North Shepherd is an ugly, functional thoroughfare: Houston's undisputed Muffler Row, lined with one used car dealership, spare-parts peddler, tire barn and transmission barn after another. The immaculately white, bunting-adorned, vintage-neon-announced Hoepfl garage appears almost as a mirage amid this sea of asphalt, exhaust miasma and general automotive grunge. Once inside, you'll find that the TLC doesn't stop at creating a pretty exterior. Owners Sybren and Kathryn van der Pol bought the now 66-year-old shop from the Hoepfl family in 2004, and they run a fair, thorough and honest business, pinned on the belief that if you take care of the customers and give back to the community, then the business will take care of itself. Hoepfl and Sons transcends mere repairs and maintenance: The shop is also the site of vintage car shows, educational seminars (often teaching teens about routine repairs and maintenance), fish fries and ice cream socials. Rice grad Kathryn Van der Pol also makes a mean glass of lemonade and, as an avid cyclist, will adjust the specs on your bike helmet strap free of charge.