1967 Volkswagen Beetle - Herbie, The Love Bug
Herbie began his career in Disney’s 1969 comedy, The Love Bug, co-starring Dean Jones and Buddy Hackett. Through the years his supporting cast changed as Herbie – the free wheelin’ Volkswagen bug with a mind of its own – became the star: Herbie Rides Again (1974), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), and Herbie Goes Bananas (1980). Herbie’s career was resurrected in 2005 in Herbie Fully Loaded in which Maggie Peyton (Lindsey Lohan), the new owner of Number 53 puts the car through its paces on the road to becoming a NASCAR competitor.
Many different cars were considered for the role of Herbie, but a VW Beetle belonging to Walt Disney’s daughter was chosen. Buddy Hackett, who played “Tennessee” in The Love Bug stated that he named Herbie for a comedy routine that he use to perform, which focused around a ski instructor. The punch line of the joke mentioned “I only ski with Herbies.” It has been said that The Love Bug’s producer, Bill Walsh, chose the number 53 for Herbie because it was the uniform number of a popular baseball player named Don Drysdale. Herbie’s red, white and blue racing stripes were chosen for a patriotic theme.
For all purposes on film, Herbie was a 1963 Model 117 Deluxe Sunroof Sedan. However, Disney used several different year beetles which were modified to look like 1963 models. This particular Herbie is a 1967 model and last appeared in the film Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.