The original 1963 Volkswagen Beetle used in two of the ‘Herbie’ films has sold at auction in New York for US$86,250, or around NZ$132,000.
The car pictured here was the star of Herbie Rides Again and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, the second and third movies in the Disney film franchise.
It is the only car ever invited to leave its tyre footprint outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The car was lost for decades before being rediscovered in a warehouse in Florida a few years ago. It sold on eBay last year for US$55,200.
Aside from its iconic livery, the vehicle was also modified to be driven from the back seat. A stunt driver hidden from view and using gears and pulleys would drive it, making it look as if the car were driving itself.
The star car was sold as part of the Treasures from the Dream Factory auction, held auction house Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies in New York.
The winning bid makes the Herbie car one of the most valuable Beetles ever sold at auction, narrowly beating the US$82,500 paid for a 1955 cabrio at Amelia Island in 2014.
The racing suit that Steve McQueen wore in the movie Le Mans sold for US$425,000 in the same auction, far exceeding the US$200,000-300,000 it was expected to fetch.
The top lot of the day, however, was the blue gingham plaid dress worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, which sold for US$1.56 million – a little more than half the price paid previously for the lion costume from the same film.