When Herbie Went to Monaco


Words by: JPS for duncan quinn

Whether or not you rate Herbie the Love Bug as one of the all-time great movie cars is a matter of personal taste.

But the VW’s comely co-star in the 1977 sequel Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo is without question a fierce contender. The 1976 Lancia Scorpion, dubbed Giselle in the flick, appears alongside the iconic Beetle in the Trans-France Race, based on the famed Monte Carlo Rally, driven Diane Darcy (Julie Sommars). On Nov. 23 Bonhams will offer the Scorpion at its TCM Presents… Treasures from the Dream Factory sale of Hollywood memorabilia in NYC. And with an estimate of $40,000–$50,000 it’s going to make a very nice addition to someone’s car collection without causing the bean counters to have conniptions.


The Scorpion was the U.S. version of the lovely mid-engined Lancia Montecarlo, designed by Pininfarina and first offered in 1975. Only 8,000 Montecarlos were produced, with just 1,800 Scorpions imported to the U.S. during 1976-77, though with just 81 hp the American versions put out more sex appeal than raw power. A Group 5 racing version of the car dubbed the Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo later competed in classic Martini Racing livery, winning both the won the 1980 World Championship for Makes and 1981 World Endurance Championship for Makes and inspiring lots of lust. As Top Gear’s Richard Hammond once recalled, ”It was so pretty I wanted one more than I wanted my next breath.” We’ll second that….