$500 Craigslist car competes against $400,000 race car…

…and wins. Well, 3rd in class, but still surprisingly well for such a cheap entry. This is truly a show that with enough elbow grease and headlight fluid anything can be accomplished money just makes it a ton easier.

Everything from the roll cage to the 5 minute gas tank fix was fabricated by [Bill Caswell]. Well — fabricated is a rough term for duct tape at that point, but this is still an awe-inspiring and truly motivational story for any hacker and car enthusiast alike.

[Thanks TJ Walker]

23 thoughts on “$500 Craigslist car competes against $400,000 race car…

  1. Wow! This story is here too?! I have to say its a truly excellent read. A note from GRM: “I say we figure out how to use Caswell as an adjective. Maybe as a way to describe having more fun that you should be allowed. Hoon of the year, for sure.”

  2. And I bet he had tons of fun both building and racing that “piece of crap”.

    That’s proper, proper stuff right there!

  3. Hell yah! Good for him, but i was looking for more of the story? what race? where at? how far? any idea where i can find the full story?

    thanks!

  4. Things like this happen ALL THE TIME in races. They just don’t get the coverage in the news because most people don’t toot their own horn.

    Honestly, if you know cars and are good mechanically you can kick the butt of most racing teams because racing team drivers typically don’t know crap about repairs. So they bend a tie rod, and they wait for the repair crew. A cheapie guy, either is racing with a spare tie rod or bends it back and hopes for the best. He’s on the road in 6 minutes while the racing team waits another 15 for the repair truck to show up.

  5. @fartface

    You do realize this is stage rally and there is no repair truck that comes to fix your car. Competitors fix the car themselves or they are done.

    Why wouldn’t you want to toot your horn. This story is getting a lot of exposure on the web. It will help gain credibility for the team and aid in possible sponsorship opportunities. Anyone who races knows that motorsports in general is expensive and most people would gladly accept assistance from wherever it comes from.

  6. fartface is just jealous that he didnt get the coverage when he rode his mom around in the WRC. Keep on rockin Bill! makes me kinda proud to live in the Land of Lincoln

  7. That’s not any car – that’s a BMW e30. It’s not like you could do the same with a honda civic or something.

  8. What’s sad is that’s the exact model/year of my car, I only paid $750 for mine too. Looks like I have more of a reason to fix it up now. lol

  9. says they put an M3 motor in it.
    $500 is just the price for the car, the ride had to be rally-rules worthy though, racing ain’t cheap.
    (also check out baberally.com for more 500 dollar shenanigans.)

  10. E30 with M3 swap is as standard as anything. The much cooler swap is the M3 into a Ti. It lighter.
    Tunning is easy as hell now that Jim Comforty completely mapped out the stock ecu. Funny thing is, I remember when I was younger, and looking at car specs and dreaming of lambo’s etc. Then one day I got me 944 1/2 if any one knows :) non turbo. That was supercharged. That’s when I realized that it was all hype. I can take any stock car and push as much power as I want with proper mods and tunning. $400,000 on a car is a waste of money. Though if i has 1million I would still drop it on the McLaren F1 :)

    be broke, sittin on side of street with no fuel lol but happily sittin inside the F1!!!

  11. This is ridiculous. It’s not a $500 car against $400.000 cars. There’s a LOT more costs involved, not to mention time. And with a 23’rd place is a long way to go. Get the story right.

    But pretty amazing work.

  12. Misleading title is a lie. He DID NOT run against $400k race cars, he ran on the same circuit in a different class for a different race.

    I’ll be impressed when I get a list of the other cars he actually ran against. Story asserts the 1st and 2nd place entries were Mitsubishi Evos though.

  13. Miles Bothee did this with a VW Jetta a few years back with next to nothing for funding, and he managed to take third and fourth in class. That was the Hundred Acre Woods rally in Salem, Missouri. He has also attended at least four other events in the last fve years. Racing costs about 2k per event for entry alone. Travel, lodging, fuel, and parts are all extra… and with rally, you will need parts.

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