Back in the 1950s, a handful of enterprising Americans tried to develop sports cars with an emerging technology called fiberglass. Many were sold as kits, while a few builders attempted to sell theirs as complete cars. The styling of these cars can be hit-or-miss, but we think the styling of our Pick of the Day, this 1959 Bocar XP-7R, gets it right. It’s for sale on ClassicCars.com by its Connecticut-based owner.
Accurate information is murky at best but, from what we can tell, Bocar was developed by Bob Carnes in the Denver suburb of Lakewood in 1958. The aeronautical engineer had dabbled in sports car racing, even creating the Jagillac (a Jaguar with a Cadillac engine) before he developed his own American take on sports cars. His first, the Bocar X-1 (BOb CARnes experimental-1), was built in his garage and featured a polyester body with glass reinforcement surrounding a moly-tube frame. Marginal improvements over several iterations led to Bob’s first production vehicle, the XP-5, built on a 90-inch wheelbase and utilizing a Chevrolet small-block, though a few were built on Triumph frames.
An XP-5 was raced at Daytona in 1960 and placed second in its class, plus it set a beach speed record. Motor Trend achieved 0-60 in six seconds — not bad for a craft car advertised as being capable for “racing, hillclimber and grocery getter.” The XP-6 moved up to a 104-inch wheelbase and featured a supercharger hooked to the small-block. Sports Cars Illustrated remarked that it was “astoundingly agile” and “hurls itself forward with an effortless violence at any speed and in any gear.” Bob eventually responded with the XP-7 and XP-7R, the latter with the supercharged Chevy.
This 1959 Bocar XP-7R, car number 003, currently features a 650-horsepower 350 small-block featuring Rochester fuel injection as well as a GMC 4-71 supercharger. Shifting is handled by an M22 close-ratio “Rock Crusher” four-speed. Other performance and mechanical upgrades include “Baja Beetle” front suspension and coil-over springs and shock absorbers. On all four corners you’ll find disc brakes and offset Borrani wheels for that authentic vintage presence.
Of course, those into vintage racing will drool over this 1959 Bocar XP-7R, but strong styling (especially from the rear-quarter view ) will attract anyone into the romance of 1950s sports cars. Certainly $280,000 is not cheap, but only a handful were built before Bob’s Bocar operation burned down in December 1961.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.