Meet the Real Fast and Furious: 130 MPH, Creating Supercars, and Breaking Records


Forget drag races and movie stars with “nitrous.”

Instead, imagine using spotting planes, counterfeit police cars, and thermal night-vision cameras to break the record for the famed Cannonball Run from NY to LA: 32 hours and 7 minutes. How to do it? Sustain approximately 130 miles per hour on average the entire time (when you factor in refueling time). This is who I interviewed today.

Meet the real Fast and Furious: Alex Roy, captain of Team Polizei 144, travel executive, filmmaker, and philanthropist… I caught up with him recently and, between begging/convincing him to take me racing (offroad), we did the action-packed interview below, which answers the following and more:

Why the hell would he risk it?
How did he prepare?
Did he have any close calls?
How did he modify his car, and why did he choose a BMW over a Porsche or Lamborghini?
How much would it cost for me or you to do it?
What are the keys to pulling it off besides driving fast?

If you’d like to meet Alex and me, we’ll be hanging out with his super-modified car and others on November 26th. “FERRISSREADER” gets you 15% off, and no, I’m not getting a kickback. A portion of proceeds will go to LitLiberation projects and schools still in need of funding. Here’s how to get in.

Here’s the interview with Alex–it’s a good one:


Odds and Ends: It’s been a BIG week!

-I was featured as the cover story of the NY Times Styles section last Sunday. Insane. The same day, I broke the top 1000 on Technorati. You guys are rock stars–thank you!

-Yesterday, 4HWW was announced as one of the Marketing Top 50 of 2007 by AdvertisingAge.

-Today, I was on the CBS Early Show and found out 4HWW is one of the Best Books of 2007 on Amazon. Please take one click to vote for me here!

-Tomorrow? Who knows. These are exciting times (and don’t worry; there’s more language learning coming). Thank you all for your support and for helping me to enjoy the ride :)

Posted on: November 14, 2007.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

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34 comments on “Meet the Real Fast and Furious: 130 MPH, Creating Supercars, and Breaking Records

  1. Tim,

    This is one of the most entertaining things I’ve listened to in a while. I have just recently started your diet plan. I would be starting to follow all of the advice in the book now, but I’ve recently been called as a missionary for my church and will spend two years in Tacoma Washington, however, I think that a lot of the things I’ve learned from your book will come in handy. I just wanted to say thanks for such an interesting and compelling book and good work on the blog. As they say in arabic (of which I’ve taken one semester, but used your method to improve upon my knowledge), mabrook!


  2. I am surprised you are somewhat heroizing such douche-bags. If I understand this correctly (I am not from USA), the dickhead drives like a Vin Diesel wannabe through public roads with pedestrians and other vehicles at risk??

    I don’t know the geography or the reality of this race…help me out.


  3. Voted for the book at Amazon. You’re running away with the vote!

    Also — I was amazed when a friend of mine told me I had my picture in the NY Times last Sunday. It turns out that the photographer at the MIT event got a pic of me standing next to you and that pic made it into the article. How totally cool.



  4. Dang, Kevin beat me to it. I don’t know how long this has been up or how many votes had been cast, but after I voted for you, your book had 55% of votes, with your closest competitor (Made to Stick) having 11%. Congrats!


  5. First off, this post will most likely have absolutely nothing to do with your blog entry here. To be honest, didn’t even read it, not a big race fan. While I do agree the media blackout can be a great thing (when I lived with my parent’s they watched the news every day and it always left me either angry, depressed or hollow feeling, I haven’t watched the news since) if you set up you home-page on google (or whatever) with science news gadgets, they’re always almost always inspiring or uplifting. I think it has to do with the fundamental difference between science news and popular media news. Popular media is out to get ratings via shock, outrage, ect. Science news is out to get publicity by saying “You know problem x? Look what we’re able to do to fix it!” With the exception of the occasional disaster science news can aide in giving one the feeling that there is still hope for humanity. For me anyways, albiet I don’t typically do anything more then look at the top few headlines unless something really looks interesting.


  6. I had my ’82 Kawasaki GPz with front and rear radar (front beeped in my left ear, back in my right ear), big yellow stripes on tank and seat that were velcroed on for quick removal, flip up rear plate, cut out switches for headlight, signals and brakes.

    I could pick up a cop on one end of town, and dump him on the next. Looking back it seems adventurous, but at the time I was just trying to get to work on time!

    My reign of terror ended when the cops crashed their 2 day old Mustang Turbo Interceptor (worst handling cop car ever!) in a chase after me. They brought out 6 cars, a spike belt and rifles to hunt down the escaped goat.

    I got nailed in the end, they eventually returned my bike in a big box of parts plus the frame, but my legend remains 16 years later. Click my name for a pic of the bike (I’ll post it later today).


    hey Tim,
    did the Nov.13 PR call happen? I paid/registered but haven’t received any notice about it since. The original email from your team was sent to my paypal address not my regular one and I did reply to get them to change that, but if they didn’t I may have missed it.


  7. This stunt put thousands of innocent people’s lives in danger. If Alex Roy wants to get his rocks off by driving fast, he should do his driving off of the public roadways.

    This man is no hero, and making him out to be one just encourages other idiots to drive recklessly.


  8. Congrats, Tim! It sounds like you’re attracting all kinds of wonderful things into your life.

    I’m planning on being in San Mateo December 7-10. If you’re going to be around, would you like to take a rain check for that cup of coffee we talked about?


  9. ###

    Hi Geo and Andrew and all,

    Alex is definitely a controversial figure, but that doesn’t necessarily make him 100% reckless. I’ll let him respond here if he can, but this is from his company website:

    “Team Polizei has a flawless safety record across 8 rallies in four years, covering over 25,000 miles in the US, Europe, Asia & Africa.”

    Is driving 130mph safe? Probably not, but I’m not heroizing Alex. I’m just presenting a picture of someone how has chosen to create a unique life and lifestyle. You might agree or disagree with his choices, but I just want to get you questioning assumptions about your own lives.

    Hope that helps!



  10. Tim. I would have to disagree with your denial of heroization. From reading your copy on this guy as well as many of the comments in this threat, I do not see a balanced view of the situation. Being a non-USA resident…I couldn’t easily figure out the risks involved.

    Look at your last paragraph…This is borderline heroization, especially in context with your questions.

    My take is that this is one of the worse types of criminal activity. Putting the lives of unsuspecting public at risk. It is as bad as Drunk/Drugged driving or shooting a gun in a crowd and claiming that because his aim is so good, no one will be hurt.

    This is childish and selfish behaviour, and I cannot imagine the value this adds in questioning my own life assumptions…other than comfirming what sort of dickheads are members of society.

    Ask the $#%^&* if his budget covers sending flowers to the family of a child hit at 130mph. Maybe Garmin make a gadget to help.


    Hey Andrew,

    Point taken. I should have been much more specific in my last paragraph, and I just added “offroad.” I’ve always wanted to be involved in rally racing, but the type you see Subaru winning offroad with navigators, etc. Hope that helps clear up some of the confusion.



  11. Tim,

    Love the book and it’s changed my life. Great interview here! I loved it.

    Your Match profile says “spiritual not religious.” You’re obviously up for the external challenges. How about the inner?

    Not for the faint of heart and only for those who are ready for true transformation.

    Much peace and love.


  12. Well Tim you thoroughly deserve all the attention you get!

    So many people could really do with reading your book. In the UK, I feel I will in a pre-xmas effort be posting copies to people I know would love it, as I just feel it’s so amazing, so liberating. When I first read it, I got a fever, symbolic of my head literally letting off steam,I am now a recovering information-a-holic(:)) and now I have such clarity, as I go about decluttering my head and my business! Amazing, for me it’s like a meditative read,’ in
    that it has allowed me to let go of how certain things ‘should,’ be run, or ‘need’ to be run in order to be profitable, making space for more adventure, and other fun things, instead of putting my life of hold whilst I finish this piece or that book etc, unhealthy paradigms, borne from the ego and horrid outmoded conditioning a truly speacial gift! Thanks!

    I can see a 4HWW for women, for CEO’s, etc. Aka the ‘chicken soup for the soul, series,’ which I am sure you could outsource:)

    Carrie x