It’s one of the legendary stories of American car history-how, one day, head of General Motors Styling, William Mitchell, was out fishing off the Florida coast when he reeled in a short-fin mako shark.
Chevrolet Corvette XP 755 1962
- YEAR REVEALED 1962
- PLACE OF ORIGIN Detroit, Michigan
- HISTORICAL STATUS prototype
- ENGINE V8-cylinder, 328ci (5,360cc)
- MAXIMUM POWER 456bhp
- LAYOUT front-mounted engine driving the rear wheels
- BODYWORK two-door, two-seater roadster
- TOP SPEED unknown
- NUMBER BUILT one
So smitten was he with this beautiful fish that he had it mounted on display in his office-its shimmering blue-to-white, graduated scales inspiring one of the most famous show cars General Motors ever produced. The Chevrolet Corvette XP-755 was a glorious and arch two-seater roadster seemingly perfect for California living-a heady mixture of Italianate lines, racing car inspiration, and custom car detailing.
Outshining even the pointed prow and stern of the car, the snug cockpit with its panoramic windshield, transparent doublebubble hardtop with periscope rear mirror, and ostentatious exhaust pipes festooned along the body sides, the car’s paintjob was breathtaking. A deep dark metallic blue on the top half of the body gradually faded to gleaming white, matching the oceanic shark’s coloring.
Far from being a simple show exhibit, the Chevrolet Corvette XP-755, later christened Mako Shark I, was an important interim Corvette development. Clearly developing the theme of the 1961 Sting Ray Spider race/show car of 1961, the Mako Shark paved the way stylistically for the slightly toned-down 1963 Corvette Sting Ray cars, both designed for Mitchell by Larry Shinoda. The Mako Shark’s supercharged engine was later swapped for a standard Chevrolet V8.