Inside Hollywood’s Greatest Scrapyard

Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking was less a u-pick and more an L.A. pop culture attraction.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

It was in the phonebook under Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking, but everyone who knew called it U Pick Parts. The sprawling, 26-acre dirt and asphalt lot served as Sun Valley’s final resting point for thousands upon thousands of ancient cars. It was also Hollywood’s scrap heap. The massive prop shark mold for Jaws lived at U Pick Parts. So did the giant boombox from Usher’s "My Way" video, and a bunch of other fantastic junk. Scenes for The A-Team, In Cold Blood, The Hangover and over 200 other commercials and movies were all filmed here. U Pick Parts was less a junkyard and more an L.A. pop culture attraction, an adventure. And now it’s dead.

"You need to make money to survive and it's gotten harder to make money in the junk business," Nathan Alden said.

Simple as that.

So the family business, which opened in 1961, closed up for the last time on New Year's Eve. But, before it did so, award-winning photographer Jae C. Hong found his way in. Below, for the online record and posterity, are his findings. Welcome to the eclectic and eccentric world of U Pick Parts.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong