The 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Mako Shark (XP-755 Shark) was a show car and designed by Larry Shinoda under the direction of GM Design head Bill Mitchell. The car was a concept and was supposed to be a future Chevrolet Corvette. A mako shark captured off the coast of Florida by Mitchell served as the basis for the lines of the show car. At the time, Mitchell was a Vice President of General Motors Styling Staff. Mitchell removed the original body and redesigned it as the “Mako Shark II” in 1965 while the original Mako Shark was then retroactively called the “Mako Shark I”.
The Mako Shark was very similar to the 1963 Corvette, but with some alterations. These included adding two more brake lights in the rear, making it six total; the nose of the car became longer and more pointed; a clear glass roof with a periscope like rear-view mirror was used; and the interior was remodeled.
The Mako Shark was finished in a varied colored paint scheme based on an iridescent blue upper surface that blended into a white side and lower body- similar to the natural coloring of the shark that Bill Mitchell had landed.
A number of experimental engines had been used in the Mako since then including a supercharged, four side-draft carburetor engine; a fuel injected engine; and a V8 engine with two four-barrel carburetors. The current engine is a production 1969 427 cubic inch ZL-1 Chevrolet V8. This engine is all-aluminum. It uses a single four-barrel carburetor that produces more than 425 horsepower.
The Mako Shark was built on a modified production Corvette chassis and was fitted with cast magnesium wheels.