The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper reports that Herbie the iconic VW Beetle is up for grabs at an asking price of £96,000.
It may look like any old Volkswagen Beetle to some – but this little car was one of the Hollywood stars of its day.
With its famous red, white and blue stripes, and big ’53’ badge, Herbie is instantly recognisable to film-lovers of a certain age.
And after playing the starring role in the classic Disney series about a VW Beetle with a mind of its own, this version of the Love Bug – as it is nicknamed – is now available to buy for fans with deep pockets.
As one of only seven original Herbie cars left in existence, the car has been put up for sale for £96,000 – but it could fetch far more as fans battle for a piece of film history.
Its owner Alex Micakovski, who is a fan of Disney films Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo and Herbie Goes Bananas, originally planned to build his own replica car. However, he ended up buying the 1960 Volkswagen Beetle from a collector in Missouri five years ago.
He has now decided to sell his prized possession after an original Back To The Future Delorean was snapped up for £282,000 at a recent American auction.
The quirky car has flashing headlights that look left and right, a hydraulic hood and four-wheel steering.
The Herbie films started in 1968 with the The Love Bug where Herbie is first bought by San Francisco socialite Mrs Van Luit for her maid, but returned shortly afterward and purchased by race-driver Jim Douglas (Dean Jones). Douglas’s friend, Tennessee Steinmetz, names the car “Herbie” after his uncle Herb.
The little car had a mind of its own and is capable of driving itself – including becoming a serious competitor in racing competitions.
For most of the series, Herbie sports the now famous red, white and blue racing stripes from front to back bumper, and the number “53” on its front bonnet.
- The Love Bug (1968)
- Herbie Rides Again (1974)
- Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977)
- Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)
- The Love Bug (1997) made-for-TV movie
- Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
In Herbie Rides Again (1974), the car is left to Tennessee’s aunt Mrs Steinmetz (Helen Hayes), who he helps in her bid to save her house from the bulldozers.
In Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977) the third film in the franchise, Douglas enters Herbie in the Trans-France Race and recruits mechanic friend Wheeley Applegate (Don Knotts) to help. Herbie has his first romance when he falls in love with a Lancia Scorpion named Giselle in the film.
In Herbie Goes Bananas (1980), Douglas has retired from racing and leaves the car to his nephew, Pete Stancheck (Stephen W. Burns). Stancheck plans to enter the car in the Brazil Grand Primeo race. Herbie makes friends with an orphan named Paco, with whom he wreaks havoc onboard a cruise ship called the Sun Princess, and is forced to walk the plank by its captain.
Herbie returns in 1997 in the made-for-television movie The Love Bug, in which the German engineer who designed him was found to have built an evil Volkswagen counterpart to Herbie called “Horace the Hate Bug.”
In the most recent feature film from the series, Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005) – Lindsay Lohan stars as the youngest member of a family of car racers, with Michael Keaton as her father. The film features cameos by several NASCAR drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart.