Fred Welsh's 1940 Ford Sedan - The Treasure

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Welsh's '40 Treasure - With numerous modifications and an impressive attention to detail, the four-door sedan gained recognition as one of Hot Rod Magazine's Top 10 Hot Rods in 1963.

Fred Welsh's 1940 Ford Four-Door Sedan is an award-winning custom car owned and built by Fred Welsh of Vancouver, Canada. With numerous modifications and an impressive attention to detail, the four-door sedan gained recognition as one of Hot Rod Magazine's Top 10 Hot Rods in 1963.[1]

Exterior Modifications

Welsh retained the body nearly stock, with a few notable changes. The front fenders were reshaped to accommodate 1959 Lincoln headlights that were canted in for a sleeker appearance. Toothed scoops were added above the headlights. At the rear, he installed 1959 Cadillac taillights in custom housings within the rear fenders.[1]

Undercarriage and Frame

A unique feature of Welsh's 1940 Ford is the entirely chromed undercarriage and frame. To achieve this, Welsh had to disassemble the frame before immersing it in a vat. The result was a stunning and eye-catching display, especially when the car was jacked up at car shows to reveal its gleaming underside.[1]

Paint and Interior

The exterior of the car was coated in an ultra-violet lacquer, applied by Welsh himself, who was not a professional painter. Inside, the car had been entirely reupholstered in white tufted and paneled Naugahyde by Jack Peebles of Johnston Motors, creating a plush and luxurious atmosphere. The interior of the luggage compartment was upholstered as neatly as the passengers area.[1]

Engine and Accessories

Under the hood, Welsh installed a 1956 Chevrolet engine with multiple carburetion. The engine block was painted white, and all engine accessories were completely chromed, except for a few polished aluminum parts, further contributing to the car's impressive appearance.[1]


In 2023 David Russell told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that the Treasure was the first real show car he ever saw, "and Fred Welsh kept updating it every year as it became the #1 show car in the Pacific North West. The detail work on this car was second to none and Fred was fanatical about its upkeep even though he street drove it and raced it now and then."[2] Known and shown as "The Treasure," Fred's Ford had earned him over 100 trophies in 1963. After each car show he attended, Welsh meticulously tore down and rebuilt the car piece by piece. His dedication resulted in winning the gold Sweepstakes trophy for the annual British Columbia Custom Car Association show in Vancouver four different times. This impressive record helped secure the car's place in Spotlite Book 539 - 10 Top Hot Rods.

Missed in Action

After its time in the spotlight, the car went missing for at least 40 years. Hidden, but not forgotten, the car was kept in a storage locker in Vernon. Photos surfacing on the HAMB showed that the car was all intact, but all the chrome looked like it needed replating.[2] In 2022 the owner passed away, and the car went to a small town in Sask with the son of Fred Welsh.[3]

Magazine Features and Appearances



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