Proprietor of Tow-Mater Towing and Salvage, Mater comes off as a bit of a bumpkin, but we discover that along with a heart of gold, this silly old tow truck has an inspired sense of fun and adventure.
Mater is a good ol' boy with a big heart and the only tow truck in Radiator Springs. Mater runs Tow-Mater Towing and Salvage and manages the local impound lot. Though a little rusty, he has the quickest tow rope in Carburetor County and is always the first to lend a helping hand. Mater sees the bright side of any situation and is the first to befriend McQueen.
He is the self-proclaimed "World's Best Backwards Driver" and his lifelong dream is to ride in a helicopter.
Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) was inspired by a 1951 International Harvester tow truck but bears more of a resemblance to a 1955-57 Chevrolet or GMC; the actual inspiration may be the 1955-56 version since the hood which Mater recovers at the end of the film after a forty-year absence lacks the "gunsights" of the 1957 model. His license plate reads "A113." Mater runs "Tow Mater Towing and Salvage." Along with the movie, he also stars in an animated short, Mater and the Ghostlight, and acts as an announcer in the Cars video game. He speaks with a thick Southern accent with a bit of hillbilly twang and uses incorrect syntax. Mater is also the (self-proclaimed) world champion backwards driver. He attributes his skill to his rear-view mirrors and his own philosophy: "Don't need to know where I'm going, just need to know where I've been." In the movie, Mater befriends and supports Lightning throughout his adventure in Radiator Springs. At the last race, when McQueen is spun out, he races backwards after being spun out, implying that he learned to drive backwards from Mater. In the end, McQueen gives Mater an opportunity to fly in a Dinoco helicopter like he always wanted. Mater will return in Cars 2 as the deuteragonist.