An interview with Ed Welburn, 2022 Detroit Concours Honoree - Hagerty Media17 September 2022 at 6:00pm ET
Ed Welburn is a Detroit design legend and former General Motors Vice President of Global Design. He was involved in the design of more than 500 different automobiles including cars that set records for speed on racetracks and sales in the marketplace. He holds the distinction of having been the highest-ranking Black American in the global automotive industry.
During the 2022 Detroit Concours Honoree dinner, Senior Vice President of Media and Editorial at Hagerty, Larry Webster, sat down for an intimate chat with Ed, discussing his love of the automobile, his career, and what’s next.
I bought a restored 1934 Ford from Frank Butkovitch in Warren, Michigan in 1986. Frank restored it in his backyard. I have collected 21 trophies and placques in car shows over the years with it. I don’t even try to collect them anymore. I also have it almost every year at the Motor Muster in Greenfield Village. My favorite car show.
What I am getting at is Frank told me he bought this car from a young black man at the General Motors place in Warren in the 1970’s. He said the car was a California car with just surface rust and no rust throughs. It finally dawned on me a couple of years ago, “Could that young black man working at GM in Warren been Ed Welburn?” If it was, I would love to have Ed come to Dearborn to see the car. Maybe he never saw it restored. So if Mr. Welburn sees this message he can call me at 313-561-3335. Thank you.