Bill Caswell Revisited…

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Shahin and I met Fuelfed brother Bill Caswell at Gratten Raceway back in the fall of 2007.  We were there to hoon our respective M Roadster and Audi TT around the majestic technical track in central Michigan. The TT was a disappointment with it’s pathetic turbo lag and VW suspension. While the M Roadster was a blast and made me rethink about investing anymore $$$ in the TT. Yes, an air-cooled 911 followed shortly and the rest is as they say…was history, OK no, rather another money pit.

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Anyway, Bill was there testing (flogging) an E30 M3 with an E36 S54 engine shoved in it. The car was fast, loud and raw. Though Bill spent most of the time in the pits running a garden hose in the radiator as the previous night’s drunken fabrications weren’t working out so well. Bill had the classic Fuelfed scrapper approach to building his cars: just enough skills to be dangerous, but never enough budget to make it just right. We spent some time chatting in back alley garage talk, while the S54 hissed away in distressed anger. We exchanged phone numbers but some how never reconnected and no, FaceBook and Linked-In don’t count.

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Fast forward three years and Bill’s an overnight sensation for taking a $500 Craigslist E30 to a World Rally Championship event in Mexico in March of 2010. With no team, no budget, and only a co-driver for help, he achieved a podium finish in one of the sport’s most grueling events. Bill now typically competes with Rally America and NASA Rallysport in the U.S. and has competed in the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.

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Today I just happened to go by one of the Northshore’s only boneyards. Just to see if there was anything interesting rusting about. And low and behold…

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…I hope this is not symbolic of Bill’s racing career of late. As there’s now a movie in the works about his lifestyle antics produced by and starring Jeremy Renner. We can only hope Bill follows his passion and not the almighty dollar.

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