Sailfish story

'59 Chevy Impala Chopstick Special Art Center General Motors Street Racing '63 Stingray Larry's designs Designer's designer Corvette kit Sailfish story

Transcripts available in the following languages:

Did I tell you the story about the fish?

I*: No, can we record that?

Oh you can, it’s just off the wall thing. But when he was doing the Mako Shark, Bill Mitchell was really into fishing I guess, Bill was his boss at General Motors and they were designing a, they had Larry designing the Mako Shark, which was a show car and it was going to be the next, the precursor to the next Stingray, you know, the next generation of the Stingray.

So Bill wanted the car painted like the shark that he had, not a shark, it was like a, it was some kind of fish. Anyway, and it was on his wall in his office, behind him. I think it was a Sailfish, and you know how they have the blue and the dark blue and then it gets lighter on the bottom I guess. Anyway, he had that and he had this thing and he kept saying, "No, the paint’s wrong." Because they painted this car and they’d come back, "No, it’s not the right color." "No, it’s not the right color." So I guess what happened was, Larry told me that they got into...they came in real early and they got into Bill’s office and stole the fish and repainted the fish to match the car. So there was no...so when Bill looked at it and said, "Hmm, ok." and then looked at the fish, everything was fine.

That’s the way Larry was, he was not just, you know, all serious, all design, all this. I mean he was a fun guy. i mean he had...and he knew, you know, what he had to do to get the job done. So it was kind of a unique story and I think that’s been retold many times. But I asked him about it and he goes, "Yeah, it happened." It happened.

* “I” indicates an interviewer (Akira Boch)

Date: September 14, 2011
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Akira Boch
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

automobile Bill Mitchell design Larry Shinoda

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