Sunday, June 19, 2005
So today I went out to Hollywood to check out the Herbie premiere. A bunch of people from the Love Bug message boards were supposed to be there putting their replicas (and some restored movie cars) out on the red carpet. I got there in late afternoon, for what turned out to be the after-party.
A whole block was fenced off at Hollywood and Highland and they were having a big Herbie party that I could only watch from the sidelines. Eventually I spotted some people from the message boards (I know, this story gets geekier by the second), whom I recognized from the pictures they'd posted of themselves with their cars. I called out to them and made contact. Still didn't get into the party, but arranged to meet them afterwards and check out their cars.
What I wanted most out of the experience was a picture with Herbie. I got a few nice ones of me with this NASCAR Herbie replica, built with the same parts used to make the movie car, courtesy of a guy who worked on the movie. This car has also been signed, either on the decklid or on the glove box, by the whole cast of the new movie, along with the writers and director. It sounds like it's got a big engine, too.
The photo was taken by a guy named Tory, who personally restored the Herbie from Herbie Goes Bananas that was seen floating in the Panama Canal. He also appears prominently as an extra in the new movie. Also there was Hugh Chitwood, the prominently featured Herbie fan from the Love Bug DVD, with his prize car, a former Disney parade Herbie previously owned by Dean Jones (not pictured). There's a good chance that was the same Herbie I saw at Disneyland at as a child.