Imagine you’re cruising the highway alongside of a sandy beach enjoying the beautiful weather and your hair suddenly stands up on the back of your neck … you get the chilling feeling that you’re lower down on the food chain than you were before. You can almost hear the ominous tones of the Jaws theme in the background of your Sunday cruise. You look nervously around, and then you spot it pulling up along side of your ride — the distinctive look of a predator on the streets — the Mako Shark II Corvette.
In 1965, General Motors produced a short film introducing this experimental vehicle. An offspring of the Corvette Stingray, it was a prelude to future models that would appear on showroom floors.
Developed at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan, the Mako Shark’s beautiful demarcation is further refined between subtly shaded deep blue/gray draping the top body and silver/white on the sleek underbelly. The exterior design is an indicator of the time and effort put into this iconic concept car. The brainchild of Bill Mitchell, Vice President of GM’s Styling and Design Department, it takes styling cues from nature and the lethal creature that patrols the depths of its namesake, and culminated in the design of two cars (an operational and a non-operational version). Although based off the iconic paint design of the original Mako Shark I built in early 1961, this is where most of the similarities between the pair of edgy concepts ends.
With a more aggressive, lowered, and sharply-pointed nose, a radical chopped roof hinged for easy access, high-rise front fenders, and a Coke-bottle body–the lines are sensational. The GM design team also incorporated cutting-edge hide-away turn signals and a headlight system with dual retractable rear spoilers, making this concept car a state-of-the-art achievement.
Powered by a beastly Chevrolet 427ci Mark IV with a three-speed Hydromatic transmission, which was available on later production Corvettes, this Shark sounded as good as it rolled. In fact, some of the design concepts were carried over in the form of the C3 ‘Vette that shares the ’65 Mako’s basic body design.