The Corvette Mako Shark II was an extremely influential concept for Chevrolet: It led directly to the production 1968 Corvette. Here are the fascinating details in an original General Motors promotional film.
Here’s a famous General Motors concept vehicle with two identities, if you will. Originally known as the Mako Shark II when it was introduced in 1965, the car was revamped a few years later (1969) with a new roofline and other features and renamed the Manta Ray. In this original GM promotional film, the car—also known as XP-830, its internal GM designation—is shown in its Mako Shark II form. Actually, there were two Mako Shark II concepts, reportedly: a studio glider and a fully operational prototype. This clip features the road version.
With its multi-tone fadeaway paint, the Mako Shark II took some cues from the original Corvette Mako Shark show car of 1961, but it featured some new design themes as well, and those themes are clearly evident in the production 1968 Corvette. Indeed, there’s no mistaking the C3 Corvette’s roots in the Mako Shark II/Manta Ray, which today resides in the GM Heritage Collection in Sterling Heights, Michigan. In our little four-minute film, GM Vice President of Styling Bill Mitchell receives a generous portion of face time. Enjoy the video.