In San Francisco, the dreams of Alonzo Hawk to build a skyscraper in his name are thwarted by Grandma Steinmetz who sits stubbornly in her firehouse home on the property he needs. Hawk sends his nephew, Willoughby, to charm Mrs. Steinmetz who, along with a beautiful airline hostess boarder and the magical VW Herbie, convinces him he should stay out of the whole mess. After many chases and confrontations, Herbie emerges victorious and both Mrs. Steinmetz and Willoughby find romance.