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						Bocar Xp 5 3
Bocar XP-5

1959 Bocar XP-5 for sale

By Dean Larson

Imagine it’s the 1950s, and you’re in the pursuit of all-out speed. You've driven the domestics and hot foreign race cars, but none have got it quite right, and you're certain you can build something faster. To start, you’d probably hand pick components from various sources; high-performance Chevrolet V8 engines, rock-solid Ford 9-inch rear ends, suspension from Porsche, brakes from a big heavy domestic and a stylish body to bring the whole lot together. That’s just about the formula Bob Carnes used back in the late ’50s to put together his line of Bocar race cars, however Carnes’ formula wasn’t an exact science, and the recipe was known to vary.

As a semi-professional race car driver, Carnes had driven various domestic and European racers with some success. He loved the handling characteristics of his Glöckler-Porsche Spyder and Jaguar XK120, but wanted more power for the road races and hill climbs he regularly competed in. In an effort to supplant the Jaguar’s weaknesses, he replaced its straight-six engine with a Cadillac V8, naming the final product the “Jagillac.” The creation secured him a win in the 1956 Buffalo Bill Hillclimb, but it wasn’t quite what he hoped, and soon returned to the drawing board.

Starting with his first propriety experimental vehicle, X-1, Carnes developed and evolved his home-built racer, ending up with a production-worthy vehicle in 1959. The XP-5 was powered by a 290 hp version of the Chevrolet 283 ci V8. Carnes offered the cars with many options, including seven different suspension setups, but most cars utilized strengthened Porsche/Volkswagen front suspension and Ford 9-inch rear ends. The chassis was built from chromoly steel (several Triumph based versions are also known to exist), and a sleek fiberglass body provided its unique quirky looks. The XP-5 was meant for the track, weighing a scant 2,100 pounds, but many were also registered for street use. Roughly 15 XP-5s were built before Carnes turned his attention to the supercharged, 400 hp XP-6.

Despite its humble beginnings, the Bocar XP-5 a serious racer capable of blistering performance. Motortrend tested an XP-5 and found it able to crest 60 mph in just six seconds, and reach 100 mph in the quarter-mile. These figures are impressive, even by today's standards, which only exacerbated its irregular handling characteristics. It's rumored that the XP-5 could be a real handful to pilot, and the front and rear of the car could move in different directions at the same time at speed. 

The XP-5 listed here on eBay is likely one of the most extravagantly finished examples in existence. The car wears a unique shade of red paint with gold accents, Jaguar wire wheels, and stainless detail work throughout. Like most other XP-5s, the Bocar is powered by a 283 ci Chevrolet V8 equipped with dual Carter carburetors. The interior is definitely more lavish than any other XP-5, with a full array of instruments, a wood-rimmed wheel and quilted leather throughout. The car has also been fit with a large removable roll bar.

The seller is asking $210,000 for the car, a good deal above the going rate for an XP-5. A well-known and more traditional example sold last year at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction for $159,500, likely making this car a bit pricey for serious buyers.

Check out this Bocar XP-5 here on eBay here. 

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