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02-Oct-2016 08:32

After all, we don't often confer human emotions on vehicles, now matter how prominently they feature in the films reviewed in this column.

The plot: Jim Douglas, a racing driver who's down on his luck, wanders into a snooty car showroom in search of a new vehicle.

He is quickly shown the door by its snob of an owner, Mr Thorndyke, but not before he sticks up for a 1963 VW Beetle which has appeared on the showroom floor as if by magic.

Its secret weapon is of course, Herbie, the disarmingly adorable 1963 VW Beetle whose antics are the very heart and soul of the film.

That the film-makers are able to use a machine to tug on the audience's heart-strings so effectively is a testament to the car's sheer force of personality.

The cars: Thorndike drives a 1963 Apollo 3500 GT which heads up an impressive field of vintage racers; these include a 1965 Bizzarrini GT5300 Strada, a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette SCCA Production Roadster and a 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta.

Of course, the star of this show is Herbie, a1963 Volkswagen Beetle deluxe ragtop sedan painted in Volkswagen L87 pearl white.

In a nutshell: While it probably deserves its status as a bona fide childrens' classic, The Love Bug is something of a mixed bag for anyone over the age of its target demographic.

The car follows Jim home and through a series of events too ridiculous to recount, Douglas becomes its owner.Named Herbie by Jim's mechanic Tennessee, the car helps Jim to a succession of race wins, and in the process attracts the attention of the nefarious Thorndyke...The cast: Dean Jones plays washed up race driver Jim Douglas, Buddy Hackett is his trusty mechanic Tennessee Steinmetz and Michele Lee plays Jim's petrol-head love interest Carole.David Tomlinson plays evil European car importer and racing cheat Thorndyke, while Benson Fong plays the enigmatic Mr Wu.That having been said, children under the age of 10 are pretty much powerless to resist the film's charms and even the most cynical viewers may be susceptible to being sucked in.

The car follows Jim home and through a series of events too ridiculous to recount, Douglas becomes its owner.Named Herbie by Jim's mechanic Tennessee, the car helps Jim to a succession of race wins, and in the process attracts the attention of the nefarious Thorndyke...The cast: Dean Jones plays washed up race driver Jim Douglas, Buddy Hackett is his trusty mechanic Tennessee Steinmetz and Michele Lee plays Jim's petrol-head love interest Carole.David Tomlinson plays evil European car importer and racing cheat Thorndyke, while Benson Fong plays the enigmatic Mr Wu.That having been said, children under the age of 10 are pretty much powerless to resist the film's charms and even the most cynical viewers may be susceptible to being sucked in.The reason for this is The Love Bug is one of the most blatantly manipulative films that has ever been released.