The Story of Herbie
A little background on me, PJ, who is writing this page. Back when I was around 5 years old, my dad shared with me a series of movies that he had watched and enjoyed while growing up. That movie series- Herbie The Love Bug. From the second the movie ended until this very moment, the Herbie character has held a very special place in my heart. Maybe it's our share stubborn attitude, or his ability to love and recognize those who are truly genuine. From that point on, and even now as a 20-year-old, I became a hard-core Herbie fan.
It was near the end of July 2008 when my family made the trip from New Jersey to Syracuse, New York, to visit my grandparents. One night when we were driving through their neighborhood on the way home from dinner, a car for sale on someone's front lawn caught my 6-year-old eye. A Herbie The Love Bug Replica. I immediately notified my father who was driving, and we stopped to knock on the owner's door. I'm sure he will attest that at that point, he had no choice but to make Herbie a part of our family. Like any antique, Herbie wasn't perfect (rust spots, poor paint job, faded/crooked/ripped decals), but he was ours.
That very night, we drove Herbie home to my grandparent's house, where he would stay for the short future while we made arrangements to get him back home to New Jersey. Grandpa took great care of Herbie, and even oversaw necessary repairs to Herbie's engine to resolve an overheating issue. In the meantime, we had the opportunity to take Herbie to his first-ever car show in Syracuse.
Herbie finally made the journey home to NJ, where he became an even larger part of my life. I showed off my very own Herbie car to all of my friends and even gave them their own copies of the movies. My parents even threw me a Herbie The Love Bug-themed 7th birthday party and invited all of my classmates. We also began to take Herbie to more and more car shows in the area.
In 2011, we purchased a summer home on the St. Lawrence River in upstate NY, and Herbie made the trip back up North. He stayed garage kept during the winters, and during the summers, got to stretch his legs at car shows where he started to win awards.
In 2013, our family made a move to Virginia, where we have lived ever since. Just like the rest of us, Herbie made the journey south for the first time. Herbie got the chance to go to even more car shows, including Richmond's bi-weekly Cars & Coffee meet. It was here where I spent my teenage years, and eventually learned to drive and obtained my license. I had never driven Herbie before in my life, let alone driven a stick shift. One sunny spring afternoon, my dad took me to a high school parking lot, where I learned to drive stick and drove Herbie for the first time ever in my life at 16 years old. It was very soon after that I began driving Herbie solo. Herbie is so much a part of our family that the night before I left for my first semester of college, we all piled into Herbie for a ride around town with the entire family.
Over these past 14 years, Herbie has provided hundreds, if not thousands, of smiles to people all over the country. One of the greatest things ever is driving down the road and having people honk, wave, and smile all because of a little car with a big heart. At car shows, people continuously come up to us to tell us what a large part of their childhood The Love Bug was, and how happy they were to see them. To put it into perspective, an employee from our irrigation company talks about Herbie every time he is in our garage winterizing our sprinkler system. During COVID Herbie also made a visit to a young man with special needs, who also had an affinity for The Love Bug, on his birthday. What I'm trying to convey here is that this car did not deserve what Krystopher Scott did to it. It breaks my heart to see the car in the state that it is currently in, after 14 years of only positively impacting people's lives. Krystopher Scott did an injustice to Herbie and the rest of our family.