Einar Valsjø's Mako Shark

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The first version of the Mako Shark before final paint. Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
Einar painting the first version of the Mako Shark. Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
A photo of Einar's Corvette from the Motorama 77 indoor car show in Nidarøhallen in Trondheim, Norway. The car was the main attraction at the 1977 show. Photo by Bjug Solstad.
Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
Einar's first night out with the second version of the Mako Shark. This photo was taken in June of 1980. Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
The second version of the Mako Shark at Biltilsynet July 2, 1980. Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
Another photo of Mako Shark II at Biltilsynet July 2, 1980. Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
A poster of Einar with the second version of the Mako Shark. Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
Mako Shark II on the cover of Right On Nr. 7 1980.
A later version of the Mako Shark II fit with 1959 Cadillac taillights.
Mako Shark II at a car show in Birmingham, UK. hoto courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
Mako Shark II at a car show in Birmingham, UK. hoto courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
Mako Shark II at a car show in Birmingham, UK. hoto courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
Einar with the burnt remains of the Mako Shark II. Photo courtesy of Amcar Magazine.
The third version of the Mako Shark as it appeared in 1985. Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.
Einar-valsjo-mako-shark-III-corvette2.jpg
Mako Shark III at the 2012 Oslo Motor Show at Lillestrøm. Photo courtesy of Einar Valsjø Custom Cars.

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray owned and restyled by Einar Valsjø of Trondheim, Norway. Einar's show car, better known as the Mako Shark, was inspired by the Maco Shark concept car that GM presented to the public in 1965. The build was started in 1975, with a stock 427 cui powered Sting Ray Corvette. After about a year of hard work, Einar's Corvette hit the street as the Mako Shark in 1976. The wild show car made it's first public debut at the Stavanger Motorama. The paint job on the car was spectacular for a Norwegian build, and it made a huge impression everywhere it went. The interior was done in plush, and the engine compartment featured a lot of chromed parts and accessories. The Mako Shark was a crowd pleaser, and it won prizes everywhere it went.


In 1978 Einar drag raced the Mako Shark in Fyresdal. He won the MS class, with a best time of 13.1 seconds, a record that stood for seven years for cars running on stock street tires.


Einar wasn't totally satisfied with the look of the car, and in 1978 he decided to upgrade and redo it. It was especially the paint job and certain details in the body that Einar wanted to improve. During the rebuild, the engine compartment and chassis was modified as well. The frame was galvanized, and more parts were sent off to the chrome shop. The second version of the Mako Shark featured hand made scoops, crests, spoilers, outsiders and more. The second version of the Mako Shark was completed in June of 1980, and the Mako Shark was shown at car shows all over Norway, Sweden, Denmark and UK, where it took home many awards. After a while, the Mako Shark had won more than 80 awards, and it became the most winning European show car in its class at the time. Einar felt that something was missing. He had seen photos of some cool technical features on a 1984 Mako Shark concept car by GM that he wanted to recreate. Amongst these features was a roof that could be raised about 45 degrees up front. While Einar was planning a third version, tragedy struck, and the second version of the Mako Shark burned to the ground in February of 1983. The car was stored under a temporarily roof outside Einar's garage when it burned down. According to the Police investigations somebody had started the fire as there was no chance it could have started by itself in the cold winter air. Einar had removed the battery before the fire, and the gas tank was empty. During the investigation the Police found out that the fire had started up front, on the hood, and that whoever put the car on fire must have used flammable liquids. Einar was inside his house, watching a movie when the fire started. He ran out, but was not able to save the car. A show painted 1973 Ford Mustang that was parked inside Einar's garage was also damaged in the fatal fire. Before the fire a company had told Einar that they were interested in sponsoring him so he could take the car on tour in the United States.


The burned out and twisted remains of the car was rebuilt into what became the Mako Shark III. During the rebuild, only the frame was kept from the original car that Einar started out with in 1975. Another Corvette was bought and used along with a front that Einar bought from Germany. The rear part of the car was made in Norway. Except for the interior, that was upholstered by Ole R. KUlseth, Einar did most of the work on the car himself. The advanced paint job that Einar laid down on this version of the car featured 27 coats of 16 different Candy colors. Due to some problems Einar bumped into while painting the car, the Mako Shark III didn't make it as planned to the 1985 Trondheim Motorama. The third version of the Mako Shark had many neat features, such as a homemade rear-bumper that extruded out of the rear of the car when it was put in reverse. When the third version of the Mako Shark hit the road in 1985, Einar had put down more than 13.000 hours in the car.



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