Herbie The Love Bug Drag Racing Barona Drag Strip 6-3-2012

charger steve's movie car drag racing grand national watch as herbie becomes the movie car champion Herbie is an anthropomorphic 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, a character that is featured in several Disney motion pictures starting with the 1968 feature film The Love Bug. He has a mind of his own and is capable of driving himself, and is a serious contender in auto racing competitions. Throughout most of the franchise, Herbie is distinguished by red, white and blue racing stripes from front to back bumper, a racing-style number "53" on the front trunk lid, doors, and engine lid, and a yellow-on-black '63 California license plate that says, "OFP 857". One exception to this is his introduction in The Love Bug, where he initially appears as a nondescript white vehicle with a gray colored fabric sunroof (a.k.a. "ragtop"), the style of sunroof offered on VW Beetles made through 1963. Herbie's origins are established in The Love Bug, wherein Herbie was bought from Peter Thorndyke's showroom by San Francisco socialite Mrs. Van Luit for her upstairs maid, but returned shortly afterward and purchased by race-driver Jim Douglas (Dean Jones), who had earlier stood up for him against the pompous Thordyke. Tennessee Steinmetz, Jim's friend and roommate, names the car "Herbie" after his uncle Herb. In Herbie Rides Again, after several successful races with Herbie, Douglas enters foreign racing circuits, while his sidekick Tennessee is residing in Tibet to help his ailing instructor. Before Tennessee departs, he leaves Herbie in the care of his great-aunt, the widowed Mrs. Steinmetz (Helen Hayes). By Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Douglas enters Herbie in the Trans-France Race and recruits mechanic friend Wheeley Applegate (Don Knotts) to assist, after Herbie falls in love with a Lancia Scorpion named Giselle and Douglas with her driver Diane Darcy (Julie Sommars). Herbie also finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when the stolen Etoile de Joie diamond is hidden in his gas tank. In Herbie Goes Bananas, Douglas has retired from racing after the Monte Carlo race and leaves Herbie to his nephew, Pete Stancheck (Stephen W. Burns), who plans to enter Herbie in the Brazil Grand Primeo race. In the interim, Herbie befriends an orphan named Paco, with whom he wreaks havoc onboard cruise ship the Sun Princess, prompting the overzealous Captain Blythe (Harvey Korman) to force Herbie to "walk the plank". Having fallen into the ocean, Herbie is rescued by Paco and disguised as a taxi, later to stop a gang of con artists from stealing ancient Inca gold. Early in their partnership, Paco gives Herbie the nickname "Ocho", the Spanish word for the number 8; purportedly because the digits 5 and 3 in Herbie's racing number, 53, were combined to produce '8' (5+3 = 8) and possibly to rhyme with "Vocho", the Beetle's name in Mexico. After the Mexico debacle, Douglas takes Herbie and opens a driving school in Herbie the Matchmaker. Hank Cooper (Bruce Campbell) becomes the owner of Herbie in the 1997 made-for-television movie The Love Bug, wherein Herbie's designer, an elderly German engineer named Dr. Gustav Stumgel, designed him as a "living machine"; but was forced to build an evil Volkswagen counterpart to Herbie, "Horace the Hate Bug," responsible for killing the true Herbie at one point in the film. Horace is of course painted monochrome black, with louvered windows, contributing to his "evil" look. Cooper then buries Herbie; but the return of Jim Douglas sets Cooper to rebuild the fallen Love Bug (with the help of repentant Dr. Stumgel) and have him race against evil doppelganger Horace. In this race, Herbie ultimately divides himself in half (as in the original film) to win the race.

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