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DEUS EXTREMITY: RACING IS HIGH-SPEED LOCATION SCOUTING.

20.09.2018

Jeff Zwart is an accomplished advertising director who makes films for the biggest brands out there, but when he’s not directing an army of cameramen, he’s either racing up Pikes Peak or organising Luftgekühlt events. For his latest collaboration, he has teamed up with Deus ex Machina to make the masterpiece called ‘Extremity’.

DEUS EXTREMITY: RACING IS HIGH-SPEED LOCATION SCOUTING.

You’ve been doing automotive work for a very long time. How did you team up with Deus to make your last film, ‘Extremity’?

Well, that’s a story full of coincidences really. I run a production company that has offices scattered across the world, and our Sydney office is very close to the Sydney Deus store. So every time I was there, I dropped by the store and got to know the Deus guys a little. They told me they were opening a store in Santa Monica, which coincidentally was right next to my studio! I even knew the building. So I offered them my 1949 belly tank to put in their shop and it stayed there for a while.

 

 

You’ve been doing automotive work for a very long time. How did you team up with Deus to make your last film, ‘Extremity’?

Why the belly tank?

I bought that car a very long time ago and every time I drove it, I felt like I had to do something with it. The car is basically a literal and visual interpretation of speed and freedom. It was made right after the war using a bomber’s long distance fuel tank, and it was conceived to go fast and celebrate post-war freedom. So I figured it was perfect for Deus because their culture is the perfect match with the free spirit of the belly tank.

 

 

Why the belly tank?

So with Luftgekühlt and your racing, you seem to be inseparable from Porsche. How did you end up falling in love with the German brand?

I had always been crazy about racing but everything changed when I was eight years old and my father brought home a 911. I grew up adoring that car, driving around, sitting in the back with my dad at the wheel. When I was old enough, I learned to drive in it. Little did we know that this 911 wasn’t just any 911 - it was the 35th 911 ever built. When I came out of college, I saved up all my money and bought my own Porsche, a 914 six cylinder. Not the most popular Porsche ever, but I really loved to drive it. So much so that I still own it today.

 

So with Luftgekühlt and your racing, you seem to be inseparable from Porsche. How did you end up falling in love with the German brand?

You obviously own a few Porsches of your own. Do you have a particular favourite?

Well, I love my 906. It’s a gorgeous car and a thoroughbred race car. I also own a 1953 Porsche 356 which has a canoe strapped to the roof. I really use it as my everyday run-around car and I sometimes take the canoe off and put the dog in it. In the winter, I put snow tyres on it and drive it through the snow. The car has so little power, but it’s so much fun to drive.

 

You obviously own a few Porsches of your own. Do you have a particular favourite?

Apart from Luftgekühlt and your films, you are also very closely associated with Pikes Peak. What attracted you to the mountain?

The first time I was there was in 1987, when I photographed it for ‘Road and Track’ magazine. I was doing some road racing at the time, but I was really interested in rallying and would have loved to do Pikes Peak. So when I started rallying a few years later, I started driving a Carrera 4 and put down some pretty good results. In 1994, Porsche asked me if I wanted to do Pikes Peak and, of course, I couldn’t say no. They fitted my car with a big turbo to achieve more power at high altitude and they sent me up the hill. I won my category that year and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. Now I drive a GT3 cup car with a massive turbo in it and it spits flames everywhere. It’s a crazy machine but that’s all part of Pikes Peak.

 

Apart from Luftgekühlt and your films, you are also very closely associated with Pikes Peak. What attracted you to the mountain?

You’re an artist and a racing driver. But you can’t make art when you race. Does that ever leave you conflicted?

Oh yes, all the time. I think of racing – and especially rallying at high speed – as location scouting. I’ve raced in so many beautiful places and I’ve seen so many cool things. I remember one time, when I was going up Pikes Peak on a very early morning practice run and it was still a little dark out there. Every time I lifted my right foot, the whole scene lit up because of the flames spitting out of the exhaust and I thought “Wow, I hope someone got that”. I get that so often!

You’re an artist and a racing driver. But you can’t make art when you race. Does that ever leave you conflicted?

Check out the film ‘Extremity’ by Jeff Zwart starring Riley Harper. Celebrating the freedom to dream and go fast. Produced by ‘Deus ex Machina’

Pictures : ©Extremity

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