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(Scroll down below story to read complete item description/condition)

Back in 1950s Fayetteville, Arkansas, Wade Grimley was known far and wide for his frugality although when the topic of Wade came up, there wasn’t much praise for his penny pinching ways. Down at the local cafe, Waitress Mary McDonald refused to serve Wade as he was so tight with his tips that he actually asked her for change back from his quarter so he could leave her an 18¢ tip. Wade drove a 1932 Ford Model A coupe that was held together with bailing wire and spit. He ran re-retreaded tires that were about as old as the car itself.

One day when Wade was having difficulty getting his car started, he finally broke down and took it to Phil down at the filling station. Phil hooked up the charting system to his Sun voltage tester and gave Wade the bad news, “Wade, ya need a new battery and alternator,”

“Why I just got a new battery five years ago and that alternator can’t be more than ten years old,” Wade protested.

“Now Wade y’all know that I sold you that battery at least six years ago and it was a used one then. And as for that alternator, that one was used as well, and almost as old as I am.”

Wade’s face began to turn bright red, his hands shook uncontrollably and he broke out into a heavy sweat as he slowly reached to to his back pocket to pull out his wallet.

There are still some old-timers around Fayetteville that will tell you that there was a sudden drop in air pressure when Wade pulled out his wallet that day. In fact, many hold to the superstition that it was Wade’s wallet that contributed to a violent tornado that hit the city later that evening.

For sale is an awesome piece of auto repair history. This Sun Manufacturing Amperes & Volt tester has very cool mid century industrial style with the perfect amount of distressing to make it a beautiful display piece for a gear head or someone who appreciates industrial design. We are dating this piece to the late 1940s to early 1950s. It measures 11.25" wide, 8" tall and is 4.5" front-to-back with four (4) 43" long rubber insulated cords with clips. This great looking piece of equipment features a steel case with hammered green finish on the front panel, two large Bakelite encased gauges with two Bakelite knobs and a handle with embossed sun rays. It has a pivoting hook on the back for hanging on the inside of a car hood.

As mentioned above this tester has a wonderful bit of distressing which includes a coating of rust and pitting mainly to the side, top and back panels. It no longer appears to be functioning so we are selling as a display piece. The gauge glass is free of cracks and or chips--not sure if the needles are inside or not but we didn't see them. The Bakelite face plates and knobs are free of cracks or chips. The front panel graphics are pretty faded but the the Sun name plate is in good shape. The cables have some crackling on the rubber insulation as well as soiling but they actually not in too bad of shape considering the age. This item would look great in man cave, industrial-themed or steampunk decor--its just fun to look at.

This item will ship via FedEx Ground to the lower 48 USA States, Please be sure and provide a physical shipping address (no PO Boxes). We can also ship it to Alaska/Hawaii/US Territories but it will run a little more for shipping by USPS--Convo us for a shipping rate prior to purchasing for those locations.

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1940s-50s Sun Manufacturing Amp-Volt Tester "Stylish Automobilia Piece"


  • Vintage handmade item from the 1940s
  • Craft type: Electronics & circuitry
  • Materials: steel, rubber, glass, Bakelite
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 1011 reviews
  • Favorited by: 12 people