HERBIE THE LUV BUG #53, DUAL EXHAUST, 1600CC FLAT 4, FUN AND CLEAN!!!
This 1972 Volkswagen is dressed as the most famous Beetle of all: Herbie the Love Bug. If you grew up in the '70s and '80s, you enjoyed the little car's exploits on the big screen, and underneath you'll find a sturdy, solid little VW so even if you're not a Love Bug fan, this car has a lot to offer.
There was a time in the mid-70s when every kid in America could identify this car from a mile away. White VW Beetles were sprouting red and blue stripes and a big '53' on the doors to emulate the plucky little car with a big attitude, so this car is definitely going to take you back. The good news is that it's quite solid and ready to enjoy. No, it's not perfect, but neither was the real Herbie, although this one has a wonderful soft shine to the paint that looks quite period-perfect. The graphics are well done such that there's no denying the inspiration for this Bug's restoration. Fit and finish are decent all around and even without the stripes and gumballs, this would be a smart buy just because it's in such good shape. It still offers early Beetle styling cues like the flat windshield and smaller fender and rear marker lights, making it a favorite among VW enthusiasts. The chrome is quite good, the glass is in great shape, and the running boards are nicely trimmed.
It's standard VW fare inside, with high-back buckets covered in textured vinyl that's virtually indestructible. There are a few signs of use, with some stretching on the lower driver's cushion, but there are no major rips or tears in the upholstery. The racing stripe theme continues with white instrument panel inserts and a matching glove box lid which wears blue and red stripes and another '53' gumball, which is a nice touch. The original speedometer/fuel gauge setup gives you the basics and the factory steering wheel now wears a black leather wrap to help you get a better grip, even when you're not racing through Monte Carlo. There is an AM/FM stereo radio in the dash, which is probably more than you could say for the movie car, and it actually sounds decent. New floor coverings were surely installed not too long ago, and the door panels are excellent, suggesting that someone has been taking care of this car properly. The front trunk is quite well finished and includes a jack and lug wrench assembly.
VW's familiar 1600 cc flat-four whistles away under the rear deck. Now if you've seen the movies, you know that Herbie is able to handily outrun a Jaguar E-Type, but I assure, that is not the case here. However, you do get a very nicely finished engine with lots of upgrades that make it one of the more sprightly VWs we've featured in a long time. Plenty of chrome, fresh ignition components, and a bright red crank case ensure that it looks great and runs well. The 4-speed is typical VW vague, but the suspension feels buttoned-down and competent and the dual exhaust system gives it that traditional VW sound. Color-matched steel wheels with hubcaps and fat 235/60/14 Firestone radials add to the race car look and suit the Beetle just fine.
For those of you who had a happy memory at the sight of this car, it's an opportunity to relive you childhood. For the rest of you, it's simply a great VW at an equally great price. Call today!
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- 4 Speed Manual
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