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"Mac" McKellar Dies


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I just received word this morning that another Pontiac legend is gone. Macolm "Mac" McKellar, the legendary Pontiac engine engineer died last night. No other details are available at this time. Mac was the guy John Z. DeLorean turned to, to put Pontiac's performance on the map. Mac was particularlly good at camshafts. Many classic Pontiac guys often refer to their engine as having a McKellar cam in it.

I was fortunate to meet him once at the GM Heritage Center a few years ago. I asked him what engine program he remembers most. Figuring I was going to hear some stories about the famed Supoer Duty or Ram Air programs, I was surprised at his answer. It was the OHC "Sprint" 6 motor. The motor started out with as Chevroet six but DeLorean demanded that Pontiac have it's own. He assigned Mac to it. He said he hated it because he didn't want to do it, but he got the engine designed and built. So that is the engine program he remembers most.

As soon as funeral arrangements are finalized, I will post them here.to


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I just checked, Mac turned 90 in August.

With the exception of Bunkie Knudsen and John Delorean, I have met many of the Pontiac greats. Mac, John Sawruk, Paul Zarrazine, Jim Wangers, and Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick. Only Jim and Arnie are still alive. Paul died in January. John died two years ago.

I have also been fortunate to work with one Buick engine legend, Denny Manner. Denny was responsible for most of Buick's V8 engine programs, including Indy racing, and Indy pace cars. He was also instrumential in the development of the turbo V6 program. Denny is now retired and I occasionally see him at local car show or two. He owns a very rare '65 Buick Riveria GS with dual quad carbs. It is a gorgeous silver car. It's been in a few magazines too.

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Unfortunate B) I hate when good people pass on! It's a part of life I guess. Now he can engineer all he wants, wherever he is :)

Because Pontiac is the only car worthy of God. :P

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Is this the one you were talking about on Saturday night?

No, I was talking about John Sawruk, the late Pontiac historian. His wife Marge was at the meeting Saturday night.

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  • 1 month later...

There is going to be a Malcom "Mac" McKellar Memorial Car Show at the Inn at Cass Lake on July 23rd in Waterford, MI. This is the senior citizen home that Mac lived at until he died. It is an all-Pontiac show. I don't have too many more details than that. I will also post it in the car show category once I get more info.

If we are lucky, his '63 Grand Prix will be there too. His car has the only 421 C.I. OHC tri-power Pontiac engine in existence. It was one of the wild experimental motors he developed in the 60s. It was given to him as a retirement gift from Pontiac in 1982.

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There is a photo of the engine in the car on the cover of the June 2011 edition of Smoke Signals, POCI's national magazine. If you are a POCI member, you can download the magazine.

Mac was also featured on the cover of the July '68 Hot Rod with many of the experimental motors he had developed. Some of the motors were described within the article too.

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  • 5 years later...

WOW,.. He was my cousins Husband... I lost track of the Michigan family years ago,... sorry to hear this .... I had the ride of my life when I was 17 with him at their home in Bloomfield Hills. :mellow:

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