The Mako Shark II show car styling forever defined the “Corvette look.” What’s your favorite? Take our poll at the end of this post!
The 1965-1966 Mako Shark-II show car was so over the top, it just had to be the next Corvette! Chevrolet management was so jazzed they wanted it a year! The first Mako Shark-II was a non-running car and was shown to Chevrolet management in Spring of 1965. I guess because the chassis and running gear would be a carry over from the then current Sting Ray, management thought a totally new body and interior could be designed and developed in time for Fall ‘66 delivery to showrooms as a ‘67 model – 18 months? No way!
So the schedule was pushed back a year to Fall ‘67 as a ‘68 model – and even that was pushing it! The end result was that ‘68 models were, shall we say, challenging. Even through everyone’s socks were going up and down over the look of the car, customers were shocked at how rough their premium car was. The new Shark Corvette should have been introduced as a ‘69 model, but hindsight is 20/20. The ‘69 model was a big improvement and things went from there.
Of course, we all tend to think that things will always improve, right? So when the ‘70 Corvettes came out with their LT-1 small-blocks, and enlarged, 454 big-blocks, we all assumed things were going to get even better. But a one-two punch landed squarely on the jaw of performance cars with a right jab from the insurance companies and a left hook from the oil companies and new environmental concerns. While getting the lead out of gasoline was a good thing, it took a long time for performance to recover. 1970 turned out to be the high watermark for performance and it was downhill for almost 15 years.
While the performance party was definitely over in the ‘70s and car makers were dropping their muscle cars like hot potatoes, it turned out to be a good thing for Corvettes. Continue reading “Vette Polls: What’s Your Favorite 1968-1982 Shark Corvette?”