Fayette County

Tow Mater to share spotlight with Santa in Lexington parade

Tow Mater, one of the stars of the Cars movies, was replicated by Bobby Mattingly, left, and Wayne Caldararo for Saturday's parade. The friends from Georgetown restored a Datsun pickup to look like the animated character.
Tow Mater, one of the stars of the Cars movies, was replicated by Bobby Mattingly, left, and Wayne Caldararo for Saturday's parade. The friends from Georgetown restored a Datsun pickup to look like the animated character. ©2011

Star billing in Saturday's annual Christmas Parade as it rolls down Main Street, of course, goes to Santa Claus, no quibbling there. But another kid magnet will be in the parade: a splendid replica of Tow Mater, one of the character vehicles in the Disney Pixar movie Cars.

The Tow Mater replica will be among the 55 units in the Christmas Parade, which steps off at 10 a.m. on Midland Avenue to make its way along Main Street to Broadway, where it disperses. Professional skater Kate McSwain, of Lexington, will be the grand marshal.

Santa will be riding in the parade solo. His elves, unfortunately, are very busy at the North Pole finishing up all the toys that will be delivered for Christmas, and they couldn't get to Kentucky. It's that last-minute rush, you see.

Mater will add lots of fun to the parade.

The replica was created by Wayne Caldararo and Bobby Mattingly, two guys from Georgetown with plenty of talent at building Harleys and street rods. The truck is complete with big front teeth, one yellow wheel and one blue wheel, a broken headlight and a flashing light on the top of the wrecker boom.

Caldararo credited Mattingly with the creative genius in figuring out how to do the eye-catching Mater. But Caldararo saw the potential. Mattingly was about to work on a small pickup truck in his garage when Caldararo walked in.

"Man, that looks a lot like the Tow Mater," Caldararo said.

At that, the creative juices began to flow. The two friends completely sand-blasted the truck, then went back over it with brown primer. "Mater doesn't have a hood, so we fixed up a pretty wicked looking motor," Caldararo said.

Six months of work and their amazing creation was finished. Mater won a First in Show last summer during the Children's Choice Award at a car show in Georgetown.

"Mater is a junkyard wreck, so he is rough by character," Caldararo said.

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