Architect Envisions Habitat For Herbie

November 2, 2011
2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo – Copyright High Gear Media

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo – Copyright High Gear Media

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.

There's 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.

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