldozer field in El Materdor, Mater claims to have once been a matador, fighting Bulldozers for the entertainment of others. According to Mater, Lightning was also a matador, and his red paint job naturally attracted the attention of the Bulldozers. Following Mater's story, a horde of Bulldozers begin chasing after McQueen.
In Tokyo Mater, after Boost, DJ, and Wingo speed through Radiator Springs, Mater is reminded of how he was once a drift racer. Mater tells about how a towing job lead him to Tokyo, Japan, where he accidentally upset a heavily modified drift racer named Kabuto. Mater was modified by a team of allies, and the two had a drift race to the top of Tokyo Tower. Using his wits, Mater was able to emerge victorious, and his cocky opponent was stripped of his modifications.
In Unidentified Flying Mater, Mater tells McQueen about how he once met a UFO named Mator. The two became fast friends, and they taught each other hobbies and abilities, with Mater learning how to fly. Scientists captured Mator, and Mater rescued him with the help of Lightning McQueen. During the military pursuit, Mator's mother abducted them, dropping Mater and McQueen off back at home. McQueen, skeptical as always, asks Mater to prove he can fly, but he drives away after Mater fails to do so. Once McQueen is gone, however, Mater begins to fly.
In Monster Truck Mater, Mater recalls his monster truck wrestling days. Mater wrestled other monster trucks under the stage name "The Tormentor". Once, when fighting his toughest opponent yet, Mater was on a tag team with Lightning, whose stage name was "Frightening McMean". Mater, using his tow hook to overpower his opponent, won by flipping the arena over. McQueen is doubtful that this happened, until a fan approaches Mater, excitedly asking for his autograph.
Mater tells the story of his heavy metal band in Heavy Metal Mater. Initially a garage heavy metal band, Mater and the Gas-Caps caught the attention of Dex Dinoco's record label, and they became a hit with their single "Dad Gum". According to Mater, McQueen was the keyboardist in the band. When Lightning tries to prove Mater wrong, one of the balloons from Mater's performance flies overhead.
In Moon Mater, Mater recalls his trip to the moon to rescue a stranded astronaut named Impala XIII. Upon successfully retrieving him, the two returned back to earth, alongside Lightning McQueen. The event was covered all over the country, with Mater being praised for his efforts. As Lightning interjects, Mater receives a call from his space shuttle, Roger, asking for Mater's assistance on another mission.
Mater claims to have been a private detective in Mater Private Eye. He recalls a case in which Tia reported that her sister, Mia, had been carnapped. Mater found Big D as the culprit, and, with the help of Lt. McQueen, exposed his involvement with counterfeit tires. To add credibility to Mater's story, Carmen then arrives at Flo's V8 Café, where Mater is telling his story.
In Air Mater, Mater tells the story of how he was once an air performer. While visiting Propwash Junction, Mater met the Falcon Hawks, a group of air performers. One of the members, however, had a broken wing, and they needed a replacement. Skipper Riley taught Mater how to fly, and Mater and McQueen performed in a show. McQueen insists the story is false, just as Mater receives a call from the Falcon Hawks, requesting his assistance again.
In Time Travel Mater, McQueen asks Mater to tell the story of how Lizzie and Stanley met. According to Mater, it started the previous week, when he was putting up a sign with a clock on it. The clock fell on Mater, bringing him back in time, and the tow truck found himself in Tail Light Caverns. Lost, Mater asked a pedestrian, who introduced himself as Stanley. Nervous about messing with the future, Mater suggested the idea of building a town to Stanley. McQueen questions the authenticity of the story, and Mater responds by claiming McQueen was there as well. As Lizzie arrived near the town, she began to fall in love with McQueen. Thinking fast, Mater and McQueen introduced her to Stanley, and the two fall in love. In the end, Radiator Springs was successfully constructed. McQueen is doubtful the story is true, but Lizzie drives up to McQueen and thanks him for introducing her to Stanley.
Tales From Radiator Springs
In Hiccups, Mater is present while Lightning's friends are trying to cure his hiccups. Sally is the one who manages to cure them, by kissing McQueen. Shortly after Lightning is cured, Sheriff starts to hiccup, and Mater chases after him, trying to kiss him.
In Spinning, Mater is among the crowd of cars who gather to watch Guido spinning his sign.
In The Radiator Springs 500½, during the annual "Stanley Days" celebration, Mater notices a cloud of dust in the distance. A group of Baja racers arrive in town, wanting to race McQueen. Mater introduces himself to Sandy Dunes, but the off-roader is confused, confusing Mater's name with the word "matter". Before the race begins, Mater gives the racers quick and confusing instructions on where to drive, so the racers later get lost. Meanwhile, Mater leads the other townspeople on a leisurely drive to observe the race. Throughout the short, Mater is dressed as Stanley.
Mater is also set to appear in To Protect and Serve. In this short, Mater is among the many who are harassed by substitute police officers Mike 07 and Didi 05. At one point, Mater is arrested, and covered in yellow caution tape.
In Cars: Race-O-Rama, Mater once again appears as a playable character. He also competes in various events in story mode.
The World of Cars Online
In The World of Cars Online, Mater is one of the main townspeople that will give the player missions, such as collecting a certain amount of junk.
In the now popular tourist destination of Radiator Springs, the rusty old tow truck Mater has a number of roles, including proprietor of Tow Mater Towing and Salvage, grand storyteller and the heart and soul of the town. But Mater’s favorite title is best friend to Lightning McQueen. Mater values each and every dent he’s earned on his escapades with Lightning over the years, and anxiously awaits further fun with his friend when Lightning returns with his latest Piston Cup.
Cheerful, honest and loyal to a fault, Mater rushes to his best friend’s defense, which ultimately lands the off-duty Lightning in an international racing exhibition: the World Grand Prix. When Lightning invites Mater to come along as a member of his pit crew, Mater leaves Carburetor County for the first time ever.
Not long after their arrival in Tokyo, Mater learns that the world outside of Radiator Springs is decidedly different and its newfangled ways may take some getting used to. But when he’s mistaken for an American secret agent, he falls into an intriguing adventure of his own. Caught between supporting his best friend on a globe-trotting racing competition and his new role in international espionage, Mater ends up in an explosive chase through the streets of Tokyo and Europe alongside a team of British spies and Professor Zündapp's international bad guys.
This happens due to an "oil leak incident" (actually Miles Axlerod's doing). During his mission as a spy, Mater is first blamed by McQueen for "accidentally" messing up the racecar's moves and causing him to lose the first race, Mater is immediately found by Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell at Tokyo airport where they then make a dash toward the spy jet Siddeley while escaping some Lemons who were pursuing them. Mater is then flown to Paris where Finn and Holley tell him about the mysterious Lemon "big boss" who was behind the Lemons' evil plot of the exploding racecars, and that he has to infiltrate the next Lemon meeting, which will be held in Porto Corsa, Italy, which is also where the second race will take place. While taking Stephenson to Italy, Finn and Holley install a holographic cloaking device onto Mater's roof light and has him disguise himself as a Lemon tow truck named Ivan, and upon arrival, Mater, now disguised is sent into the casino where the Lemon meeting is held. Unfortunately, during the meeting Mater accidentally breaks his hologram disguise and allowing the Lemons to identify him, but the tow truck escapes with his parachute and rockets and flies off to warn McQueen about the Lemons' evil plot only to be captured and sent to London (the final race's setting) where he, along with Finn and Holley are all tied to the gears of Big Bentley to be crushed to death. Mater then tells Grem and Acer, two of the Lemons inside the clock tower to let him go after hearing that they have installed a bomb in Lightning McQueen's pit that will kill McQueen upon his arrival (due to their EMP cannon being disabled as a result of Sarge switching the Allinol with Fillmore's fuel) so that he can warn McQueen about the bomb, but upon arriving at McQueen's pit he then realized that the Lemons tricked him, and that the bomb in question was instead inside Mater! Mater then tows McQueen away from the racetrack to save his life, and after a fight between Finn, Holley, the Radiator Springs townsfolk and the Lemons, Mater realizes that the bomb is down to only a few minutes and is actually voice activated and can only be deactivated by the Lemon Big Boss himself. Mater then returns to the finish line where he notices Miles Axlerod in the grandstand in front of Buckingham Palace and tells everyone that Axlerod is the head Lemon and was behind the evil plot of the exploding cars in the first place, as well as leaking the oil puddle back in Tokyo. With his bomb only down to the last ten seconds, Axlerod, realizing that his villainy has been exposed, is immediately forced to deactivate the bomb and is then arrested on the spot. Just right as the police is about to take Axlerod away, Mater opens the Lemon's hood revealing the exact same engine as seen in Holley's photos.
Just before the end of the film, The Queen knights Mater for his bravery and for outsmarting the villain and catching him. Upon returning to the US, Mater returns all of his gadgets to Finn and Holley, but decides to keep his rockets.
Cars 2: The Video Game
In Cars 2: The Video Game, Mater is one of the playable characters in the game, being unlocked by default. His alternate costumes include Materhosen, Tokyo Mater, Mater the Greater, Mater Ivan and Mater Kabuki.
Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure
In Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure, Mater appears in the first Cars level, played by one of the kids in the park. He tells the player that Lightning McQueen is looking for a new car in his racing team, which is the player. But first, the player has got to try out, so he/she has to pass the Tow Mater Fancy Drivin' Challenge. Mater says that he designed the course specially so that only the best drivers in the whole world can finish it. McQueen says that he has got great confidence, and that if Mater says someone is good enough, that is good enough for him, before Mater says that it is what the Tow Mater Fancy Drivin' Challenge says, not himself. The player follows Mater through the course before in the ending cutscene, Mater says to the player that he/she is awesome, before McQueen says that Mater is right and that was some of the best driving he has ever seen, before saying to the player that they are going to be a great addition to his team. Holley Shiftwell then appears saying that was a impressive display. Mater then introduces the player to Holley, explaining that she is his girlfriend. Holley then says that their friend, the player, would make an excellent racer, but an even better spy, and that they have a mission that is perfect for the player's speed and talents, before saying that is if McQueen does not mind waiting, before Mater says that McQueen can wait, before he asks McQueen if he will. Mater is heard in the other levels when the player unlocks a new goal that has the player spinning near a semicircle of coins to collect all of them, which he reminds the player to get ready to spin.
In Disney Infinity, Mater is one of the four playable characters from the Cars franchise, alongside Lightning, Holley and Francesco. He shares the same abilities as the other cars, including drifting, boosting, and towing.
Mater's unique toy box adventure is Mater's Tow 'n' Go. He also appears as a toy box townsperson that can be unlocked by opening one of his three chests in the Cars Play Set.
Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition
In Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition, Mater returns from the original game as a playable character, with no notable changes other than his max level difference, which is now 20 rather than 15.
Cars: Fast as Lightning
In Cars: Fast as Lightning, Mater is one of the first few unlockable characters, previously appearing only in races that other characters need to complete.
According to a tweet from Larry the Cable Guy, Mater will return in Cars 3.
Mater plays a big role in Cars Land. He owns his own ride called Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. In that ride, Mater will be singing songs to keep the tractors dancing. When the tractors are dancing, they will pull their carts, which have riders in them.
Mater also appears in Radiator Springs Racers. First, Sheriff will call Mater to take you to the race. Mater does that, but takes you tractor tipping. After the guests go tractor tipping, they will wake up Frank, who will chase the guests and Mater away. Then that is when they arrive in Radiator Springs.
After the race, Mater will say that they did a good job. He might say that "you beat McQueen!" McQueen replies to Mater by saying that he was not racing. However, Mater says that people cannot win a race if they do not race in it. Some other phrases are used.
Mater also is seen driving around Radiator Springs, where guests can meet him and talk to him.
Mater's make model/breed is a Haunted Hook/Haulital Hook'em (species, Baby Blue the world's smallest Haunted Hook breed), and a mix of a 1951 International Harvester L-170 "Boom Truck", One Ton Wrecker combined with some pieces of a Chevrolet 3800 and an old 1957 Dodge Truck.
He has a V-8 engine with a two-barrel carburetor. He can go zero to sixty in ten seconds, with a top speed of 90 miles per hour, with 200 horsepower.
In most of his appearances, his license plate is "A113", a recurring joke in Pixar films. In Rescue Squad Mater, his license plate is "RSQ M8R". In Mater the Greater, his license plate is "M8R GR8R". When he is disguised as Ivan, his license plate is "PN 217-63".
Mater was born with a coat of pale baby blue all over his body, but it can be concluded that he never got a re-paint. Now, Mater is covered in rust and the only visible paint is on his sides and on his rear. He also has a bumper with a yellow and black "caution" logo.
Personality and traits
Mater is extremely friendly, loving, selfless, loyal and sometimes a bit dim-witted. He has unconditional love for everyone and for other creatures too and thinks differently than most people do which proved helpful for convicting Axlerod. However, he can be very smart and at times and clumsy/accident prone. He also has a vast knowledge of all car parts considering his job of towing and salvaging, which proves to be useful in exposing Miles Axlerod true personality and as the one behind the conspiracy to sabotage the World Grand Prix. Although he may seem silly and dim-witted, he has a huge, vast savant-like knowledge of all things towing and repair along with engines, car parts and car types and is a fiercely loyal and loving great friend to all.
Powers and abilities
In the Cars video games, Mater has been portrayed as a stable character, with average speed and acceleration. Cars 2: The Video Game assigns him a member of the "Heavy" class, along with all of his other skins such as his Ivan Mater and Kabuki Mater alts.
Mater has an amazing skill for backwards driving, self-titling himself "the world's best backwards driver". He uses his rear view mirrors for assistance, as they allow him to see where he's going. His phrase is "Don't need to know where I'm going, just need to know where I've been."
Mater has a friendly relationship with the first six of his cousins, in particular Buford, Cletus and Judd, who he spent time with in younger days, when they were bullied by Bubba and one of his friends. In Cars: The Video Game, Cars: Mater-National Championship and Cars: Race-O-Rama, it is shown that Mater enjoys racing and practicing with his cousins.
Betsy and Mater's relationship has not been detailed, as Mater only briefly mentions her to Grem and Acer.
Mater's current and continuing girlfriend is Holley Shiftwell, a spy he met during his travels in Tokyo, Italy and London in 2011. They first met outside of the bathrooms at the Tokyo party, where Holley mistook him for the American spy that she was supposed to be meeting. Due to the mix-up, Mater is mistook as a spy and is brought along with her and Finn McMissile to solve the mystery of who is responsible for the allinol accidents.
Prior to his relationship with Holley, Mater also met Emma, a rally car from England that came to race with him and his cousins at the Rustbucket Stadium in Ornament Valley. After the two compete in the Rustbucket Final, Emma asks Mater to bring her to the best gas station that he knows. It is unofficial if they were truly dating, as Emma does not appear in the series after Mater-National other than a cameo appearance in the portable versions of Cars: Race-O-Rama.
Mater's best friend is Lightning McQueen, the two going back since when Lightning was arrested by Sheriff. Mater looked after McQueen, and after having a conversation with him, Lightning tried to trick him into letting him free, only to be told off by Sheriff. After Mater takes him out tractor tipping in the middle of the night, the two become good friends and start doing more activities together.
Mater is also on very friendly terms with the other people of Radiator Springs, such as Sally, Ramone, Fillmore and Luigi.
Foes and rivalries
As Professor Z and his army of Lemons mistook Mater for an American spy, they treated him as such as and attempted to get rid of him by tying him up in the clock tower after capturing him, leaving Mater to be crushed by the gears. However, Mater escapes with the help of Finn and Holley, and they proceed to defeat the Lemons with the help of Lightning McQueen and the other townsfolk. Grem and Acer also tried to eliminate Mater during the Tokyo race, but failed as they could not get good enough aim at him.
Mater has had many different occupations throughout his life, though some of which may be just imagined in his head, as Mater often exaggerates while telling his tall tales.
"Mater's a good ol' boy with a big kind heart (who he inherited from both his mom and dad) and the only tow truck in Radiator Springs. He runs the Towing & Salvage and manages the local impound lot. Though a little rusty, he has the quickest towrope in Carburetor County and is always the first to lend a helping hand. Mater sees the bright side of any situation (meaning, he always has that sunny disposition). He's the heart and soul of Radiator Springs (meaning the most important guy there and he's the BIG deal), and he doesn't have a mean bolt in his chassis."
Cars: The Video Game
Cars: Mater-National Championship
Paint Jobs: 9
Unlocking criteria: None (Unlocked by default)
Cars 2: The Video Game
"Lightning McQueen's best friend is honest and loyal, though he is occasionally known to share a tall tale with anyone who will listen. His mouth may get him in trouble, but when the chips are down, there's no car Lightning McQueen would rather have on his side."
Weight class: Heavy
"Has Mater ever been to Germany? When he wears this festive outfit, all signs point to "yes!""
Weight class: Heavy
"Though his story doesn't quite ring true, Mater can still light up Tokyo with this sleek customization."
Weight class: Heavy
Mater the Greater
"Nothing says "feats of derring-do" like Mater's stunt driver paint job."
Weight class: Heavy
"Mater's become a master at disguise! Here he is sporting his popular "Ivan" wear!"
Weight class: Heavy
"There is nothing Mater can't do, and no one he can't be! Check out Kabuki Mater race through the challenges!"
Weight class: Heavy
"Don't judge a book by its cover. Mater might be a bit rusty, but he's also got power under his hood. He's built for towing too, so he's one of the more helpful vehicles in the Cars Play Set."
How to unlock
Mater Paint Job
Found in one of Mater's three character chests in the Cars Play Set
Also, he reminds syrnyk (dish) because of his rusty look.
«Like kilometre, but shorter a bit»
A pun on jakon (rusty) and musom (tow truck). This makes sense, as he is a rusty tow truck.
Mater was born on January 12, 1957, as seen on his Cars 2 passport. This is a reference to John Lasseter, whose birthday is the same as Mater's.
One thing to note throughout the series is that Mater's characteristics and loving nature are very similar to that of a domestcated dog.
John Lasseter wanted to make a movie in which the cars are in fact humans. So, Mater along with all the other cars are really humans.
If you listen to the way Mater talks real closely, you can see that he talks with a lisp to his voice (as he talks, the air kind of whistles through the gap between his buck teeth) and he doesn't say 'this' he usually says, "dis, dat" and among others along with z at the end of a word like "carz" instead of saying "cars".
Director John Lasseter stated that Mater's pure heart and personality was based on Joe Ranft.
It is noted by John Lasseter that Mater is way too innocent, pure and kind so he can never hurt or harm any soul. He can't even kill a bumblebee without mourning for its life.
Larry the Cable Guy mentioned that Mater isn't self-conscious about how others view him.
His most favorite ice cream is pistachio ice cream.
Mater is one of those sensitive guy types. He tends to act and behave more on the feminine side than a macho strong man.
Also, it is noted in the Cars books like Mater's Birthday Surprise and in Mater and the Easter Buggy that his favorite colors are mostly, blue, green, orange, yellow and most defiantly pink and purple (more of the lighter softer colors). He also likes the color red.
It is said that Mater is a big kid or an over-grown child.
His favorite water park is Kersploosh Mountain (as seen on his blue balloon at the beginning of Cars 2)
As told by John Lasseter in a Mater and the Ghostlight commentary on Blu-ray (on the Pixar Short Films Collection movie), the inspiration came from Don Knotts.
During the last section of the World Grand Prix, Mater is described as the World's greatest backwards driver.
In the credits it is shown that he is knighted on Tuesday, July 15, 2011. However, 15th July in 2011 was not on Tuesday in real life, it was Friday.
Head of story and co-director Joe Ranft got the inspiration of Mater after seeing an old abandoned rusty tow truck during a research trip to Route 66. The character was named after and partly based on Douglas "Mater" Keever, a racing fan the Pixar team met during their research trips, and also draws inspiration from several other people the team encountered.
One of his catchphrases is "Git-R-Done!", his actor, Larry the Cable Guy's signature phrase.
In the Disney Infinity series, Mater has a different horn sound. Additionally, some of his quotes are omitted in the sequels. In the third game, the subtitles do not cover his lines or even some of the 1.0 characters, and a couple of sounds he makes when he side-bashes are omitted.
Mater is an American, but in real life, only people from the United Kingdom can receive knighthood. However, non-Britishers can receive honorary knighthood, but they cannot be referred to as "Sir."