The Edge of Grip is the true story of a father (Doug Hillmann) and his son (Zach) who own and operate VFC Engineering in Chicago, IL.  When the shop closes, and the customers cars are repaired, Zach and Doug are working on their own race car. 

They are both mechanics, true artists of their craft, but Doug is a meticulous, type-A, possibly mildly OCD, scientist who could rebuild an engine blindfolded.

Zach is the racer, it's in his blood, just like his father.  He doesn't just drive the car, he steers with his fingertips so he can listen through the wheel to everything that is going on with the car.  Then, they dance.  

Advanced engineering, physics, geometry, aerodynamics, and psychology are all utilized to make sure the car can be and is driven by Zach as fast as possible through the finish line.

They're not your every day mechanics.

But do they have enough knowledge, and experience to remain competitive with a twenty five year old Porsche 944 against the latest BMW M3's with their own very experienced drivers?  


Even though the film began as a short twelve minute documentary, I had fallen in love with the characters, the story and decided filming simply could not stop there.

Now after three years of filming later, the first 106 minutes are edited as a feature.  Which is great, but In order to complete the rest of the editing I will be launching a kickstarter campaign in order to complete the movie by mid 2016.

If you would like to be notified when the campaign launches, sign up on the email list, and we will notify you when we launch and when we get funded.




The Edge of Grip Updates

Once a month we give you an update of where the film is currently at and what stage of the process we are in.  We discuss what is going wrong, and what is working well.  Use these blunders, mis-steps, and severe cases of "blind luck" and our planned successes as a road map to better your own film making.

VFC Engineering

VFC Engineering is an auto repair facility run by mechanical engineers Zach and Doug Hillmann in Ravenswood, Illinois. They know cars. They play with cars in their free time, and they have been studying cars their whole lives. They know what is good about your car and what is not so good. They never stop learning.  

VFC Engineering was started so quality German cars have a quality place to be repaired. They are family owned and will remain so for years to come.  

Learn more at