best cars for a 'love bug' remake

Growing up, it’s safe to say my absolute favorite movie was Disney’s “The Love Bug.” As a kid living in a world before Pixar’s “Cars,” it was pretty much the best car movie. I loved the vehicles, the racing, the stunts, and, of course, Herbie, the titular Love Bug. I had so many die-cast Beetles as a result, and it definitely played a role in me buying my 2013 Beetle a couple of years ago.

My fandom hasn’t waned. I still love the movie, maybe more so than when I was little. I picked up on gags I didn’t get as a kid. I watched bonus features to learn about the making of the movie. And I distinctly remember a part of one behind-the-scenes segment where people on the film discussed how they cast Herbie. They brought out various cars to the studio, and they noticed that people reacted very differently to the Beetle than to regular cars, sometimes patting it and treating it like something almost alive. Ever since watching that, the thought has crossed my mind: How would you cast “The Love Bug” if it were remade today? (Disney’s doing a lot of remakes these days.) Well, I think I have an idea, and not just for our hero car.

Herbie

Now I know, choosing the final generation of Beetle like the Spanish Edition 53 shown at top seems like a bit of a cop-out, and may seem like I’m biased. Some of that may be true. However, I have good reasons. A key ones is that the Beetle, even the newest version, is still probably the most unabashedly cute car to be offered in the U.S. in the past 10 years. Plus, you couldn’t recast with a different vehicle without renaming the movie. The Beetle still has a big smile and happy round lights. Even Minis and Fiat 500s have a bit of a frown. The ND Miata still smiles, and it would probably be my second choice if the Beetle had gotten too old to plausibly be offered at a premium car dealer, but it’s got more of a scowl with its squinting lights. Like in the 1960s, there’s a dearth of friendly looking cars.

The Beetle also ticks a few other boxes. It fits the description of being something a rich person might’ve bought their housekeeper for transportation (Herbie’s backstory). It also still has a back seat, so you can have the three main human protagonists in it. And the real-life car has a tuneable turbo counterpart that lends a little believability to a Beetle hanging with production-based race cars.

best cars for a 'love bug' remake
best cars for a 'love bug' remake

Tennessee’s Yard Art

Right at the beginning of the film is the gag that prompts Jim Douglas to go looking for a car. After arriving home from a bad day at the track, Jim plans to go to a dirt track and asks his friend Tennessee (played by Buddy Hackett) where his car is, to borrow it. Tennessee’s car turns out to be an Edsel. Well, it was an Edsel. Tennessee cut it apart and turned it into yard art. He explained with the following quote: “It came over me all of a sudden. It was the only decent thing to do.”

It went over my head as a kid who didn’t really know what an Edsel was, but now I see it for the funny, pop culture reference it is. But what could possibly equal the ugliness and flop-worthiness of an Edsel nowadays? Easy: the Pontiac Aztek. Basically nothing would have to change about this scene except the car parts in the firehouse yard.

best cars for a 'love bug' remake
best cars for a 'love bug' remake

The Thorndyke Special

One of the other key machines in the movie is the “Thorndyke Special,” which was an Apollo GT. Though very European in design, the front-engine sports car was all-American, and under the hood was a Buick V8.

Exotic front-engine sports cars are few and far between nowadays, especially from the U.S. So that leads us to Europe. The Ferrari 812 GTS is a strong contender, but I think the Aston Martin DBS would be a better pick. It has a more menacing front end, which is fitting for an antagonist’s car. Plus, I suspect Aston Martin would be easier to deal with as a film contributor than Ferrari.

best cars for a 'love bug' remake
best cars for a 'love bug' remake

The Hot Rod

While test-driving Herbie, a guy in a T-bucket hot rod pulls up and makes fun of it, challenging Jim to a race. Jim isn’t into it, but Herbie says otherwise and proceeds to trounce the hot rodder. The result is the hot rodder’s respect, as well as Jim’s interest in the Beetle.

The modified car scene has been extremely healthy the past few decades, so a whole host of cars could fill in for the T-bucket. But in the way hot rods based on ’30s and ’40s American cars were a staple of customization at the time, Hondas dominated affordable, modifiable cars at the turn of the millennium. So a hopped-up Civic seems like the best choice. And I feel like the owner of a fast Civic is more likely to have some respect for a fast Beetle than, say, the owner of a fast Challenger, whom I could see slinking away, and praying that no one was taking a phone video of the race.

best cars for a 'love bug' remake
best cars for a 'love bug' remake

The Hippie Van

When Jim’s and Carol’s test drive won’t end, Herbie takes them to a drive-in for some dinner. Next to them is a pair of hippies in a customized van. One of them teases Carol as she’s trying to get out of the car. Fun fact, the hippie in question is actually Dean Jones, the man who plays Jim Douglas.

I had a couple of ideas for what the new equivalent of this van and its owners could be. It could be some kind of budget overlander with some alternative-medicine-loving modern-style hippies. Though it would be hard to imagine them being at some kind of fast-food joint. So I think the better move would be to feature an old ’70s or ’80s custom full-size van, complete with airbrushed paint on the side. It could even reference the paint on the van from Pixar’s “Onward.” And as an aside, it would be a great opportunity to bring in Tommy Chong as the owner and driver.

best cars for a 'love bug' remake
best cars for a 'love bug' remake

Jim’s Lamborghini

At about the darkest point in the movie, Jim comes home having just purchased a Lamborghini from Thorndyke. It’s meant to be a replacement for Herbie. Unsurprisingly, Herbie doesn’t take it well, promptly smashing the car and running off.

The original car was a Lamborghini 400 GT, which overlapped for a while with the hotter Miura. As such, a high-performance Huracan seems like the best modern equivalent, since the Aventador would be more like the modern Miura. And a high-performance variant would be ideal, since Jim would’ve been buying the car for track and racing purposes.

And that pretty much wraps up the key vehicles in “The Love Bug.” What do you think of my picks? Do you have different ideas? Would you like to see more car movies recast? Let us know in the comments.

Related video:

Keyword: Best cars for a 'Love Bug' remake

CAR'S NEWS RELATED

Audi timing belt tensioner prompts Utah bomb squad visit

An aftermarket timing belt tensioner found in a Salt Lake City apartment prompted a visit from the bomb squad this week after it was mistaken for a potential explosive device. Police partially evacuated the apartment complex in which it was found “out of an abundance of caution” and called ...

View more: Audi timing belt tensioner prompts Utah bomb squad visit

2023 GMC Sierra HD 2500 and 3500 will get more expensive

GMC Sierra HD pickups are about to get more expensive again after recently becoming more expensive, according to GM Authority. In July, GMC and Buick raised the prices on certain vehicles in their lineups anywhere from $975 to $1,675 by making the previously optional OnStar a standard feature. Next ...

View more: 2023 GMC Sierra HD 2500 and 3500 will get more expensive

Our week with EVs: Recapping the diverse collection of electric cars we tested

Mercedes-Benz EQB First Drive Review: Next electric Benz is a little different 2022 Chevy Bolt EV Road Test Review: Time to play EV, gas or airplane 2023 Genesis GV60 Road Test Review: The third of Hyundai Group’s E-GMP EVs is the fastest, but softest It may be hard to ...

View more: Our week with EVs: Recapping the diverse collection of electric cars we tested

Europe car sales lowest since 1996 after 12-month decline

BERLIN – Europe registered the lowest number of new passenger cars in the month of June this year since 1996 at just over 1.06 million vehicles, with some carmakers seeing sales drop by nearly 50%, data from Europe’s automobile association showed on Friday. Volkswagen Group was the hardest-hit major ...

View more: Europe car sales lowest since 1996 after 12-month decline

More Than Just A Carmaker: Toyota Motor PH Launches Toyota Mobility Solutions

Automotive industry leader, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) inaugurated today Toyota Mobility Solutions Philippines, Inc. (TMSPH), a wholly owned subsidiary that will be a provider of mobility-related services. TMSPH ventures into the development and offering of a range of ‘new mobility solutions’ that will enhance Toyota as a brand ...

View more: More Than Just A Carmaker: Toyota Motor PH Launches Toyota Mobility Solutions

'F1 22' feels fast and familiar | Gaming Roundup

‘F1 22’ impressions ‘Construction Simulator’ is launching Sept. 20 Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change. This week in racing game news: ‘F1 22’ impressions At its core, “F1 22,” the latest installment in the F1 ...

View more: 'F1 22' feels fast and familiar | Gaming Roundup

Watch a single-engine plane crash-land on 91 Freeway in California

A single-engine Piper Cherokee airplane was forced to crash land on the 91 Freeway in California after losing power about 45 minutes outside of Los Angeles. Yes, that means this was a very busy highway, practically bursting at the seams with traffic. No, amazingly nobody died, either in the ...

View more: Watch a single-engine plane crash-land on 91 Freeway in California

Ford files 'Mustang Dark Horse' trademark application

The contest that Ford organized to find a name for the Mustang’s blackout appearance package ended on June 7, and a trademark application may have revealed the winner. The company asked European authorities to claim the “Mustang Dark Horse” moniker. Spotted by an enthusiast forum, the trademark application was ...

View more: Ford files 'Mustang Dark Horse' trademark application

Make adventures more comfortable with high-quality Jeep grab handles

New Lucid Air variant to debut & Stealth Look to be on display during Monetary Car Week

Chevy offers incentives to prevent Corvette Z06 flipping

Average U.S. gas price falls below $4/gallon

German court: SUV driver must pay more than a car for running red light

Australian vehicle crash tests to include underwater performance

Toyota C-HR rumored to get revamp next year and an EV version

Geely's electric Zeekr 009 is an EV Alphard we never had; 700 km, 542 PS, top speed 190 km/h

A Newey, Brawn and Anderson row that shows F1 doesn’t change

Sorry, EV buyers, you won't get to pick your own pedestrian safety sounds

There won't be enough copper to meet climate goals, study indicates

EPA announces electric, low-emissions school bus funding

OTHER CAR NEWS

;
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network