MAC's Antique Auto Parts was founded by Douglas McIntosh in his garage on Locust Street in Lockport, New York, on February 15, 1978, but the real story of MAC's serving the Ford restorer began a decade earlier when Doug first caught the bug to restore Model T's.
MAC's started in Douglas McIntosh's garage on Locust Street in Lockport, New York in 1978 selling Model T parts.
The Early Years
Doug & Rob McIntosh
The whole gang working on cleaning parts
This 1924 Touring was originally a "basket case"
One evening, while mingling at a cocktail party with his wife, Carol, Doug glanced across the room to see Lester "Joe" Robinson engrossed in reading a small book. Intrigued to know what could possibly occupy the man so thoroughly that he would avoid the party around him, Doug went over to learn what he was reading; it was Hemmings Motor News. Joe told Doug that the latest printing had just come in the mail that day and he wanted to get the best deals before other readers even had the magazine delivered to them. In those days, living in New York meant he got the magazine by air mail one day after it left Hemmings in Vermont, while it wouldn't even be delivered to California subscribers for another 8 days. Joe showed Doug how you could buy antique cars cheap, if you acted fast to find the deals before anyone else. Doug bought himself a copy of the magazine and saw an ad for a 1924 Model T Touring "basket case" for only $295. While he didn't even know what a basket case was, he decided to go see the car and bought it. He then brought his first 1924 Model T Touring, which had most of the parts "in baskets", to Lockport and decided to put it in the cellar of the main house. One problem, the car did not clear the cellar doors. After removing the hubcaps and trying again, he was still one inch short. So, Doug removed the door trim and shoehorned the car in.
At the time he purchased his restoration project, Doug was the co-owner of a land surveying business and was used to meticulous organization, measuring and labeling. He looked at the baskets of parts, and just as Henry Ford did when he first started tinkering with unicycles, farm engines and watches, Doug was curious to know what the parts were, where they fit and how they worked. At the beginning of the Model Tís restoration, Doug applied his land survey skills by sorting and applying tags to each and every part. The tags included crude terminology describing where the part came from and the function of each part. Doug and his three sons, Rob, Randy and Rick cleaned, sand blasted, primed, and painted in the basement & sometimes even the kitchen.
The first ever MAC's catalog!
Over the next few years, the 1924 Model T Touring was assembled and is currently on display in MAC's showroom today. This Model T is typical of a restoration that an individual hobbyist can achieve at home on a low budget. Doug continued on with his hobby, getting the new Hemmings airmail subscription each month, and could be found with his face buried in it as soon as it arrived. He began traveling around with Carol and the boys throughout the Northeast, one time going as far as North Dakota to buy Model T parts or cars. Throughout these years the McIntosh family enjoyed memorable excursions to flea markets, car shows, and driving tours in search of the next hot bargain. In 1977, Doug had an opportunity to take early retirement from his land survey business and to reflect on what would be his next entrepreneurial venture. He decided to develop a Model T parts catalog, and offer a toll free "WATTS LINE" phone number and great personal service. Doug, and his first employee, his wife, Carol, opened the doors of MAC's Antique Auto Parts in the 2,000 square foot rear garage of their home on Locust Street in Lockport, New York. Carol helped out with invoicing and payables, allowing Doug to find sources for parts, provide service, and package orders. They advertised their first Model T catalog for distribution in Hemmings Motor News and the Model T Club periodicals, and at the Dunkirk and Hershey car shows. The first catalog had 1,081 parts and in 1979, gross sales were $200,000. As the decade came to a close, MAC's hired their third employee, Charles Main.
The original idea for MACís was to retail only Ford Model T parts, but the business grew rapidly. In 1979, MACís moved to 1051 Lincoln Avenue, where it expanded to include retail Ford Model A parts. The first Model A catalog came out in March 1983, and included 2,543 parts. The building at 1051 Lincoln Avenue began at 5,000 square feet, but as business continued to expand, a second building of 5,000 square feet was added to the original structure to create 10,000 square feet of warehouse and office space. The first computer, a Tandy from Radio Shack, was purchased for MACís in 1982. By the end of the 1980's, MAC's had expanded its retail line to include Ford 1932 - 1948 Early V8 parts. The first V8 catalog was released in October 1987 with 4,968 parts.
In 1990, the decision was made to enter the retail 1909 - 1948 Street Rod market. A new Street Rod catalog was created, additional vendor relationships were established, an advertising program was designed, and the catalog was distributed in July 1990. Even now, attending the annual National Street Rod Shows as a vendor is an important part of MACís Street Rod marketing efforts.
Beginning in 1991, MAC's embarked on a plan to become a significant player in the antique auto parts business through a series of strategic acquisitions. It was also decided that MAC's would remain in the Ford parts arena, and not expand into other brands. The strategy was simple: any acquisitions should not duplicate existing capabilities, but should be used to incrementally and significantly increase the scope, manufacturing capability, control, and profitability of specific existing product lines. The path was clear, a significant entry into the wholesale parts and parts manufacturing businesses. The result was the buy-out of Specialized Auto Parts of Houston, Texas in 1991. The merger provided MACís with major manufacturing capabilities, as well as entry into the wholesale auto parts business. To capitalize on Specialized Houston's 30 year reputation and existing dealer program, the wholesale program was named Specialized Auto Parts Company. MACís dealer program continues to this day, with automotive distributors around the world, and their own separate, authorized dealer only website specializedwholesale.com. MACís grew to encompass 50 employees by the end of 1991.
Another acquisition occurred in 1992, when the Auto Hardware Company of Cleveland, Ohio, was purchased. This company had a long-standing reputation for researching and manufacturing authentic auto hardware, and this brand-equity was transferred to MAC's. The hardware is sold at retail as well as wholesale, and has been expanded. An additional benefit from this acquisition was the high quality and authenticity of the product line.
1993 proved to be a busy year. The Ford Motor Company instituted a Trademark Licensing Program a few months into the new year which MAC's quickly applied for and was granted. This license allows MAC's to produce over 200 trademarked parts, as well as develop additional trademarked parts in an ongoing program. In late 1993, the company acquired equipment and patterns from The Cover Up Upholstery Company of St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada. This provided MAC's with the ability to manufacture, in-house, a complete line of upholstery products for Fords from 1909 through 1948, and the potential to continue on through 1956. This manufacturing capability has allowed the company to create a totally new wholesale upholstery program, as well as a greatly expanded retail program.
A 1915 Model T Touring in front of the garage
Douglas McIntosh started MAC's in.
Outside the Lincoln Avenue Shop
The three brothers and Doug in the show room on Lincoln Avenue in Lockport. This was the home of MAC's until the end of 2006.
In 2007 MAC's moved to a brand new showroom & 50,000+ square foot warehouse.
In early 1994, it was decided to expand our parts coverage to include the years 1949 through 1970's. This resulted in 10 new catalogs and the addition of approximately 15,000 new parts. These new catalogs were put into circulation beginning in June of 1996.In order to accommodate the 1949 through 1972 expansion and allow the upholstery manufacturing facilities to expand, it was decided in mid-1994 to build an addition on the 1051 Lincoln Avenue building. This addition consisted of a 7,000 square foot warehouse structure, and a parking lot that was expanded to accommodate approximately 50 vehicles.
As MAC's expanded, we concentrated on acquiring businesses that could strengthen our position as "Your One Stop Source for Quality Parts and Accessories for your 1909-70's Ford & Mercury." To this end, MAC's purchased Thunderbird Parts of Clarence Center, New York in mid-1998. This allowed MAC's to quickly grow the 1955-1966 Thunderbird market, which MAC's was concentrating on. In October of 1998, MAC's was the first antique auto parts company to go online with a fully interactive website. MAC's was -- and still is -- on the leading edge of E-commerce in the vintage Ford antique auto field.
As the new millennium was on the horizon, MAC's too experienced many transitions. In February of 1999, MAC's founder Doug McIntosh passed away and his three sons Rob, Randy and Rick McIntosh took over the company operations. Also at this time, MAC's concentrated on becoming Y2K compliant by installing a new computer system from the ground-up. The daunting task of converting UNIX-based files to a Windows platform was completed in October, and successfully tested through December 1999. As January of 2000 came in, no problems were experienced. With the threat of Y2K behind them, MAC's installed a new, fully integrated phone system to assist both our customers and employees.
During 2002, MAC's brought catalog development into the 21st century by utilizing advances in printing technology, as well as a bar coding program which increased the efficiency of order processing. We also merged our 1973 though 1979 Ford Pickup parts into our expanded 1948-79 Ford Truck catalog. This catalog also included 1961-67 Econoline and 1966-79 Bronco parts.
In 2003, MAC's proudly celebrated its 25th anniversary. Instead of settling in, MAC's continued to move forward, keeping abreast of the rapid improvements in the field of computer technology. The company installed new computer servers and networking to create a more efficient processing system for day-to-day orders. Also, as of January 1st, 2003, Rob McIntosh sold his portion of the company to Rick McIntosh (now President/CEO) and Randy McIntosh (Vice President) after working at MAC's for more than 20 years.
In 2004, we integrated our wholesale division, Specialized Wholesale Auto Parts, back into the primary company's name, MAC's Antique Auto Parts, and we continue to strive to be the best ďOne Stop Source for Quality Parts and Accessories for your 1909-70's Ford & Mercury.Ē
2005 saw the development and implementation of MAC's "brand name" for promoting the extensive upholstery line of products we offer. The CARTOUCHE (car-toosh) line is now advertised in all major auto restoration periodicals and our effort has paid-off as CARTOUCHE is becoming recognized as the name in upholstery for 1909-1950's Ford cars and trucks.
During 2006, MAC's upgraded its phone system and order processing and accounting software in anticipation of future growth. Many additional efforts and improvements in inventory control, warehouse management and customer service management were realized as well.
MAC's moved into its new state-of-the-art operations center at 6150 Donner Rd., Lockport, New York, in February 2007. This new facility has over 50,000 square feet of first and second floor storage and production, housing more than 60,000 different parts for antique Fords from 1909-1979. The facility showroom proudly displays 4-5 restored classic cars at a time, while allowing customers to view items at the parts counter and pick up products 6 days a week. The new facility was a huge commitment for MAC's, one that will allow us to continue to grow and serve our customers, in the United States and around the globe, for years to come.
In 2008 we had a blast at our summer BBQ! Thanks to everyone who came!
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2008, MAC's surpassed the 85 employee benchmark, shipped over 100,000 orders and exceeded 1,000,000 minutes of phone usage that year. In August 2008, MAC's celebrated and gave thanks by hosting more than 400 customers and employees at a summer BBQ picnic that featured more than 150 of our customers' vintage cars.
MAC's welcomed in 2009 like a lion by launching an updated version of its operations and call center software that had been in the works for over 2 years, allowing MAC's employees to better serve its customers and vendors with the latest technology available. (MAC's didn't stop there; we also recognized 6500 new parts offerings to our ten unique catalogs since 2005.) Email marketing moved from text format to HTML digital emails, enabling the use of graphics for the first time.
All 10 of MAC's catalogs made the switch to full color in 2010, with thousands of new images for parts added to the catalogs and website. For the first time, our catalog production schedule was expanded so that every catalog will be printed every calendar year. Catalogs were also switched to an easier-to-read 2 column format, standardizing our layout while allowing us to improve the information and parts presentation. With a growing selection of over 100,000 parts in our catalogs, MAC's was committed to producing the most complete catalogs in the business for 1909-70s Fords & Mercurys. In June 2010, MACís flipped to a new website platform that included tailored microsites and personalized customer accounts for an improved shopping experience. In an effort to improve the presentation for specific automotive groups, MACís 10 catalog listings were now split into 14 online microsites, breaking out 1932-47 V8 Truck, Edsel, Econoline, and Bronco into their own microsites. We expanded our parts & accessories to 100,000 items, added over 20,000 digital images and improved the searchability and description for over 30,000 parts.
Our onsite facility has doubled in size!
MAC's welcomed 2011 with continued growth both on the web and at our onsite facility in Lockport, New York. We expanded our operations into a new 35,000 square foot addition, which effectively doubled the capacity of our global distribution system and allowed us to improve the order processing for our worldwide customer base.
In celebration of 33 successful years, MAC's owners & employees hosted a customer appreciation car show and picnic. Over 500 people gathered at MAC's to enjoy a barbeque lunch, live music and a lot filled with the crisp outlines and chrome of our customer's classic cars. Nearly 200 fabulous Fords, Mercury & Edsels made the event one of our most memorable, and allowed us to appreciate MAC's role in helping our loyal customers pursue their passion.
During our 34th year, MACís implemented many changes to help better serve our customers. We upgraded our phone system and streamlined our order processing to ensure timely delivery of your order. We also tailored our shipping rates for our Canadian customers as well as our large international base around the world. In November 2012, MACís joined the Ecklerís Family of Automotive Parts companies. For over 30 years, Ecklerís has been the automotive enthusiastís choice for restoration parts and accessories for Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, offering the broadest selection of parts and accessories in the industry with over 200,000 products for classic vehicles. MACís Antique Auto parts proudly joins Ecklerís as we continue to be your ďOne Stop Source for Quality Parts and Accessories for Your 1909-70s Ford & Mercuryósame great products, same great service.
MAC's, now part of the Eckler Industries Family of Automotive companies since 2012, was excited to celebrate our 35th anniversary year of serving the antique and classic Ford, Mercury and Edsel automotive enthusiasts. During the year Eckler's acquired T-Bird Sanctuary, formerly of Sherwood Oregon, and integrated the company into MAC's 1955-66 Thunderbird product line to create MAC's Thunderbird parts. MAC's Thunderbird Parts (www.thunderbirdparts.com) is the only Thunderbird parts company to offer parts for 1955 thru 1979 Thunderbirds.
Dearborn Classics, also part of the Eckler Family of Automotive companies that specializes in 1954 -70's Ford and Mercury parts; joined the MAC's facility in Lockport, NY. The merging of Dearborn's Ford product lines will expand our parts selection by over 5,000 parts for Falcon/Comet, Fairlane/Torino, Galaxie and other Ford and Mercury passenger lines. MAC's is also working on an effort to add another 5,000 items across its full 1909-70's Ford, Mercury and Edsel offerings throughout 2014. Large efforts had been made to re-tool MAC's website by moving to an updated website platform in early 2014. Website enhancements for customers will improve the ease of use and increase the speed of search results, while also offering customers the ability to view their orders history or complete their transactions using a PayPal account.