Whether it's finding a replacement bead condenser for a 1955 Interocitor or picking up a spare drop tank for your Vietnam-vintage F5-A fighter jet, Apex Electronics & Surplus is L.A.'s otherworldly first stop in any gadgeteer's quest for the obsolete, the exotic, the out-of-production or the not-yet-imagined. Specializing in electronic, electrical and mechanical salvage, Apex has been dealing in the “slightly used” detritus of American industry for more than 50 years. This is the real heavy metal — old-school hardware for the hard-core that can be had for a song. Apex's overstuffed shelves — full of gauges and gears, solenoids and switches, connectors and capacitors, actuators and adaptors, relays and resistors — harken back to an age when “Made in the USA” applied to more than Wall Street billionaires. Second-generation proprietors Don Slater and his sister, Melissa, are full of family lore about fabled finds, such as the time a brigade of red-faced men in black raided the shop to recover the still-top-secret tube included in a shipment of DOD-surplused missile-guidance components. Such provenance has made Apex a haunt for foreign agents, backyard rocket scientists and Hollywood prop men alike. Looking for a Klystron power supply for your satellite ground station? Apex has it. How about an Eisenhower-era Rocketdyne stabilizer engine to help that satellite into orbit? Look no further. The retro-future is now. 8909 San Fernando Road, Sun Valley. (818) 767-7202, apexelectronic.com.

—Bill Raden

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