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Farber Specialty Vehicles, a Columbus, Ohio-based firm that builds everything from bookmobiles to mobile medical, computer and drug testing labs, has acquired the assets of bus converter Custom Coach Corp., which claimed to be the country’s first motorhome modification firm.
Custom Coach, also of Columbus, halted production about three months ago, according to Steve Farber, president of Farber Specialty.
The Custom Coach service facility in Clermont, Fla., was sold by the Farber firm to a another buyer, Farber added.
For its wide range of products, the Farber firm uses chassis built by the four suppliers of Class A motorhomes chassis: Ford, Freightliner, Spartan and Workhorse. However, the Farber company has no plans to enter the mainstream Class A motorhome competition, Farber said.
Instead, it wanted to extend its product range with the addition of luxury bus conversions, said Farber, who added that his firm will use Prevost and MCI bus shells for its bus conversions.
Farber will sell bus conversions directly to retail buyers and prices will range from $350,000 to $1.35 million, depending on the bus shell that is used and amenities that are included, he said.
The Farber firm hopes to eventually produce 10 to 12 bus conversions a year.
Meanwhile, Kirwan Elmers, son of Custom Coach founder Miles Elmers, has joined the Farber firm to oversee product development.
“Kirwan Elmers will provide invaluable guidance with his experienced leadership as we target growing areas for commercial specialty vehicles, including the healthcare industry, mobile response and communications, industrial sales education training and development,” Farber added.
The Farber company also plans to move its manufacturing into an existing 50,000-square-foot building on the east side of Columbus, along I-70, which will become the company’s new assembly plant. The move will provide the Farber firm with the room needed to add bus conversions to its product line-up, Farber added.
Miles Kirwan founded Custom Coach in 1955 and his company was “the very first motorhome modification firm,” according to the Custom Coach website.
Farber Specialty was founded in 1920, making it “one of the oldest manufacturers of specialty vehicles in the United States,” according to the company.