Experts in Automotive Opinion


Lane Skelton

Car History:  Lane has loved cars for as long as he can remember.  He has fond memories of riding around in his dad's 1965 VW Convertible when he was 4,  and driving his dad's 1984 Porsche 944 (5 spd manual) up and down the driveway for hours at a time when he was 12 years old.  When he was old enough to drive, he bought the cheapest running car that he could find, a 1979 VW Rabbit C Sidewinder II.  This was a special edition Rabbit, that was painted yellow with orange and brown racing stripes on the hood, as well as "SIDEWINDER II" down each side of the car with a snake graphic.  Since then, he has owned about 10 Porsches, a Datsun 240z, a BMW and a Ford Truck just to name a few.   

Current Cars:  2017 Volkswagen GTI Sport, 1985 Porsche 944 

Dream Car:  Porsche 550 Spyder, Ferrari 250 GT California SWB, Porsche 914-6

Warren Madsen

Car History:  Warren is the historian on DWA. He loves his old Ferraris, Mercedes, BMWs and everything else on four wheels. His first car was one that he could afford...a $250 Mazda 626, followed by a Chevy Blazer, before buying his first real car. When he was 18 he purchased a built MKII VW GTI that he would tear up the Santa Cruz mountains in. Since then Warren has driven and owned a lot of stuff and currently runs an independent repair shop. He has raced go-karts, navigated for open road races and competed in SCCA and AAS autocross driving a Dodge Viper GTS and MK1 Toyota MR2. 

Current Cars:  1989 BMW 325i, 1995 Mitsubishi Mighty Max, 1987 VW Vanagon Weekender, 2004 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon

Dream Car:  McLaren F1, Ferrari F40, Ferrari 250mm Vignale, Ferrari 250GT Lusso, BMW 3.0 CSL, anything vintage Alpina or AMG, Ferrari 312PB, 1961 Chevy Bel Air Bubbletop, 1953 Cadillac Eldorado, Bentley Brooklands, Porsche 993 Turbo, Cizeta Meroder, Mercedes W116 6.9, vintage gokart, etc.

Art Cervantes

Car History:  Driving gloves and shoes. Art has owned about 50 cars over the years (and counting). He used to be into Hondas, and has dipped his toes in the Miata and Euro scenes. He is always on the hunt for his next car. 

Current Cars:  1990 Toyota Celica All-Trac, 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC (euro)

Dream Cars:  He's always liked the F40, 300SL roadster, Alpine A110, and many more. Always. 

Bryan McQueen

Car History:  1986.5 Nissan "Hard Body", Toyota MR2, Toyota Corolla, VW Karman Ghia, VW Rabbit Cabriolet, VW Golf GTI, SpecE30, E36 M3

Current Cars:  2016 Volkswagen eGolf, 1964 Buick Skylark Convertible

Dream Car:  cheapest manual transmission vehicle available

Lane Skelton, Warren Madsen, Art Cervantes and Bryan McQueen (from left to right) after completing the Coastal Range Rally 2017.

Lane Skelton, Warren Madsen, Art Cervantes and Bryan McQueen (from left to right) after completing the Coastal Range Rally 2017.


Grand racing ambitions established Driving While Awesome in late 2006 with the email below, bringing long time car buddies together to squeal some tires at the 24 Hours of LeMons. Many races and arguments later we're still friends, somehow, and over the last couple years we have been publishing a twice weekly automotive podcast, bugging our significant others with non-stop Instagram car posts, and in general stoking the fire of automotive enthusiasm. 

This is the email from Bryan that started it all:

“Which 3 of you sonsabitches want to pitch in to buy this car (1974 AMX Javlelin), and get it ready for the 24 Hours of Lemons next July?

Read up on the race right now if you can (you may have already seen it in the new Auto Week), and then try to tell me you're not down to throw $500 at this two door - four speed - v8 powered - import eating - 5,000 pound pinnacle of American engineering... We'll blow all that foreign crap out of the water.

Now this is urgent because the AMX is key. I don't want some little 4 cylinder that handles good or anything like that, I want an American V8, and I want to be slamming this thing into gear like Mark Donohue and Cole Trickle used to.


All we need is a few good men and about $300 bucks each, up front, right now, so we can buy this beast and register our team. Did you read about the race yet? It looks rad - a team of 4-6 drivers mixing it up on a road course over 13 hours. Everyone is in crappy cars that have to have been bought and prepared for less than $500 (not including safety equipment). They estimate that each driver spends around $550 after splitting the cost of the car and paying for the registration fees. Really all we need up front is about $100 each to get the car locked down - which is not really much to lose when you think about what you spend each weekend. 

Think about it, but not too long. I know this email is going out on a weekend, but I want to see some responses by Monday.

Seriously, White Letters Out,



Additional Team Santa Cruz/DWA! members:

Connor Welles

Car History:  Connor comes from a long line of car fanatics, his grandpa built is own custom designed car in his garage and his dad currently has a hot rod restoration shop called Seabright Hot Rods.  Connor was promised his parents VW Thing when he turned 16, but they ended up selling the car and Connor's first car was a 1964 Pontiac Tempest.  The Tempest was later destroyed when a police officer ran a stop sign and slammed in to the side of Connor's car.  He then bought his parent's 1986 BMW 535i which he still wishes he had today.  Connor has a passion for all cars and is currently looking for his next project.

Current Cars:  ?

Dream Car:  Ferrari 250 Lusso, 1964 Pontiac Tempest

Misha Varshavsky

Car History:  Misha has always had a thing for cars, and BMWs in particular.  His mother was the editor of a car magazine in Russia his dad always has something cool in his garage.  His first car was a 1995 BMW 318ti followed by a 1997 528i, 1984 325i, 1999 328i, 2001 740i sport and an X5M.   

Current Cars:  2016 BMW M3 ZCP Sedan

Dream Car:  BMW E34 M5, Porsche 993 Turbo, Range Rover Sport, first model year of any BMW and a McLaren F1

Geoff Hayford

Car History:  Geoff has a reputation for being a little rough on his cars, he recently bought a $3,000 BMW E30 and turned it into a $500 car in the course of one year.  Geoff has always had a love for cars and a very eclectic taste.  His first car was an 80's Honda Civic wagon followed by an International Scout, Ford Ranger, two BMW E36 M3s and the BMW E30. He currently has a Kawasaki motorcycle and his 2011 BMW 550i with a 6 spd. manual transmission.

Current Cars:  2017 Subaru Forester

Dream Car:  International Scout, any racecar

Jared Bayse

Car History:  Jared isn't so much a BMW guy as he is a BMW 2002 guy.  His first car was a 1968 BMW 2002 and since then he has owned 3 2002s including his current tii.  Being an avid fisherman and needing something to tow his boat, he has had a few Toyota trucks as well. He loves everything from old Porsches to Muscle Cars.

Current Cars:  2003 Toyota Tundra, 1971 BMW 2002 tii 5 spd

Dream Car:  Porsche 550 Spyder, BMW 2002 Turbo

Mark Christie

Car History:  In high school everyone was jealous of Mark, because he had a BMW, even though it was a $4,000 1984 318i and almost every car on campus was more expensive.  Junior year of high school, he set the bar way higher when he picked up a bright red 1968 Porsche 911T.  Since then he has had a BMW 535i, Bavaria, X5, O.J. Bronco, a Subaru WRX and a few others.  He currently has a BMW motorcycle and wishes he still had his Porsche 911.

Current Cars:  Porsche 997 GTS

Dream Car:  Porsche 993 Turbo