50 years ago today, The Love Bug premiered in theaters! The movie was the final live action film produced under Walt Disney’s involvement, and it was based off a story written in 1961 called Car, Boy, Girl. Disney actually held a casting call for dozens of cars to audition to “play” Herbie – and a pearl white Volkswagen Beetle won out. Although it is never referred to as a Volkswagen in the film, because VW did not permit Disney to use the name or logo. Herbie’s number 53 came from one of the producer’s favorite baseball players, Don Drysdale from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The film grossed more than $51 million at the domestic box office, and at the time was the second biggest film in Disney history, behind Mary Poppins.
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