Concept cars often don’t last after the automaker is done with them. They usually end up crushed or in a junkyard, but occasionally, one slips out unscathed. And sometimes, it is simply left in the fields waiting for a new owner.
That’s what happened to the Chevrolet Mako Shark concept in the video above. John, from Roswell, Georgia, came across a Chevrolet one day while driving, surprised that he had finally found it. He had seen cars in magazines as a child and had always wanted one. He quickly bought it and began a thorough restoration.
The car was in rough condition when John found it. It has been sitting for 15 years and has been on a crumbling front. It had no rear mechanics, and the front clip completely shattered, forcing John to find a donor car. Renovations remodel the exterior and interior, which are still largely original, such as carpets and shifters. However, John added air conditioning and chairs from the 1980s. John also improved steering, added an electric fuel pump, installed modern brakes, and removed the fuel filler cap.
Powering the Mako is a 454-cubic-inch Big Block V8 engine that produces 390 horsepower (335 kilowatts). John says he likes to keep it under 60 in an effort to preserve it, but it can clamp passengers into seats between traffic lights.
Chevrolet revealed the Mako Shark II concept in 1965, and it would influence the design of the Corvette C3 that would go on sale for the 1968 model year. The concept got its name from its sharp, shark-like design, which took stylistic inspiration from the actual short-fin mako shark.
It’s rare for a concept car to last to see a second life, but it does happen. It helps preserve automotive history as well, and that’s important. Many parts of the car were replaced and updated, and John had to make certain parts, but the Make Shark II could continue to attract attention more than 50 years later.