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History Of Barth
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 4/09
Founder and Moderator Emeritus
Picture of Dave Bowers
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This attachment is a nice article about the history of Barth, hope you enjoy it.

Barth Success Story From 1988 - (128 KB) ~ Pdf file describing Barth History
 
Posts: 790 | Location: Eden Prairie, Minnesota | Member Since: 02-07-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great article, Dave.

thank you!

John Jacobson
 
Posts: 37 | Location: So. California | Member Since: 10-29-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 4/09
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Wow, look at that, someone has a nice looking coach...


 
Posts: 790 | Location: Eden Prairie, Minnesota | Member Since: 02-07-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 5/12
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Dave, it is probably somewhere on the site but can you tell me if what I heardwas true. I heard that Barth was purchaced by some less than honest folks who raided the pension fund and bleed the company dry. If that is correct it is a shame if not plese feel free to delete this post



 
Posts: 202 | Location: South Daytona Fl | Member Since: 07-02-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 12/12
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...An article about Barth in the later years...sounds like a different company with a different focus.....

http://www.rv-news.com/sept1996/cvrstry.htm
 
Posts: 1403 | Location: Frederick, Maryland | Member Since: 09-12-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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and three years later it is all gone. Sad



 
Posts: 202 | Location: South Daytona Fl | Member Since: 07-02-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dave,
Interesting articles on the history of Barth. It reminds me a lot of my childhood years when Dad was working the Recreational Vehicle Division at Chevrolet (He was affectionately referred to as Mr. Motorhome) He left CRV back in 1972 to go to work as VP and Chief Engineer at Barth for Mr Umbaugh. We attended a lot of FMCA conventions. In 1973, Dad was there with the new prototype Barth Coach for 1974. The original design came from Chevrolet's design group, incorporating the Chevy Titan 90 windshield for better visibilty. (still remember the narrower original windshield prior to 1974).

I also remember the convoy out to Texas, and the Arab Oil embargo. Barth had just started off manufacturing the Mini Motorhome on chopped Chevy van chassis at the time, and was able to diversify quickly into the cubed vans. With Dad's connections at Chevrolet Engineering and Barth's diversity, this literally helped to bring the company through tough times and survive, as mentioned in the earlier article.

Barth will always be a part of my life, and I have very fond memories of the Umbaugh family as well as the Barth factory in Milford, Indiana.

David "Bart" Bartkowiak
Son of Walt (Mr. Motorhome)


Bart
 
Posts: 5 | Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin | Member Since: 06-17-2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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Hi Bart, and welcome to the site. I hope you can continue to contribute historical Barth memories and information. It is neat to hear from someone with a connection.

Since you mention windshields, do you know the origin of the narrow windshield glass Barth used before switching to the Titan/Astro glass?


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Bill,
I spoke with Dad this last weekend, and had the chance to mention the Barth site to him. He was not certain, but believed the original windshield for the pre 1974 Barth were acquired from Superior Coach. Double check this with a more reliable source, maybe one of the Barth family members might know for sure.

Bart


Bart
 
Posts: 5 | Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin | Member Since: 06-17-2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very much enjoyed viewing the " History of Barth "
Gerry Merritt Isleton,Ca
 
Posts: 3 | Location: Central California | Member Since: 01-22-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you for allowing me membership. I read the history of the Barth, and enjoyed it. Thanks. I do not own a Barth, but have been lookin for sometime. I do enjoy looking at the ones here. Again, thank you. Weldon Gainey
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Swansboro, NC | Member Since: 02-26-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 7/16
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I too have just read that history. Except for the product it is a very similar company to Pinnacle Equipment Corp. of Fleetwood PA. which unfortunatly is also now defunct. The workforce was drawn from Pennsylvania Dutch farm country. Craftmanship and quality work was their creed. Pinnacle made commercial refrigerated display cases mainly used in "mom and pop' type meat markets and delicatessens. Lots of farmers' markets in this area were lined with Pinnacle meat display and refrigerated vegetable cases. I'm sure many are still being used around the country. All this understanding of the Barth is making me try a little harder to have my '77 29 footer preserved by someone.






29' 1977parted out and still alive in Barths all over the USA
 
Posts: 936 | Location: Floral City FL | Member Since: 04-25-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have been told that; as we approach the time to shuffle off this mortal coil we have regrets, not so much for the things we have done but for those we neglected to do. After reading many of the postings on this site I regret I did not become aware of this group of interesting Barth lovers at least 10 years ago. I feel a greater need to put more effort forth to preserve my 29 footer. I know! the economy and fuel prices are not in favor of restoring a 30+ year old motor home. I am now inspired to try to keep her rolling.






29' 1977parted out and still alive in Barths all over the USA
 
Posts: 936 | Location: Floral City FL | Member Since: 04-25-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 12/12
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For those of you who have read the Barth History pdf at the start of this thread, you know that Mike Umbaugh owned Barth Motors from the late 1960's until the early 1990's, and transitioned the company from trailers to motorhomes. Mike came into the RV industry as a banker & entrepreneur. Like most relatively small manufacturing businesses, Barth experienced many highs & lows. Unfortunately, the lows finally outnumbered the highs, and operations ceased after more than 30 years in business.

In preparation for the 2009 Barth DC-GTG, I thought it might be a hoot if we could track down some Barth factory folks from the good old days and maybe get them to attend the GTG as a guest.
Mike Umbaugh was the logical starting point.

Surfing the name and making phone calls got me several dead-ends. I then pinged an Umbaugh family blog that contained some pics, but no Mike. The blog owner apparantly forwarded my inquiry to her father, who was Mike's nephew, who in turn contacted me.

Nephew advised me that Mike Umbaugh has lost a battle with cancer about two years ago. He had little personal info about Mike, but thought that Mike's wife was still alive & living "somewhere in central Indiana".

Further surfing got me a good hit just outside of Indianapolis. Had an enjoyable phone talk with Mrs. Umbaugh, although her recollections were somewhat clouded by time & age. She did mention the name of Mike's long-time personal secretary. According to Mrs. Umbaugh, "The company could not have existed without HER." BINGO!...I had found my Honored Guest for the DC-GTG....Imagine the stories & anecdotes about the Barth days that we could learn from the owner's right-hand person!

Additional info Mrs. Umbaugh provided steered me to a local government office in the Goshen IN area, where Mrs. X, the secretary, was last known to be working part time in semi-retirement. A call there confirmed Mrs. X's past employment, but I was advised that she was now fully retired and residing in assisted-care facilities. Obviously, they were reluctant to give me contact info, but offered to forward a written request from me to her. That was done over a month ago - no return contact as of yet, so I'd guess it probably isn't gonna happen.........

I've got some electronic & print media postings going in the Milford IN area, looking for former Barth employees who might want to share some nostalgia with us...No returns so far, but who knows what may transpire......

Just thought ya'll might like to know what's happenin' on the sidelines...More if I know it....
 
Posts: 1403 | Location: Frederick, Maryland | Member Since: 09-12-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I must say Lee, that is some excellent P.I. work your doing. I'm not sure if anyone is interested but... I found out in March that Bill Prinz is now with Dutchman in a senior management position. He was with Jayco prior to that and at some point - Barth RSV.


Bill, Sharron, Hayley and Bridgett


1990 38' Regency Widebody [RDG-B), Anniversary Edition, Cat 3208TA - 300HP, Gillig Chassis, Side Aisle

"Stagecoach"
1990 38' Regency Widebody (RDG-B)
Anniversary Edition
Cat 3208TA - 300HP
Gillig Chassis
Side Aisle

 
Posts: 620 | Location: Colorado Springs, CO | Member Since: 04-02-2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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