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Located in Goshin, IN Rockwood, Inc. was founded by Arthur E. Chapman in 1972. Art, as he was referred to, was a grandson to Arthur Schrock who founded Star Tank & Boat or later known as Starcraft Inc. Art worked for his grandfather's company at one point early in his life. The company started by first manufacturing mini motorhomes. In 1975 travel trailers and pop-up campers were added. Shortly afterwards Class A diesel pushers topped out the product line.
At some point in either the late 1970's, or early 1980's, Art sold the company to the Bangor Punta Corp, the same conglomerate that purchased Starcraft in 1967. At the time of this writing the facts of this transaction are unknown. Rockwood remained under the ownership of Bangor Punta until Lear Siegler, Inc. acquired the conglomerate in early 1984. Owership changed again when leveraged buyout specialist Forstmann Little & Company led a group that took Lear Siegler private with a new holding company created called Lear Siegler Holdings Corporation in December 1986. The new holding company quickly sought to sell off noncore assets to pay down the debt incurred in the buyout.
Details are sketchy at the time of this writing, but it was at this point that Rockwood was acquired by Van American, Inc., the company later known as Cobra Industries. In July 1985 by Peter Liegl, Dale Glon and Juergen Boessler purchased a small company called Van American, Inc. located in Elkhart, IN. As Van American continued to grow the company was sold to a group of private investors early 1993 who then took the company public. Cobra Industries, Inc was incorporated in March 1993 and was one of the five largest manufacturers of recreational vehicles in the United States and Canada. Cobra's RV products consisted of multiple brands of travel trailers and motor homes sold under the Cobra and Rockwood names through a nationwide network of more than 650 independent dealers. Almost immediately after going public Cobra experienced financial troubles. By January 1995 Peter Liegl was "fired", in his own well spoken words, while Cobra undertook an extensive review and assessment of all aspects of the company's operations with the assistance of Arthur Andersen & Co. Without the leadership of Peter Liegl Cobra Industries simply could not make it and filed for bankruptcy on October 27, 1995.
After the Cobra bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court sold off portions of the company to satisfy debt. Forest River, founded by Peter Liegl in January 1996, bought certain assets, but none of the liabilities, of Cobra from the court-appointed trustees and the transaction was endorsed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Forest River now owns the brand names (Rockwood, etc), and much of the former Cobra facilities. But to be clear Forest River isn't Cobra. Rockwood pop-up campers continue to be manufactured today by Forest River. The company's profile can be found under the 1980 - 20xx Section.
Arthur E. Chapman died on April 2, 2010 in Goshen, IN.
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