Learn Everything There Is to Know About Bill Caswell
From investment banking to a World Rally Championship race, he has one hell of a story.
Bill Caswell is a self taught racing driver, mechanic, and fabricator who you probably heard of as the guy who took a $500 Craigslist BMW to a World Rally Championship event held in Mexico back in 2010 and surprised everyone. For Hoonigan’s recent “A BREW WITH” episode they feature Caswell.
He is no stranger to the Hoonigan’s Donut Garage. A few months ago he came by the Donut Garage to lay his fabricating skills upon Hoonigan’s crown jewel, a BMW E36 enthusiastically known as “Sh!t car”. With the help of Hoonigan’s mechanic Brian Darnall, Caswell welded in a Formula Drift style rear crash bar as well as fabricated a one of kind mild-to-lose-your-hearing exhaust for the Hoonigan crew’s BMW.
Bill is an acquaintance of mine, I caught up with him and chatted about his time at Hoonigan and he had only great things to say about the guys there. “Remember all the fun you had with your friends when you first started working on cars? That's what it feels like over at Hoonigan.” said Caswell.
In the "A BREW WITH" episode, Caswell crushes some beers and talks about cars. He has to take multiple bathroom brakes because his story is that long and that good. The questions start and Caswell gives some background on where he came from. Everyone who knows him knows his $500 BMW story, but they do not know is he quit his career as an investment banker to play with cars. The story of how he got into cars is interesting. While being an investment banker he was looking up chess books to beat locals who were beating him and stumbled upon a BMW Chilton Repair Manual. He owned an old BMW from college which had its engine blow, so he headed to Sears to buy a set of $100 tools with the Repair Manual and swapped the engine.
Caswell goes into the story he is most famous for - the $500 BMW. He recalls that automotive journalist Sam Smith attempted to convince him to run a tarmac rally in his BMW E30 M3. He nearly totaled the car at the rally. Being that a E30 M3 and a normal E30 are very similar, he went the route of the base E30 and bought one for $500 and started rallying with it. He tells a story of how he won with the car with the engine held down with ratchet straps then on to the WRC race.
He goes into some crazy stories such as breaking Hoonigan Co-Founder Brian Scotto's hotel room bed and partying with actor Jeremy Renner. Hoonigan asks Caswell what his favorite car make is and unexpectedly it is not BMW. He says is Ford the best car company, Porsche is the best performance car company, and Subaru is the best enthusiast car company. Caswell drank all Hoonigan's cold beer, so unfortunately the episode had to end.
Regarding his time on “A BREW WITH” Caswell had this to say: “I think you're only supposed to have a beer while you talk about your life with cars. Like one. Maybe two. And while it’s only been 8 years since I started this adventure, I have a lot of stories to tell. So we drank a lot of beer! And then I took an Uber home.”
Caswell is surely a hero for the everyday racer, proving you do not need money to follow your racing dreams - well you at least need $500.
I left some meat on the bone, so check out Hoonigan’s video below for more of the details.