Mako Shark Chevrolet Corvette Concept
Written by Bill Bowman
The 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Mako Shark (XP-755 Shark) show car was designed by Larry Shinoda under the direction of GM Design head Bill Mitchell as a concept, for future Chevrolet Corvettes. A mako shark captured off the coast of Florida by Mitchell inspired the basic lines of the show car. At the time, Mitchell was a Vice President of General Motors Styling Staff; now know as General Motors Design Center. After a period, Mitchell removed the original body and redesigned it as the "Mako Shark II" in 1965. The original Mako Shark was then retroactively called the "Mako Shark I".
The Mako Shark was very similar to the 1963 Corvette, with some alterations. These included adding two more brake lights in the rear (six total), making the nose of the car longer and more pointed, creating a clear glass roof with a periscope like rear-view mirror, and remodeling the interior.
The Mako was finished in a vary-colored paint scheme based on an iridescent blue upper surface that blended into a white side and lower body resembling the natural coloring of the shark Bill Mitchell landed.
A number of experimental engines have been tested in the Mako, including a super-charged engine with four side-draft carburetors, a fuel injected engine and a V8 engine with two four-barrel carburetors. The present engine is a production 1969 427 cubic inch ZL-1 Chevrolet V8. This engine has an all aluminum block, heads and intake manifold. It is equipped with a single four-barrel carburetor that produces upwards of 425 horsepower.
The Mako Shark was built on a slightly modified production Corvette chassis and was fitted with cast magnesium wheels.