Local auto yards have big parts supply

If you didn't get cash for your clunker, now is the time to get the parts to fix it up.

John Suwala has nearly 200 cars at Gaston Auto Parts & Sales that he will have to destroy to comply with the federal government's Cash for Clunkers guidelines.

The program allowed people to trade in their old cars for up to $4,500 in credit toward a new, more energy-efficient one. Nearly 700,000 cars nationwide were traded in. Engines cannot be reused, but other parts are eligible for recycling.

Regardless of condition, all of those cars must be crushed within six months of being sold if auto recyclers don't get an extension.

Suwala said he would love to be able to keep the cars longer to sell the parts that are still usable.

"These are some absolutely gorgeous vehicles," Suwala said.

He said he has a van with 80,000 miles on it that looks like it was driven by his mother.

"It's anything but a clunker," he said.

- Kristy Eppley Rupon