Sunday Feature: The Love Bug (1997)

Some genuine nostalgia with a few nostalgic players

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The Love Bug

Most everyone remembers the 1968 feature, The Love Bug and its four sequels. But did you realize there was a 1997 Disney made-for-TV movie that re-introduced “Herbie” to the world? In fact, this loose remake, which includes a cameo by Dean Jones, star of all the previous Herbie movies, is funny and entertaining.

Certainly a fantasy, the movie takes some comical shots at Formula One, and the car business as a whole. Starring Bruce “Evil Dead” Campbell as a washed-up F1 driver and marginal mechanic, he meets Herbie who was headed for the junkyard. Hilarity ensues as does the big win and getting the girl.

Other appearances include The Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz as an evil custom car builder and track announcer, Burton Gilliam, who you may remember from older westerns and as the evil Tagert’s dim-witted sidekick, Lyle, in Blazing Saddles.

While the kids today know Lightning McQueen, generations before loved Herbie. Perhaps this is one to watch with your kids and grandkids – or just be nostalgic yourself. It’s a genuine car flick!

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Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.

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