It turns out Ed Welburn wasn't just guiding the creation of future vehicles when he was in charge of design at General Motors. He was quietly working to ensure the future of many of GM's most cherished classic concept cars.
Welburn, who retired in 2016 after 13 years as head of design, was given a Lifetime Design Achievement Award at Detroit's prestigious Eyes on Design classic car show this month. He told a gathering there that while design boss he made sure at least one of GM's classic show cars was being refurbished. In all, he said, 14 were given maintenance and restoration while he was in charge.
One of those, the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone, stunned the crowd when it rumbled up to the podium.
Classics refurbished under Welburn include: the 1959 Stingray Racer; 1938 Buick Y Job, the industry's first concept car; 1966 Chevrolet Electrovan, the world's first operational fuel cell vehicle; a 1996 EV1, GM's first electric car; several Chevrolet Corvairs; and the 1951 Buick LeSabre, which introduced aircraft features to automotive styling.
Mike Simcoe, Welburn's successor, is continuing the work.