Although born in Illinois Bondurant grew up in Los Angeles, California, and raced an Indian motorcycle on dirt ovals in his teens. In 1956 he began sportscar racing with a Morgan but it was not until 1959 that he began to attract attention at the wheel of a Chevrolet Corvette in which he won the West Coast "B" Production Championship.In 1963 Bondurant was signed up as a member of Carroll Shelby's Ford Cobra team and this led him to Europe where he took fourth overall and won the GT class at the Le Mans 24 Hours. In 1965 the Shelby Cobra team won the Manufacturers' World Championship, taking victory in seven of the 10 races. At the end of the year he raced a factory Ferrari in the United States GP at Watkins Glen. In 1966 he raced a private BRM under the Team Chamaco Collect banner. That same year he raced a factory Ferrari in the World Sportscar Championship and served as a technical consultant for John Frankenheimer's film Grand Prix. At the end of the year he drove one of Dan Gurney's Eagles at the Mexican GP.In 1967 he moved to the CanAm series in a McLaren but hurt himself in a huge accident when a steering arm failed and he crashed into an embankment, the car going end-over-end eight times. Bondurant set up a racing school at Ontario and later moved it to Sears Point, where he was an important figure in the track's development. Bondurant eventually moved his school to a purpose built facility in Phoenix, Arizona, where he enjoys close ties to Ford. He continues to compete on occasion in vintage events.