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(L-R): Leimert Top & Body Shop’s Debbie Pfeifer, owner Kenny Lee & Luis Reyes
The auto shop has been a part of the community and Crenshaw for 75 years.
It’s an established landmark in our community and has been fixing our cars for years. The Leimert Top & Body Shop (LTBS) has been the local community’s go-to auto repair for 75 years.
Kenny Lee, Les Leighton & Luis Reyes are at the helm of this ship with a capable crew making sure auto needs are served. LTBS works on all cars handling auto body repairs, custom painting, upholstery repairs, convertible tops and seat covers. They just about do it all.
Lee is originally from South Korea and came to the U.S. in 1974. His first apartment was in Los Angeles right off of Hillcrest. “That was my first landing down in this country,” said Lee.
Lee immediately got his hands dirty working in the auto shop industry. He has 38 years of labor-intensive experience in fixing and mending cars. Lee brought that experience to LTBS in 1982.
“[The owner] hired me and I worked for him for over 20 years,” said Lee. “And when he retired, I took over from him [in 1994.]
“Now, I’m going into 17 years,” and he is continuing in the excellence that has made LTBS a mainstay in the South L.A. community.
“We do upholstery work, fender work and painting,” said Lee.
He doesn’t do it all alone as he has an abled crew working in the scenes behind him. Reyes has worked at LTBS for over 30 years and started before Lee came on board.
A Los Angeles native, Reyes attended Belmont High and started working on cars right after high school in 1980. He shared his thoughts on working in an auto shop.
“It’s interesting, it has its challenges,” said Reyes. “Sometimes it’s difficult, sometimes it’s easy.
“It’s been an enjoyable experience with the community. We’ve been helping [the community] for a long time. A lot of customers know us by name and they come by even though they don’t need any work performed on their vehicle.”
“Ray Charles was our customer in the past,” chimed Lee’s daughter, Debbie Pfeifer.
“Yeah, [Ray Charles] was in here a few times,” said Reyes. “We’ve performed work on this vehicle.
“Even though we couldn’t fit [his car] into the building, he still wanted us to work on it.”
Clearly the heart of the office, Pfeifer shared her responsibilities at LTBS.
“Assisting, finance, errands and secretarial stuff,” said Pfeifer.
“It’s a small business—with the customers, we make jokes,” said Pfeifer. “It’s not just business—it’s family-oriented.
Speaking about Reyes, Pfeifer stated,” He’s like my kid brother even though he’s older,” she said to Reyes’ laughing.
“It’s a familiar sense here,” said Pfeifer. “A lot of customers know of the name and the good work. So they continue [to come]—from their kids to their [grandchildren].”
Family-oriented, good service and a long-lasting reputation—these are the obvious qualities that have made the Leimert Top and Body Shop the place to get your car fixed. Having been in business for decades, it seems the community agrees.
The Leimert Top and Body shop is located at 3443 W. 43rd St. in Los Angeles, CA. For more information, you may call at (323) 292-0501.