Larry Chen, with the help of industry partners, actually commissioned and built this 2019 Toyota Corolla Camera car for SEMA and I. Am. All. About. This. Build.

Arguably the best motorsports photographer of our time, Larry Chen, had just enough time in his busy schedule to put together quite possibly the world’s dopest camera car. Earlier this week on his Instagram (Oct. 24,2018) Chen unveiled what his camera car build turned out like and it is everything I expect when I hear Corolla camera car and more. Check out a couple of posts of his build below.

All too often when I see camera car rigs, it’s usually something extremely fast like this Lamborghini Huracan I wrote about earlier this summer or something very capable like a Porsche Cayenne, something out of the realm of possibility for small filmmakers who might consider building a camera car of their own. At that point, renting is more of an option than actually mocking up a camera car yourself.

With an understated but eye-catching livery, a unique wheel, and tire combo, and presumably some upgrades under the hood and to the suspension, this rally Hatch could’ve been a dope SEMA build on its own. It’s only when they threw a camera crane on its roof did this build take a turn towards legendary.

A quick look on the company’s website and it looks like anyone with $40,000 burning a hole in their wallet can purchase one of these remote arms and literally mount it on any car you have, like this Toyota Corolla, which, at an MSRP of around $18,850, is literally half the price of the arm.

Add on $100,000 for some fancy RED Digital Cinema camera, an extra $10,000 for lenses, another $10,000 for vehicle modifications on this particular build and let’s say $5,000 cushion for small things like insurance, camera accessories, operational costs (gas, tires, preventative maintenance) and you’re probably looking at a (we’ll round up by a couple thousand) $200,000 Toyota Corolla Camera Car. That price might seem like a lot but I reckon it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than those more expensive setups.

Props to Larry Chen for pulling off a dope build and I hope that you get some sweet shots with the budget camera car of sorts.


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