Cox Trailers, Inc.
Grifton, NC 28530
Cox Trailers was well-known in the eastern United States. Leon O. Cox and his sons started the company before the turn of the 20th century, they manufactured bean and tobacco harvesters, tobacco trucks, and farm wagons. They entered the boat trailer business in 1952. It was the Cox Camper, added in 1963, that made the company a household word in the recreation field. Fred Cox, Leon's oldest son, designed a camping trailer and applied for a patent on September 9, 1963. On December 29, 1963 he was granted US Patent 3,163,463. The camping trailer had a very distictive look-and-feel to it.
William F. Cox, one of Fred Cox's four sons, designed a fiberglass hardtop camper and applied for a patent on December 3, 1968. He was granted US Patent 3,516,708 on June 23, 1970. This trailer was known and sold as the Conestoga and entered Cox's model lineup sometime around 1970.
Throughout the 1970's Cox remained one of the few camping trailer manufacturers who offered the traditional tent-top trailer. They were known for their "catchy" AD which stated "with Cox it's one two three easy!"
Slow sales and conflict among Cox family members prompted the decision to sell. The oldest son, William, favored selling to a competing manufacturer in 1985, but his brothers Gerald and David nixed the idea. Four years later in 1989, with the business needing a capital infusion, they finally agreed it was time to get out. It was during this time that Dr. P. S. Prasad, a psychiatrist from India, acquired the company. Prasad ended up a con artist who was involved in many scams for tens of millions of dollars. Under his management, or the lack of it, Cox Trailers went bankrupt in December 1990. The bankruptcy file list total assets of $944,000 with $4.67 million in liabilities most of which was owed to BB&T and the Bank of Oman. About 40 people lost their jobs.
Fred Cox died on December 5, 2001.