“I set out a pricepoint; it was supposed to be
$12,000 to $13,000 a unit, and by the time I
understood the problem and how to resolve it
and the fixes, and where something that has no
compromises sits – which is the way I do it – I’m at
$35,000 sales price. So I priced myself way up in
the industry. I wish I didn’t, but I have a part I can
stand behind, be proud of and enjoy watching
people be happy with it,” he says.
Now he had this beautiful piece, and he
needed an appropriate craft to showcase it.
That’s where the trouble really started, if you call
a twin-engine, 2600hp, all-custom catamaran
that will do nearly 200mph trouble.
“I bought his cat hull at cost – it seemed like
a good idea at the time – and lots and lots of
money and design later…there’s not a piece
on that boat that I didn’t design, from the
grab handles to the seats to the hatch levers
to the hydraulics…you name it, I designed it
and built it. The technology…I wanted to
show the boat industry what we deal with in
car racing and bring it to boating, because
boating is 10, 15 years behind. So I have
telemetry, data acquisition and a hot spot on
board, cameras on board, automatic trim
control functions. If someone goes onto the
web site, they can watch the boat on virtual
dashes as it goes,” he explains.
You know, of course, that it doesn’t stop with
boats. Auberlen’s association with motorcycles
goes way back to when he started racing dirt
bikes at age 5. But a few years ago, when he saw
people spending ludicrous money on blingy
choppers, he saw it as a challenge.
“I thought, ‘Are you kidding me? That is a
chromed-out pile for a hundred grand.’ That
made no sense to me,” he laughs.“ I said I was
going to build something that has five times the
amount of technology and I’m going to build it
cheaper. It’s got a V-twin, 2.8 liters on two
cylinders, so it’s massive. It’s 331hp,
turbocharged. It’s got traction control, launch
control, paddle shift, closed-loop lambda so it’s
perfect air-fuel ratio all the time, auto start,
Mo TeC, data logging…it’s got everything. All this
technology in there, and I built it much cheaper,
Then there’s the skeet and trap shooting. No,
he doesn’t build the shotguns, but when a friend
took him to the range for the first time and he
wasn’t particularly good at it, that bothered him.
“I went out and practiced, practiced, practiced.
There are 25 shots in a game, and pretty soon I
started hitting 25 in a row, then it became 50 in a
row, then 75 in a row. I was happy. To be bad at
something that you want to be good at is not
easy for me. If I take the challenge, I’ll go after it
until I get something accomplished.”
One wonders if Bill Auberlen ever slows down
“I love fishing, too,” he says.“ I went fishing
with Joey Hand [the third driver in the Z4 for the
longer races] down in the Keys before Sebring.
But if we can get there with four engines
strapped to the back, all the better.”
“I ThOugh T, ‘Are YOu KIddINg Me?
ThAT IS A ChrOMed-Ou T pIle fOr A
huNdred grANd. ‘ ”