Better Call Behnken: Deadline for Largo car repair not met after almost 10 years

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Thursday was deadline day for Fred Goldman, of Fred’s Auto Works in Largo.

He promised 8 On Your Side last month that he would finally finish restoring a classic car in one month. He has already had that car for 9 1/2 years. So Thursday, 8 On Your Side paid him another visit and found that the car is still not finished. He has done significant work to the car and promises to have it done in a few more weeks.

“We’ve got the door jams painted, the doors are back on it,” Goldman said. “I’m working really hard to get it done.”

The car belongs to Jim Smerekar. He dropped off his 1934 Prostreet at Fred’s Body Works at 9380 Ulmerton Road in Largo almost 10 years ago.

He paid $11,000 for some body work and a complete paint job, but the car was dismantled and not painted all these years later. And Smerekar just gets excuses when he stops by.

“He keeps telling me, “a couple more weeks, a couple more weeks,” Smerekar said. “But it’s been 9 1/2 years, and we still don’t have our car back.”

Smerekar, a car collector, with big plans for his Prostreet, said he was way too patient because he thinks Fred’s work is the best in town.

“He is a perfectionist and I’ve gone to him many times before, and when he’s done with your car, you can take it to a car show.”

Goldman said he had financial trouble but promises to fix the car.

“It is coming along,” Goldman said. “I understand his frustration. But I will finish it.”


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