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“Cars” characters roam Chile

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An initiative entertains limited children

Santiago de Chile (EFE) – In Pine, a small town south of Santiago de Chile, children run across the street as they hear the horn. If it’s Wednesday, you’re in luck: It’s the day Lightning McQueen and the Met, from the Pixar movie “Cars,” make their way to entertain the little ones during the pandemic.

It is a project by Ramón Sandoval, a car fanatic, mechanic and collector, who had the idea to recreate the film’s protagonist in life size and “give back the illusion” to people in times of crisis.

“The pandemic has touched us all and you just want to see the kids excited. Give them that magic back,” explains Chili, who also works as a volunteer firefighter.

Hardly anyone makes a caravan and no one bothers, Sandoval admits, but when the hero of “Cars” takes the road to this picturesque town or one of the nearby municipalities, time stops on the roads. .

Children crowd the sidewalk and cars blow horns at the same time. The successful imitation has captivated hundreds of individuals and entire families visiting the mechanic’s workshop, which now resembles a showroom.

It all started in 2019, when a friend gave him an old truck, which they restored with their 12-year-old son, to turn it into the film’s co-star Mate. In just a few days, the car already became popular and went viral on social networks.

“A story was made in the neighborhood: The Met was looking for their best friend. All the pines went out of their way to help me build Rayo and we succeeded,” recalls Sandoval, who initially Did this with a Corvette which he later replaced with a Mustang.

With the advent of the pandemic, the mechanic was able to devote himself completely to what has always been his passion: fixing old cars and there are already 11 in the collection, some salvaged or given away and others brought in from abroad. Gone.

Set entirely in a world full of talking cars, the story of Lightning McQueen, which was nominated for two Oscars in 2004, is a lesson in sportsmanship and friendship that grows largely in an abandoned city in the desert of the United States. Happens in Radiator Springs.

As in the film, in which racing champion Lightning McQueen brings the town back to life, Sandoval brings back the confusion with his cars to Pine, a rural municipality that has been abandoned for 100 days in a row during the pandemic.

“Finally I could see the Met and Rayo. Now we can’t go to school and we get so bored. At least I have a good time here,” says 5-year-old Renato, who came to see the car show with his family was.

Since last March, Chile has experienced a new wave of COVID-19 infections that keeps the health system on the ropes. Since then, non-essential shops and schools have been closed in most parts of the country. On a voluntary basis, caravans have visited children’s hospitals and at Christmas and carnivals as a surefire way to entertain children.

“People understand that giving happiness to the little ones is incomparable. For us, these cars are a simple thing, painted vehicles, but for a child it can change his life”.