Thursday 1st April 1909
The Welch Motor Car Company of Pontiac, Michigan (US) registered ‘Welch’ as a trademark. Like many early American Automobile makers, brothers A. R. Welch and Fred Welch started out as bicycle manufacturers.
The Chelsea Manufacturing Company was a bicycle shop in which the Welch brothers experimented with automobiles from 1901 to 1903. A few Welch Tourist were produced in Chelsea, Michigan before the Welch Brothers set up a new factory in Pontiac, Michigan. Both a Touring Car with Tonneau and a Runabout were produced.
The 1903 Welch Tourist was equipped with a water cooled vertical double cylinder engine that had advanced features and developed 20 horsepower. The engines were designed to run at low compression and were constructed with both intake and exhaust valves opening directly into the cylinders. The Touring Car and Roadster had a 78 inch wheel base, standard 56 inch tread and weighed 1,600 pounds. Its principal features were a spiral gear transmission controlled by a single lever and a telescoping steering post.
Welch began producing four cylinder automobiles with 36 horsepower in 1905. By 1907 a six cylinder automobile with 75 horsepower were produced. With wheelbases of up to 138 they were among the largest American Automobiles of there time. In 1908 and 1909 some of the most expensive of Welch automobiles rolled out of there factories at Pontiac and Detroit, Michigan. A model 4 Touring Car sold for $4,500 while a model 6 Limousine was selling for $7,000. The popular model 4 was produced between 1908 and 1911. It was available in a variety of body styles including Touring, Limousine, Landaulet, and a Town Car.
In 1911 William C. Durant’s newly established General Motors Corporation, which had taken over The Welch Motor Car Co. in 1910 produced the last of the Welch automobiles.