Monday, November 22, 2010

Homemade BMW Baja car calls it quits

After a long and valiant effort, Bill Caswell (the builder of the craigslist $500 BMW rally car) has called it quits racing the Baja 1000.

As we recall the car started out as a tired BMW 318i from craigslist. Bill bought it, put a 1995 M3's drivetrain in it (along with safety cages, racing seats, etc) and rally raced it. Eventually this caught the attention of the internet, namely followers of Jalopnik (Gawker's car site). Myself included, Bill was followed over the course of his racing and car builds by thousands (millions?) of readers eagerly awaiting any update to the "any man can race" story.

His latest endeavor was to convert the Bimmer rally car to a desert racer in order to compete in the SCORE Baja 1000.

Over the course of a few weeks Bill (now sponsored by Miller electronics) cut/welded/assembled/fabricated this beast in full view of the SEMA Auto show, in Las Vegas, in the Miller booth. After creating an entirely new suspension from scratch, adding new differentials, new steering, new lighting, cutting the body, putting 33" BFGs on a BMW, trailering it to San Diego and getting into the race just in time... his steering box has died, prompting the call to stop.


Quote from Bill Caswell:
"Ripped steering rack off car. Swapped a new one in the middle of nowhere. We are cold and tired and barely going to make the next Checkpoint. We are done."
Then from Benson T Caswell:
"The steering rack broke. Bill changed it in the mountains. He smashed his finger hammering the rack on with a rock. He is tired, cold and bleeding. He checked into a hotel 45 minutes ago. Bill has had the adventure of a lifetime. I am very proud of him."

It was great reading about this project Bill, keep us posted on your new ventures.

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