There's a lot of top movie and TV car lists. And Herbie the Love Bug is always on that list. Some say that the Batmobile or James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 are number one and the most famous. But I think truly the number one is none other than Herbie. I mean what other TV or movie car could so many people relate to or see on a daily basis than a VW Beetle? And 9 times out of 10, any one who sees one says "Look, there's Herbie!" Well, now is your chance to own Herbie. This weekend at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale. One of the original Herbie movie cars (not mine) will be up for grabs. What's remarkable is this car, with the exception of some very minor re freshening is still how it looked when it was in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo over 30 years ago. These are the same seats that Dean Jones and Don Knotts sat on folks. This car is a 1963 model sunroof sedan and is labeled as car #2.
What is known about the car is it was set up for much of the high speed action for the movie with the engine and performance modifications being completed by Speed Unlimited Manufacturing in California. Rather than the typical 1200 cc. engine that would be found in a stock 63 Beetle, 1600 cc. blocks upped to 1835 cc. engines were built. After that extensive suspension & trans axel modifications were completed and the 14x6 wide wheels were installed. Car #2 now carries a 1740 cc. engine that now produces 60 hp.
Top side, the VW pearl white paint applied by Disney is mostly all original as are the painted on stripes. the 53 graphics have been touched up in a few spots, but are for the most part original. On the interior, again we find the original one off custom front seats that were unique to the later Herbies and the dull gray painted interior. This was done by Disney to reduce camera glare on interior shots. Below the rear window, there is a slot that has been cut out that once held an external oil cooler for the original engine. This car was also set up with one of the typical Herbie gags. Both front doors have extended hinges that are/were attached to release levers under the car that would make the doors spring open by themselves. This gag can be seen in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo with Don Knotts attempting to get in an angry Herbie and having no success until he apologizes.
The only real pieces on this car that are correct, but not the original parts on it from the film are the wheels, radio antenna, and the Carello fog light. The only piece missing is the dummy external gas cap that was an integral part of the plot of the movie. But those are all very minor items when compared to the cars originality.
This car also carries a strong history with it too. Aside from being owned by Disney. Car #2 was also part of the MovieWorld Cars of the Stars Museum and the famous Harrah's Collection before being sold to a few other small museums before ending up with VW specialist Daryl Adams. He sold the car to a private collector in the early 1990s, who had kept the car private before listing it with Gooding & Co. I am hopeful that the new owner will enjoy the car and share it with the world.
Gooding & Co. estimates the value between $75,000 and $125,000 and Herbie will be sold without reserve.
Source & Photos: Gooding & Co.