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1959 Bocar XP-5 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Chassis Num: 006
This car is one of thirty-plus XP-1 through XP6s built by Bob Carnes in Denver over a two-year period. There appears to be only eight or nine running today. The car weighs 1,890 pounds and started life as a 283-FI Chevy V8 with around 365 horsepower. This engine was changed out for a Chevy 350 with the same Rochester FI unit, which develops 418 horsepower. The XP-5 was raced by Art Huttinger in the first televised Daytona race in January of 1960, where it placed second to the D-Type Jaguar of Ed Rahal. It won an SCCA race on the same track in March of 1960, and followed that by setting a speed record of 175 mph on the beach of Daytona. Following many top-five finishes all the way North to Watkins Glen, the car spent many years under the ownership of William Butler, taking a top three at the Bahamas Speed Week and winning the Concours there as well. The car is roadworthy and a beast to drive, just as Bob Carnes envisioned 47 years ago.
This vehicle was originally purchased from Bob Carnes (Bocar) by Meister Brau for their race-team in 1959. It was partnered with one of the original Meister Brau Scarabs. It was built in Denver, Colorado, and it was first raced at Meadowdale International Raceway in May of 1959. It also raced at Road America and Riverside. Augie Pabst finished the year at Road Atlanta and the Bahama Speed Weeks where he sat on the pole. The car has changed hands three times since, with the previous owner keeping it for 45 years. It was found on Craig's List and is now in its original livery. Records indicate the XP-5 had a factory price of $8,700 in 1959.
The Bocars were produced by Bob Carnes during the late 1950s and early 1960s in Colorado. The vehicles were available in both kit or assembled form. The vehicles were intended for track use and competition but they could also be driven on the road.

Carnes entrance into the racing sport occurred in 1953 when he raced a Glockler Porsche Spyder in hillclimb competition and road races. The following year he piloted a Jaguar XK-120 to an impressive third place finish at Pikes Beak.

Within a few years, he was modifying automobiles to feed his need for speed. He transplanted a Cadillac engine into a Jaguar and dubbed it a 'Jagillac.' In his capable hands, he won the 1956 Buffalo Bill Hillclimb. In 1957, he began work on a car of his own design.

His first creation was the Bocar X-1. It was comprised of a Jaguar suspension and brakes in the front and a Lincoln live axle in the rear. The powerplant was a 283 cubic-inch Chevy engine. The body was fiberglass which aided in lightweight characteristics while maintaining rigidity.

The X-1 was entered in the 1958 Pikes Peak Hillclimb where it finished in fifth place in the sports car class. The car was promising, but needed more refinement and power. After several iterations, the XP-4 was born. These were available near the close of 1958 and offered as a kit car or as a complete package.

The fiberglass body sat atop of a 90 inch wheelbase. A Volkswagen or Porsche suspension could be found in the front and given extra modifications by Carnes. In the back was an Oldsmobile live axle with torsion bars. One vehicle was given Jaguar disc brakes, but most were outfitted with either Chevrolet or Buick drums. The engine were eight-cylinder units from either Pontiac or Chevrolet and matted to a Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed manual gearbox. Engines varied. A completely assembled example would set the buyer back about $6450.

The Bocar XP-5 was very similar to the XP-4. Main changes were to the brakes which now incorporated Buick Alfin drums. Weight distribution was improved; the XP-5 had a 44% of its weight in the front and the remaining in the rear. This was achieved by moving the engine back into the frame and offset to the right. This improved weigh distribution enhancing the vehicles balance and giving it better traction.

The Bocar XP-6 incorporated a supercharged version of a Chevrolet V8. The chassis was enlarged by 14-inches to accommodate the supercharger. Horsepower was around 400 which required changes to the suspension. The suspension was beefed up to include a solid axle with torsion bars in the front and a live axle with torsion bars in the rear. The car was quick, but never really gained much national attention. Only one example was ever created.

The Bocar XP-7 was the next evolution of the Bocar racers. It was very similar to the car it replaced and had a Volkswagen front end. At a price tag of nearly $9000, the cars were produced in very few numbers.

Bocar's last racer built was for the 1960 season, the Stiletto. Less than three were ever created and carried a price tag of about $13,000. The car was intended to race during the 1960 season. Power was from a supercharged Chevrolet V8 engine mated to a four-speed Borg-Warner T-10 transmission. It had a space frame chassis and a fiberglass body.

The early Stiletto was raced at Pikes Peak by Carnes but it encountered problems. A second example was built and sold to Tom Butz for driver Graham Shaw. This second car had a Hillborn-injected small-block engine. A third example is believed to have been built.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2010
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