Old School Americana & Nostalgia


What Happened to the Original Herbie the Love Bug?

What Happened to the Original Herbie the Love Bug?

In 1969, Walt Disney introduced the world to a funny little VW named Herbie the Love Bug in the movie The Love Bug. Where, though, is the original car today? It is in Texas.

Let’s take a look, though, at some details about the movie The Love Bug. Dean Jones plays Jim Douglas, while Buddy Hackett appears as his mechanic Tennessee Steinmetz. Well, they pick up a white Volkswagon Beetle. The car appears to dodge, dart, and drive with its very own mind. It drives Jim and Tennessee crazy, but Carole Bennett, played by Michelle Lee, gets in the picture.

She ends up riding with Jim and Tennessee inside Herbie, while they all are part of the California racing circuit.

Herbie the Love Bug Gets Screen Time

How did Carole get involved? Does she know these guys? She’s an assistant for Peter Thorndyke, played by David Tomlinson. Thorndyke plots to get Herbie out of the race. who ends up being mixed up in this mess. He’s a California racing circuit bigwig, so getting anyone from his team in there is like a secret agent move. It backfires, though. Toss in the fact that Herbie has a mind of his own. The Love Bug is a very funny movie and worth your time.

Now, let’s fill in some blanks about Herbie’s whereabouts. One of the original Herbies owned by Walt Disney Pictures, which reportedly used 21 VW Beetles in filming The Love Bug, is Herbie #10. Clayton Capps of Texas bought this car for $85,000 from VW Bug collector Tory Alonzo.

Capps will take Herbie out to car shows, letting people see one of the original cars from The Love Bug. Over the years, different car totals have been shared. These focused on many cars Disney had made for the movie. On a podcast, Capps said there were 11 in total. Another source said “more than 20.” Disney revealed the last word in that 21 VW Beetles were used in the making of the movie.

‘The Love Bug’ Features Herbie In Grand Style

OK, for the gearheads out there, here are some details about it courtesy of Slash Gear. Herbie No. 10, the OG car, originally was a 1957 Horizon Blue Beetle. It had a small rear oval window. For the film, the oval window was enlarged. This makes it look like a side-to-side rear window that was seen on the 1963 Pearl White Herbie used in the film.

On Herbie, its black-and-yellow license plate with its OFP 857 numbers has meaning. Those numbers reflect an Official First Production August (8) 57. The Herbie No. 10 seen by people today is a rare one. It’s the only original car from The Love Bug that is still around.

Besides The Love Bug, this VW Beetle gets used again. It appears in the 1974 sequel Herbie Rides Again. Ken Berry, Stefanie Powers, Keenan Wynn, and Helen Hayes star in this production. A 1977 film, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, has Jones back in the driver’s seat. Don Knotts is also along as the mechanic. Herbie Goes Bananas and Herbie: Fully Loaded are other movies in the franchise.

As long as Herbie #10 is out there, it probably will have a reserved spot in any auto auction. Older fans of the original movie will get a kick out of seeing this VW Beetle out there these days.

The Disney Channel shows The Love Bug occasionally, but the movie is reportedly available to see on Disney+ so you can go track it down.