Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will soon hold an auction in which Herbie and Co-star Giselle from 1977’s Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo are being offered. These iconic cars are part of the auction dubbed as the Treasures from the Dream Factory.
In the movie The Love Bug, Herbie is a white 1963 Vollkswagon Beetle that follows race car driver Jim Douglas (Dean Jones) from the showroom to his home. This film story gained such huge popularity that five more movies and two television shows were made by Disney on the anthromorphic car.
The large success story led the Herbie films to reach sales of a whopping $200 million at the box office at the time, equivalent to $725 million as per the recent currency. The Bonhams New York Herbie that was put up for sale on 23rd November was actually found in a Florida warehouse many years ago.
It still remains in its original form and is largely unrestored. Famous as one of the ‘Invisible Driver’ Herbies, this one was originally built in 1974 for Herbie Rides Again, and re-used in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. The car gives off the impression that it is driving itself as the driver sits in the backseat and an elaborate system of sprockets and pulleys connect to a second steering column under the front seat.
The car is also famous as the only car that left its tire print on the cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood for Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. In the film, Herbie’s competitor in the Trans-France Race is Giselle which is driven by Diane Darcy (Julie Sommars).
Giselle, a powder blue Lancia Scorpion, is Herbie’s love interest. Herbie is attracted by the shapely sports car and presents her a bouquet of flowers which he holds in his black bumper. Two other Scorpions were also used for filming but these later crashed and were scrapped.
Giselle was auctioned and sold off in 1980, repainted and temporarily used as a daily driving car after which it was discovered by its present owner and was recognised by its movie modifications like its bolt-on roll bar. Its screen-used appearance was then restored by Disney movie car expert Dan Miller at Red Barn Restorations in northeast Ohio.
Now, as they’re up for auction together, both Herbie and Giselle are also accompanied by their original Walt Disney Productions titles. Some other auction highlights include a Le Mans iconic racing suit belonging to Steve McQueen ($200,000-300,000) and co-star Michelle Scalera’s racing suit ($5,000-7,000).
Both suits are presently part of an Italian gentleman’s collection. These were a gift from Titanus, the film’s distributor in that country. Bonhams and TCM have a multi-year partnership for the Treasures from the Dream Factory auction -- the third in a series of similar movie memorabilia auctions.
Previous auctions have given the partnering firms some very high profile sales like $4.2 million for Maltese Falcon, which is a record price for a movie prop. The group was also able to get $3.4 million for Sam’s piano from Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca, again a record price for a piano and $3 million for Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume form the Wizard of Oz, which is indeed a record price for a costume from that movie.