In 1957 Eldo J. (Bud) Coons and his brother were building campers in Pomona, CA, with distributors nationwide. To expand the business, Bud relocated to Southeast Kansas to open a midwest branch of Coons Custom Coach. The first “Dreamer Coach” for pick-up trucks was manufactured in Oswego, KS, in May 1959.
Early in 1960, with Coons at the helm as manager, a 40 x 200 ft. facility was built on the Northwest edge of Oswego – new home to the Coons Custom Coach Manufacturing Company. By June, expansion plans were already underway. The luxury coach line included the “quickie” coach lift, the “Papoose” piggy-back coach boats and the “Dreamer Float”. Coons’ Oswego operation supplied units to the Midwest, South and East Coast areas. The sister plant in Pomona produced “Dreamers” for the West Coast and Mountain areas. In 1962, further expansion plans included the purchase of the Scottsman Trailer Company (located in Coffeyville, KS) and the construction of a new facility in Radford, VA, in 1962. These additions allowed coast-to-coast production.
In September 1965, the first fiberglass motorhome was introduced, and by 1966 a new production facility that included a fiberglass plant was underway in Oswego, requiring 100 new employees.
The company was purchased by the Borg-Warner Corporation in 1968, and as a condition of the acquisition, remained in Oswego under the leadership of Coons. It changed hands twice before Coons bought it back in 1973. March 29, 1976, a fire destroyed over half of the plant that houses Diamond Coach Corporation today. Operations were suspended for only days during the restoration process.
Gas prices in the ’70’s prompted diversification from campers to Diamond people movers. Ashley Ward purchased the company in 1984, then sold it to current owners Dick Seybolt and Wayne Lowe in 1988. By 1989, Diamond produced buses exclusively.
Since that time, Diamond Coach has steadily built a loyal following of repeat customers. Under Dick Seybolt’s leadership, the company’s innovative design, meticulous construction techniques and attention to detail have made Diamond Coaches a leader in the industry. Additional payload, superior strength, increased efficiency and lower operating cost than competitors result in higher retained value, as well.
Today, Diamond Coach models vary in design and size accommodating from 14-32 passengers with optional lift and wheelchair options. A wide variety of customers combine to create the Diamond family — from hotels to hospitals, nursing homes to churches, casinos to military bases, ever-increasing numbers of Diamond customers attest to the quality, comfort and efficient operation that represent the Diamond Difference – a 24-Karat Commitment to Quality.