Car Mate founder dies

James A Pfendler, founder of Car Mate Trailers, died January 20 in Tampa FL.

Pfender founded and operated the Leeper PA light-duty trailer manufacturer until his retirement in 1996. He started the company as Pennwood Trailer Sales in 1960. In the early 1980s, he began building trailers after loaning money to a friend to start a small trailer shop. When the friend’s business failed, Pfender took over the business and its name—Car Mate.

Pfender sold the company to seven key employees when he retired in 1996.

“Jim was very active in the local community. He was one of the original organizers of the Farmington Township Volunteer Fire Company and the Farmington Area Ambulance Service,” says Rick Rathfon, director of sales for Car Mate. “His vision and foresight brought many jobs to our small community, and he will be missed.”

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