Tow Mater, better know as simply Mater, is the deuteragonist in Cars and the main protagonist in Cars 2.
Mater runs Tow Mater Towing & Salvage. Mater is one of the first to befriend and support Lightning throughout his adventure in Radiator Springs. During the film, Mater shows Lightning how to do Tractor Tippin' and how to drive backwards without crashing by using rearview mirrors, which Lightning uses to counter Chick Hicks' dirty racing in the Piston Cup race. In the end, Lightning gives Mater an opportunity to fly in a Dinoco helicopter like he always wanted, saying to Sally that Mater is his new best friend.
In the now popular tourist destination of Radiator Springs, the rusty old tow truck Mater has a number of roles, including the proprietor of Tow Mater Towing and Salvage, grand storyteller, and the heart and soul of the town. But Mater’s favorite title is best friend to Lightning McQueen. Mater values each and every dent he’s earned on his escapades with Lightning over the years, and anxiously awaits further fun with his friend when Lightning returns with his latest Piston Cup.
- Make model: Haulital Hook'em
- Zero to 60: 10 seconds
- Engine: V-8 with a two-barrel carburetor
- Horsepower: 200
- Top speed: 90 mph
- Mater's license plate is A113, a recurring joke in Pixar films.
- During the credit roll of Cars 2, Mater's passport scrolls past. His birth date is listed on it. It turns out to be the same as John Lasseter’s: January 12, 1957.
- During the last section of the World Grand Prix, Mater is described as the World's greatest backwards driver
- In the credits, it is shown that he is knighted on Tuesday, July 15, 2011. However, 15 July in 2011 was not on Tuesday in real life, it was Friday.
- Head of story and co-director Joe Ranft got the inspiration for Mater after seeing an old abandoned rusty tow truck during a research trip to Route 66. The character was named after and partly based on Douglas "Mater" Keever, a racing fan the Pixar team met during their research trips, and also draws inspiration from several other people the team encountered.
- In Spanish, he is called "Mate."
- In French, he is called "Martin."
- In Polish, Mater is called "Złomek" (z-wom-eh-k).
- In German, he is called "Hook".