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Pick N Pull Sale

You could win tickets to the Norfolk Tides home opener at Harbor Park on April 11 th .

Enter to win at Pick N Pull this Friday from Noon to 2pm during their 50% off sale.

Pick N Pull is at 100 Sykes Ave. (just off Virginia Beach Blvd. between north Oceana Blvd. and Birdneck Rd.) in Virginia Beach.

For more info, go to FM99.com.

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FM99 Rocks! Live from Hampton Roads, VA!

For these shoppers, ’tis the season to pick-n-pull

Don Belew did his Black Friday shopping on his back.

Under an old GMC Suburban, hands coated in oil, he cranked a socket wrench.

“I’m in paradise right now,” he said, lying atop a bed of big gravel stones, as he worked to release an oil pan.

He needs it for his ’55 Chevy station wagon. He already had crossed another item off his list – a harmonic balancer – and figured he and his son, who scored a muffler for an ’87 Chevy pickup, had saved themselves about $200.

That’s the way Belew, of Chesapeake, and about 270 others wanted to spend their Black Friday morning: at Pick-n-Pull, selecting used auto parts for a fraction of the prices they would pay for them new.

Pick-n-Pull, a California-based chain of self-service junkyards, has a devoted following. On the day after Thanksgiving, when other consumers fan out to big-box stores and shopping malls for deals on televisions and toys, 650 came to the junkyard – almost 200 more than on a usual Friday.

“This is people getting what they need,” said Gary Francisco, Pick-n-Pull’s store manager in Virginia Beach. “They’re not getting a flat-screen until they get their car fixed.”

By the time Pick-n-Pull opened at 9 a.m., about 20 customers had gathered at the door with their toolboxes. Some had Pick-n-Pull’s Black Friday online coupon for 50 percent off anything they bought, a four-day deal that Toolkit Rewards customers – those with the retailer’s frequent-shopper card – got automatically.

“As soon as we found out they had a half-price coupon, we knew what we were doing today,” said Mark Eastep, 36.

The Hampton resident brought his wife and three friends to pull a pair of V-8 engines that he had scoped out Sunday in two Lexus 400s. He planned to install the best motor, and any parts he needed from the second, in his 1976 Toyota Celica.

With his coupon, the motors and some other parts cost him about $298, well below the $600 to $700 prices he probably would see for the same items on Craigslist.

Pick-n-Pull customers pay $2 to get into the yard, where they grab wheelbarrows to haul their tools and the parts they harvest. They can search Pick-n-Pull’s inventory online but won’t know the condition of the parts until they dig into the vehicles.

“It’s like Christmas, but it’s not Christmas,” Timothy Costas, 21, told his friend as he strolled down Pick-n-Pull’s dirt driveway carrying a nearly new tire and rim on his shoulder. He needed it for his 1988 Honda Accord and hoped to get half off the $17 price.

Costas, who lives in Norfolk, planned to do some other Black Friday shopping later. “But it’s more important to get the tire.”

Among the few women at the yard Friday, Diane Campbell accompanied her husband, Wes Irby, as he looked for a glass window for a Dodge Intrepid he was fixing for a friend.

“I wouldn’t go out on Black Friday if somebody paid me,” said Campbell, 61, who lives in Norfolk. “I was watching it on TV, and it was just overwhelming.”

The Virginia Beach yard, the only Pick-n-Pull in Hampton Roads, attracts parts-seekers from all over the region to its location on Sykes Avenue, not far from the bustling Hilltop shopping area.

Kenny Davis drove there twice this week from York-town, where none of the nearby junkyards have old Ford Rangers with parts for his 1991 pickup.

On Friday, he perched on the engine of a beat-up 1992 Ranger and used pliers to get under the windshield wipers. On the previous visit, that same Ranger yielded a circuit board for his fuel gauge that would have cost $180 new.

“And I got it for 20 bucks,” he said. “This is excellent for parts that are hard to find.”

After a few minutes, Davis extracted a small flat rusted metal piece, about the size of a quarter. It’s a windshield washer retaining clip, which links the two wipers so they move together.

VIRGINIA BEACH Don Belew did his Black Friday shopping on his back. Under an old GMC Suburban, hands coated in oil, he cranked a socket wrench. "I'm in paradise right now," he said, lying atop a bed of big gravel stones, as he worked to release an oil pan. ]]>