[PICS] Throwback Thursday: Two Corvette Concepts at the GM Technical Center


[PICS] Throwback Thursday: Two Corvette Concepts at the GM Technical Center

Today is Throwback Thursday where we like to feature vintage photos of Corvettes. This image comes from our twitter Pal Peter DeLorenzo (Brother of Corvette Racer Tony DeLorenzo), former auto executive and founder of AutoExtremist.com. This photo features the 1961 Corvette Mako Shark I (XP-755) and the 1965 Corvette Mark Shark II (XP-830) concepts at the GM Technical Center.

The 1961 Mako Shark was inspired by actual sharks after GM design chief Bill Mitchell caught a shark while deep-sea fishing in the Bahamas. The Mako Shark I would be one of two concepts (the other being the 1959 Stingray Racer) that would have the greatest impact on the design of the C2 generation. My favorite story about this car is that designers were having trouble painting the car to match that Shark that Mitchell caught, so one night they painted the shark to match the car.

The 1965 Mako Shark II built on the design of the first concept and this would pace the way for the C3 “Sharks” that would follow while it’s clamshell design would be featured on the C4 Corvettes. The car debuted at the Paris Auto Show in 1965 and it featured a removable hardtop and was powered by a 427 big-block V8 engine. Sadly, this car was lost as Chevy used it to create the 1969 Manta Ray Concept which featured a few more upgrades including the all-aluminum ZL1 427 V8.

Peter DeLorenzo / Twitter

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  1. It is too bad that the body of the running Mako Shark-II wasn’t saved and put on to a chassis buck for display purposes.

    Bill Mitchell called the car back to his studio after the 1968 Corvette came out and the Mako Shark-II was no longer relevant. The body was removed or chopped up to make the 1969 Manta Ray.

    I guess that couldn’t save everything.

  2. I too, wish they had built the Manta Ray from the ground up, instead of reworking the Mako Shark II
    I have 1/18 scale diecast models of both cars, and it was only a few years ago, I learned that they were
    the same car. That’s sad. GM has never been really interested in saving their Concept Cars, most of them were destroyed , while a few escaped and wound up in private hands. If it wasn’t for the private owners, a lot of their concept cars wouldn’t exist today. Historic preservation of vehicles from the past didn’t really come along until 30 years later

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