Friday, July 21, 2006



RV Business
Friday, July 21, 2006

More than 100 people showed up for an opportunity to bid on everything from upholstery to machinery at the defunct Trail Wagons/Chinook RV plant in Yakima, Wash.

The Yakima Herald Republic reported that the bidders included owners seeking parts for their RVs and others who bought manufacturing equipment for RV businesses, said Ron Hannon, an auctioneer for James G. Murphy Inc., the firm which ran the auction for Trail Wagons.

"They are getting bargains," he said.

Julie Murphy, CFO of the auctioning firm, said she did not know what Trail Wagons would do with the auction's proceeds.

Company founder Gary Lukehardt could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The auction marks the latest chapter of the demise of Trail Wagons, which once provided more than 160 jobs and had a loyal clientele before it started downsizing early last year.

The company defaulted on a $3.6 million bank loan June 2005. In October, a court gave its approval for Inverness Partners of Bend, Ore., to take control of the Chinook Business Park, the site of Trail Wagons facility.

Inverness Partners took control on behalf of LaSalle Bank National Association, the holder of the mortgage certificates.

LaSalle Bank purchased the property for $2.9 million in March.

Most recently, Lukehardt was sued by Ford Credit, a commercial lending division of the Ford Motor Co., for $872,975 plus interest for failing to pay back a loan that financed truck-chassis purchases.

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