Frequently asked HERBIE questions!


The following questions top the list of Herbie's daily e-mails.


What is Herbie's license plate number?

OFP 857. Herbie has original 1963 yellow on black California plates. These plates stayed with Herbie up until "Herbie Fully Loaded" in 2005.  HFL was the only film in the series to not feature a front license plate on Herbie. The Herbie detective, Tory Alonzo, discovered that the letters and numbers on Herbie's tag represent a code. The Love Bug's producer, Robert Stevenson, first worked with Walt Disney  in August of 1957, so  OFP 857 represents:  Our First Production, 8-57.

How many Herbie films were made?

There were five theatrical films made and one TV movie.They are as follows:
"The Love Bug," 1969. 
(The highest grossing film of 1969, and one of the highest until Star Wars came along in 1977)
"Herbie Rides Again," 1974.
"Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo," 1977.
"Herbie Goes Bananas," 1980.
"The Love Bug" Re-make TV movie, 1997.
"Herbie Fully Loaded," 2005.

What year Bug is Herbie?

For all purposes on film, Herbie is a 1963 Sunroof Sedan.  However,  Disney used several different year beetles through out the many films. All of the beetles were altered to look like '63 models. Disney used cars ranging from the 1950s models through the 1970s.

What is Herbie's paint color?

Herbie's paint is a factory 1963 VW color called pearl white. The color code is L87. Contrary to the name, the color has no pearl effect. The color is actually a solid, off-white color. (see picture below)

How was the number 53 chosen for Herbie?
It has been said that "The Love Bug's" producer, Bill Walsh,
chose the number because it was the uniform number of a popular baseball player named Don Drysdale.  Herbie's red, white and blue racing stripes were chosen for a patriotic theme.

How did Herbie get his name?
Buddy Hackett, who played "Tennessee" in "THE LOVE BUG" stated that he chose Herbie's name. Buddy got the name for a comedy routine that he used to perform. It focused around a ski instructor. The punch line of the joke mentioned "I only ski with Herbies."

Can Herbie really drive that fast? How does he do it?

Herbie's performance ranged through out the films. In "The Love Bug," at least one Herbie was equipped with a 356 Porsche engine, Others used modified VW Bus engines.  Some Herbies featured Porsche brakes.  In Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo several Herbies were fitted  with  high performance 1835cc Volkswagen engines with 2 barrel Holley carburators. 

Can Herbie really do a wheelie?
Yes he can!
This is a specially modified Bug with a high performance 1835 cc engine.

How many Herbies were actually built for the films?
Hard to determine because it seems that the records do not exist. However, one estimate places the numbers at upwards of 50 for the original four films (not Counting the cars built for "Herbie Fully Loaded").

What was the name of Herbie's girlfriend?
In "Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo" Herbie's girlfriend was a 1976 Lancia Scorpion named Giselle (see above picture). In "Herbie Fully Loaded" Herbie ended up with Sally, a yellow New Beetle. Poor Giselle.


More questions and answers to come when time permits!

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