2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo – Copyright High Gear MediaEnlarge Photo
The United Arab Emirates is both car heaven and hell. The Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park
celebrates all things Maranello, while the heartbreak of a sun-baked and dust-caked Enzo abandoned in Dubai
is all too fresh in our minds.
So what chance does a 1963 Volkswagen have here?
We'll know soon enough, if Graham Henderson has his way. According to The New York Times
, the Dubai-based architect envisions a theme park centered around Herbie, title car and character of The Love Bug
For those too young to have seen Disney's
1968 film and its sequels--or for anyone who steered clear of 2005's Herbie: Fully Loaded
with, coincidentally, Lindsay Lohan
--the storyline is simple. An underdog race driver discovers an unloved Beetle and its self-possessive powers, and together they take to the track and persevere against evil rivals.
Henderson may be able to relate. Said to own a Herbie replica and race Beetles himself, we have to presume he faces an uphill battle to build the theme park and its Herbiedome
central-attraction, given the niche appeal and global economy.
no comment on project funding or of Disney licensing the rights, but an undeterred Henderson hints an unnamed American source has a "potential consignment" of seven film-featured Herbies
to serve as rides around a closed course.
We'll say it again: the United Arab Emirates is both car heaven and hell.