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Mako Shark Attack Week!!! The Motion / Silva Macos

Dateline: 1.6.12

More Mako Shark-II that a Production C3 Corvette

As groovy as the new C3 1968 Corvette looked to most Vette fans, for some, it wasn’t what they were expecting. What they were expecting was what they’d been drooling over since ‘65 – a production version of the “Mako Shark” show cars. They didn’t want to hear a lot of bunk about what can or can’t be manufactured or that the Mako’s front fender humps were too tall. They wanted the Mako Shark-II, period!

While some grumped and grumbled, one man did something about it. He made his own Mako Shark-II. And to prevent GM from crashing down on his head, he called it the “Maco Shark.” John Silva produced the first total body kit for the late model, C3 Corvette. The only part of the exterior body that was production Corvette was the windshield. While the completed kit wasn’t a 100% dead ringer for Bill Mitchell’s Mako Shark-II, it was close enough for many. But what put the Silva Maco on the map was the guy from Long Island that was already building Chevy supercars and could make sure the Maco had gobs of grunt. Yes, Joel Rosen.

Joel Rosen, along with PR master, Marty Schorr, editor of CARS Magazine, were already in the thick of things with their Baldwin-Motion Phase-III Supercars. Their line of turn-key, bad-ass Super Chevys was called, “The Fantastic Five.” You can get a heap’n help’n of Baldwin-Motion dishes at our sister blog site, www.BaldwinMotionReport.com. While the sales of Phase-III Supercars was cooking along in 1969, Rosen was thinking ahead and working out the details of his Phase-III GT Corvette. Rosen’s plan was to offer a true GT (Grand Touring) version of his Phase-III Corvette. The classic GT car configuration used a stout frame and chassis, plenty of power, excellent brakes, creature comforts, and room for travel bags. GT cars were essentially a sport coupe that you would use for a long trip – a “grand” “tour.” In other words, a “big trip.” C3 Corvette Coupes are short on usable space, so Rosen created a fastback rear window to open up the back storage area to hold those small travel bags for his customer’s, “Grand Tour.”

So, around the same time Rosen started offering his Phase-III GT Corvette, John Silva was making his own version of the Mako Shark, marketed under the name “Maco Shark.” The two men worked out a deal and Motion Performance started offering their own turn-key Motion Macos and Maco body kits. Here’s where things get a little muddy. Removing the complete production Corvette body and replacing it with the Maco was VERY labor intensive and expensive. So, very few Motion-built Macos were produced.

 

This Maco Shark was a barn find car! It's a real beauty today.

However, lots of body kits were sold and if you’ve ever been involved in the kit car hobby, you know that most kits are not completed. For the cars that were completed, some were better than others and depended on the skill level and creativity of the builder. So, between the Silva and Motion body kits, plus the parts produced from molds being taken off of Silva and Motion kits, one needs a good paper trail to know for sure where the kits came from. The Motion-built cars are fairly easy to spot because Rosen used a collection of standard “Phase-III” parts because he knew they worked best together.

Being the creative car guy he is, Joel Rosen came up with two variations on his Maco theme – not unlike what Bill Mitchell did with his Mako Shark-II design. Rosen’s first Maco variant was his Manta Ray which was a combination of the tunneled front headlights from his Phase-III GT Corvette and the roof/tail section of the Maco Shark. The back end of the Manta Ray was unique in its use of a Z-28-style flipper-type rear spoiler. Only three cars were built.

Rosen’s last Maco variant was the Moray Eel. The tilt -forward front end was a standard Maco design, but with a smooth nose and grille-mounted headlights. The back end used the same roof, tail, and spoiler from the Manta Ray. The bright yellow Moray Eel had the signature-style Motion stripes and chrome Hooker Header side pipes, with finned aluminum wheels. Only one Moray Eel was built.

As brilliant and as classic as Bill Mitchell’s ‘63 to ‘67 Corvette Sting Ray design is, it was the Shark design that has the defined the classic Corvette look. While the official C3 “Shark” Corvettes ended with the ‘82 model, every generation since then has had a little bit of Shark in them. Will the C7 Corvette have some Shark? For many Corvette lovers, the answer is, “It BETTER have some Shark!”  – Scott

Related:
Vette Videos: SUPER RARE, One-of-a-Kind 1972 Motion Moray Eel Corvette

Barn Find Maco Shark Corvette at 2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Show

CARS Magazine Archive: The First Phase III GT Corvette

Vote For Your Favorite Baldwin-Motion Corvette

Joel Rosen’s Motion Can-Am Spyder Corvette

Baldwin-Motion Phase III Shark Corvettes – Part 3 of 3

Motion Performance by Martyn L. Schorr; Book Review


The above image is available as an 11×17 Parchment Paper print, signed and numbered by the artist and writer, K. Scott Teeters, for just $24.95 + $6.95 S&H. You can use be safe PayPal button below, or order by phone with a credit card at 1-800-858-6670, Monday thru Saturday, 10 AM to 9PM Eastern Standard Time.


The above image is available as an 11×17 Parchment Paper print, signed and numbered by the artist and writer, K. Scott Teeters, for just $24.95 + $6.95 S&H. You can use be safe PayPal button below, or order by phone with a credit card at 1-800-858-6670, Monday thru Saturday, 10 AM to 9PM Eastern Standard Time.


The above image is available as an 11×17 Parchment Paper print, signed and numbered by the artist and writer, K. Scott Teeters, for just $24.95 + $6.95 S&H. You can use be safe PayPal button below, or order by phone with a credit card at 1-800-858-6670, Monday thru Saturday, 10 AM to 9PM Eastern Standard Time.


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3 Responses to Mako Shark Attack Week!!! The Motion / Silva Macos

  • GREAT ARTICLE! Thanks for doing this Scott! As you know, Robert and I are working hard at making the MACO Body continue on into history…. C5/6 versions, etc. I sincerely appreciate being a part of your Corvette Report.
    Lot more to come. Hope to meet up with you some day. You are a VERY talented artist. Love your work.
    Steve

    Steven M. Kuryla
    Chief Warrant Officer (R)
    U.S.Army Intelligence

  • Happy to help, Steven. I started to get back into the Motion and Maco cars a few years ago. I got out my old Motion catalog and CARS Magazines, which I hadn’t looked at in years and realized, yea, they were THAT COOL! Back in ’08 when my Illustrated Corvette Series finally caught up with the then production Corvette (I was doing the series in chronological order) I then started to go back and focus on a lot of the specialty Corvettes that I had missed. Joel Rosen and Marty Schorr are almost in their 80s now, so it’s up to us to keep the Motion/Maco out there for the younger Corvette fans to know about. I want them to know that there were lots of jaw-dropping machines that can still make your head spin. Yea, it was THAT COOL!

    Looking forward to updates on your projects. – Scott

  • Hi Steven,
    This isn’t a Maco, but it’s close…

    http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c3-general/2910762-1972-baldwin-motion-corvette.html

    I also write for Vette Vues magazine and did a story about Dave Ankenbauer’s mind-numbing 1972 454 Phase III Corvette. Ankenbauer was parapalegic and drove the beast with HAND CONTROLS!!! Dave was quite a guy! When the story comes out I’ll run it here at CorvetteReport. – Scott

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