Released this month, DREAM. BUILD. DRIVE is the latest documentary from filmmaker Matthew Cox that follows the unique journey of Nigel Petrie on his quest to dream, create and drive his dream car.
There are those who might dream of building a car from scratch and then there are those who do it. Nigel Petrie is from the second group of people, having spent two and a half years building his own dream machine as a lifetime goal completed. He tells that he worked with no drawings, no formulas: simply the burning vision in his mind and desire to make that reality.
“Every single component was built, it wasn’t bought. It was produced by hand,” says Petrie. “There’s just countless hours into everything.”
Geelong based Petrie, whose passion led him to start Engineered To Slide a few years ago, has built up a strong fan following; something immediately evident through his social media profiles. Car enthusiasts all over the world admire his ability to create vehicles that are hand crafted in every aspect. Before his ute, there was a customised motorbike – which Nigel tells resulted in “people coming up and saying, ‘hey that’s an incredible bike. How did you build it?'”
Such experiences not only whet his appetite for building vehicles but also gave him invaluable training.
“It’s all those lessons which I’ve learnt from previous builds that come right up to now,” tells the self described ‘car and motorcycle enthusiast.’
Like an artist wanting to paint their own creation, Petrie sought to make a car which reflected his personality. The Engineered To Slide brand. This would be a chance to not only customise but put his own distinctive stamp and style on it.
While he admits that “there’s not a car out there that is me and I don’t think there ever will be”, his ETS Drift Ute contains his imprint. “I can honestly say that, that car is exactly me.”
Nigel’s ute also caught the interest of local filmmaker Matthew Cox, who shot a five minute film BEHIND Nigel Petrie last year.
Yet, this was only the catalyst for something bigger. With Petrie’s passion for building his dream coming to fruition, the next stage was close by: to drive it. This was something Cox wanted to capture, leading to the conception of DREAM. BUILD. DRIVE.
This 55 minute film features Petrie in his Geelong garage to the 2013 Sydney World Time Attack Challenge as well as New Zealand, where Petrie was invited to share – and drive – at the 4 & Rotary Nationals in Auckland.
Cox was drawn to the genuineness of Petrie’s project: his passion, determination and unwavering focus. He knew others would be too.
“It’s such an ambitious project. The way Nigel really articulates and expresses himself. I just thought it would make for a really good story because he’s really heartfelt,” says Cox, who has shot both locally and overseas.
Yet the documentary explores so much more than just motor antics.
“It was never really about making a car documentary,” tells Cox, who took on directing, cinematography and editing roles for the film. “It was really about capturing the man behind the car – what drove him, what inspires him and what keeps him going – and that was real inspiration.”
While Petrie shares that he has learnt “so many life lessons” along his journey of dreaming, building and driving his creation, he wasn’t alone.
Dreams come in different forms for different people. For some, a dream fulfilled is a hand built ute winding its way around a racetrack; for others dreams are made of the stuff of tripods, cameras and even drones for hire.
“I suppose, in many ways, Nigel and I were going on a similar journey,” Cox shares. “Like, he was trying to drive his dream and his ute and I was trying to complete this film, so we were both kind of working parallel to each other with different goals but both chasing our dream.”
All dreams usually require some funding and this project was no exception. Pozible, a crowd funding website which raises funds from everything to organic egg start ups, gadgets and recording sessions for bands, proved a life saver with $8550 pledged. Many of Nigel’s own loyal fans picked up the bill. “Nigel you have inspired me to build my own truck,” writes one supporter in a comment.
Yet for Cox DREAM. BUILD. DRIVE – and its launchpad BEHIND Nigel Petrie is only the beginning. Expect more inspiring stories to come, with the filmmaker planning to capture the stories of many others in what he hopes will be the start of a series of short films for the Geelong region.
Cox shares his vision for this mini series: “It’s really trying to capture the unique people, the unique stories of Geelong and hopefully really capture those inspiring stories, just like Nigel’s one and package that into a little five minute inspiring film piece that the people of Geelong can look at.”
Watch the documentary for yourself: