Hot on the heels of the LS3-swapped Himalaya Defender 110 Spectre Edition, comes yet another brigand with nefarious inclinations. However, unlike the brazen British-inspired 4×4, this rear-wheel-drive baddie remains a bit of an enigma, a build that until now, has remained shrouded in secrecy. Code-named Villain by its creators, Lansdale, Pennsylvania based Bent Metal Customs (BMC), this 1969 Chevy Camaro hardtop is already one hell of a sinister machine, even in incomplete form.
Hoping to dig-up a little dirt on this depraved evildoer, we contacted Bent Metal Customs project manager, Nick Chandler, to see about digging up some dirt on this badass build. While photo access to project Villain remains limited ahead of the car’s big reveal at SEMA later this year, we were able to glean a handful of snaps from the shop ahead of its unveiling late next month. We were also able to garner some info from Nick about the car’s history, the evil engine contained within, and how he foresees this build elevating the brand’s name going forward.
Villain first arrived at BMC mid-build; a heavily modded ’69 Camaro, with an owner who had fallen gravely ill. Being that the shop’s last build had recently been purchased, BMC was on the hunt for a new project. Since all of the prior work had been done properly, the Camaro made for a very enticing offer. With a Detroit Speed subframe and QUADRALink rear suspension already installed, and almost all of the metalwork knocked-out, Nick tells us that purchasing the partially completed Camaro was a complete no-brainer.
Originally intended to be little more than just a quick flip, the car received fresh intent when BMC’s owner and Nick decided to delve into the world of carbon fiber. A deal was soon struck with Anvil Auto of California, and before long Villain was being outfitted with carbon fiber goods at every corner. Front fenders, deep-tub inner wheel wells, extractor hood, both front and rear spoilers, header, front bumper, cowl, and closeout panels, as well as smaller stuff like door handles and mirrors, were all replaced with carbon components.
It was around this time a decision was made to ditch the 327, and replace it with a Whipple Supercharger equipped LS3. When asked why they settled on this particular engine, Nick tells us the engine materialized after a customer’s ’67 Chevelle SEMA project went sideways. With the 900whp, Whipple-powered Mast Motorsports LS3 sitting freshly built alongside an unused set of CV3C Forgeline Wheels, it only seemed appropriate that both high-end automotive upgrades would find fresh purpose stuffed beneath the belly of BMC’s ’69 Camaro.
Nick tells us that in order to make the Villain even more evil, Bent Metal Customs needed to upgrade every performance area of the vehicle, starting with a Tremec T56 from Bowler Transmissions. This meant partnering with Detroit Speed for suspension upgrades, Ron Davis Racing Radiators for cooling, Baer for 14-inch rotors and 6-pot calipers, GearFX for a 9-inch rearend, and Odyssey Batteries for electrical juice. Rounding out Villain’s impressive list of performance bolt-ons is a winning combo of Ultimate Headers with custom mirror-polished piping and Black Widow Exhaust‘s “Neighborhater” mufflers out back.
As for creature comforts, Nu-Relics was tapped for power windows, Restomod Air was chosen for its Bluetooth-controlled A/C system, and Dapper Lighting came though with a wicked set of custom headlights for the car. Aesthetics on the chassis come courtesy of BASF paint, a Gillin Custom Design one-off interior, and All American Billet stainless washers. From there, Villain received a shaved firewall, an in-house custom rear bumper, as well as a shaved trunk lock. Finishing touches were provided by Fesler Built, with flush mount front and rear glass, hood and trunk hinges, door strikers, door jamb vents, and parking lights making their appearance.
One particular area of interest is the unique fender lines on this car, which Nick is more than happy to elaborate upon. “The wide front fenders will take the car from having the tapered look that ’69s do, to more of an hourglass shape,” he says. “We can [now] fit 10.5-inch wheels with 305 tires in the front and 12.5-inch rears with 325 tires.”
For those of you who are planning to hit SEMA this year, you can find the Bent Metal Customs Villain Camaro following its debut at the Mast Motorsports booth, where it is sure to receive loads of attention. Nick tells us the shop has also entered Villain in this year’s Battle of the Builders contest. “Next year, we plan to take the car to multiple Goodguys car shows, as well as Shades of the Past, and others,” Nick says. “The goal of the Villain is to showcase our work, as well as the awesome products we used on it, and hopefully bring more big builds to the shop!”