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Thursday, October 20, 2022

A glimpse of the short-lived Covington Tiburon

Unique ONES For those of you who always want to know the information behind the unique shape of the car ever made by world's famous automotive designers. Don't worry, we will be discussed one of the unique models, and now our index finger pointed to the 1961 Covington Tiburon, at first glance this car looks very similar to the 1955 Ghia Gilda Streamline X Coupe
The Covington Tiburon Coupe (in pictured is 1962 Porsche Tiburon) sat on display at the the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. (Picture from: US10Campaign-Archive)
Previously, we also posted an article about the El Tiburon Roadster which is one of 5 topless styled concept cars made by Henry Covington of St. Petersburg, Florida in 1962. Well, during the concept car's early development, Covington required two attempts, separated by several years, before his car reached its final form. Actually, the first Tiburon concept coupe is built on the small platform of a rear-engined 1950 Renault 4CV, with bodywork made of moulding fiberglass, although powered by a tiny engine providing enough power to propel the streamlined shark to 74 mph or 119 kph.
The photo above appeared in the St. Petersburg Times newspaper at least three times and shows Henry Covington at age 37 with his el-Tiburon. (Picture from: US10Campaign-Archive)
The first model, designed and built entirely by him, proved to have inadequat ground clearance by 4 inches and was subject to overheating. He began planning the new version, combining his own ideas on proportion and form with the theories of Dr. Augustus Raspet of Mississippi State College, who had done experimental work on boundary layer control, and laminar flow airfoil configurations.
The Covington Tiburon Coupe to be a cover headline of the Mechanix Illustrated. (Picture from: US10Campaign-Archive)
The automaker decided to fix all-drawbacks of the first model by giving an oval cross-section to the overall design, in attempts of eliminating the side vacuum created by crosswinds, and used a complete underpan with an inverted airfoil section near the front wheel to create a low-pressure area, which could improve roadability. Furthermore, there's the large air ducts are designed into the sides to eliminate overheating problems, and increase vehicle ground clearance to 6 inches.
The Covington Tiburon Coupe (in pictured is 1962 Porsche Tiburon) made by Henry Covington in collaboration with a Tampa, Florida-based company, Caccicraft until early 1962. (Picture from: ConceptCarz)
Furthermore, its unique bodywork is carried out by the fiberglass experts at Glenn Industries, the prototype is called the Covington Tiburon, named after the Spanish word for shark (due to its bodywork similar to shark) took almost 9 months for completion, and made its debut in Pinellas County in 1959. Then on March 29, 1961, the concept car was published in an article in St. Petersburg Times.
The Covington Tiburon Coupe (in pictured is 1962 Porsche Tiburon) featured with low and lean posture coupled with a hinged roof for accessing the two-seat interior. (Picture from: ConceptCarz)
After that, fame quickly came to the Covington Tiburon as a significant automotive achievement. The Covington made concept car then became a kind of extraordinary magnet for many mass media at that time, so it is not surprising that it appeared in the famous magazines Hot Rod, Car Craft, Rod & CustomPopular Mechanics, and to be a cover headline of the Mechanix Illustrated. Even the 1966 issue of Road & Track called it "the most streamlined car in the world".
Originally the Covington Tiburon Coupe (in pictured is 1962 Porsche Tiburon) based on a Renault 4-CV, featured with aerodynamic fiberglass body with belly pan, full canopy. (Picture from: UndiscoveredClassic)
The media attention paid off, which led many consumers to commission a custom Tiburon coupe. To fulfill orders, Covington collaborated with a Tampa, Florida-based company, Caccicraft until early 1962. Unfortunately, production should be ceased early due to Henry Covington passed away later that year. During its production periods, it is not known how many the Tiburon were produced, some say as many as 6 coupes, and later 5 convertibles have been made by Glenn Industries from 1963 through 1965.
Decades passed, all Tiburon models were lost, and only one remained. And the last known Tiburon coupe was built based on the Porsche 356and was discovered in Modesto, California in a storage garage, where it had been kept since the early 1960s. The last time the Tiburon Coupe had appeared in public was at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CONCEPTCARZ | US10.CAMPAIGN-ARCHIVE | UNDISCOVEREDCLASSIC | CARSCENEINTERNATIONAL | SCOTT GRUNDFOR | REDDIT ]
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