Joel Rosen’s Motion Performance built a limited number of ‘customer’ Shark Corvettes, but sold hundreds of conversion body kits here and abroad.
Rosen cloned the star-power of GM’s Mako Shark II in 1971, but it wasn’t until 1972 that turnkey MOTION: MACO SHARK CORVETTE! Sharks were ready for marketing. A duplicate of Rosen’s prototype, ordered by Virginian, George Hoadley, was built for competition on the International Show Car Association (ISCA) circuit. When completed, Rosen personally took the Shark on tour, showing it in Canada and the U.S. After a successful trophy-winning season, Rosen delivered it – with its trophies – to Hoadley!
Most Sharks were built for street driving and powered by both small and big-block engines. Like Hoadley, Anthony Dedentro of Jackson Heights, NY, was interested in winning show “gold” when he ordered his Shark. Built on a ‘70 Corvette chassis and powered by a 350 engine, Dedentro took delivery on November 2, 1974. His air conditioned Shark also received a custom diamond-tufted interior and one-of-a-kind “bubble” taillights. At $17,039.75, it was one of the most expensive Maco Sharks ever built. It is now owned collector Dan McMichael who owns other Baldwin-Motion Chevys.
Motion built Maco Sharks to order between late-1971 and 1978. Conversion kit sales lasted well into the 1980s and records show that hundreds of kits were produced. In 1978 Rosen and I were invited to Zandvoort, Holland by the Swiss Corvette Club International (SCCI) to participate in its Euro-Meet. We spent four glorious days touring Holland in Corvettes and enjoying Zandvoort’s Grand Prix circuit, a beautiful course that is surrounded by undulating sand dunes. We also had the opportunity to see a Maco Shark compete in show and track events.
The car had been built in 1977 for Michael Pottkamper on a barge docked on the Rhine River in Germany! When Joel shipped the Maco Shark kit to a shop in Germany he wasn’t aware that the shop was literally on the water! He wouldn’t find out until he saw the finished Shark and met Michael and his wife, Connie, at the Euro-Meet.
Most Maco Sharks were built for shows and limited street use and powered by mildly modified small and big-block Chevy engines. One, however, was built for Washington, NC boat builder and racer, Reggie Fountain, for speed as well as looks. Finished in Le Mans Blue, it started out life as a highly optioned 427/435 coupe. It was one of few Motion-built customer Sharks fitted with chrome front and rear bumpers.
Powering the Reggie Fountain Maco Shark, now owned by John Shaw, is a 520 horsepower big-block with a modified Holley three-barrel 950-cfm carburetor and side-mount header exhausts. Drivetrain includes four-speed, HD clutch, Hone overdrive and 4.56 Posi rear. Built for high-speed cruising, Rosen fitted an oversize fuel cell under the fastback and louvered rear. Howard Welch photographed it recently at the NCRS Convention.