1961 Mako Shark I (XP-755)

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

The XP-755 concept car, also known as the Mako Shark, was designed by Larry Shinoda under the direction of General Motors Styling and Design head Bill Mitchell. With the 1963 Corvette C2 design locked down, in 1961 as a concept for future Chevrolet Corvette the groundwork for the XP-755 was laid down. Building on the design of the 1958 XP-700 "double bubble", the XP-755 added design elements of the soon to be released C2 Corvette. In keeping with the name, the streamlining, pointed snout, and other detailing was partly inspired by the sleek, fast-moving short-fin mako shark. The '61 Corvette tail was given two additional tail lights (six total) for the concept car. The concept was also inspired by Bill Mitchell's 1959 Stingray racer XP-87 which also influenced the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray.

The Mako Shark debuted at the New York Coliseum at the 1962 6th International Auto Show, and the car was a success on the auto show circuit. With many of the Mako's design elements making into production on future Corvettes, it was successful in building hype for the forthcoming next generation of Corvette.

Like many show cars, the Mako Shark underwent styling and detail changes over time. The hood and front end were modified and the interior was updated. The car also lost the distinctive "double-bubble" canopy. The car was retroactively dubbed the Mako Shark I when the Mako Shark II debuted. The car now resides in the GM Heritage Collection.

An apocryphal story has it that Mitchell had an actual mako shark mounted on the wall in his office, and ordered his team to paint the car to match the distinctive blue-gray upper surface blending into the white underside of the fish. After numerous attempts to match the shark's color scheme failed, the team hit upon the idea of kidnapping the fish one night, painting it to match their best efforts on the car, and returning it to the office. Mitchell never realized the difference and pronounced himself pleased with the team's duplication of nature's handiwork on the car. Charles M. Jordan's son, Mark reports that the XP-755 was built out of the 1958 XP-700 Corvette show-car.

Source: Wikipedia