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Newfoundland's own Herbie the Love Bug


Published on July 19, 2017

Newfoundland's own Herbie the Love Bug can be found in Elliston.

©Mark Squibb/The Packet

ELLISTON, NL— If you find yourself in the community of Elliston, you might notice a rather eye-catching car around town. 

Herbie first appeared in 1968's The Love Bug, and has appeared in several films since.
Mark Squibb/The Packet

It's a 1974 Volkswagen Beetle refurbished to look exactly like Herbie the Love Bug.

Alonzo Abbott bought the vehicle in 2008 while living in Labrador.

"I always wanted a Volkswagen Bug, and this one came up just as I retired.  I bought it … and I got this idea one day.  I wondered if I could do it to look like Herbie," he said, referring to the car featured in several Walt Disney movies.

The vehicle was not in great shape when Abbott purchased it. The brake's had to be replaced, the wheels had seized, the body had rusted, parts had to be replaced, and a new paint job was needed.

Abbott said it took about three years of work to transform the ordinary bug into the extraordinary Herbie.

He says the hardest part was finding the stripe decal, which he eventually found on a website in the United Kingdom for about $90.

"I took a chance, but when they came I couldn’t believe it," he said of the iconic decal.

The replica is exact down to the last detail, including the paint job, which is pearl white, the same colour as the real Love Bug.

"It cost a bit of money," Abbott chuckled.

Though he says he loves his little bug, it's not his dream machine.

That would be a 1970 Mustang.

Herbie isn't the only iconic vehicle in his yard.

He also has a small replica of the Flintstone's car that he made for a Christmas parade.

Besides old cars, Abbott loves cheering for the Montreal Canadiens, whose symbol and colours cover the entirety of his garage door.