Vintage Volkswagen Community — The Passing of a Legend, Don Carter

Vintage Volkswagen Community — The Passing of a Legend, Don Carter

Don Carter appeared to be just an ordinary citizen in the Heart of Texas. But the acquisition of a single Volkswagen-based vehicle propelled him into the spotlight over the next 30 something years.

Upon purchasing that vehicle, Don found that he needed some parts. What better way to obtain the parts than to buy—yet another Volkswagen. And another. And, yet another.

The passion for Volkswagening grew. Don had a piece of land outside Athens, Texas, on Highway 175. Upon that land, he began to tinker with the cars—first gingerly, then more and more. Eventually he hired a succession of mechanics to run what would become Don’s Bug Barn.

Don even built two race cars—one a Karmann Ghia and the other, a Beetle. He raced at Ennis, Texas, where a quarter mile track drew enthusiasts from all over Texas and elsewhere. He raced the likes of THE Gene Berg and came in—second. Which was a thrill of its own—just to be able to say that he had raced one of the best and come out second.

Vintage Volkswagen Community — The Passing of a Legend, Don Carter

Vintage Volkswagen Community — The Passing of a Legend, Don Carter

Don’s son, Dustin, grew up in Volkswagens and even almost met his fate in one.

Over the next 30 years, cars accrued on at least two plots of land owned by Don. Over 300 of them.

Let’s fast-forward. Dustin now has been to college, gotten married and become a chef. Then, three years ago, Dustin and his wife, Cassie, decided to come to Don’s aid. Don had put on some years. He could no longer handle his properties.

Dustin rented equipment, moved all of the VWs from the one property, cleared and leveled it and moved all of the cars onto it in categories. Don’s Bug Barn was back in business!

Many of us know the thrill of visiting Don’s Bug Barn. And, thousands know about the Bug Barn because they have purchased parts from there—people around the Globe!

Always the loving son, Dustin cared for his father to the end, doing for Don what he could no longer do for himself. Dustin and Cassie were daily at Don’s side to be his hands and feet and his consolation.

I was privileged to know Don. Not long ago, he sat at our table and as we conversed, I saw a man who had a Volkswagener’s heart. You know what I mean—the gears were turning and Don was thinking of that next Volkswagen project!

And so… Don’s Bug Barn lives on. God rest your soul, Don Carter!

Vintage Volkswagen Conmunity — The Passing of a Legend, Don Carter

The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™
This entry was posted in Community by Jay Salser. Bookmark the permalink.

Hello, I'm Jay Salser...

I’ve been driving and working on VWs for over 37 years. In fact, I raised my family in these cars. Now, I’m 75 years old and enjoy VWs as a hobby. The ’67 Beetle always has been my favorite year.

10 thoughts on “Vintage Volkswagen Community — The Passing of a Legend, Don Carter

  1. I wish I could have known your father and I’m very sorry for your loss, but I hope you’ll share more stories when we see each other next. He was a very interesting person. Best of wishes and prayers.

  2. I was rebuilding a ’69 for my dad’s bucket list (his first was a ’58 and he wanted to drive an old bug again. He got to see it running, but unfortunately, we lost him before he got his chance to drive it.

  3. Don’s Bug Barn will reopen in the near future. Dustin and Cassie will continue to manage. You can expect the same excellent service, so get your lists of needed parts ready! jay

  4. Good morning Jay,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Carter family. It’s a sad but interesting story. Let Dustin and Carrie know that they are appreciated for continuing Don’s legacy by reopening Don’s Bug Barn. We hope you will let us know when that takes place.

    • Thank you for your concern for the Carter Family, Jaime. It IS a sad time. I will pass along your concerns and interest–I am sure that Dustin and Cassie are reading these posts, as well. They have plans for gearing up again once things have settled. jay

  5. Our deepest sympathy goes to Dustin and Cassie….So sorry for your loss…Prayers and thoughts are with you!

    Stan and Christine Templin

    • Hello, Stan and Christine…Thank you for registering your concern for the Carter Family. Don was laid to rest this past Tuesday. I am sure that Dustin and Cassie have much to arrange in the coming days, although they have tried to stay on top of things. Just helping Don in the last weeks of his life took a toll upon them and they certainly need some rest- time before launching themselves again at the Bug Barn. They will be refreshed by your message and all of those by others. jay

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