The Start of Something Big
EDITOR’S NOTE: Liberty’s days as a used-coach “show and sell” convertor came to an abrupt end in 1978 with the now-legendary meeting between Frank Sr. and the owners of Prevost Car. Jeanne Konigseder recalls the encounter and its aftermath in our final installment of excerpts from her memoir.
By 1978, we were riding high and feeling good about the future. We had just finished our first MC-7, which at 40 feet long gave us the room to build a better interior. It was fun to put together and even more fun on the road.
The biggest and best story concerning this coach came that summer, when we were showing it the FMCA Summer Convention in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. During the show, Andre Normand of Prevost Car approached us about converting a La Mirage shell for them to exhibit the following spring.
Well, we took him up on it and the first Prevost-based Liberty Coach made its debut in March,1979 at the FMCA convention in Del Mar California. The reception was overwhelmingly positive. We took 12 orders at that show – that’s nearly as many coaches as we’d done total to that point. And to make it an even bigger challenge, Frank committed to deliver all of them within a year.
That put an end to our days as a “backyard builder.” All production moved to our foundry in North Chicago, where 20 full-time employees and several more part-timers from Great Lakes Naval Base somehow managed to get the job done. The Prevost conversion industry was born … and Liberty Coach was on its way.