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Contest winner to watch film from original Bumblebee

Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:56 a.m. CDT
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(Photo provided)
Driving Bumblebee, a beater Camaro that turns out to be an Autobot in the "Transformers" film franchise, was the prize in a Volo Auto Museum contest.
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Dan Felice (left) plans to bring his wife, Jamie, with him to watch "Transformers" June 27 from inside Bumblebee at the McHenry Outdoor Theater.

VOLO – A 49-year-old Crystal Lake man is counting the days until he will drive a certain ’77 Camaro to the McHenry Outdoor.

Dan Felice said he was in the middle of a meeting at his Round Lake workplace when he spied the email on his smart phone that stated he had won the Volo Auto Museum’s Bumblebee contest.

“I was like ‘Cool!’” he recalled. “The chance to see the new ‘Transformers’ movie in the original Bumble Bee car is blowing my mind.”

Felice has been a fan of the “Transformers” franchise ever since the 2007 film featuring Shia LaBeouf. One of his favorite scenes is when the Camaro known as Bumblebee roars through a warehouse area, with the decepticon Barricade in hot pursuit. It’s the same film clip that loops on a screen near an exhibit of the screen-used Camaro at the Volo Auto Museum, 27582 Volo Village Road.

The museum started a contest early this year in which the number printed on each admission wristband could be entered in an online sweepstakes. Felice’s name was drawn this month. The prize is driving Bumblebee – character Sam Witwicky’s beater Camaro that turns out to be an Autobot – to see “Transformers: Age of Extinction” on June 27.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am for this night to come,” Felice wrote in an email after learning of his win. “I feel like a kid again.”

Felice said he will bring his wife, Jamie. The couple will pick up the car at the museum and drive it to the show. They’ll also receive free admission and dinner provided by the McHenry Outdoor.

Brian Grams, museum director, said the Felices’ experience will be rare indeed. Few people are allowed to climb into any of Volo’s many Hollywood cars, let alone drive one off the property.

“It’s great that someone with so much enthusiasm is the winner,” Grams said, adding that another as-yet-unnamed Hollywood car will accompany Bumblebee to the show.

“It should be a memorable night.”

Volo Auto Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and features roughly 300 classic, antique, muscle and Hollywood cars. For information, visit www.volocars.com, call (815) 385-3644 or find Volo Auto Museum on Facebook.

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