FAN (Franklin A. Newcomer)
FAN Coach Company was founded by Franklin A. Newcomer on May 16, 1954, and chose his initials for the company name. The “factory”, at first, was a barn with side wall jigs in a horse stable and the cabinet shop in a hay mow. It took three weeks to build the first FAN, a 14 ft. model equipped with a 2-burner plate, ice box, 10-gallon water tank, and a pump by the sink.
The next year a 32′ x 60′ quonset hut was built. One year later, in May of 1956, the quonset hut was moved to Wakarusa, Indiana and a larger 3200 square foot plant was also built to meet the increasing demand for FANs.
Since January of 1965, FAN has been in LaGrange, Indiana. The 73,500sq. ft. plant was located on 52 acres. A new 22,000 sq. ft. warehouse and service center was planned, and FAN employed as many as 230 employees, building 28 FANS a day, and well over 30,000 FANs have been built.
At some point, W.R. Grace Chemical Company bought the then solid FAN Coach Company. Proving they had no business in the travel trailer business, they had all but broken the company. Frank and his wife Maxine repurchased FAN Coach for 10 cents on the dollar, and made it profitable enough for Coachmen to purchase it in 1978, although, sadly they closed it four years later in 1982.
Coachmen Industries continued to use the FAN name for some models for a few years afterwards, but by 1985, the FAN name had disappeared.
Sources: Fan Coach Company, Inc, History Document. RV/MH Museum, Elkhart, IN Keith Newcomer (Founder’s son and Company Officer). Document at RV/MH Museum.
Front Row L to R
Ben Randall – Line Foreman Sam Fergerson – Club President Franklin A. Newcomer – President Rollin Schrock – Quality Control Still has the new camper he bought in 1968. Donald Newcomer – Vice President
Back Row L to R
John Blucker – Purchasing Agent Clyde Ferninger – Sales Larry Vardaman – Line Foreman David Miller – Sales Leonard Rapp – Sales Manager Keith Newcomer – Vice President
1954 – 1980
LEE LINER, STYLE LINER, LUXURY LINER, Crest-Liner, ELWOOD, SUN SEEKER II, Traveler Twinkle HOME LINER, Flyer II , Fantasy
FAN was the first to use the Mor Ride suspension system
1963 Fan cabover 18ft Estate Owners Joel Manley & Robert Fowle Grand Rapids MI
1963 FAN Cabover 14ft very small and narrow Owners Joel Manley & Robert Fowle Grand Rapids MI
1965 FAN Trunk Back 18 ft Owners joel manley & Robert Fowle Grand Rapids MI
1960 16ft FAN Coach Joel Manley / Robert Fowle Grand Rapids MI
1959 16ft FAN Coach Joel Manley /Robert Fowle Grand Rapids MI
1966 22.5 foot – Dawn & Gary Vandentoorn, Comstock Park, Michigan
1970 22′ FAN Style Liner – Robert & Sheila Martin, Bethlehem, PA.
1963 16′ FAN – BJ Frantz, Woodstock IL
1959 18′ FAN Coach – Paige Bridges, Wills Point, TX
1962 16′ FAN Coach – Brian Canary, Anderson, IN
1966 16′ Fan Sunseeker – Brian Canary, Anderson, IN
1959 16′ FAN coach – J.C., Michigan
1973 14′ Fan Lee Liner – Paul Fahey, Bolton Massachusetts
1970 20′ fan unknown chad sellers, thornville, ohio
1970 18′ FAN Lee Liner – Jon & Kelli Ochs, Upland, Indiana
1960 19′ The Fan – Sheri McIlvene, Kendall, NY
1960 17′ FAN unknown – Sheri McIlvene, Kendall, NY
1963 16′ FAN – David & Jennifer Boyd, Jefferson City, MO
1968 22′ FAN Luxury Liner – Daniel McCaughtry, Powell, WY
1963 13′ FAN Traveler – JD, Eastern Illinois