Tents and trailers lined the southwest side of Qualcomm Stadium as far as you could see for the Big 3 Auto Parts Exchange in San Diego, California, on February 25-27. The swap meet has a unique setup, where you can camp out for the annual three-day event. Although the weather this year was hit-and-miss, between the expected showers and cold plenty of parts were still exchanging hands.

What I love most about swap meets is the fact that you can touch the items for sale rather than dealing with someone over an email. A friend of mine had a rather big selling booth and commented that a swap meet is "like the real-life Craigslist." The observation was made after wheeling and dealing on some old truck rims that the would-be purchaser wanted to pay bottom dollar on. Swap meets are also about overpaying for the ultrarare part that no one has and hoping to find a great deal on parts for your project vehicle. This year’s event was no exception to the rule, and as I walked around the plethora of old parts wishing I had more money in my wallet, tons of people were walking by with their newfound deals. Maybe next year I can remember to bring more cash and some walking shoes. CT