- March 2nd, 2013
In the first Cars, we saw a group of tuners, trouble-making drag racers, small-time criminals, etc. In the second Cars, we saw the lemon mafia. There are hints of an extensive gangland, as it were, in the Cars-verse, and here's how I think it works:
Victor Hugo: called the Dodgefather as a term of respect and to indicate that he wields the greatest influence of the so-called Four Families. His family is originally eastern European in origin, but he settled in Italy some fifty years prior to the events of the first film. He runs the Casino di Porto Corsa, a corrupt oil business, and the entire Hugo crime family in general. He is dodgefather to young Alexander Hugo and once rescued him from a dangerous home life. Now Alex serves as his chief and most faithful bodyguard, and it is widely rumored that he will be the Dodgefather's successor. Other notes: He knows six languages: Hungarian, Romanian, German, Russian, Italian, and English. Alex Hugo, on the other hand, knows four: Hungarian, Romanian, Italian, and English.
Tubbs Pacer: has an embarrassing first name (rumored to be Alvin, jokingly rumored to be Sue). He is a conservative though he will occasionally splurge in the real-estate department. He runs the Pacer family from his base in Los Angeles, where he and his men are apt to meet and interact with tuners. They've reached something of a tacit understanding, and the tuners alternate between drug running and ignoring the Pacers on a relatively frequent basis. Other notes: knows some Italian, prefers spaghetti to every other Italian dish he knows of.
J. Curby Gremlin: as we all know, based in Detroit and apparently desperate for attention, based on the way he attempts to solicit the Dodgefather at the meeting. He plays for the winning side but otherwise hangs back in all disputes. He has a daughter who ran out on him to lead a legitimate life as a pro poker player, and as a result, he never talks about her. Other notes: armed and dangerous, somewhat mercurial, also knows a little Italian but prefers to deal in English (to Alex's chagrin--he does most of his important business in Italian).
Vladimir Trunkov: operates the streets in eastern Europe, an opportunity given to him, somewhat unknowingly, when Victor Hugo chose to move his family and organization to Italy. To him, everything is just business, so he doesn't fully comprehend emotional decisions, nor does he choose to. Because of this, true loyalty is something of a mystery within the organization. Other notes: knows English on top of Russian and Hungarian. Tolga Trunkov, one of his chief guards, knows Hungarian almost exclusively.
The Tuners: operate in nearly every major city one can fathom. Main activities include drag racing, drifting, speeding, and general mischief. Sometimes groups of these will speed through areas that the Four Families declared neutral after the Summer of Lead and Mattresses, also known as the Porto Corsa War, in 1976. Among these are Boost, Snot Rod, Wingo, and DJ, who find themselves in Radiator Springs at the mercy of the Sheriff and Bessie. On occasion, tuners will run drug operations for cartels in Mexico or for syndicates connected to the Four Families. Often, they stage late night drag races in the streets they run in, and it's become something akin to the Piston Cup and Grand Prix circuits in legitimate racing. Other than this, they have no real structure.
Places declared neutral as part of the treaty the Four Families reached after the Porto Corsa War: Route Sixty-Six, the Autobahn, all towns deemed immediately within the vicinity of said roads, other major roadways that connect whole countries or continents.
Other agreements reached in the said treaty: the Four Families established their current boundaries and where trades would take place, who would be acceptable hostages if the need ever arose, the domains of the respective families (as in, what business ventures they accepted within their boundaries as well as what trades they would operate therein), the establishment of a conference hall within each domain for the purpose of holding negotiations of serious import to prevent another war as well as for carrying out important multi-family business ventures, the arrangements for claims and offers of asylum.
Arrangements made at later dates: how to deal with the massive amounts of tuners and imports flooding into certain families' borders, the handling of new criminal organizations (cartels, Yakuza, etc.), Allinol (for which, breaking with his custom of negotiating in his home, Victor Hugo lent out the back hall of his casino).
Other notes: Many a lemon hood will back you if you stay on their good side, but don't cross a lemon. Ever. Tuners behave in this fashion as well, but to a lesser extent. Where a lemon will most likely kill you, a lemon will most likely turn you in to the cops and set up a frame-up. Anything could cause all the fragile alliances made over time to crumble, so be careful whose buttons you push and how. Attempts to divert blame could result in mattresses springing up in abandoned buildings all over the city. If you're ever lost and have questions, especially in Porto Corsa, there are plenty of lemons that speak English, but be careful who you ask, lest you end up sleeping with the fishes.