History of the Marques - Corvette
Of The Marques)
THIRD GENERATION CORVETTE
T he new Corvette design was inspired by the Mako Shark II show car.
It debuted as a 1968 model and was the third generation of the famed
American Sports Car. The Mako Shark was first shown at New York International
Auto Show April 1965. Designed by Bill Mitchell work on it began after
the introduction and production of the first Sting Ray of 1963. As
mentioned earlier GM had for over a decade created show cars to tantalize
the public and often some elements of these designs were incorporated
into upcoming production models. This had happened to the 63 Sting
Ray which was inspired by Bill Mitchell's Stingray Racer.
As usual the show car was a design exercise at the extreme. The Mako
Shark had a front end clip that rotated forward much like the E Type
Jaguar. It also had a full width removable roof panel. The engine
choice for this dazzler was the Chevrolet 427 Cid engine.
As with any dream car reality does set in and the extreme yet gorgeous
sculpture that formed the envelope body needed tweaking. Because of
this the 1967 model was delayed a year. Never mind, Corvette customers
were willing to wait and though the design of this new car was toned
down to allow the driver to see over the front fenders and to allow
better rear visibility the overall effect was exciting nonetheless.
Chevrolet removed the venetian blind slats hiding the rear window
by installing widely spaced sail panels much like the styling of various
Ferraris and the earlier GTO. A front bumper was also added and the
V angle of the leading edge was reduced. Two taillights replaced the
three on the show car. The Corvette was now famous for the hideaway
headlights introduced in 1963 and from here on out it would become
a design element of all production Corvettes. Some models would be
adapted to have headlights that stayed in place with a clear cover
for aerodynamic purposes. To keep with this trend of hiding utilitarian
aspects of modern car design the wiper blades on the 68 Corvette would
fold into the cowl in front of the windshield.
It is claimed that with the 427 engine and all the aerodynamic effort
that went into the production model this Corvette was able to reach
200 mph. Besides the regular 427 there was available the L88 option
and the 327 or the L71 aluminum head option.