The pic-a-part is a car salvage yard that allows customers
paying a $2 entrance fee to walk the yard with their own tools and remove
parts from non-operating cars for purchase at set prices. For mechanics
its is a cheaper way to replace parts on older models, and for salvage yards
its a way to get more value out of a junked out car.
The yard is organized by original manufacturer and with american cars taking the most acreage. Each of the pic-a-parts have their own specility : foreign, domestic, truck and sportscar. The yards provide a good overview of the history of late model car bodies and styles, particularly the late 70's through early 90 models. The pic-a-part is the next to last step in the life of a car, a place where all useful materials are picked clean. After the usefullness has been exhuasted the auto-carcas is taken to a metal salvage yard where it is compacted and the metals recycled.
In Los Angeles a dense cluster of car salvage yards have congregated in north san fernado valley. These photographs document several of the pic-a-part yards.