Chevrolet Mako Shark II (1965)
The Mako Shark II concept car was originally built in 1965 under the direction of William (Bill) L. Mitchell, Vice President of GM Styling Staff, and set the design standard for the 1968-1982 production Corvette. This hand-built Corvette was a favorite of Mr. Mitchell’s and he drove it daily. Its paint scheme matched the original Mako Shark. In 1969, the car was returned to the GM Design studio for more changes. At that time, the name was changed to the Manta Ray.
This concept car’s claim to fame was its influence on the redesigned Corvette of 1968. The Mako Shark II debuted in 1965 as a show car. Chevrolet actually created two of them – only one of which was fully functional. The non-running show car sported some interesting, futuristic details, such as square section side pipes and a squared-off steering wheel. While the functioning version didn’t have these features, it did have a retractable rear spoiler, and a square section bumper that could be extended for added protection. The Mako Shark II was powered by a 427 Mark IV engine, which became available on production Corvette models. The paint scheme continued the Shark I tradition, with blue/gray on top and silver/white on the bottom (along the rocker panels).