The Home of Lightning McQueen


Lightning McQueen, a name that has rolled off thousands of little ones lips since 2006 when the Disney Cars films hit the big screens. He paved the way for many budding race drivers over the years and instilled the V8 rumble into just as many hearts.

In 2008 Disney announced the news that 'Cars 2' would be landing in 2012 (although they managed to bring the release date forward to 2011). There was so much work behind the scenes at the PR department; what could they do to promote such an icon, for every sequel has to be better than the last. Disney commissioned the build of life sized fibreglass Lightning McQueens' to attend the premieres across the globe. Because in the eyes of the promoters, what is more special than meeting your all time hero in the flesh?

This is the story of our Lightning McQueen and how he came to be. We have been led to believe that 5 were produced to attend premieres worldwide. There are many press shots of Lightning McQueen at Leicester Square with British film star Micheal Caine, who voiced Finn McMissile in the movie, standing alongside Lightning McQueen. We know that in March 2013, Lightning undertook a tour of Toys R Us and Smyths toy stores in the UK to celebrate the launch of the Silver Series Cars collection. After this tour ended we are not sure where McQueen went, or where he was stored, although we are aware that a Lightning McQueen was at the London Motor museum at this time. We can then definitively pick out our Lightning McQueen in a post made by on October 3 2017, where they state (with photos), that they had received 3 of these McQueens (although we have only ever found 2 in all the google map searches etc over the years) for the purpose of destroying them.

Over time, parts were taken from these cars and they became more unloved. We know that the yard was trading as Pounds Yard at that time, and then in October 2018, Trinity Marine took the delivery of our McQueen from Pounds Yard. He was then placed onto the roof of a container where he stayed until he was removed in November 2021, where there is a video on YouTube that is worth a watch. The YouTube channel Venom Custom Shop collected McQueen on 26th November from Trinity Marine, and delivered him to the new owner. On the way they took him for a little drive and they visited a well known motor spares retailer. 

In December 2021 we were approached by a small local business who had seen that Lightning McQueen was again, up for sale and asked if we at JB and ME could make use of him for promotional usage and fund raising. We jumped at the chance! Lightning McQueen had been such a big part of our family and James favourite car. From there, we helped collect from the home that Venom had delivered him to only a  month previous and brought him home. The joy we felt at this awesome opportunity was soon over-shadowed, a member of our team posted a short video on tiktok of McQueen which soon went viral. Shortly after, an influencer named Sam Hard was interviewed regarding ownership of Lightning McQueen, during the interview photos of our car was used, stating that we owed him a mould of the car. We then started getting messages threatening us, our charity and businesses, telling us to give this man his mould/his car back. We are a small charity trying to help bereaved families and were getting so much hate over what transpired, which were events fabricated to create a 'good story', for views. We obviously contacted the influencer and he admitted that stories sell and he had not owned our McQueen. It was then agreed that he would release a second video stating the real truth, which to the date of writing, has not happened.

We decided that the best course of action was to hide Lightning until the social media backlash calmed down, and for a year he was hidden from sight. In February 2023 we took him out of hiding, and began to raise awareness of him and us. In 2023 we took him on a 600 mile round trip to a little boy's funeral, he went to a child's hospice to help raise funds for them and visited a little boy in his final days. In that one year, we were able to complete all of our goals for the charity and more.

In 2024 we hope to reach more families, get Lightning to more of his adoring fans and raise more awareness of our charity.

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