When it comes to automotive design, inspiration can come from the strangest places. Bill Mitchell, VP of Design at GM from 1958 until 1977, was inspired to create the 1961 Mako Shark Corvette by a mako shark that he caught off the coast of Florida. With a dark blue upper half that blends into a white lower body, in profile it looks like a shark on wheels.

Other designers took inspiration from fighter jets such as the YF-22, SR-71, F-177, and others. If you don’t know those aircraft, look them up and guess which Corvettes they influenced.

Proving that ideas can come from anywhere, this month’s featured artifact is a 1/3 scale model created by Tom Peters in the mid-1980s after watching the movie ALIENS. The long forehead, jutting lower jaw, the attitude of it, is part H.R. Giger, part Ridley Scott, and all Tom Peters. For extra measure, this mid-engine monster has another character from the movie worked into the design that we’ll let you discover.

As designers push the boundaries in extreme ways such as this, ideas are spawned, mutated, and morphed into the automobiles of the future.

Author: Bob Bubnis, Curator at the National Corvette Museum