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


ReynardMuldrake
06-14-2012, 04:32 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.

http://i.imgur.com/VaaKa.jpg

http://jalopnik.com/5497042/how-a-500-craigslist-car-beat-400k-rally-racers

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

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




No, really, cool story. :thumb:

KC native
06-14-2012, 08:02 PM
I read this a couple weeks ago. This guy has big brass balls.

Ceej
06-14-2012, 08:06 PM
That's a nice little turnover...

JASONSAUTO
06-14-2012, 08:06 PM
Much rep to him
Posted via Mobile Device

Bewbies
06-14-2012, 09:04 PM
BAD ASS.

mikeyis4dcats.
06-14-2012, 09:27 PM
technically he came in 23rd, but cool story nonetheless