Viral TikTok star paying it ahead utilizing distinctive ‘Lightning McQueen’ automotive
SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah – When you see a popular Disney character roaming the streets of Utah, don’t fool your eyes.
It’s most likely Chris VanWagenen at the wheel of Lightning McQueen.
The lifelong Utahn disguised his 2017 Subaru BRZ as an exact replica of the iconic character. He shares pictures and videos of the unique car on social media.
The first post on Instagram didn’t get the most positive feedback.
“All I got was, ‘I thought Lightning McQueen should be quick,'” VanWagenen said.
He didn’t give up. Instead, he turned his attention to the presentation of the car in TikTok videos.
“I’ve turned the negative into something positive,” said VanWagenen.
His videos have been viewed a million times.
He even made one hoping to find the future Mrs. McQueen.
“Hey ladies, my name is Chris,” he says on the dating video. “I drive Lightning McQueen and if you think that’s hot just wait until you see the Star Wars wrap I’m going to do on my WRX.”
The car alone is enough to generate positive reactions. Chris says he gets dozens of smiles every time he’s out and about. But now he’s trying to spread even more happiness.
Because so many people watch them, the TikTok videos make money every month.
Now Chris gives the money to strangers who answer quiz questions correctly.
He tried the quiz game with a staff member on a Del Taco drive through Tuesday afternoon and posted the video on TikTok.
“If I keep my path, just see how many people I can make for a great day,” said Van Wagenen. “This is my new niche, I’m the Lightning McQueen guy.”
Chris adds that he plans to increase the prize pool as the videos get more likes and views.
It’s his little way of sharing something positive with his neighbors – and the world.
“The reactions are priceless,” he said. “Everyone loves it and has a good time. People’s phones always pick up when they drive past me. It’s incredible.”