James Campbell started his automobile career at Howard Ford in Seattle's University district while he was still in high school. During the 1930s he worked his way up from his first job as a wash boy to General Manager until the start of World War II. Following the war he went back to work for the Blume family at University Chevrolet eventually partnering with Bill Blume to buy Hopper Chevrolet in downtown Edmonds.
Arne Nelson and Bob Campbell, James's son, met while they were both employed at Hopper Chevrolet in the 1950s. They relocated in 1963 to the corner of NE 205th and Aurora in Edmonds. The store changed to Bill Blume Volkswagen where Arne and Bob continued working: eventually buying the dealership in 1974 and changing the name to Campbell
Nelson Volkswagen in 1984.