1958 Bocar XP-4

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
Vehicle Profiles
1958 Bocar XP-4 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 4

The Bocar was the brainchild of Colorado entrepreneur Bob Carnes (the name came from combining the first several letters of his first and last names). It was designed in the great tradition of the 1950s sports racers as a true dual purpose car - one ....[continue reading]

Roadster
Chassis #: 4 


Similarly Sized Vehicles
from 1958



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$335-$6,400
1958 XP-4
$6,400-$18,600

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Bocar
1963Chevrolet (2,237,201)Ford (1,525,404)Fiat (957,941)
1962Chevrolet (2,061,677)Ford (1,476,031)Fiat (957,941)
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)

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