The only existing trick Herbie from the movie which can do everything that Herbie is known for, like squirting oil and opening his doors by himself, is owned byDean Jones.
According to the filmmakers in the DVD documentary, Herbies 53 comes from star baseball pitcherDon Drysdaleof the Los Angeles Dodgers.
When beginning production of the film, Disney set up a casting call for about a dozen cars, and kept them outside the studios for the crew to examine during their breaks. Among the lineup were Toyotas, Volvos, and of course, the pearl white Volkswagen Beetle. When the crew walked by to inspect the cars, they would kick the tires and grab the steering wheel to see how it handled. However, when they came across the Volkswagen, they began to pet it, and so the Beetle got the job.
Herbies license plate is OFP-857; his number is 53.
Herbie The Love Bug was a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle deluxe ragtop sedan painted in Volkswagen L87 pearl white. Under normal circumstances, the interior would be a matching white. However, Herbies interior was painted a special non-reflective grey color so the camera and studio lights would not reflect.
During the exchange between Jim Douglas and Mr. Wu while hanging from Herbies rear bumper: Car very strong. And very fast. The strength of forty horses. The stock Volkswagen Beetle engine did have forty horsepower.
Dean Jonescredits the films success to the fact that it was the last live-action film thatWalt Disneyhad authorized for production.
The backdrop in the race scenes is of the Riverside International Raceway.
Herbie got his name when the crew of the film was watching one ofBuddy Hacketts skits about a ski instructor with a funny accent. Then Hackett said, If you aint got a herbie pronounced hoy-bie, I aint goin. The name stuck.
The yellow Thorndike Special was an Apollo GT. Apollos were built in Pasadena, California. The body shells were fabricated in Italy and shipped to the US, where aluminum Buick 215 CID V8 engines were installed. The same company later made another sports car called the Intermeccanica Italia. One of these appears in the Disney movieThe Million Dollar Duck.
Dean Joneswho plays Jim Douglas in the movie, also plays the role of the hippy in the drive-in scene.