UNEARTHING A TIME-FORGOTTEN FLEET OF RARE MUSCLE CARS
Hot Rod|December 2020
UNEARTHING A TIME-FORGOTTEN FLEET OF RARE MUSCLE CARS
Check out this exceptional find, recently exhumed in Tucson, Arizona.
Stephan Szantai

This “Fab Five” belonged to Mark Spear, a gearhead with a taste for muscle cars, who passed away last April at the age of 71. His love of cars came from his father who worked at a local Ford dealership in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When Mark turned 21 in 1970, the elder Spear turned his son on to quite a bargain.

A customer had traded in a ’68 Shelby GT500 KR, a soon-tobecome iconic Mustang equipped with a stout 428ci V8. The KR was rated at 335 hp, although later independent tests reported that the engine made well over 400 hp. Mark had to have it, and so started a lifelong journey with the four-speed car, one of a little over 1,000 fastback KRs ever built. He paid $2,119.67 for it.

During the years that followed, he became a military man as well as an engineer, and met the love of his life, Ann. Speed and adrenaline played key roles in his life as an Air Force helicopter pilot, so it’s no surprise he later found himself collecting American muscle cars. He became a local legend because of his willingness to fight to save the breed, not only to keep his personal vehicles, but to also battle outside sources that made muscle-car ownership more difficult. His involvement with local politics led him to consider running for Congress at one point. In 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized Mark for his outstanding community service in southern Arizona.

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December 2020