About the Movie
was based on story "Car, Boy, Girl" written by
Gordon Buford in 1961
The Love Bug, 1969
The film was the biggest American box office hit
of 1969, and the second highest-grossing
Disney film of all time after Mary
Jim Douglas-Dean Jones
Carole Bennett-Michele Lee
Tennessee Steinmetz-Buddy Hackett
Peter Thorndyke-David Tomilson
Herbie Rides Again, 1974
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, 1977
Herbie Goes Bananas, 1980
The Love Bug, TV Series, 1982
The Love Bug made for TV movie, 1997
Herbie Paper Car
The Love Bug
The original Herbie was a 1963 Model 117 Deluxe
Sunroof Sedan Volkswagen (VW). Disney often
substituted other year VWs and modified them to
resemble 1963 models.
Upwards to 70 cars were used in all films,
parades, ice shows, and promotions but only about
20 known cars survive today (three are from the
original film). Many cars were destroyed in
stunts during filming.
Herbie was painted pearl white, an original 1963
VW color, color code L87.
Why was a VW chosen to be the Herbie car?
Coincidentally, the original book did have to do
with a VW bug. But a Disney employee put several
small cars in the Disney parking lot one day
during lunch just to see which one was the most
popular. Included in the group was a brand new
white VW bug car that Walt Disney had
bought for his daughter. The other cars were
stared at and the employee's kicked their tires
but almost everyone patted the VW.
Where did the number 53 come from?
Bill Walsh, producer of "The Love Bug" came up
with the number 53 from Los Angeles Dodgers
baseball player Don Drysdale's uniform. He chose
the red, white, and blue racing stripes for a
Where did the name Herbie come from?
According to Buddy Hackett, who played Tennessee
Steinmetz, the name "Herbie" came from his Las
Vegas ski routine, "Sorry I only date guys named
How did Herbie drive himself?
When you see Herbie driving without a driver,
most of the cars had the driving controls in the
back seat and there was a driver. He was hidden
by a lace cloth, which was 3D and made to look as
if Herbie had no driver. Some of the extra
controls are a fork lift hydraulic system, a
carbon dioxide bottle, a powerful electric motor,
and operate 26 levers and buttons to control all
of the doors, hood, etc.
Who was Herbie's real driver?
The man who did most of the driving in "The Love
Bug" was veteran stunt driver Carey Loftin.
Herbie's License Plate