The Welding Torch and a Dream

Occasionally, whilst researching information, I read something and then check that I read it correctly.

A point in case: I had read that a sports car weighing only 750kg had an American engine capable of over 160 mph and 0-60 in just under 4.0 seconds.

Although that may not sound especially impressive, what is impressive is that it was in 1959.

I needed to know more. The Bocar XP-5 is a fascinating piece of motor car history.

Bocar was a shortened version of designer Bob Carnes’s name, an American engineer and race car driver.

Previously, he had crossed a Jaguar XK120 with a Cadillac engine; you’ve got it, he called it a Jagillac.

However, for the Bocar, he fitted a fibreglass body onto a tubular frame and a Chevvy small block supercharged 5.7-litre V8 engine.

It performed well on the track and hill climb events, making it a popular choice.

The rest of the story becomes sketchy. Exact build numbers aren’t available, although it is generally thought that less than 15 were eventually manufactured. 

Reports indicate that fire halted production in 1961.

Nonetheless, its impact and inspiration influenced other sports car builders, contributing to the high-performance car culture in the States.

Car Enthusiast Magazine said, ‘The Bocar XP-5 is the automotive equivalent of a hot pepper: small, fiery, and guaranteed to leave a lasting impression!’

The Bocar XP-5 happens when you give a race car driver a welding torch and a dream—dangerously fun and unapologetically American.