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Ecology Auto Wrecking
1180 Heritage Road,
Otay Mesa
(619) 661-4538

Over 50 auto-wrecking yards do business in San Diego. Most are located close to the border and specialize in two or three makes. For their vast inventory, "the best" designation goes to Ecology Auto Wrecking, off Otay Valley Road. They charge a dollar for admission -- most yards are free -- but it's worth it. They've got off-street parking and two yards -- one with acres of imports and, on the other side of the street, domestic autos. Roach coaches sell drinks, carne asada, and sandwiches near the entrances of both yards. Inside, vehicles rest on three-high stacks of old tire rims, the easier to wrench parts off undercarriages. The cars in the two yards' several acres are semi-organized into rows by make. Each hood stands open to invite knuckle-busting. Bonus points for adequate elbow room between cars and no weeds or brush. Price for a headrest to a '73 VW bucket seat: $4.50 (a steal).

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