The Sun Distributor Testing Station

Great article, Jay. It makes me so happy to see how the ’67 Beetle connects and is loved by so many people around the world. -ES

I received a phone call–the Caller ID listed it as “Private Caller”
It rang once–then twice and I answered it. This was the pattern for robot calls.
I said: “Hello!” Nothing.
I usually give these calls two opportunities to respond, so, I again said: “Hello!”
A voice said: “Jay”
“Yes–who is this?” I replied.
“This is David Brown.”
I said–“David Brown from Pennsylvania?”
“Yes–I’m in Garland.” The bombshell.
“Are you kidding?”
“No–I’m here at Jackson and Market Place. How close am I to your place?”

It was, indeed, David and Melody Brown. They’d driven from Pennsylvania and were here.

But, let’s back up a bit. Readers of often see a reference to David Brown in my Articles. That’s because I have depended heavily upon David, a VWoA trained Parts Manager who worked for various VW Dealerships in the Pennsylvania area. Later, David opened his own VW repair shop and worked on VWs for 30 years.

David possesses VW Parts Catalogs which have furnished vital information for several Articles. Not only so, but David’s extensive knowledge of Volkswagens across the spectrum is awesome. He has supplied critical information relevant to 1967 Beetle operation and maintenance.

It came as a shock a couple of years ago when David told me that he and Melody would be leaving the Old Home Site, retiring from the VW repair business. What??? What was David going to do with his time. What would happen to his tons of vintage and NOS parts. And his VWs? And his tools and machinery? This became a hot topic between us.

As time passed, David told me that he’d like for me to have his Sun Distributor Testing Station. We talked and laughed about it. 1500 miles lies between us. But, we could dream. David called the machine “your machine” when we talked. And, we dreamed. And we laughed.

Now…here they were—in our neighborhood. I told David to stay put—that I’d be there in a jiffy. I jumped into our car. As I sped along, I made plans for their stay with us and what we’d do the next day and the next. I pulled into the parking area and we met. I’d never even seen anything more than a very distant, blurred photo of David. We shook hands—we embraced. This was a momentous occasion.

I hurried to the truck to meet Melody, David’s wife of 50 years. I asked her what sort of man she had married who would strike out from the Northeast and drive all the way to Texas on a whim.

I said to them both: “I am humbled that David would believe in me so fervently that he would drive all of those miles, to meet a stranger, and bring him his cherished machinery.” Tears filled my eyes and I could not talk.

David, Melody and Neva and I talked and talked. I called our daughter to come to visit. She and Neva and Melody continued their conversation in the comfort of the house while David and I unloaded his treasures from the truck.

Then, we talked some more—approaching midnight.

David announced that they were immediately returning to Pennsylvania—that night. And, they did—after we had said our good-byes and given hugs back and forth several times.

And so…it has become my turn to be the Conservator of Vintage Testing Equipment.

This won’t be the last we hear from David. Not at all! David will continue to contribute to—passing his expertise to those of us who cherish our ’67 Beetles. He plans to continue selling vintage VW parts—so stay tuned to Mountain Bug on

My Test Lamp is raised to David and Melody Brown for the enduring part they have played in Volkswagen History—and for the years of service yet to come!

Posted by Jay Salser

My wife, Neva, and I have been driving and working on VWs since 1976. In fact, we raised our family in these cars. Now, we are retired and enjoy VWs as a hobby. The ’67 Beetle always has been our favorite year. We own a '67 Beetle and a '68 Karmann Ghia.

  1. Such a great story! Everyone, sent your 205K to Jay for proper restoration. :P

  2. Russ carpanini May 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Love the story!!!

    1. Hi, Russ…This is yet another of the great stories which continue to emerge from the 1967 Beetle Community. My wife and I have met so many of you ’67 Enthusiasts. We hope to meet yet another next month. Stand by for a review of that meeting. jay

  3. Jeff Allendorph May 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    What a great meet.

    1. Jeff…Good to hear from you! It’s been a while. Yes…the stories continue to flow from the ’67 Beetle Community. What a great opportunity Neva and I have had to meet so many of you through phone calls, e-messages and yes, even personal visits! jay

  4. Awesome story ! Increible historia, felicitaciones. !

    1. El gusto es nuestro, Eliud! Nunca pensamos que un contacto tan casual hace cuatro anos resultaria en tantas amistades con los aficionados del famoso1967 Beetle. Every day seems to open yet another door. Take care, my friend! jay

      1. Barbara Daniello May 19, 2017 at 6:48 am

        Beetle people are the best.

        1. Barbara–You got that right! There couldn’t be a book large enough to contain all of the great Beetle People Stories! jay

  5. This is why the Volkswagen family is just that, a family. I am inspired to keep working on my 67 bug by great stories like this. My grandfather always said, good people deserve good things. Jay, you are a perfect example of that!

  6. Hello, Kevin–Thank you for your very generous comments! My wife and I have often talked about the many fine people we have met through Volkswagens over the past 40 years. But friendships have intensified through our constant contacts with the ’67 Beetle Community–around the World. Little did we know just how large this Community is. jay

  7. What a great article about a great old school Volkswagen guy! Both Jay Salser and David Brown are gems to the ACVW community. I met Mr. Brown on the Samba forums when I needed a simple glove box door knob. (The thing looked like it came from the VW museum) From there I started talking to him about VW mechanics, and I wanted a new distributor. From there, he referred Mr. Salser, who built me a 205t that was also a museum-like looking piece. I’ve dealt with these guys multiple times, both great and willing to listen. David Brown has taught me more in emails in the last 6 months than I’ve learned in years. Great friends, if I may call them that, that I’ve never met. I wish there were more folks like this.
    Frank Cole
    SI, NY

    1. Hello, Frank…I have to agree with you about David–impressive is his knowledge and impressive is his desire and ability to impart that knowledge to the rest of us. He has a way to explain the workings of VWs so that anyone can understand. Like you, I “discovered” David through a parts purchase. He supplied a part for our Karmann Ghia which I had about given up finding. Perfect! While he was here, I had opportunity to show him that part and how I had installed it onto the Ghia. Full circle! jay

  8. William Fowler May 19, 2017 at 9:16 am

    I’ve been buying NOS and original used parts from Dave for a few years now. There’s not a nicer, more helpful guy on The Samba selling parts. Dave always responds to email inquiries about obscure parts very quickly. I’ve chased down many of these rare, hard to find pieces for my 3 VW’s. Dave ALWAYS immediately knows what the part is, where it goes, what years it was on there, etc. AND, he always has one for sale and very fair pricing. I’ve also sent a ton of VW people Dave’s direction as well.
    My VW’s have really benefitted from Dave’s knowledge and parts stash. I always enjoy our emails that go back and forth. I recently shared a picture of my restored to stock 69 engine with Dave and he was nice enough to point out things that still needed to be tweaked for accuracy.
    If you’re looking for original, used or NOS parts for your classic VW, give Dave a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

    1. William…David’s listing of NOS parts is impressive, to say the least! As you say, hard-to-find parts seems to be his specialty. And, I agree with you about pricing–he’s there to help. Also, you can’t put a price on the valuable advice that David sends along with his parts! His is a full-service assistance! jay

  9. Which is the little bit of the ‘click’ we all have together.
    There is nothing like creating another friendship as we meet on the road, at the gas station, or even at Wolfsburg West…
    Great story

    1. Hello, Chris…Yes…I know what you are talking about. I can’t remember how many Beetle owners I have met “by chance” and become friends with. There’s that “something” which, as you say–“clicks! Well…keep up the “clicks”, Chris! jay

  10. Richard A. (Dick) Diaz May 21, 2017 at 8:01 am


    You and Neva continue to amaze me with your energy, love of, and willingness to share, for the continued life of the VW Your wide network of friends exemplify this! Your efforts and energy has helped so many of us just getting going with preserving these cars! Thank you, and Neva, from Fillmore, California!-Dick

    1. Hello, Dick…I hope that today finds you, Carolyn and Arron doing exceptionally well! Yes…God brought Eric and Amanda to our Computer through Beth Leverman, a devotee to the ’67 Beetle. From there, it’s been all good! We smile a lot these days, thinking of all of you “out there” in the USA and around the World. It’s a pleasant “ride”. I especially am happy when people like you jump in and contribute articles to The ’67 Beetle Community has SO MUCH to offer! Keep it coming! jay

  11. I joke with Amanda all the time about Jay and I. It seems like our friendship is just one of those things that was supposed to happen. We email daily. Sometimes a general joke, sometimes a more serious vintage VW question, etc. Jay and Neva are good people!

  12. Frank Connolly, Jr. May 24, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Wow! It takes great people to do good things. Thank you Eric, Jay, and Dave for the 1967 V W Bug web site. SO much information to learn here when restoring our 1967.
    Frank and Peggy Connolly, Jr.

    1. You are so right, Frank! As more ’67 Owners become involved with, the Site gets only better and better! I can’t wait to see every new installment. I never cease to be amazed as I look back over all of the contributions by Readers. So…hands on the steering wheel and foot to t he accelerator, let’s keep this Community on the Road! jay

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