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07/11/2010 1146

Chevrolet - Mako Shark (XP-755)

The XP-755 Mako Shark show car was designed by Larry Shinoda under the direction of GM Design head Bill Mitchell in 1961, as a concept for future Chevrolet Corvettes. In keeping with the name, the streamlining, pointed snout, and other detailing was partly inspired by the look of that very fast fish. 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.

A widespread story has it that Mitchell had an actual shortfin mako shark mounted on the wall in his office, and ordered his team to paint the car to match the distinctive blue-gray upper surface gently blending into white underside of the fish. After numerous attempts to match the fish's color scheme failed, the team hit upon the idea of kidnapping the fish one night, painting it to match their best efforts on the car, and returning it to the office. Mitchell never realized the difference and pronounced himself pleased with the team's duplication on the car of nature's handiwork.

After a period, he 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 1968 Corvette styling was highly derivative of the Mako Shark II.


1961  New York

Picture places

General Motors 

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