The Mako Shark II was a radical concept that shaped Stingray years later. While showcasing distinct design cues, the Mako Shark contained many notable features for 1965. It had a one-piece front-end that hinged forward for access to the engine bay, a removable hardtop, knock-off aluminum wheels and a big-block 427.
It also featured numerous features that were more theoretical than feasible. This includes retractable rear bumpers could extend outwards to protect the bodywork while parked. At the rear, a large wing which was adjustable from the driver’s seat to ensure high speed stability.
After the debut of this car at the 1965 Paris Auto Show, Chevrolet received an overwhelming number of requests to have it produced. In 1967, the ‘Sting Ray’ became the ‘Stingray’, which was updated to reflect the styling cues of the Mako Shark II.
GM also transformed the Mako Shark II into the Manta Ray included the addition of a front spoiler was added, changes to the grille and the “side pipe” exhausts were redesigned. The rear design changed, too, with a flying buttress-style appearance replacing a series of horizontal slats behind the rear window. The “new” Manta Ray also received a ZL-1 427-cubic-inch big-block V-8 engine.