Image credits: © Chevrolet. GM Corp

1961 Chevrolet Corvette Mako Shark I XP-755

Later known as the 'Mako Shark I,' the Corvette Shark of 1961 was the brainchild of Bill Mitchell. Legend surrounds the origin of the car, including Mitchell's flash of inspiration after catching a shark while deep-sea fishing. The Shark looked like a real shark, wîth a mouth, gills and a shark-like paint scheme that gradated from blue/gray on the top to silver/white on the bottom (along the rocker panels). Memorable features include a sharp, menacing 'nose' and four-into-two side pipes. The Shark, along wîth the Stingray Racer, heavily influenced the body design of the second generation of Corvettes.

The car is finished in a vari-colored paint scheme based on an iridescent blue upper surface that blends into a white side and lower body, like the natural coloring of a shark. The present engine is a production 1969 427 cubic-inch ZL-1 Chevrolet V8. It is equipped wîth a single four-barrel carburetor that produces upwards of 425 horsepower.

The Corvette XP-755 Concept had a streamlined design, pointed snout and other details that were actually inspired by a Mako shark hanging on the wall in Mitchell's office. It was a concept for future Corvettes and was painted to match the shark. After several failed attempts, the team kidnapped the fish one night and painted it to match the car. Mitchell never realized the difference and was happy with the result.

1961 Chevrolet Corvette Mako Shark I XP-755The MAKO Shark was a huge success on the show circuit and many of its design elements made it to production. In fact, it strongly resembles the 1963 production Corvette.

Source - General Motors

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