Best little auto shop that fights big oil (2008)

Urban Classic Auto

Urban Classic Auto is a little one-story shop with three bays sitting at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Heights. David Goldsmith does a nice job repairing cars, classic and otherwise. He is also most certainly the only New York City auto mechanic to go on national TV blasting Dick Cheney's pals in big oil. It started this way: For years, Goldsmith kept two gas pumps out front for a few customers' convenience. He didn't make money off them—his tanks were too small—but he tried not to lose any, either. When gas prices soared in the summer of '06 to over $4 a gallon, he raised his rates accordingly. The tabloids—eager for a flimsy exposé—jumped all over him, claiming that he had the highest prices in town. "The Pump Pirate," the Daily News dubbed him. Soon, CNN's cameras were outside. When Soledad O'Brien asked Goldsmith why his prices were so high, he pulled no punches: The big oil companies, he said, had "put their own interests first before the interests of the nation and the needs of the world." When prices rose again this spring, the tabs again made him the fall guy. Fed up, Goldsmith closed his pumps. CNN raced back to ask why. "The oil companies were making all the profits," Dave explained, "not me."


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