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Car and Driver: Herbie Rides Again: $85,000 Can Buy This Original Herbie Beetle


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Volkswagen, Beetle, The Love Bug, #10, 1957, 1963, 53


Who needs a Tesla with Autopilot when you can have Herbie, the Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own? One of the original Herbies from the 1968 film The Love Bug is being offered for sale on TheSamba, but you better prepare to pay up, because the seller is asking for $85,000 for the rare Volkswagen with a sale already pending.


Known internally as Herbie #10, this particular Herbie is a bit worse for wear. Dents and dings mar the car’s body panels, while exposed metal on the body and bumpers have the beginnings of surface rust. Don’t blame the seller for Herbie #10’s condition, though, as nearly every bit of damage on this Beetle occurred on Disney’s watch during film production.


As a stunt car, Herbie #10 took many of the beatings the vehicular character incurred on screen, which included drunkenly jumping over tire markers and being knocked off of an embankment by the film’s antagonist. In order to survive these thrashings, the seller notes that Disney’s special effects team equipped Herbie #10 with a roll bar and racing harnesses, Koni shocks, a skid plate, and staggered wheels.


Based on a 1957 Volkswagen Beetle painted Horizon Blue, Herbie #10 was put under the knife to mimic the star car, a Pearl White 1963 Beetle. This meant ditching the oval window, adding 1963 model-year-correct bumpers, fenders, and lights, and, of course, spraying the car white. Although Herbie sported a cloth sunroof, Herbie #10 goes without one, instead wearing a cloth toupee to give the impression of a ragtop roof.


While Herbie #10 may not be the most intact of its kin, it’s arguably one of the most original, with the seller working hard to restore the white paint Disney applied to the car in the late 60s. Likewise, the seller brought the Beetle’s non-original engine back to life—Disney replaced the original unit with a more powerful, late-model engine during filming. While the ad acknowledges that the car is “fragile,” it also notes that it “does start, stop, and run under its own power.”


Further sweetening the deal is the inclusion of the original pink slip that lists “Walt Disney Productions” as the owner, as well as a binder’s worth of material “explaining the history of the car and photos from filming, original car list showing this particular car and where it was featured in the movies, what stunts it did, [and] equipment it had.”


It’s not every day we find ourselves lusting after a beat-up old Volkswagen Beetle. Then again, this beat-up Beetle has star power.


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