Car Talk

Including the tale of a tragic mistake by NPR and, for the first time ever, the true story about what happened to that radio trophy that George Peabody gave us. A lot of folks want to know how we got started. To answer this, we need to quickly review some basics of biology: in the beginning there was our magnificent mother, Elizabeth Magliozzi, and our esteemed pere, Louis Magliozzi. Okay, okay, we know — you couldn't care less about our formative years, when Tommy took apart and rebuilt our dad's heap over and over again — each time having a few extra parts, until eventually there was nothing left to disassemble. You want to know about "Car Talk." You're probably wondering how two low-life bums like us could end up having a weekly radio show on a prestigious network like NPR. We're wondering too. We've been wondering for years — but it doesn't stop us from cashing that paycheck that shows up every month. The truth is, we got a call one day back in 1977, from Vic Wheatman, the Program Director at Boston's WBUR Radio. Now, this was at the time when WBUR was a tiny little college radio station, with a signal that would get staticy whenever the wind blew.
Schedule:

Saturday 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on WUSF 89.7

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Host:
Tom Magliozzi

I was born in East Cambridge, Massachusetts (yes, Our Fair City). I spent most of my "formative years," as they say, on Harding Street. This was the greatest neighborhood on the planet. Kids everywhere. Just hangin' out. Nothing much happened. Just good times. (My wife insists that if I had had a normal (i.e., abusive) childhood, I wouldn't be plagued with those continual bouts of raucous laughter.) I went to the Gannett School and then the Wellington School and then CHLS— Cambridge High and Latin School.

From then on, it was downhill. I went to MIT— or the "Tute," as we used to call it. I turned down Harvard, because MIT gave me $200 bucks more for scholarship money, and that was... Read More...

Host:
Ray Magliozzi

I spent my early years in East Cambridge (Our Fair City). I was the quiet little brother, and for as long as I can remember Tom was 12 years older than me. In fact, he still is. Tom and our sister, Lucille, to this day say they didn't notice me until I was about five years old. Mom claimed one morning Tom came into the kitchen and said, "Hey, who's this little kid who's always following me around?" 

I can't say that I remember much from my early childhood, except it was wonderful. I had everything a kid could want: two square meals a day and a basket to sleep in and an imaginary dog. I do remember one thing, however. Mom always had us in bed at 7:00. If I were any kind... Read More...

From Car Talk

  • #1738: 30 Years of Listener Retaliation
    This week, Car Talk's month long 30th Anniversary Celebration/Apology continues, with an all-listener request show. We've got the Bosnian Vowel Drop, Arup Gupta, the original Melissa Peterson letter, Death Valley Dinesh, and the circumferentially challenged Daniel Pinkwater reading highlights from the BMW owner's manual. Also, Dana needs help removing a chunk of the Berlin Wall from a friend's trunk, and Christy decides it's time to 'fess up to her Dad about destroying his car 15 years ago. All this and more, on The Best of Car Talk.
  • #1737: 30 Years of the North American Wacko
    This week, we continue celebrating (and apologizing for) Car Talk's 30th Anniversary on NPR, with some of our all-time favorite "out there" calls. Our roster includes space shuttle astronaut John, whose government vehicle had a slight hesitation problem at 17,000 miles per hour; Gail, the Most Wanted Tollbooth fugitive at the Betsy Ross Bridge; Dave from Bemidji, MN, whose road trip from Alaska included using a campfire grill to fix his catalytic converter; Will, whose old dog Moses "blew beets"; and the saga of one of our heroes, lawn chair pilot Larry Walters. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk's Field Guide to the North American Wacko.
  • #1736: 30 Years of Lousy Marital Advice
    Believe it or not, Car Talk is celebrating its 30th Anniversary on NPR. We know we should mark the occasion with a sincere apology for wasting all those hours, but instead, we're celebrating with a series of special shows featuring some of our all-time favorite calls. This week's theme: Relationships! Can lonely guy Chris use his car to meet a woman? Did Ellen really wreck her husband's Explorer by accidentally filling it with diesel? Should Doug buy a manual shift car so his messy wife can't drive it? Did Kim or her husband make the more foolish car purchase? And what happens to a radio show host who implies his wife looks like a truck? All this, and more great moments, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
  • #1735: Brotherly Love
    Who better than Tom and Ray to solve a dispute between two brothers over a vintage Camaro? Well, lots of people, actually. But Cynthia wasn't able to reach any of them, so this week on The Best of Car Talk, she'll hope our heroes can bring peace to Thanksgiving this year. Elsewhere, Virginia's Honda keeps getting stolen and returned. She's resorted to drastic measures to protect it, but would she be better off just leaving the car unlocked and engine running? Also, John's Corvette's engine is misfiring, but John's hesitant to go to the dealer since the miss only occurs above 140 mph; and why did Bill's attempt to replace a broken belt with his daughter's tights fail? All this, plus a few unpublished titles from William Shakespeare, and lots more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
  • #1734: Helmut's Folly
    Remember Heather and her cranky mechanic Helmut? Heather took her Volvo to Helmut for a stuck glove box and wound up spending $3000 for a new fuel system, only to have her car begin dying at high altitudes. This week on The Best of Car Talk, Heather returns for a round of Stump the Chumps and we find out how much of a dummkopf Helmut was. Elsehwere, Lori's boyfriend has begun collecting old cars but can't drive any of them due to his poor vision. Will Tom and Ray help Lori convince him to try a different hobby? Also, Carol's mechanic says her Mazda's bad gas mileage is due to too many drivers; and Tom and Ray may need to resort to hypnosis to diagnose Joel's Mercedes' snore. All this and more this week on The Best of Car Talk.
  • #1733: Once a Brat, Always a Brat
    This week on the Best of Car Talk, we hear from Tom and Ray's all-time #1 nemesis, Melissa Peterson. Years after her first missive, Melissa wants to remind the guys that she (and her dog) still hate them, but would they mind giving her some potentially life saving advice? Elsewhere, Eric's horn started blaring in he middle of the night, and he resorted to a hammer to silence it. So now he's got a busted horn and still doesn't know what set it off. Also, Pat's Lumina is running out of gas with several gallons still in the tank; Farrah's VW is blowing hot air non-stop; and Suzi's Porsche has become a great conversation starter with her male colleagues, but she can't answer any questions to keep the conversation going. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
  • #1732: He's Nothing to Me
    This week on The Best of Car Talk, Vern's sister-in-law's husband accused him of wrecking the engine in his Windstar by adding too much oil. On a scale of 1 to 10, how guilty should Vern feel? And does their tenuous connection on the family tree drive the guilt meter into negative numbers? Also, tales of VW Bugs: Maureen's caught on fire, and she's hoping for some encouragement that it won't happen again, while Wendy is wondering if the one she's been gifted by her parents can make it from Kansas to Washington. Also, a close call at Car Talk Plaza—how our Producer Dougie's laziness may have saved his life. All this and more, this week on The Best Car Talk.
  • #1731: Click and Clack's Last Minute Counseling
    This week on The Best of Car Talk, Amanda is getting married in a few days, and has one last item on her To-Do list—convincing her fiancé to get rid of his truck. Should she just throw the keys instead of a bouquet? Elsewhere, Glen's wife is a parish priest in need of a new car, and a cure for her habit of driving 120 mph. Also, Karen learned why you should let sleeping cars lie after her perfect Civic started running lousy following a tune-up; Jerry's taillight is exploding every few weeks; and our on-call Physicist Wolfgang helps settle the great keyless remote dispersion debate. All this and more, this week on the Best of Car Talk.
  • #1730: Disperse This
    This week on the Best of Car Talk, Ray takes Male Answer Syndrome to a whole new level, trying to explain why Dave's keyless remote works better when Dave points it at his chin rather than the car. Is the Great Dispersion Theory utterly brilliant, or utterly booooogus? Elsewhere, Andy dropped a straw in his dad's Buick's gas tank, and somehow "forgot" to mention it. Now that dad's car is running lousy, does Andy need to 'fess up? Also, Doris may need to dump her mechanic after he sent her away with a pegged temperature gauge; and in a follow-up, we hear from Elisa's boyfriend Tracy and find out if he accepted her mom's offer of a new car if he popped the question. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
  • #1729: Employee of the Week
    This week on The Best of Car Talk, Katherine's new job got off to a bumpy start (literally!), when she rear-ended her boss' shiny new car on her first day. Katherine has been eyeing a new car herself, but should she wait for her first performance review? Meanwhile, Elisa's parents say they'll buy her a new car if she marries her live-in boyfirend. Should she accept, or will she be opening the door to future car-motivated life events? Also, Spencer couldn't resist the urge to touch his lugnuts, and found them to hot handle; Brett gets a shock every time he gets out of his Camry; and what does your Oreo cookie strategy say about your pesonality? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

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