EYES on DESIGN
June 21, 2015
Photos & Story By: Wayne Ellwood
This Feature Appeared in the August 2015 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
1970 Mako Shark
Owner: Dan McMichael
This car was originally built for a man in Brooklyn (NY) by Joel Rosen. After driving about 1000 miles, the car ended up in outdoor storage. That’s where Joel found it. Joel bought the car back and then offered it (along with some others) for sale. At this point, in early 2001, Dan heard about the car and bought it. Over a period of time, Dan bought four cars from Joel but this was the first
The Body and paint were the main items requiring immediate attention. Dan sent the car to Chris Smallenberger of Rods and Customs, in Dayton (OH). When that was done, the car went to Gary Kupfner “The Local Brush” in Long Island (NY). Gary was the original painter for the car but, in his own words, he did a much better job than the first time around. Of course, technology has advanced since that time but, still, he was meticulous in the base colors and then air-brushed each of the scales individually, turning them by 1/16 of an inch to help follow the contours of the fenders, while looking authentic to a shark’s body. He designed a 3D “Mako” styled shark emblem which took a couple of tries to get right…the first one was a bit too one dimensional and looked too happy. Dan wanted angry. What he got was a 3D tough-guy shark, which is exactly what he wanted.
The Permacast turbine-style wheels were new, along with a number of other parts. Interestingly, while the interior was refurbished (again by Chris Smallenberger), most of the original pieces were in good condition. The one-piece that took quite a bit of work was the eight-track tape player.
The engine is a MOTION small block LT1 turning about 460- HP.
This Mako Shark is a bit of a local celebrity in the Michigan-Ohio areas. Presented last year at the Concours of America, it has been awarded many prizes for the quality of work and, today, for its overall design.
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