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Pontiac of the Month

Debbie Harris's 1969 Grand Prix

2022 September
of the Month

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Ames Performance/Pontiac Nationals &The 2015 Cammers Reunion


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Haven't seen anything here about the Pontiac Nationals but I'm sure all you TRUE Pontiacers already know about it.



I've not been out since 08 so long over due. Now with the POCI OHC Chapter's Reunion it's a WIN WIN for me.

Truck & Trailer all set and I'm ready to roll...


If you have the opportunity to attend you will not be disappointed.


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I'm glad to hear that the Pontiac OHC 6 is being recognized in a special way at the Ames Pontiac Nationals this year. I know it's a long way for you, so it's good to hear you're going as there is no finer representative of the first year than your '66 Sprint 6.

Since we're talking OHC 6, there's a couple of things I've wondered about...

Was there ever a factory or aftermarket triple side draft Weber carburetor intake manifold and has anyone ever built a DOHC 24 valve head?

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Thanks Stratman I hope to be among several fine OHC Pontiacs at this event.


When the OHC hit the market, the aftermarket was not far behind.

CLIFFORD PERFORMANCE was the main player for the OHC but there were several others offering "speed" parts.

CLIFFORD is still active in the 4 & 6 cyl engine stuff, just no longer anything for the OHC :mellow: 



Mac MaKellar was Pontiac's CAM guy he was one of the main players in many OHC engine designs.

This '68 cover of Hot Rod shows him with some of the "secret" stuff that went on.

They show what looks to be a DOHC but like the twin OHCs I don't think it ever came to be more than an exercise in design. 


Sadly we lost Mac and the original Twin OHC 421 from his GP has vanished.



One of my favorites;




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I can shed a little more light on Mac's mystery 421 motor since he was a member of the Widetrackers. As a retirement present from Pontiac Motor Division, Pontiac installed the tri-power overhead cam V8 motor from the Hot Rod article into his Grand Prix. 


I first met Mac in 2008. Sadly he died in 2011. After Mac's funeral, the retirement home he had been living in had a car show in his honor which I attended. Mac's daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter were there. Mac's daughter told me that after driving the GP for so many years, the engine got very tempermental ahd hard to start. Mac was approached by a Pontiac collector and was offered a rebuilt Pontiac engine for the GP and cash for the engine, and Mac agreed to it. She was not happy about it and she wants to get the motor back. I got the impression she knows who has the motor but they don't appear to be too interested in selling it back to her.

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Mac also told me the most challenging assignment he ever had at Pontiac was not any of the Pontiac V8 programs. Rather it was DeLoroan giving him the Sprint / OHC 6 engine challenge. DeLorean told Mac that if it was a Pontiac, by God, it was going to have a Pontiac engine in it, not a damn Chevrolet (meaning the old Chevy stovebolt inline-6).


So Mac said that John didn't give him very much time to literally pull together the entire Pontiac OHC 6 engine program from scratch and into production. He said he lost the most sleep working on this program more than any other. He said he would not have missed it for anything though.


I have a copy of that issue of Hot Rod as a tribute to my personal memories with Mac. I wish I had time to know him better and perhaps pick his brain more. Still I am honored to know him.


I do have a picture of Mac and my dad (who is also a retired GM engineer) standing side-by-side.

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August 23, 2008 at the GM Heritage Center.



Mac on the left, my dad on the right. 




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Here are some of the pictures of the car show held at the Inn at Cass Lake - the retirement home Mac was at when he passed away.


Several mementos from Mac's past were on display.







Jeff is Jeff Denison - a current POCI board member and a GM designer. He was a good friend of Mac too.



Picture of Mac with Smokey Yunick and A.J. Foyt



Picture of pictures of the 421 OHC V8 in Mac's GP



Mac's son-in-law, granddaugher, and daughter



Pontiac's at the car show in Mac's honor - I am please to say I was there and I won a Mac McKellar award.




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Thanks for sharing. 

The statement about the 421 is very true, I had heard it differently,

its been said by others whereabouts are known and the person/persons who retain it, are IMO D-Bags.

Heres another clip from the '68 HR, Ummmm GOOD STUFF  :drool: 


Mac was one of those who was on my list of people I hope to meet.



Sadly like so many Pontiac Great's on my list that opportunity never came to be.


Years back I had secured a copy of Mac's 1966 S.A.E. report on the OHC design and always wanted to have him sign it.


This was released to debut the 1966 OHC engine, which IMO was still a bit of a rush to release the '66s were plagued with several issues. I always laugh about the program being scrapped at the end of 1969 then it late 70s we see oil embargos and such take center stage. Think of how many OHC's Pontiac could have sold had they kept the program open during those times of gas "shortages"   



The OHC program started life in late 1963 and it was said that PMD wanted a 1965 release but way too many issues prevented that.

The 1964 working prototype BANSHEE was a true testament to what could have been had the team been allowed to pursue this design.


This car still exist and the current "owners" keep trying to cash in with it. It has been on and off the auction block at least a dozen time since purchased at a BJ auction.   



I just hope that somehow, someday both Mac's engine and or his GP as well as the 1964 Banshee make their way into the Pontiac Museum where they IMO rightfully belong.


Cheers to all and hope some of you will be in attendance at this event.

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Sprint6 - I think Mac's daughter might agree with your collective opinion about the current owners of the 421 tri-power OHC V8. She didn't come out and say anything derogatory or negative, but she was not happy about the whole situation either. She didn't elaborate and I didn't ask. I suppose I could talk to Jeff Denison, I would imagine he may know some of the details.

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