In that ironic way that makes perfect sense only to Miamians, one of the county's busiest independent garages is parked in the least car-friendly neighborhood outside of downtown. Shorty & Fred's has serviced the needs of Miami Beach's drivers since 1956, when the city had way fewer cars fighting for precious spots. Although Fred long ago sold out, and Shorty left us for better pastures just a few years back, Shorty's son, Nelson, carries on the tradition of service that keeps customers coming back with their oil leaks and intermittent pings decade after decade. So, how do you really know when a mechanic isn't out to cheat you? When he turns your business away. Unless it's something vital to your safety, Nelson and crew will tell you when you don't have to get something fixed right away. They just have too much real business to waste effort on phony repairs — so while they might charge a little more than the cheap place across town, you definitely pay only for what you need, and they'll get it done fast. The queue generally forms on Alton Road every weekday before 8 a.m., so get there early.