The Walt Disney studio released The Love Bug

Thursday 13th March 1969

The Walt Disney studio released The Love Bug. Directed by Robert Stevenson, the film starred “Herbie,” a lovable Volkswagen bug with a personality. Abused by the evil race-car driver “Thorndyke” (David Thomlinson), Herbie is rescued by the young good-guy race-car driver “Jim” (Dean Jones). Grateful for his rescue, Herbie rewards the hapless Jim by winning one race after another on his driver’s behalf. The excitement begins when the ruthless Thorndyke plots to get Herbie back by any means necessary. Based on a story by Gordon Buford, The Love Bug inspired several sequels, including Herbie Rides Again, Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo, Herbie Goes Bananas, and Herbie: Fully Loaded. By becoming one of the biggest grossing films of 1969, The Love Bug allayed any fears that the Disney Studio would collapse without the presence of the recently deceased Walt Disney. The movie became a children’s film classic and enhanced the Volkswagen Beetle’s image as a quirky car endowed with more than solid engineering.

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