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1962-1965 El Tiburon Roadster (The Shark)

Industrial designer Henry Covington of St. Petersburg, Florida, set out in the early 1960s to build a car based on the aerodynamic principles of Dr. Augustus Raspet, a noted aerodynamics expert. The result was the 1962 El Tiburon Roadster (The Shark). Covington collaborated with fiberglass expert Glenn Gums of Glenn Industries for the prototype build. Caccicraft made six coupes of Tampa, Florida. Sadly Henry Covington passed away in May 1962, and production was stopped.

Glenn Gums moved forward, producing the Tiburon, but with several modifications. He changed the coupe body to a roadster, added doors, and exposed the headlights. Five roadsters were made from 1962 through 1965. Both the Tiburon coupe and roadster were designed to take full advantage of aerodynamic knowledge at the time and included a belly pan nearly as large as the car. This under the car aerodynamics was very advanced for 1962.

In 1966 this design-led Road & Track to recognize Henry Covington’s Tiburon sports car as the most streamlined car in the world. This beautiful fiberglass classic is powered by Renault, yes, Renault. Are you surprised? Me too! Geoffrey Hacker, the owner of this particular car, was able to get it ready to show on a very tight schedule at the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Read about his efforts on his blog Forgotten Fiberglass (Undiscovered Classics).

The first of the many fiberglass cars to be added to Geoffrey Hacker’s collection, he’s owned the Shark roadster for over thirty years. He told me on the phone in 2013 that he owns 46 cars! That is a serious commitment. He brought the car back to life in the early 1980s, switching out the original Renault 4CV engine and transmission for an engine and transmission from a 1971 Renault R10. Still, showing the car at Amelia Island motivated a complete restoration. And he made it just in time.

Source: MyCarQuest (2018) Mike Gullet

Images: OldConceptCars

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