More than a few of the S650 ‘Stang drivers out there are waiting for the aftermarket to release serious mods for the seventh-generation pony. And it seems one of the best ways to go about it is to turn a 2024 Mustang into a real-life Lightning McQueen.
Owner Andy De La Verga took delivery of his 2024 Mustang GT earlier this month and he just couldn’t let go of the Lightning McQueen makeover he had given his S550 Mustang GT—it appears the former replaced the latter in the man’s garage. After all, the now-old pony had inspired the aficionado’s McQueen Atlanta social media name—his city may have also contributed—so why leave the new car stock?
The Lightning McQueen wrap, which the man installed himself, is a proper replica of the livery made famous by the Cars franchise’s protagonist. And while one might expect the body panels to be covered in vinyl, getting the traditional Cars character eyes right while still being able to see through the windshield meant the Mustang got perforated vinyl on this piece of glass. Then there’s the rear window, whose triple decals replicate the reinforcements we find in NASCAR.
The factory 19-inch wheels got red peelable paint, while the stock Continental tires received white “Lightyear” sidewall script for a complete impersonation.
Right out of the box, Andy’s 2024 Mustang GT, which used a six-speed manual, got dynoed, with the Gen IV 5.0L Coyote V8 delivering 427 hp and 362 lb-ft of twist at the wheels. For the record, this is in line with other dyno tests and the official crank output of 480 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque.
So far, the real-life Lighting McQueen 2024 Mustang GT was only fitted with entry-level mods—as hinted in the intro, these are the only ones available. Thus, the pony got RTR lowering springs and a Steeda H-pipe.
Aside from an RTR shift knob for the 6-speed manual and a Mater pillow bringing this Cars tow truck character into the story, the interior of the S650 is still stock.
No, Disney didn’t sue people over giving their cars Lighting McQueen makeovers
Naturally, with the first film of Disney-Pixar’s Cars trilogy having landed back in 2006, Andy was not the only one to convert a real car into a character. So, as we discussed when showing you a Mazda RX-7 gone real-world Lightning McQueen, the obvious NASCAR connection the animation character does via its Piston Cup stardom was supposed to be handled with Chevrolet’s help, but the deal fell apart.
So the cars everyday people and experts see in Lighting McQueen involve the 1960s Ford GT40 (the posterior), a Lola prototype racer (the front), and the Porsche 911 (the greenhouse, as pointed out by James May).
And, on the enthusiast’s Instagram page, multiple users mentioned another driver who had turned his performance car into real-life Lighting McQueen and claimed Disney sued him for the move. And Andy debunked that story: “He made that up, it’s not true,“
This refers to TikToker Chris of ninefivegarage, who clearly pulled a stunt by making videos about Disney allegedly suing him over his first-gen Subaru BRZ Lighting McQueen makeover. However, it’s not that hard to figure out that none of it was real—in one of his clips we can see the man explaining the crux of the matter was that Lightning McQueen was modeled after the BRZ and thus the similarities with his real car are too great. So this one’s for the giggles, people.
Now, Andy has been enjoying his Lightning McQueen Mustangs with his son (you can see them together in the gallery above), while sharing this with countless other kids. For one, the Instagram video below, which was captured last year when the S550 Lighting McQueen was still in the spotlights, shows a little boy noticing the aficionado’s Mustang parked in the driveway and giving the machine a kiss.