View Full Version : Life Guy buys $500 BMW off Craigslist, places 3rd in World Rally Championship race

06-14-2012, 03:32 PM
How A $500 Craigslist Car Beat $400K Rally Racers

Professional motorsport[s] is a cold, hard place. If you want to run with the big dogs, you can't just build a car in your mom's garage and show up, right? Wrong. One guy did just that. Here's his amazing story.

This is the multifaceted tale of Bill Caswell, a man who bought a crapcan off Craigslist to run against $400,000-plus rally cars in a World Rally Championship race. It is a tale of a guy who had a welder, a bunch of credit cards, and a lot of free time but no real backing or funds. It is a story of a dude who taught himself how to build an FIA-legal roll cage because he wanted to spend the fabrication fee on race tires instead. It's the story of a gearhead who drove a rustbucket to a third-place finish in an FIA-sanctioned event.

Most of all, it is a story of hoonage.

Bill Caswell, an unemployed Chicago racing freak, entered the Mexico round of the World Rally Championship in a 1991 BMW 318i that he found on Craigslist. The car cost $500. One year ago, Caswell decided that he wanted to go rallying with Rally America. Two months later, he crashed a car and blew up an engine five minutes into his first event. Four events later, he found a loophole in the FIA rules that let him enter a twenty-year-old car in the same event as guys like Ken Block and former F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen.

Full disclosure: Caswell is my friend. We have a long history of collaborating on stupid, pointless projects. Most of the time, we hang out in weird bars and at race tracks and talk about the cool things that I want to do but never find time for, the things that Bill actually goes and does. I am admittedly biased.

The story of Caswell's WRC entry is a story of weirdness: He entered the biggest motorsport event of his life with no crew; an untested, week-old E30 M3 engine swap and a junkyard transmission (don't ask); a car that was still covered in dirt from the previous season's rallies ("I'd wash it, but I gotta fix stuff instead"); and a rented panel van. His co-driver, a Rally America genius named Ben Slocum, had not spent more than five minutes in a car with him prior to the event. He did this not out of stupidity, but out of a lack of resources he wanted to go rallying, and this was the only way he could make it happen.

Amazingly, they finished third in their class.



Read the whole thing, it's pretty fucking badass.

06-14-2012, 05:46 PM
Cool story, bro.

No, really, cool story. :thumb:

KC native
06-14-2012, 07:02 PM
I read this a couple weeks ago. This guy has big brass balls.

06-14-2012, 07:06 PM
That's a nice little turnover...

06-14-2012, 07:06 PM
Much rep to him
Posted via Mobile Device

06-14-2012, 08:04 PM

06-14-2012, 08:27 PM
technically he came in 23rd, but cool story nonetheless