1970 Baldwin-Motion Corvette Maco Shark

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The story of the COPO muscle cars from the 1960s is pretty well known. Dealers like Yenko Chevrolet in Pennsylvania and Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago worked the “central office production order” system to get performance equipment, including big block and high performance engines installed at the factory in cars that couldn’t usually be ordered with that much power.  Usually the motivation for projects came from dealer insiders like Don Yenko, but the Baldwin-Motion Chevrolets happened because a New York tuner and drag racer named Joel Rosen who owned a shop called Motion Performance convinced Baldwin Chevrolet to order a batch of 1967 Camaros with 427 engines. That began a successful relationship that would last for seven years, until Rosen ran afoul of stricter enforcement of emissions laws. While the Baldwin-Motion name is usually associated with Camaros, Cohen built a number of high performance Corvettes, including some based on Chevy’s Mako Shark show car, which Cohen called the “Maco Shark”, offering turnkey and kit versions. This particular Maco Shark, photographed at the 2013 Concours of America, started out special. The original owner wanted to take the car on the show circuit and told Rosen that price was no object. Eventually costing over $17,000 in 1970 money. That works out to over $100,000 today, based on a couple of online inflation calculators. The car featured a custom diamond-tufted interior, one-off bubble taillights, a one piece flip front end, a tapered and louvered backlight, LeMans style flip open gas cap and a paint job that takes Bill Mitchell’s original Mako Shark’s multi-tone blue paint job with fades and goes beyond, with airbrushed fish scales. Restored recently to how it came out of Rosen’s shop, it’s a striking car. With its extended front end, exaggerated fender arches, and boat-tailed and louvered backlight, the Maco Shark was made to be seen in three dimensions.

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