Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Ron Howard Still Owns and Drives His Very First Car, a 1970 VW Bug

Ron Howard Still Owns and Drives His Very First Car, a 1970 VW Bug

Not only does director Ron Howard still own his first car, a 1970 VW Bug, but he still takes his wife out on dates in it. In 2019, during an interview with the blog Just A Car Guy, the Happy Days alum shared the story of his beloved VW Bug. He proudly revealed that he had purchased the car brand new back in 1970.

However, Ron Howard’s first car wasn’t just practical, it was a subtle message to his Hollywood peers. “I got a white Volkswagen Beetle,” Howard said of the modest vehicle. “It was my way of saying, ‘Don’t put me in that other box (guys buying Corvettes because they were Hollywood).’”

Howard has built fond memories in the car. For instance, he first dated his wife, Cheryl, in the bug over fifty years ago. The blog also alludes to an interview Howard gave to Playboy, where he divulged further details about the car’s storied past.

“Actually, the only car I loved was the first car I ever bought: a 1970 VW Bug. I drove it for five or six years and moved on,” Howard told Playboy. “Then a few years ago, my brother-in-law found it in Redding, California. It had my college sticker on it. Someone was using it to deliver eggs. So he put a new engine in it and shipped it to me.”

“That was the car that I courted my wife in,” the director added. “It seemed a lot roomier then if you know what I mean. We drive it around now and smile with recognition.”

Ron Howard Celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his First Date with His Wife in the Beloved Car

In 2020, Howard celebrated the 50th anniversary of his first date with Cheryl, mentioning his first car in an Instagram post. “Nov 1 1970 Cheryl & I went on our 1st date. We went to see a re-release of Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad Mad Mad World and then got some pizza at now defunct Barnone’s in Toluca Lake. Quite a start, right?” Howard wrote on Instagram.

“Today we are celebrating with these kind of socks we ordered (Cheryl’s w/my mug got held up) and a trip to our local take-out pizza place,” he added, alongside a snapshot of socks with his wife’s face on them. “We’ll be driving in the same ‘70 VW Bug I picked Cheryl up in 5 decades ago. It runs great. So do we.”