Rare Rides: The Shark S-1, a Prototype Super Car We Can't Show You

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Today’s Rare Ride is a prototype super car from 1996, 1997, or 1998, dependent upon which place you see it online. Scissor doors, 8.2 liters, 550 horsepower, and a fully bespoke body all sound great. There are no YouTube videos or even any news articles about the Shark S-1, so this is some exclusive content for you.

Quite a few questions remain.

The picture above is of a 2020 Corvette engine courtesy of Chris Tonn because for legal reasons we can’t show you any of the Shark’s photos as their source is unclear. This story started out with an interesting tweet last week that contained the present listing for the one-owner S-1. Listed on Facebook in Canada for $100,000, the Shark’s details are provided but don’t jive. Down the internet rabbit hole went your author.

In theory, the S-1 is “based” on a McLaren F-1 and a Ferrari F-50. In truth, it’s probably not. Power arrives via a big block Chevrolet 502 (8.2L) that was used in automotive and marine applications and is still sold by Chevrolet. The engine in modern format offers 461 horses, so the S-1 has other magic happening to boost power to the stated 550. The transmission is an automatic and is cited as Turbo 400. Perhaps it’s the heavy-duty TH400 formerly used in Rolls-Royce and AM General applications. With all the power available, cited time to sixty is four seconds. Quick stuff, and the enormous Hoosier tires at the rear promise plenty of traction. The seller states suspension is adjustable and independent all around, and that power steering and ABS are present. I’m suspecting Corvette parts here and there.

The S-1’s body appears well made and doesn’t suffer the prototype/kit car look one might expect. Per the listing, it’s a composite made of acrylic and ground porcelain. Inside the Shark is covered in faux suede, and has a custom 1980s instrument cluster that wouldn’t look out of place on an old stove.

And that’s about all we know folks. Searching around, there are some photos of the S-1 here and there, along with conflicting information on its year of manufacture. It’s definitely always lived in Canada. Identifiable parts include rear lamps from an Eighties Escort GT, and the whole car has a sort of Lamborghini meets Vector vibe. The listing photos are pictures of pictures, which is an interesting choice at a $100,000 ask for a unique car. At some point, it seems vent windows were added to the S-1, probably because the door shape meant fixed side windows.

And there you have it, our first Rare Ride featuring a one-off vehicle with very little information. If you have more detail on the Shark, we’d love to hear it in the comments.

[Image: Chris Tonn / The Truth About Cars]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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2 of 6 comments
  • RHD RHD on Apr 29, 2021

    $100,000 for a pig in a poke, with a Corvette engine? No dice.

  • Shiv'a' Shiv'a' on Mar 12, 2024

    Iibr close to this. It is infact poorly made compared to a fast 5 kit car body. It's basically like a kit body going over a VW beetle body with a big engine. Looking at the chassis it's a mishmash if parts that have no business being compared to a McLaren or Ferrari that everything has been engineered to compliment each other to improve the ride. It looks like the sellers started flooding the Internet with small tidbits years ago but because of COVID waited to sell it by trying to make it seem like others are saying this is a super car. It's worth 10,000 at the most in my opinion from what I've seen. It's barely considered a sports car let alone a super car. I feel bad for anyone that buys it then finds out how badly this concept was designed.

  • Blueice Patient 28, sorry, but it is Oktoberfest. Bring a kegof Kraut beer and we will 50% you.
  • Bd2 Probably Toyota, Hyundai is killing them these days.
  • Bd2 Japan is evil, stop buying their vehicles. I hope TTAC has a holiday for PEARL HARBOR.
  • Wolfwagen If Isuzu could update this truck and keep the cost between $25K - $30K they would sell like ice pops on dollar day in a heat wave.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic I'm at that the inflection point of do I continue to putting money in a 12 yr old SUV entering a heavy maintenance cycle or start shopping.I have noticed comparable new SUVs with $2.5k knocked off the sticker price, but still with the shenanigans of $300 for nitrogen in the tires. However, I have noticed the same 2 yr old SUV which are only $4.5K less than the original sticker price. Usually the used cars price should be 35% to 40% less. This tells me there's a stronger market for used as opposed to new. Part of this is to handle the monthly note. Considering installments of 72 months, you'll never pay the beast off. Just wait till the end of the model year which is just two months away, and I think the comparable new SUV will come with larger markdowns. May not be the color you want, but there are deals to be made. 🚗🚗🚗