Alonzo Hawk ( Keenan Wynn ) a ruthless real estate developer, wants to demolish this structure to plough the way for the foundation of his grandest building to date - Hawk Towers. He offers a generous buyout for Mrs. Steinmetz ( Helen Hayes ) but she will not sell her home to anyone, least of all to Hawk, who is simply intent on destroying it. Rallying around to support her is Nicole ( Stephanie Powers ) and Hawk's own nephew Willoughby ( Ken Barry ) but it is Herbie who saves the day when the firehouse becomes the target of Hawk's wrecking ball.
This is the plot to Herbie Rides Again, the 1974 Walt Disney sequel to its smash hit, The Love Bug. Unlike most sequels, the principal characters do not return in this film and so a new story had to be written around its one and only returning star - Herbie. Gordon Buford and Bill Walsh teamed up to weave this plot which made the Victorian firehouse the focal point of the film.
We can assume that later, when the firehouse is about to become abandoned, Captain Steinmetz buys the engine house for nostalgia and it eventually passes into Tennessee's hands.
|The kitchen & dining room|
|The open foyer|
Nicole resides with Mrs. Steinmetz at the firehouse but we are not shown her bedroom, however a brief glimpse of Mrs. Steinmetz's upstairs bedroom is seen when she is giving advice to Nicole on how to fetch a man. Note the brass firepole....it's a good thing Mrs. Steinmetz doesn't walk in her sleep!
The next time you take a gander at Herbie Rides Again, be sure to not overlook the timeless design of this converted firehouse and all the charming details that Hal Gausman included. It will almost make you want to restore a Number 3 engine house yourself!