That black car is Mr. Vengeance's 1967 Camaro. It took seven years to build, with all of the blood, sweat, and tears you'd imagine. It's famous around the web. It also looks exactly like the "new" Bumblebee from Transformers 4.
I was surprised when I saw the first picture of the new Bumblebee, a pro-touring '67 Camaro with little ear door mirrors, fender flares, a front splitter, and a yellow "bumblebee" front stripe.
The other cars shown off for Transformers 4 were some of the most garish, tasteless custom cars I've seen in years, particularly the new C7 Corvette which looks like it escaped from the set of 2 Fast 2 Furious. I couldn't believe that the same people who came up with those cars imagined such a clean, gorgeous Camaro.
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And by all appearances, maybe they didn't.
They seem to have made an almost carbon copy of Mr Vengeance's Camaro. This isn't exactly surprising, because if you search "Restomod Camaro" on Google Image Search, the first two results are Mr. Vengeance's car.
What is the Vengeance Camaro? It has an Art & Morrison Corvette frame, a 7.0 liter LS7 V8, one-of-a-kind 19 inch wheels, a Moser rear end, Wilwood brakes, a 22-gallon fuel cell, body modifications by Hellion Kustoms, a black "bumblebee" stripe, and real carbon fiber trim. It has been called the "ultimate restomod," blending classic styling with modern performance and custom trends.
Basically, if you wanted to make a badass-looking custom Camaro, you'd be wise to draw on this particular car for inspiration.
Mr. Vengeance posted as much on Pro-Touring.com and The Car Lounge stating,
Okay so a couple gearhead friends hit me up very early this morning saying..
"Michael Bay ripped you off man, look at Bumblebee for Transformers 4 it looks like your car Vengeance!"
I checked out the link of sneak previews of some of the cars..
then I saw what they were talking about..
They sent him these pictures of the new Bumblebee and Mr. Vengence made the clear conclusion.
they must have seen this pic and went and copied it...
They even got the same exact wheels as I have with the same colors cheme, Audi handles, vision mirrors, chinspoiler with stabilizer bars, full length grille, shaved lower valence, and even the blacked out 67 year only vent windows..
Mr. Vengeance doesn't even seem too angry about it, just hurt. He told me he built this car as a tribute to his father's stripped and stolen '68 Camaro. To say the car means a lot to him would be an understatement.
some on here know me and know how long I have been modifying these cars and some know just how much heart and soul I poured into designing and executing my 1967 Camaro "Vengeance"
The car I frequently describe to others as my "Mt Everest" as it too EVERY BIT of blood, stress, tears, strain of marriage, joy, pain, and EVERY LAST DOLLAR I had to make this car my dream car.. I hand drew it countless times..
Mr. Vengeance gave a brief overview of the build, and how they must have copied an early version of the car from about three years ago.
So I worked on this car for the last 7 years of my life from a bare shell
to this point..
the spikes on the side of the fenders are placeholders for these flares I am producing for the first gen camaro.. here's my actual flares on the car while I was assembling it with pshop wheels and interior.. the flares are real though.
Mr. Vengeance told me he has no intention of suing, saying "this isn't about money at all," but Transformers 4 is probably going to be huge, and he doesn't want people to mix up who did the car first.
I don't know what to think of this..
part of me is flattered they would outright copy my car to make for one of my favorite toy characters of all time..
then part of me is kind of mad that they just outright took my hard work and put a yellow stripe on the nose.. even the execution is horrible on the copy of my ideas..
The worst thing would be for every little kid calling my car Bumblebee and others making bootleg Bumblebee clones.. that would suck.
The influence is obvious, but what Paramount can do about it is unclear. Mr. Vengeance is right, there are going to be little kids recognizing this '67 car as Bumblebee from the movie, as well as from the inevitable toys, ads, and whatever else pours out into pop culture from TF4. If Paramount acknowledges that the Bumblebee started out as a picture of Mr. Vengeance's car on their mechanic's shop wall then what?
A simple thank you and a public recognition might be all Mr. Vengeance wants. The question is if that's possible. We've reached out to Paramount.
Photo Credits: Mr.Vengeance via VW Vortex, here are build photos from Mr.Vengeance as well