Mac Spears 1929-2002 - A Tribute to McGehee (Mac) Harrod Spears

Photo for Mac Spears 1929-2002 - A Tribute to McGehee (Mac) Harrod Spears

This tribute to NAMGAR founder, Mac Spears, was originally published in the September/October 2002 edition of MGA! magazine. The tribute, which was written by long-time NAMGAR member Bob Vitrikas, is re-published as a reminder of NAMGAR's heritage.

On July 7, 2002, we lost a dear friend and an inspirational leader whose warm, engaging personality lives on in the membership of NAMGAR.

"Chairman Mac," as we called him, was our first Chairman. Being first in a competitive event brings distinction and acclaim to the winner, usually after a long period of struggle. Being the first leader of a volunteer organization means your peers see you as someone who has a clear vision of where to take them and the ability to get them there. Then the real struggle begins!

In an organization like NAMGAR, members join because of the cars but they stay because of the people. That's why NAMGAR keeps on growing year after year. And that is the legacy of Mac Spears. Mac's vision for NAMGAR naturally flowed from his personality, leaving a deep and lasting imprint on our club. If you didn't know Mac, here are some anecdotes to help you better understand this extraordinary man and by extension, the "personality" of our club. I'll bet you'll see a little of yourself in Mac. If you were Mac's friend, perhaps these will bring back a fond memory or two.

- Mac loved to be around MGA enthusiasts. You could easily pick his lanky 6' 4", grey hair-topped frame out in a crowd, and his wide, engaging smile could light up a room like a Lucas Flamethrower driving light. The first time you met him, you felt as though you had been friends for life, and you would be. Think about who your best friends are. I'll bet there is at least one NAMGAR member on your list.

- Mac loved to drive his MGAs. His daily driver was his trusty MGA, "Old Blue." He loved to take his MGA on trips, too. Mac's height meant he had to modify the seat tracks to fit comfortably, but somehow his long left arm frequently found its way out the window, down the door and occasionally he dragged his fingernails on the pavement as he motored on. NAMGAR has always been a driving enthusiasts club, offering distance awards at our GTs. Three members drove over 3,000 miles to get to GT-27!

- Mac's MGs were anything but concours original. They were what he liked, not what the Parts Manual dictated. His TO had a tooled leather dash, and his show MGA 1600 was "beer bottle brown." Tooled leather and "beer bottle brown" are pretty good reflections of Mac's Arkansas/Texas personality. How many MGAs have you seen that reflect their owner's personality?

- Mac loved cars of all types, but especially MGs. He owned all sorts of MGs, but the MGA was his favorite. How many NAMGAR members do you know who own more than one MG or interesting old car?

- Mac loved to work on his MGAs, taking pride in keeping them running, and when they didn't, figuring out why and fixing them. Mac's last car project was the restoration of an MGA coupe, which he completed this past winter. NAMGAR's first event was a tech session and every issue of MGA! has had at least one technical article. Don't you enjoy tinkering with your MGA?

- Mac was a family man, whose wife Billie and their three daughters shared Mac's love for MGs. Our events are attended by young and old alike and usually include activities for members who aren't quite of driving age yet.

- Mac was very relaxed and easy going. If he got tired at an event, he would take off his shoes, lie down on the grass and put his shoes under his head for a pillow and take a snooze. I can't ever remember seeing Mac in a tie. It was his idea to name our annual gathering "Get Togethers" or GTs as we call them. You won't see any black tie affairs on our activities calendar.

- Mac was one of the friendliest people you'd ever meet. His warm, outgoing personality and southern drawl would pull you into a conversation and hold you there for as long as your beer or bladder could hold out. In one of his columns in MGA! Mac urged our members to wave to fellow MG drivers as a way to reach out to them and acknowledge our special bond.

As you can see, Mac's spirit lives on in each of us and the contribution each of us makes to keep NAMGAR a true reflection of our first Chairman's wonderful personality. I can't think of a better legacy. The next time you pass an MG, give them a friendly wave and quietly say to yourself, "Hi Mac."

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Reader Comments (1)

Picture of Lesleh Lauren Hall
Lesleh Lauren Hall (Waxahachie Texas)
on December 9, 2013 6:38pm
Thank You,

This made me smile and cry. Mac was my grandfather, my mother Victoria Spears is his oldest daughter. We called him Nana Mac he was the most amazing man and Grandfather! He not only instilled a love for MG's he made me and my family the people we are today. I think about him everyday, thank you for keeping his legacy alive through the MGA community.

Lesleh Lauren Gage

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Last updated on May 16, 2013.