Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

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Lot 267

1959 Bocar XP-5

  • Chassis no. XP5043

Sold for $159,500


327 cu. in. OHV Chevrolet V-8 engine, T-10 four-speed manual transmission, four trailing arms and Watts link rear suspension, and Triumph front disc and Chevrolet rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.

  • One of approximately 40 Bocars; estimated 15 XP-5s built
  • Extensive vintage racing history with log books included
  • Rare example of a highly capable privateer road racer


The outrageous Bocar of the 1950s was the dream of Bob Carnes, who constructed the cars in Denver, Colorado. No two were alike, with each designed to meet the needs of the owner. Carnes most often employed Chevrolet power, and while his cars were not necessarily the winningest, he was nonetheless successful in turning heads and generating ink in the enthusiast magazines of the day.

Carnes began by racing a Glöckler-Porsche Spyder in hill climbs and road races in the Denver area. In 1953 he switched to a Jaguar XK 120, which netted him a third at Pikes Peak. He later fitted the car with a Cadillac V-8, calling it the “Jagillac” – he won the Buffalo Bill Hillclimb in 1956 with it. What Carnes really wanted, however, was a design of his own – something that combined the power of his Jagillac with the agility of a Porsche. Despite the lack of an engineering degree – he had been remodeling kitchens! – Carnes began the Bocar project in 1957.

Six iterations followed through 1961, when a fire engulfed the Bocar shop and production ceased. Some 40 complete cars are believed to have been built, including an estimated 15 XP-5s, although the number known to exist today is inconclusive.

The XP-5 was introduced in early 1959 and like previous Bocars, it featured a unique space frame design constructed of high-strength chromoly steel. Suspension was borrowed from a Porsche 356/VW Beetle while utilizing Buick drum brakes. Typically, a Chevrolet 283 or 327-cubic inch V-8 was fitted and mounted far behind the front axle, resulting in a weight distribution favorable for racing. A lightweight fiberglass body with an aerodynamic nose and pontoon-fender tail gave the car its menacing looks. In total, cars tipped the scales at just 2,100 pounds.

Chassis 043 is among those XP-5s constructed using a modified Triumph chassis from the Bocar factory. As such, it is fitted with Triumph front disc brakes, Chevrolet 11-inch rear drum brakes, and a suspension geometry more agreeable to its racing pedigree. Bocar factory worker Don Johnson has documented that several cars were, in fact, given Triumph chassis at the request of buyers. In addition, it features a 1958 Chevrolet 3:70 Positraction rear axle with four trailing arms and a Watts link along with a race-prepared Chevrolet 327 V-8 and T-10 close ratio four-speed manual transmission. Fifteen-by-six knock-off wheels and a 12-gallon A.T.L fuel cell complete the package.

This rare Bocar has been featured in both magazines and on television, and it has been a regular participant on the vintage racing circuit for 20 years. Four racing logbooks are included with the purchase of the car documenting its most recent history, including two SVRA, one VSCCA, and one HMSA log book. It has raced at many tracks, including Pocono, St. Jovite, Mosport, VIR, Mont Tremblant, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Lime Rock, Coronado, Sonoma, and the Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca.

According to the consignor, he has owned the car for 14 years and it is currently registered for street use. He adds that “the car is well-sorted, serviced, and extremely fun to drive. Just check the tire pressure and add fuel!”

We would suggest strapping on a helmet and fastening the seatbelts as well!

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more