Bill Caswell decided he needed a break from the adult life. He left his banking job and decided to go racing. In recent years he has tackled rally racing and other forms of car racing, but now he plans to fulfill a dream of competing in the 2010 SCORE Baja 1000. Caswell and crew actually set up shop at Miller Electric’s booth at the 2010 SEMA Show building his signature, early-90s BMW into a Baja-capable race vehicle to compete at the 1000.

The plan of attack was a four-day build at SEMA was this:

Day 1 – Main Roll Cage

Day 2 – Front Cage & Suspension

Day 3 – Rear Cage & Suspension

Day 4 – Main Cage, Accessories & Final Review

Bill Caswell Baja 1000 BMW Build

Bill Caswell built this BMW into a Baja-ready vehicle at SEMA to compete in the 2010 Baja 1000.

Unfortunately the vehicle didn’t get as far along as the team hoped, but they still had a full week before the Baja 1000 gets going the week of November 15 (race starts Thursday, Nov. 18) in Ensenada, Mexico.

Bill Caswell Baja 1000 BMW

The team worked on fabricating pieces to make the unorthodox BMW into an off-road racecar at the Miller Electric booth at SEMA.

Caswell is no stranger to taking on challenges, and he has an interesting background actually. He was a finance banker in Chicago in 2009. Although he’s now engaged with his long-time (and patient) girlfriend, he decided a few years back it was time to live it up, and he decided before he “got too old” he wanted to leave his job to try his hand at rally racing.  He made headlines recently when he decided to enter the WRC in Mexico with a car he bought off Craig’s List for $500. Competing against $300,000 and $400,000 race vehicles, Caswell (and co-driver Ben Slocum) competed in a 1991 BMW 318i that he modified and fabricated himself.

Caswell isn’t the first person to be drawn in by the allure of the Baja 1000. He decided this “bucket list” race was something he wanted to cross off the list.

“The Baja 1000 is one of those races for me I’ve probably followed the longest; it’s something that gets a lot of publicity in the States,” he said. “It’s one of those races that I think of as being unattainable for a normal person, unless you grew up in an off-road family or you grew up off-roading with your buddies in the southwest. I grew up in Chicago … the only place I went off-roading is if they were building new sub-developments.”

Bill Caswell Baja 1000 BMW

Although the team didn't complete the work on the vehicle at SEMA, they still had a week to complete the work before the Baja 1000 week gets going.

So Caswell figured it was something he should experience. Although his vehicle didn’t quite get as far along as the team had hoped, Caswell still plans to get his unique BMW off-road racer down to the start line in Baja. And although his plans to settle down and get another “normal” job in banking are still in the back of his mind, racing may still take priority for a few more years.

“If I get this thing to the start line and I actually start this race and it’s even remotely successful, my next project will be the 24 hours of Nuremberg.”

Be sure to check in with next week for coverage of the 2010 SCORE Baja 1000.

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