DECEMBER 2023: THIS 1951 MONARCH RESTO MOD IS A TRUE KING OF THE ROAD AT 100,000-PLUS MILES AND COUNTING 

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Many of our MyStarCollectorCar readers may be puzzled by the Monarch label on this car because it was only available in Canada at Ford dealerships during its initial production run from 1946-57.

Chad Welta is only the third owner of a 1951 Monarch and is considerably younger than his upscale Canadian Ford, but he is keenly aware of his car’s place in the Canadian car market.

Chad purchased the car from its second owner in 2007 after the former owner gave his daughter a choice between the Monarch and a 1966 Dodge. She chose the Dodge, so the former owner sold the ’51 Monarch to Chad.

The Monarch had been stored since 1977 after the former owner purchased the car from its original owner, a man born in 1895, according to the car’s documents.

Initially Chad toyed with the idea of a stock restoration, given the fact the ’51 Monarch only had 36,000 miles on it when he bought it from its second owner, but Chad wanted to drive the car (a lot) so he sold the Monarch’s original flathead engine and swapped in a Chevy LS small block bolted to a Chevy automatic/overdrive transmission.

Then he headed to Bonneville Speed Week in 2008 to test drive his Monarch on a long road trip. The Monarch became a tow vehicle for his Boler trailer because Chad and his wife intended to take the ’51 Monarch on many long road trips after the 2008 excursion.

The ensuing years would involve a few upgrades and over 100,000 miles (and still counting) on the highways attending shows while enjoying the scenery along the way for Chad and his family. Speaking of family, Chad added mufflers to his Monarch after he became a parent, mainly because he wanted to protect his kids from the excessive noise produced by the car’s former straight pipe exhaust system.

However, the Monarch does have a gated exhaust and now Chad fields requests from his kids to channel the engine sound through the car’s Lake Pipes on special occasions.

The new powertrain combination has performed almost flawlessly on the road–except for transmission issues that Chad attributes to their junkyard heritage and its unknown history. The second transmission expired in North Dakota on a trip home from Florida to Chad’s home in Saskatchewan Canada. Fortunately, North Dakota is relatively close to Saskatchewan in a geographical sense, so Chad brought his Monarch home and got a rebuild on the second tranny.

Chad has driven to many car events over the past 15 years to accumulate over 100,000 miles on his Monarch’s odometer while making some important upgrades to it. The ’51 Monarch now sports a Mustang II front end, power brakes w/front discs, power steering, cruise control and air suspension on all four corners. However, it does not have AC and Chad admits it is an issue in hot places like Texas, Louisiana and Florida during the summer but fortunately the Monarch’s factory vent windows help in that department.  

The fact Chad lives in western Canada means lack of air conditioning in his Monarch is only a minor inconvenience–given the short summer season in his region.    

The huge upside is the 1951 Monarch resto mod can easily handle an 80-85 mph pace on long road trips and deliver 27-31 mpg along the way with its new powertrain and highway gears.

Chad and his ’51 Monarch attend many car events in the United States every year and he spends plenty of time answering questions about his unusual Canadian-only Ford. In fact, it becomes an impromptu automotive history class for very curious car guys south of the 49th parallel. 

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section. 

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