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When he was young he designed and built cars that were simple to drive and easy to maintain called "People's Cars." He and his fellow workers came to call them. Sometime after World War II the U.S. Military heard about his work and insisted he came over to discuss it with them. It turned out that the U.S. Military misunderstood these People's Cars and had this crazy thought that these were actually cars that were alive and they wanted such a car for themselves. Stumpfel as a young man took them seriously and began work on building it.
He spent years trying to find a way to make a living car possible and realised the design didn't matter only the metal it was made from was. He tried every known alloy he could find but all led to a dim failure until one day an accident happened. A precious photo of his loved one "Elsa" fell into the mixture. However that accident took a turn and Stumpfel believed that the strong feelings he had for his loved one somehow transmogrified into the metal itself making it possible to create a living car, resulting in the birth of Herbie.
Unfortunately he was aware that the U.S. Military would plan to use the little car for evil so he decided to hide him. He told the Military he had failed and once they were convinced he snuck the little car out and set him free. He kept in touch after Herbie found a home and a racing career with Jim Douglas.
Thirty-four years later he was approached by former Formula One racing driver Simon Moore III, to build another one. He was reluctant to do so but he went ahead with it. He succeeded in building another living car only this time to his horror his new creation had a vicious monstrous personality due to a photo with so much wrong. he insisted they destroy it but Simon refused and named it Horace. As for Stumpfel he was cut loose since his work was done.
Stumpfel came to Herbie's funeral with Jim and told Hank Cooper they could rebuild him only if they used all the original parts otherwise it would not be him. Hank spent day and night rebuilding him resulting a huge success in his rebirth.