Best Of Car Talk Says Farwell — Share Your Memories

Sep 2, 2017

For 30 years, two mechanics with funny accents and infectious laughter have been dispensing pretty good car advice each week Saturday morning on WPLN.

In fact, Car Talk ceased recording new episodes with Tom and Ray Magliozzi in 2012, and sadly Tom passed away two years later. But there was an immense catalog of old recordings — so the show producers continued creating new episodes from the tapes, calling it The Best of Car Talk

Now, it’s time to say so long.  The show's producers are bringing it to a close at the end of September.  

We want to hear from you!

As we say goodbye to Car Talk, we’d love to share some of your remembrances on the air. We invite you to share them with us in a number of ways:

  • Tweet to us: Tag @WPLN and let us know what you remember most about Car Talk, and what you'll miss. 
  • Leave us a voicemail: Call (615) 686-2948 and leave a message that may end up on the air.
  • Send us an email: Type up your thoughts or even send a voice memo to ctmemories@wpln.org

Thanks for passing along your memories! Look for them to appear here and listen for them on the radio.

Here Are Some of Our Listener Messages:

I can't believe it has been thirty years since the debut of "Car Talk" - - and I can remember my first experiences of the first broadcasts in 1987, what I was doing, where I was. I would guess that I have listened to at least 39 broadcasts each year - - about 75% - - over 1,000 broadcasts (obviously some/many being re-broadcasts).  

My most memorable broadcast conversation went something like this:

Young female college student explains her car problem(s)
Tom and Ray ask their normal questions
Tom and Ray state that her car will not last too long, probably less than one year
Young female college student states that she has two years remaining to graduate, that she will be able to get a new car upon graduation  (gift, purchase?)
She asks:  "any advice?"
Advice from Tom and Ray:  "Can you double-up on your classes?!"

-Bill McDonald

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I will miss hearing Car Talk more than I can say. I first started listening to them when it was a local program in Boston (where I grew up) and quickly became a fan of Tom and Ray. I never really listened for the car advice; it was more for the funny conversations, the laughter and entertainment. Tom and Ray sounded like blue collar car mechanics, until you realized they were both MIT graduates and very smart! Those voices to me are so familiar and remind me of home. I'm so sorry that their show will end, but thank both of them for the many years of fun and happiness, and yes, some knowledge about cars.  

-Donna Eskind

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I've been a weekly Car Talk listener since 1987 and even went to their garage in Cambridge, MA, when I lived in New England. My best friend even sounds exactly like Ray Magliozzi.

My most important memory was from 1995 after my father died. We were very close, and it had been a traumatic year in many ways. Weeks after his death, I was listening to Car Talk and Tom started laughing as only he could. It was infectious and I started laughing with him - it was the first time I had laughed in months! It was a turning point for me in my healing, and I will always be grateful for Tom and Ray.

-Dr. Mark Ring, Franklin, TN

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The Magliozzi brothers would probably laugh (chortle, guffaw, snicker, etc) to know they went along with me for many long training runs and got me through the tough parts of more than a few races! I don't race anymore, but I ran ten half marathons and listened to a lot of NPR while doing so. After the initial adrenaline-fueled four or five miles you settle down into your pace for the next one-third of the race, and that usually coincided with the Saturday 9-10 am broadcast of Car Talk. So I was that runner intermittently laughing around mile 6-10. Thanks Tom and Ray, I'm not going to say I couldn't have done it without you, but you helped.

-Robin Brown

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Well, I actually got onto Car Talk four years ago.

After getting the busy signal every weekend, I was thrilled to connect to a recording that asked me to leave my name.

Little did I know that the show was taped.  A young lady called me and asked about my questions for the Tom and Ray.

I needed some advice regarding a 1995 BMW 525 that had been owned by my dad, T. Earl Hinton.  I had given it to my son T.J., and he thoroughly enjoyed taking it completely apart and putting it back together.  (This mechanical ability did NOT come from his dad....)

Now, did you ever wonder why those two know so darn much about every single car?.....well, duh, they have a staff that dives into your question so they are chalked full of pertinent info when they finally do speak with you.

So, I was told to call on a Wednesday right after lunch.  I was the second caller who they would connect with.  I was allowed to hear them set up the room, discuss the different anticipated callers, and then I listened to the first caller, a woman from Texas.

Next, I got on.  I was quite nervous....and we had a hilarious discussion about my son’s ability to take the Beemer apart.  Finally they hung up.

A day or so later, the lady called, and thanked me for being on the show.  I told her that I would inform (or rather BRAG to) ALL of my fellow WPLN fans that I would be on the upcoming Saturday morning.  Not so fast, she noted.  I was then informed that the recorded show was not scheduled anytime soon.  Puzzled, I asked when it would run.  She said she didn’t know, and it might never be aired.

It hasn’t to my knowledge.  So much for the effort to get on the show.

But those two were so entertaining and FUNNY..........and I will miss Car Talk immensely.

 

-Kem Hinton

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For years I have waited for 9:00 AM, Saturday mornings, on NPR to match wits with Click and Clack (Ray and Tom) regarding problems people have with their fiancés, boy/girl friends, parents and husbands/wives; and, yes at time their cars.

They and this show will be missed by me and all automotive repair enthusiasts.

May they always have grease under their fingernails, oils stains on their clothing, and always be late to dinner with their families

 

With Love, admiration and sadness I bid them farewell.

-Pierre Billard

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In 1992, when our second daughter was born, my husband and I quickly realized our Toyota Carollas were too small for a four-person family. Randy is 6'5" and played high school football. To drive the Corolla, he had to push the driver's seat back so far no one could sit behind him. A car seat certainly wouldn't fit. Complicating our search for the minivan that symbolized our total surrender to parenthood was my height--5'0".We defied the industrial scale car designers use for seating at both ends of the scale. We looked at every minivan model out there; there was only one where both of us could get the seat into a comfortable driving position: the Nissan Quest. The problem: We'd be buying a first-year model, something I'd sworn never to do. I wanted to give car companies two or three years to get the bugs out of a new design before I invested MY hard-earned money in their vehicle. "I'm going to call Car Talk!" I said one Saturday morning as Randy and I were listening. 

I didn't have to. As if on cue, a woman called and explained. "I'm really short, and my husband's really tall, we're about to have a baby, and we're thinking about buying the Nissan Quest van, but it's in its first model year," she said. Randy and I were electrified--and then comforted as Click and Clack explained that the Quest had the Maxima engine--a great, long-tested design, one of the better engines out there!--and a Ford body with lots of drink holders they made fun of, but that I really appreciated during the more than 20 years we owned that van.

 

-Grace Renshaw