I quit my investment banking job 4 years ago to race cars with my friends until the economy improved. But 9 months later, I got really lucky and raced against my heroes at the World Rally Championship round in Mexico. I finished 3rd in my class after 3-day rally despite being without any mechanics. My story was then published by www.jalopnik.com and eventually sold to the actor Jeremy Renner and they're in the process of turning it into a movie. My name is Bill Caswell and please ask me anything!

http://jalopnik.com/5497042/how-a-500-craigslist-car-beat-400k-rally-racers http://xgames.espn.go.com/article/6689040/cubicle-wrc-rallying-hollywood-film-starring-jeremy-renner

So I continued to race, running the same car up the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and entering other rallies in the US. Then I was dared to convert a BMW to run the Baja 1000 in only 14 days and still make the start. So we built this: http://jalopnik.com/5693229/bill-caswells-baja-bimmer-heads-to-the-starting-line

Now I drive for Crawford Performance and continue to race anything I can get my hands on like this 500hp turbo BRZ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN_ARD3JtEo

Or this E46 M3 from VR Performance that finished 2nd in at Targa Newfoundland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6ls8lTGA6I

Anyway, today was the opening ceremonies of WRC Mexico back in 2010 where the organizers decided to let me race and changed my life forever! So I thought I would share. Sometimes you can go after your dreams and get lucky! Sometimes life works the way its supposed to and you get to do cool things with your friends. Thanks for reading.

If you want to listen/watch my story instead of read this is a pretty good interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7xJuuiQXvs

You can follow me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/caswell318 Fan page(more racing, less personal): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bill-Caswell/196410193761917?ref=hl And twitter here: https://twitter.com/billcaswell318

Comments: 248 • Responses: 86  • Date: 

EngineerWOCause34 karma

I think we all thought your initial WRC Mexico success was pretty cool. But since then you've been underpreparing cars (only a few days in advance), attempting to drive them to events (why?), and usually either not even making it to the race, DNF'ing or crashing out. Then bragging about how you partied.

Don't you think people want to see you succeed in racing? Part of your initial success is that you didn't just show up to WRC mexico, you actually finished well.

Anyone can botch together a car and go drink magaritas. You've got a huge fan base that would help you prep a bombproof E30 and crew for you. Make it happen!

Wcaswell19 karma

Im still racing to have fun with my friends. That will always drive certain people crazy because the only important part of racing to them is the win. I don't race for those for people or for their reasons and its almost impossible to explain to them why. The journey to me is so much more valuable than the result. I clarified this for myself during these past 4 years as I tried different approaches to racing.

The most rewarding for me was 2nd place with Wyatt Knox at WRC Mexico 2012. We had to find a new motor and swap it on the way to race. That year's race was incredible. Amazing really as we struggled to keep that motor running and finish. And I do love to party. sorry for that. I think it sucks more that the current group of pro racers are bunch of politically correct, corporate pu$$ies. But thats me.

As for the success of my initial story? No one I talk to focuses on the result. They focus on the getting off the sofa and going after your dreams. They focus on learning how to build a car and race because I learned from books so why can't they. If they talk about the result, its usually in relation to finishing the three day rally with no service crew/mechanics. And for me, the success is the number of new racers and rally cars hitting the roads each year simply because they read my story. That's cool and why I race.

As a side note, proper prep takes a ton of cash! like 4-10 times more than I spend. I've been doing this for 4 years and Im coming up on 5 this summer. You know how many properly prepped cars show up and break a stage later after spending 4-10 times the cash? A lot. One even burned to the ground as a total write off last saturday. My approach has lasted nearly 5 years with no real job. It could be better but usually its way worse for racers.

And as for the driving to the event. I do it because its fun. Its how I started racing back in 2002 before I had a good job and an enclosed trailer. And generally I get two types of complaints. I don't prep enough or they could do what I do if they had enough cash. Well the prep is easy. It just takes cash. And when the car is nice like at Targa Newfoundland I finished 2nd behind ACP or with Crawford Performance in their 500hpBRZ at Redline Time Attack.

But the money? You can race really cheap if you want it bad enough. So last year I went to ESPR on Dunlop street tires and raced on the same tires. It cost me two tanks of gas to get there instead of 6 like it does pulling my enclosed trailer. Did it show kids they can drive their rally cars to races and compete. You don't need a fancy tow rig or trailer. Just the will to race.

As for the guys that want to help me? I have tons of friends that want to help, but prep costs cash.

EngineerWOCause19 karma

Bill, Thanks for the reply, but I disagree on a few points you've made.

I certainly never suggested you should become a boring corporate pussy and stop partying. That is lame, and for me personally the best part about racing is the camaraderie and beer drinking in the paddock/bar afterwards.

You hit on an important point - the result. The result isn't just the position you finished in, it is finishing and finishing strong. This is something that has been greatly lacking from your racing resume the last few years. Showing up with an underprepared POS and DNFing in the 4th stage wouldn't be considered by most as a respectable result.

Preparation can become a bottomless pit of money, but that isn't what i'm suggesting. The marginal successes you'd have by simply spending say... a week or two weeks to prepare your car as opposed to 2 days would pay huge dividends. Like you said, you don't have a job, put just a hair more emphasis on prep. You brag about how little you prep and then we all watch your car break down or you miss the event. It isn't about money.

Wcaswell7 karma

If thats how you feel. I like the last few big races I've run. 2nd overall at redline time attack behind a ZR1 corvette on hoosier Ao6's and only by a 10th or two I think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN_ARD3JtEo

I finished 2nd at a Targa Newfoundland a year ago with a first time co driver and no notes. ACP on his 7th or 8th year with full notes beat me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6ls8lTGA6I

Two years ago we finished 2nd at WRC Mexico. Ive won two lemons races outright since then. Got 2nd at another race. Not a bad record for three races in the series? I think Ive only ever had one mechanical and that was STPR in 2009 when the motor spun a rod bearing. hard to really prep for that. I've stuffed it a few times. twice because the codriver read the wrong notes but that's ok. I don't know man, I'm pretty happy with my results given the money I have to invest. Im sorry you're not.

Skaycog17 karma

Are you married? ;)

Wcaswell28 karma

Nope. was in a 12 year relationship that ended this past fall. A little over a year ago we had a ceremony in Mexico and we separated a year later(this past fall). Its too bad really. She's an amazing woman but she never once came to a race or to my shop/office or to any of my public speaking deals or really anything I did in the 4 years since I quit my job and started living my dream. That was far worse than separating.

Wcaswell9 karma

Hey! send me a message on Facebook or twitter! ;)

DragonDriver9 karma

Oh shit. Oppo's gonna have a shit fit, $kay & Caswell!?

GeckoDeLimon5 karma

After having gotten my hopes dashed by the revelation that Murilee was a pasty middle-aged white guy with a 5 o'clock shadow, I'm not convinced $kay is a woman. It's a chance I just don't want to take.

Wcaswell4 karma

Yeah pretty sure Skaycog is a man, but maybe not? I was pretty sure they would never let me race at WRC Mexico and they did. Skay could be a supermodel race car driver or something..., could be. maybe.

Gizmo457 karma

What the latest on the Caswell movie? Still pre production? Do you even know?

Wcaswell10 karma

Things are great on the movie front. Its amazing how slow hollywood moves! But the movie is funded which is really cool! Jeremy Renner is still committed to playing me and the script has been done and rewritten numerous times. I think they are looking for a director and that will determine filming dates?

I don't hassle them too much about it. Its their project now and they are great at what they do. But I do agree that a nice press release or update would be cool. And I do ask so its not just my word all the time but Hollywood is strange about stuff like that.

saruken7 karma


Mr. Caswell,


You are a hero to me, have been since I first read of your tale on Jalopnik. You've inspired me to do and think many things, some inspiring and some daft-- It is largely due to the initial impetus of your story that I am currently prepping my basement garage for the arrival of a supercharged 318ti which I plan to rallycross/autoX. I can feel my wife rolling her eyes from across town as I type this out.

But I don't really have anything to ask you about cars. What I want to ask is this: We all face resistance when we try to do something new or "crazy" like building a race car on a shoestring budget. From our families, our friends/coworkers, but most especially from ourselves. I assume at some point (and probably many points) you said to yourself, "What that @$#% am I doing?" So how did you get through that E36 M3 and set about building your car anyway? How did you silence your inner critic, and do you still face it day to day?

Thank you so much for everything you've achieved and shared with your adoring fans.

Wcaswell6 karma

Thats a tough one and I saw it all the time. Im still not sure I make all the right decisions. I know that I try to make every decision based on fun. And I know that trying to please my friends and family forced me to compromise the reason I got into this and it started to not work anymore. Sometimes you either need to live the dream or not, but don't warp it and bastardize it to fit someone else's needs. Do it the way you think it should be done or go back to real life and live the dream as much as possible on the weekends. or surround yourself with people that believe in the dream as well so you are all working together.

jkkentII7 karma

Bill, as a future IB slave (Summer Associate at a BB Bank) what advice would you have to make the most out of the experience and eventually be able to take on an endeavor similar to yours?

Wcaswell13 karma

Be the first in and the last to leave. Never let them know when you go home. Ever.

Don't talk about your personal life. ever. no one cares.

knock out your spreadsheets. check every number. If its wrong its worse than if you didn't do the spreadsheet at all.

If someone is bad at what they do, don't ever point it out, stay away from them and ask a good deal team to take you on.

read everything you can.

know what your competition is doing. read about it. be knowledgeable. someday you'll get a chance no one else can because you know what is going on.

invest half your bonus. Spend the other half buying cars and F'ing beautiful women. travel is good too.

Be nice to others and call your mom often or you might end up someone you don't want to be. But I have tons of awesome friends who are still bankers and living amazing healthy lives. so who knows. I personally loved it and miss it. If my job had stayed the way it was, I would have never left.


You should do seminars.

Belfort aint got shit on you.

Wcaswell6 karma

Ha! where do I sign up?


You would have made a fantastic keynote speaker for SXSW.

Wcaswell2 karma

Someone should tell them! ;) Public speaking is easy for me. I love doing it and its fun to inspire others and tell my story.

SomeSortaCleverName5 karma

Loved reading your articles, you' lived the dream most of us want but are too afraid to chase. As someone that wants to get into "budget" racing, what's the best advice you can give to someone on how to keep their sanity when things start to hit the fan or the bills start piling up?

Wcaswell7 karma

Don't get into debt. pay bills, use cash to race. if no cash don't race. Go lemons racing with friends. the most fun for the dollar. And don't forget you can autocross cheap and run drivers school for less if you volunteer. And when it gets bad get a kart and stop burning up expensive cars. something like that.

sometimescash5 karma

Is miata the answer to everything? If so, why?

Wcaswell17 karma

E30 is the answer to everything. Or BECAUSE RACECAR!

joshamania5 karma

I find it very entertaining that you seem to know everyone in this thread. Seems like you've made some very good life choices the last few years.

Wcaswell5 karma

yeah that makes me smile too. I generally meet a lot of people when I travel. Instead of taking a cab when I land at an airport its more fun to post to Facebook and see who shows up! My favorite was Fox in his Cummins swapped El Camino with a welded rear diff and only laps belts! The car was a monster!

I did post it the thread to my Facebook page and its an opportunity to simply ask away so I think I a lot guys used it as a chance to ask stuff they normally can't or don't.

fireturn4 karma

Hi Bill. It was an interesting adventure. 4 years ago today, setting out from Ron's house, overnight drive to TX, border issues, getting chased back to the US, crossing the border again, rallying, partying with Solberg, forgetting an iPod in a hotel just outside of the northern cuota. Press on- B.S.

Wcaswell3 karma

BEN! Man was that a journey! I can't believe we pulled it off! Thank you for everything man!

subudook4 karma

I saw your interview on /DRIVE last summer, It was great. No questions, just thanks for the mad inspiration! Edit: okay wait, here's one: How many cars have you totalled?

Wcaswell7 karma

Thank you! Spinelli is awesome and the Drive channel is so much fun to work with. I guess Ive only totaled one car? And I was just driving along when I got hit so I don't really consider it my fault. It was my Lotus Exige and I was by a 17 year old doing 40mph. They made contact with my drivers door as they turned left thru traffic. I barely saw it coming.

Now my friends totaled my X5. And I destroyed a friends car in a demolition race once. And the E30 M3 I raced and crashed at Pikes Peak is royally F'd and normally totaled but Im tube framing the front and going stage rallying with it.

Actually I've never sold a car. I think I have 15 now?

BullittRide4 karma

Bill, Last year at the Jalopnik Film Festival when we were both nice and greased up at the open bar at CCC Manhattan you agreed to drive my E30 (2.8L M20 stroker). That never did happen because we both got too drunk the next night as well. So when are you going to drive my E30?

p.s. if you didn't see the story... http://oppositelock.jalopnik.com/the-jalopnik-film-festival-from-canada-with-love-1442429317

Wcaswell3 karma

yeah I'm dying to check that out! maybe when Im up in Montreal for the F1 race?

BullittRide1 karma

Is there going to be a BRP thing going on there? Or just you showing up? Edit: I can't make it out to the Montreal GP I just checked the calendar and I'm gone that weekend at my buddy's bachelor party.

Wcaswell2 karma

prob just me showing up. ok we'l; meet up at some point.

DragonDriver3 karma

I think the big question is, how the hell do you keep funding this awesomeness (besides the BRP sales)?

And did you get that e30 M3 that was on Craigslist!?

Wcaswell4 karma

Ha! I get that a lot. I had a huge savings account. I work randomly as a writer and get paid some beer money for that. The movie checks help a lot. I've been pitching some tv shows and that should be fun and enjoyable cash if I can get lucky again. But mostly, its you guys buying my tshirts that keeps the dream alive. We are about to relaunch all the merchandise under Build Race Party and hopefully it continues to support my dream and others. Time will tell.

Didn't get the M3...

5sgteN54-2 karma

If someone quit their job as an investment banker, they'd know that the E30 M3 has quite a bit of value and wouldn't rally it.

DragonDriver8 karma

I don't think you know who Bill Caswell is.

Wcaswell4 karma

exactly. If someone really knew what an M3 was they would realize it was built for one thing. racing. and thats what you do with homologation specials. you race them. if you can.

Sport63 karma

My pug and I are fans: http://imgur.com/ZZ4xddQ.jpg

Wcaswell3 karma

AWESOME! Thank you!!!

YankeeDownSouth3 karma

Brochacho! What's the best ad-placement that you've done for a Build Race Party decal? And what have you seen that was fan based?

I still laugh when I found one underneath my tow rig on the frame rail. I sold it with the sticker there, and it's probably still hanging out, reminding people of Caswell.

Wcaswell5 karma

There's a sticker on the border in Kenya that's cool, and supposedly there is one on the space station but I have no proof of that. Probably the best is the group of guys sitting around the Tiki hut at US military Base after coming in fro patrol. That picture rules.

There are some from Mexico that have never been shared. Like a school teacher from Nevada wearing them as bra. so you teach school in Las Vegas?

My favorites are the ones I see on race cars because it means the driver put it there. I only tag the undersides of things so it doesn't detract from their marketing but I still have my fun. So if its on the race car the driver put it there out of respect. Henning Solberg might have been the coolest so far: http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18d3zj56k6s5ijpg/ku-medium.jpg

chzbrgrj1 karma

Bill! Huuuuge fan! You show that anyone can race as long as they have a will to do it, and I love that! Just want to say thanks for inspiring me and so many others, and where can I get a few of your decals?!

Wcaswell2 karma

There are coming soon. we are reopening the store in a few weeks under BUILD RACE PARTY

kjdm73 karma

Hey Bill! enjoyed the jalop article. One question for you that I've always wanted to know about race car drivers is what they drive on a daily basis. So whats your current daily driver these days?

Wcaswell3 karma

In San diego, a 1974 Scout II that's race legal and street legal. A 1989 E30 M3, and a 2003 X5 4.6is for towing -needs a trans got it for $2k.

In chicago its all race cars and I borrow my moms or use the rally car to run errands. I am looking at another X5 for towing out of chicago with.

but most race car drivers have pickups to tow with. almost always.

YouOverRotated3 karma

Hey Bill! Given that the judges roll their eyes at every e36 or Miata that shows up, what else catches your eye as a great competitive LeMons car?

Wcaswell8 karma

agreed. I want an aerostar with a mid engine v8 where you slide the doors open to work on it. Give up high center seating to see through traffic and you a fun fast lemons car.

PopWantsGoofballs3 karma


Wcaswell2 karma


Terrh3 karma

You coming to ESPR? Co-driver of #34 here.

Wcaswell5 karma

yeah I need to register today!

Mr_Randy_Watson3 karma

Bill... it's Jeff from Hooniverse.


Wcaswell3 karma

Jeff! whats up! I back in LA tomorrow maybe! Lets grab beers this time!

Partyoftwo22223 karma

Thanks ama'ing us. I'm a car nut and love to race on the track but like on the concrete with the curves and what not. What pulled you to rallying vs "regular" tracks? I've never been on a rally track so I can't give an opinion but I'd imagine it's yet another intense cigarette and ham sandwich (grilled of course ;)) post race type feeling...

Wcaswell3 karma

Theres something really cool about racing down closed public roads. intersections becomes jumps and curves could have massive consequences. Then you have the codriver feeding you information exactly as you need it and its perfection. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWRdqabMIEM

MixtecoBlue2 karma

What's your take on drifting? Is it something you could see yourself getting into at all? Something about a BRP themed formula drift car masks me happy.

Wcaswell3 karma

I would love to try drifting! I've had some cool conversations about it but never a lesson or chance to test in a proper car. So hopefully one day...

MIK1LL2 karma

I am a longtime enthusiast, recent BMW convert, E46 owner, but sadly I don't know anything about working on cars. You are pretty much living my dream. I love your success story, and try to follow your Jalopnik Blog (I'm on the site for hours every day.) I watch /drive, and was recently also inspired by their "My Life as a Rallyist" mini-series. I'm currently broke, and my 330ci is a daily driver.

What advice could you give me to get into rallying/racing? How do I learn to work on cars and find something that can get me sideways in the air on dirt on a limited budget?

Wcaswell3 karma

find a guy like me and start helping him. you'll learn to wrench as you do. Soon you'll spot a car you can make run for cheap. then trade work or time or something for a guy to cage it for you. Then you show up and race. But if you can handle racetracks get on a lemons team. pay for a race here or there. great bang for the buck.

But none of this would have happened if I didn't start volunteering at a shop and following them to the track. Thats how you learn.

MixtecoBlue1 karma

I just realized that there needs to be Dirt Lemons. Or something. Like an endurance lemons themed rallycross type event. Someone make it happen!

Wcaswell2 karma

Ive been saying this for years and own Dirtburgring.com :)

Radu4162 karma

How much tinkering with cars were you doing when you had your investment job? Other than build forums, how did you learn to work on cars and fix shit? I'm asking for a Caswell book club. Do more smoking tire podcasts.

Wcaswell3 karma

Funny you say that. we are putting together a list and will start carrying the ones that really helped. I used to spend a lot of time wrenching on E30s. I bought a Chilton manual and the first time I worked on a car I swapped its engine. You just need to do it. Over and over again. And my friends are amazing. They are most of the reason why I keep getting lucky.

TheBobHatter2 karma

Hi Bill, Bob from Colorado Springs.

Out of all the celebrities I've met, you're the only one I've ever fanboyed over. When are you going to do the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb again?

Wcaswell3 karma

Hey Bob! good times drinking with you for sure! sucks about the id thing the last year but I'll be back at some point. But after 3 years I would rather spend my cash elsewhere to race. but I know some cool people with fast turbo cars so we'll see...

blahyawnblah2 karma

Did I hear right you're racing The Mint this year?

Wcaswell3 karma

I am except I'm in chicago and the Baja Pig in san diego and needs a lot of work before thursday! Its going to be an interesting week I think. But the best race fab shop Ive ever seen is 10 minutes from me. SRD Strategic Racing Designs in Vista. they helped me finish it and they do more in 48 hrs than most shops can pull off in two weeks. Justin and his team are incredible. And yes I pay for all my work, they are just good and I like to promote them.

chicago606182 karma

I see this on lots of AMA's so I thought I'd ask it here...what's your favorite sandwich?

Wcaswell2 karma

Anything cooked. never really liked cold sandwiches. unless its a fancy one like tomato mozzarella. or... halloumi cheese grilled in a pita with tomato cucumber and olive oil! Or a cheesesteak. really good cheesesteak is awesome.

chicago606181 karma

So you're from Chicago...deep dish or thin crust pizza?

Wcaswell3 karma

deep dish every time. except in nyc.

YS151182 karma

Hey Bill. What's your recommendation for someone on a tight budget looking to get into some amateur racing?

Wcaswell3 karma

find a lemons team and jump in on some races paying 1/5th. fastest way to wheel to wheel race.

YS151182 karma

Bill- what do you think about new Jalopnik staffie Doug Demuro? He seems like a cool cat.

Wcaswell2 karma

I like Doug, but Ive known him for a while. Been reading his stuff for a while. great guy with a cool view on cars.

Fairchild1102 karma

What do you think can be done to increase the popularity of rallying in the United States? I live in Mississippi, so most people go "muddin.'" I personally do not find muddin' fun, but I do love rally courses. We have plenty of dirt roads and don't understand why more people don't rally. We just hoon.

Wcaswell3 karma

It takes a ton of work to put on a rally and as a result they are expensive. For some people its easier to just go out and rip. I think the popularity issue is that its a hard sport to follow. You barely see the action and you drive hours for that? You really need to love the sport to sit in the cold and watch. now its one hell of a good time and a great party but try pulling someone from their warm living room that doesn't really love car racing...

paperboy912 karma

What kinda skid plate you have? Been looking for one for my rallyx/rally e30. lopve your story it had and always will be my go to motivation for trying to do what we love.

Wcaswell2 karma

I started with nothing and drove around stuff. that didn't work so well. Then I welded a giant peeve of roll cage tubing in front of the oil pan and it was surprisingly effective. Then I went to thick plate of aluminum bolted to a bunch of bars that come out of the frame rail. Now those bars tie back to the cars structure so I can stand the car on the skid plate if I want to!

paperboy911 karma

like a custom made peerless severduty one. yes figured this was the way to go. now to find someone that welds(also known as try it myself and do terrible job)

Wcaswell2 karma

There are some lighter duty ones for sale that use the radiator core support but when I tried that with a big skid plate it simply collapsed the core support upward. just play with the welder with somewhat knows what they are doing and you'll be fine.

paperboy911 karma

now if only the snow would melt so i can get back to driveway wrenching a car from scratch.

Wcaswell1 karma

I wish it would stop. car is warming up for a quick drive before its all gone!

chicago606182 karma

Boxers of briefs...? Photographs for proof please. ;)

Wcaswell2 karma

I wear underwear from Gstar. Kind of in between the two. Im sure there is a picture somewhere out there...

Yooklid2 karma

You're actually a hero of mine, so this is neat.

Did you receive any recognition or assistance from BMW since your achievements?

Wcaswell3 karma

THANKS! And not a chance on BMW. Nor did I expect any. Unlike other auto companies, BMW has a long history of not supporting its enthusiasts or privateers. But a bunch of people did get together and set up a call with marketing back in the summer of 2010 and the it was kind of a joke. Nothing ever came of it and the conversation was so awful it would sound like Im being bitter to BMW if posted it. but it was pretty bad.

Anyway, its just not what BMW is about. Ford, they go racing. Mazda has the most amazing comprehensive contingency program ever. They pay you to rallycross even. Porsche has helped their customers for years. But almost nothing from BMW over the years. They do have a new M235 race car out that looks pretty cool. So maybe things will change. But keep in mind I've been primarily driving Subaru's for the past year or so...

Now I did sit on a pit bike with Dr Mario Theissen at Road America in like 2011. I told him the whole story and he laughed so hard and asked so many questions. He was most blown away by the Baja E30 and it was he that told me I brought the first ever production based BMW to the baja 1000. Those two hours were really special for me as he has been a hero of mine for some time. Especially as he ran the F1 team!

GeckoDeLimon2 karma

In your opinion, what's the most exciting thing happening in motorsports these days?

PS: I sure would love to slather things with BRP / Caswell racing stickers, but the website says "We are relaunching in November with new products and a renewed mission. Good times coming s0on." #ahem

Wcaswell3 karma

LAst november. the stuff is starting to come in and its awesome. Mechanics shirts, beanies, soon helmets and skateboards and all sorts of other cool things.

The mint400 is really cool. so close to vegas so much history. I love that race. King of the hammers and the 40,000 people that showed up this year. Racing continues to move to dirt where races will sell out with 350 entries. The norra mexican 1000 is very cool and I love events like One Lap of America where anyone in any street legal car can compete.

ands LEMONS! it goes without saying that lemons is one of the coolest most fun things in a long time. Unless you are a pro driver and never tried it. Then maybe you hate it. but everyone else seems to thing it rules!

Thelazywaffleman2 karma

Big fan of the entire idea and fact that use e30s. Matt Farah recently drove on of the Reno's e30s, if you find your self in Reno come check us out. Currently building a widebody twincahrged e30.

Anyways, what happened to the baja pig?

Wcaswell3 karma

NICE! I would like to see that! IF I get home and stay away from the margaritas the Pig should race at the Mint 400 in Las Vegas in 8 days! Me driving, Travis Marr codriving.

5sgteN542 karma


Wcaswell3 karma

In San diego, a 1974 Scout II that's race legal and street legal. A 1989 E30 M3, and a 2003 X5 4.6is for towing -needs a trans got it for $2k. In chicago its all race cars and I borrow my moms or use the rally car to run errands. I am looking at another X5 for towing out of chicago with.

And I do even though I shouldn't admit it. Its so much fun.

billnips2 karma

I printed your nipple picture out and made several refrigerator magnets with it... I hope to see more of you in the future!

Wcaswell2 karma

Ha! weird that Facebook initiated a make nipple crackdown the day after I posted my nipple. what the hell?

chicago606181 karma

Hey billnips, what body part is next in your magnet collection? And will these magnets be available on BRP in the merchandise section? ;)

Wcaswell2 karma


Brake_L82 karma

Hi Bill - good to see you on here. I remember reading the first Jalopnik story and thinking "damn, how cool". I was a senior in college, dailying a Miata and working with NASA Mid-Atlantic whenever I could. Ended up building the car into an HPDE-friendly format, blew up one motor, swapped it, blew up a second, and replaced the car with an E36 M3 that I now time trial.

All of my close friends are from motorsports. I am so glad the grassroots community is strong all across the country. So now to my question... where the hell do I get some BRP stickers? Would love to put one on the M3 and I have a bunch of friends who'd probably like to have them as well.

Keep on keepin' on, man. You're doing what a lot of us wish we could do full-time.

Wcaswell2 karma

RIGHT ON! the E36 M3 is the track workhorse. such a great car! so great to learn with and they are really fast for what they are!

We are relaunching the BRP store with so much cool stuff! race helmets from a top company with Build Race Party graphic on them. Gravity is making us a longboard that is very cool. We have like 6 t shirts, hats, beanies, mechanic shirts, beer pong balls coming. and more cool stuff coming soon hopefully.

Brake_L82 karma

Sweet! Yeah, the M3 is quite a car for being 17 years old.

Any idea when the store will be back up?

Wcaswell1 karma

a few weeks. some of the stuff is already showing up and it looks awesome.

kokopelli732 karma

You ever do any karting these days? Have you heard of CalSpeed Karting, next to Auto Club Speedway? If your schedule permits you should enter their Sport Kart Grand Nationals in June. Best arrive and drive karting series in the States, and a super cool officiating staff.

Wcaswell2 karma

AWEOSOME! as long as its not the same weekend as the Nurburgring 24hr. And I love karting. Im out of shape now, but I have a SKM 125cc shifter that I used to practice with. I need to ship it out to california this spring.

CommodoreAxis2 karma

What is your opinion on the new Formula 1 cars? The new engines, noses and Red Bull's difficulty with their cars?

Wcaswell2 karma

I like the old noise, but things change. soon they will be electric and no noise. Is it still F1? yeah. Red Bull will be interesting to watch. But I haven't followed too much pre season stuff other than checking out the launch designs and look. Now Chris Atkinson back in the WRC tonight at WRC Rally Mexico? THATS AWESOME!

CommodoreAxis1 karma

Followup question, do you think that rally cars will ever end up with all of the fancy electrics that F1 has?

Wcaswell3 karma

Which fancy electronics? WRC went to solid state like stuff around when F1 did I thought? ohhhh you mean energy boost deal. yeah its bound to happen as the manufacturers look for places to promote it outside of F1 and endurance racing.

kidem2 karma

What is your advise for anyone who might be racing their first rally in general and the rally being the magnum opus rally? Prob renting a Neon that might have had a fig newton sticker on the windshield at one point :)

Wcaswell4 karma

Ha! I know that car. The car goes where the eyes look! Always look at the road and you'll stay on it. Practice on sections you can see through and take is bit easy when you can't till the notes makes sense. Get a bottle of liquor in one of those pouches to hide in the back. Not sure that fig newton neon will get thru a whole rally and its nice to have booze till sweep comes.

YankeeDownSouth1 karma

I prefer to avoid carrying booze. I like to keep the mindset that the beer-is-sweeter-at-the-afterparty than knowing it's there when I have an off.

Wcaswell4 karma

Come see me after you spend 8 hours in the woods waiting to get your car off stage...

ctsorensen2 karma

Hey Bill, does this build look solid? I'm thinking of picking this e30 up. http://www.ksl.com/auto/listing/1239178?ad_cid=5

profetic2 karma

always be weary when picking up someone elses project... but for $2800 that is a steal if it runs and drives

Wcaswell5 karma

Agreed. the price is probably right. E30. M/s50 swap done already. exhaust and headers, new steering and turbo. yeah its probably about right no matter how messed up one area is.

profetic2 karma

My only contribution to this thread is going to be a sincere 'thank you' to you Bill, for inspiration to follow dreams wherever they might take you. I love reading your material and can't wait to see where your driving career takes you. Keep killin it!

Wcaswell2 karma


SkeerRacing2 karma

Hey Bill, love to see that you found something that you love to do! As a fellow racecar driver, I know that exact feeling every time you strap in a car and the worries just go away! Question would be what event would you love to partake in (with unlimited funds so anything's possible)? Also BUILD RACE PARTY is the shit!

Wcaswell2 karma

THANKS! yeah the only thing I worry about any more is that it might end. I guess life can't be too bad if thats my biggest challenge. East African Safari Rally and Dakar. as for regular rallies its the Monte Carlo for me. As for track races... 24hrs of the Nurburgring. Unless Lemans pulls the chicanes back out and lets us race at warp speed like they did back in the day.

drivefreeordie2 karma

Out of all the crazy things you've done over the years, what has been your most memorable experience?

Wcaswell2 karma

the opening ceremonies tonight for WRC Mexico. Being told I couldn't go to SEMA in 2009 but building my own car on the floor in the Miller booth with my friends, changing the steering rack freezing at night in the middle of the baja 1000, and driving us out of the desert, 2nd place at WRC Mexico after having EVERYTHING go wrong, being asked to drive for VR Performance at Targa Newfoundland, and by Crawford Performance for Redline Time Attack.

empw2 karma

Any advice for those that want to get on the track?

Wcaswell3 karma

Show up. There are tons of opening lapping days. If your car is bad for it buy a $500 E36 325 and abuse it with some fresh brakes. then later get a cage if you want to go racing. but most of this is showing up. if you're not ready help a guy or a team that is and learn. start going to the track.

empw1 karma

I'm a member of the BMWCCA chapter in my area (I have an e46 330Ci Vert) and I have absolutely been thinking about just grabbing something off of CL and hitting the track on one of their track days. Your story and advice is quite inspiring. My dad used to race NHRA back in the 60's and so it is one of my main goals in life to build a race car with him.

Did you take any professional driving courses or was it all just doing track days?

Come check out /r/bmw sometime, we'd love to hear all your awesome BMW related stories!

Wcaswell3 karma

I showed up at bmw cca auto crosses for a year and then went to the track the following summer I think. then after a weekend hit skip barber for 3 or 4 days and never looked back. Get a cheap car. maybe split it with a friend. If you trash it just pull the good parts and get another shell off crags list and go back to the track

empw2 karma

Exactly what I want to do. Thank you for taking time to respond to me! Good luck this season.

Wcaswell2 karma

If you have more questions later hit me up on Facebook or twitter. I usually do my best to respond.

camsmith3282 karma

You're a pro tier hoonigan and that's great. How hard was it to work on your own car during WRC Mexico, that short story about the bridge and you sneaking that one piece off made me and a friend laugh for hours. Also do you think you want to go pro?

Wcaswell3 karma

It was really hard but I didn't notice at the time. It was like some weird tunnel vision. I just kept wrenching and welding. I had to have someone hold the throttle open on this little generator to even make the welder spark but I slowly welded in a new shock panel. it was awful. Two cops brought me dinner one night and sat eating hot dogs on the trunk of the car. It was getting cold and that food never tasted so good. They also REFUSED cash and I realized something cool was going on here for two cops to buy me dinner so I kept wrenching.

the harder parts were losing the fuel pump because we were under time and things like the rear shock blowing out and me not having enough time to repair it so I ran 3 stages with no left rear shock - that sucked.

A year ago I wouldn't have been able to answer that question about going pro. Now I can. Yes. I like driving well prepared and sorted cars. Its so nice to hang out and talk to people at a race instead of wrenching up to the green flag. But I also know that my team will be different. It will be accessible. We will take people behind the scenes. when the race is over Ill go across the street to the bar just like I used to. I'll still randomly stop in at peoples houses to help with their engine swap or for a few beers. I would like to drive nice fast cars, I just want to have fun doing it and maybe give something back in the process.

camsmith3281 karma

Holy dang, that's a ton of work. Like seriously that's full on crazy! And that's awesome, do you have any idea what sort of racing you plan on getting involved in?

Wcaswell2 karma


tripleriser1 karma

If you were going to do it all over again, would you still go with the E30?

Wcaswell1 karma

I had no choice. its all I knew. I learned on one and its all I ever was taught. It took me a long time to figure it all out on another type of car to be honest

minute_made_man1 karma

Where did you go to undergrad? What investment bank did you work for?

Wcaswell2 karma

I went to depaul undergrad(but I dropped out of college and started my own vitamin company ramping it to $1.4MM in sales) then I went to University of Chicago Booth School of Business for my MBA. I worked for BMO Capital Markets in their US Securitization department and structuring bonds for their $13B ABCP conduit.

ITSGEOB1 karma

What BMW E30 or E36 would you recomend for a Drfting build? Or in general what BMW would you choose for drifting.

Wcaswell3 karma

I would get a cheap E36 M3 for like $4k and have at it.

RWeav21 karma

Be honest, how awesome is it driving a rally car? It is my dream, but realistically I feel the closest I will get is owning a WRX. I can't imagine the feeling.

Wcaswell3 karma

Its awesome. Go to Team Oneil for a few days and give it a try. it will change your life! promise.

gewph1 karma

You are my hero, OP. This is everything I ever wanted in my life and you have embodied it. Never have I ever been so sure that I will rally my e36... Thank you sir.

Wcaswell2 karma

THANKS! More and more people are starting to rally E36's too! In the meantime checkout Team Oneil Rally School http://www.teamoneil.com Great way to get good before you need it.

CrankYankersRacing1 karma

First and foremost thanks for your inspiration. I followed you since the article came out. I was surprised to know you knew a lot of my Rally buddies as well (Casey, Ben, Elliott). I'm building a rally car right now but ChumpCar has taken up a lot of my time and funds. One of the questions I have is how does one become a member of Build Race Party?

Wcaswell2 karma

Simply live the lifestyle. Soon we will have a ton of cool merchandise. but the premise is that everyone is welcome. as long as you like cars. and having fun with them.

ZappyToaster1 karma

Bill! It's Bob Danger!

Since you missed Mardi Gras when are we going to build race party?

Wcaswell2 karma

hi Bob! next time in colorado springs I guess. Pikes peak again someday.

chicago606181 karma

What's your favorite car you've ever owned?

Wcaswell2 karma

Probably my first car. A 1986 BMW 325es. But when I was a banker I bought a 2006 Chrome Orange Lotus Exige. It was by far the coolest car I've ever owned and maybe the most fun to drive, but man I had some good times learning to drive in that old BMW.

TheRealRandomUser1 karma

Hi Mr Caswell,

I have nothing but respect for a guy like you. The vitamin thing, the high-falutin job that you cast away to go racing, the attitude that you race with... dude, you're what I want to be.

Are you just naturally ballsy, or do you push yourself through these endeavours to purposely make sure that you have no regrets on your death bed (or some other justification)?

I think about quitting my terrible job that I hate to build a cheapo KOH buggy or something and my stomach drops, even though I could probably afford it with what I've saved. Why do guys like you actually follow dreams and guys like me just dream?

Wcaswell2 karma

I don't have an answer for that. I know I worked hard for 7 years with no real racing. I went to the track here and there and had a great time I guess but its way different than waking up and deciding which tv series you're going to watch while you prep the next car and when you should fly to san diego to prep for the Mint 400 in like 5 days. :)

Once I figured out a few things it became a lot easier. like most people are afraid to fail. afraid to commit to going to a race and then something goes wrong. not me. as long as I had fun with my friends trying then its usually a good time. And theres another one the following weekend somewhere. Ill just go to that one. But once its ok to fail you can start taking ridiculous risks. And you can do it a lot if you pull the costs out of it and simply enjoy the adventure. And my weird way of racing on the cheap makes the risk taking manageable. our cost for the 2011 Baja 1000 was under $1000 after we prepaid the entry fee($1500 back then I think).

Im not sure exactly how I got here because it didn't start about not wanting regrets on my deathbed, but it does kind of involve that now. or really its more that I want to do everything I can while I have this chance at this way of life. So that if I end up back in a cubicle I won't look back and ask why I didn't do this or try that.

chicago606181 karma

So where would you drive the dream car, what the dream track or road or race? And of course, dream co-driver...?

Wcaswell2 karma

street legal version. everywhere. and yes I would race it eventually. and dream cod river? Not sure. Wyatt knox is pretty awesome to race with. Im sure some guy in europe might be better but I'll take a rally champion as a cod river any day. its part notes and part driver instruction!

Zaahman1 karma

As a BMW enthusiast, what do you think of the current direction the brand is going? Do you think it's a growing disconnect between consumer needs and performance cars or do you think BMW is just trying to cash in on every niche on the planet?

Wcaswell8 karma

yeah I haven't liked one car in years from the company. until recently when I drove the new 235i. Its AWESOME! you can order an LSD. its fast. has like 8 or 9 gears or something. and It looks great. and you know there is an M2 coming, has to be, they build everything else! so that car will be the new drivers machine in my opinion. The steering is still electric but feels way better than the 3 and 4

Oh and I love the M6 grand coupe. never for $200k or whatever they cost but man they are cool cars.

DeuceBMG1 karma

Pretty cool story! I'll have to finish checking it out a little later. I always find it interesting when someone can just out of the blue turn their dreams into a reality. You had the chance to do something you wanted to do and dared to take the shot to get it done! Thanks for sharing your story,and this is one of the reasons I think Reddit is so awesome!

Wcaswell2 karma

I totally agree and its why I thought I would share! plus its 4 years to the day that it all started changing!

s2000buddy1 karma

Hey Bill, I know the articles keep stating you raced in a $500 BMW, but how much did you actually end up spending once everything was said and done?

Wcaswell2 karma

GRM did an article on it but included things like my tires which are never included in the build of a car. I also borrowed my seats and belts and other gear from my track car so the cash was different than if you built it new or with used parts. The big items

Steel for the cage: $600 Engine trans and exhaust $4,000 differential $1200 - maybe $800 can't remember FIA legal fire bottle $700 Maybe $800 in random stuff like engine mounts, subframe bushings and stuff. I know I'm missing stuff but its mostly the s14 e30 M3 motor I swapped in before mexico. but up until then it was a stock M42 and cost very little to build and start racing.

FogItNozzel1 karma

Hey Bill. We met at the grc afterparty in vegas last year. Im the photographer that poked fun at your RBR jacket. So my question is, are you still wearing that jacket?

Also when are going to see you in a GRC car?

Wcaswell2 karma

Yeah! but only here and there. It was a gift from the team which is cool and I've been a huge fan of Webber since we met in Turkey nearly 5 years ago.

I would LOVE to race GRC. I started with wheel to wheel and then moved to dirt. I have a shifter kart that I practice with. Combine those three and you have GRC. I think I would have fun racing that series. Need to find a way in. The lites cars don't interest me that much. too slow I think? Anyway I don't have time to build a proper car. Crawford Performance could build me a monster of a AWD BRZ and Sadev has the box for it already. Just need to line up sponsors and I've been too busy lining up Build Race Party and the tv show and stuff. Let me know if you ever hear of a seat or a test though...

FogItNozzel1 karma

Will do. Keep in touch with chris about that stuff. Hes more in the loop with that stuff than I am.

Also here's a shameless plug. If you ever need a guy to shoot stuff for you in new york give me a call! I get very bored during the off season. Haha

Wcaswell1 karma

send me an email. come hang out and document a weekend. why not?

reuuin1 karma

I Lol'd at "we built this" then the baja link. This is toooooo cool. I wish I had the resources to just say peace to the world for a while and do this. Did you have lots of sponsorship help? Sorry if that's covered in the post I skimmed.

Wcaswell3 karma

Not really. I had a well paying job, savings, a severance package, and unemployment. I used it wisely and made some cash along the way here and there. Its My MBA and resume that have allowed me to do this. I can always go back and live a nice life with fancy things!

deadly-one1 karma

Mister Caswell, I just want to say that you're in inspiration to us small-timers. Your E30/WRC story hit Jalopnik shortly after I re-purchased my own hoopty 318is, so, like many others, I took a huge interest in you're running of God's Chariot in the WRC. You seem like a really cool guy. I have a few questions, if you feel like answering any of them:

  • Is there anything on your crazy journey you wish you could have done differently?

  • If someone gave you an E30 and million dollar budget, what would you do to it?

  • Have you ever met Alex Roy? He hangs out on /Drive shows regularly). You guys are at the top of my 'guys I'd love to share a beer with' list.'

Keep kickin' ass, man. :-)

Wcaswell3 karma

Yeah Alex and I are friends and after partying with him at the Olympus rally I know call him War Pig! Alex is a lot of fun. I wish I saw him more often.

Wcaswell3 karma

I wish I could have gotten my fiancé to see any of it with me. Just one race. Especially the two subsequent years I raced down there. That is one of my greatest disappointments in going after my dreams. Very few of my friends actually made it down there to see me race.

I would build an E30 M3 shell from carbon, but move the engine slightly further rearwards. Change some pick up points in the rear. Add a grp A s14 engine with all the toys. but mostly a carbon fiber E30 tub. that would be cool.

ACDRetirementHome1 karma

Hi Bill. We met at Team O'Neil a few weeks ago. I was the one with a camera. Just wanted to say hello.

Wcaswell2 karma

With the goPros? Great meeting you! The guys were really excited to have you filming them. How did it turn out?

slinky221 karma

Have you ever met Alan Wilzig or been out to Wilzig Racing Manor? He, too, was in banking, made a fortune, races cars, and lives one of those lives many of us wish for.

Wcaswell1 karma

I have not but I hear he is a cool guy. Some day.