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.
The Mako Shark – along with the Sting Ray racing car designed by Mitchell and Shinoda two years earlier – influenced the sleek styling of the 1963 Corvette, including the production car’s signature blistered fenders. As a concept, however, the Mako Shark’s design was more dramatic and differed from the production Corvette with six taillights instead of four, a longer and more pointed nose that more closely emulated the look of a shark and the addition of a clear glass roof with a periscope-like rearview mirror.
The Mako was finished in a blended paint scheme based on an iridescent blue upper surface that transitioned into a white side and lower body, resembling the natural coloring of the shark 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 V-8 with two four-barrel carburetors. The present engine is a production 1969 427-cubic-inch ZL-1 “big block.” This engine has an all aluminum block, heads and intake manifold. It is equipped with a single four-barrel carburetor that produces about 425 horsepower.
The Mako Shark was built on a slightly modified production Corvette chassis and was fitted with cast magnesium wheels.