Requiescat in Pace: Tom Magliozzi


For decades I enjoyed the antics of the two hosts of Car Talk on NPR.  Having zero interest in the technical aspects of motor vehicles, I would often listen to the hilarious advice they gave to their callers as I drove my family to destinations on Saturday morning.  “Click and Clack” added to family hilarity over the years and for that I am duly thankful.  Half the team died earlier this month:


Tom Magliozzi, half of the “Click and Clack” team of brothers who hosted NPR’s “Car Talk” radio show, died Monday. He was 77.

NPR reported the death Monday afternoon. The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease, the radio network said.

In a statement, his brother Ray remembered a jovial partner.


“We can be happy he lived the life he wanted to live; goofing off a lot, talking to you guys every week, and primarily, laughing his ass off,” he said.

For more than 25 years, “Car Talk” has been one of NPR’s most popular shows, a laid-back free-for-all that’s only occasionally about cars. The brothers stopped doing original broadcasts two years ago, but archival material has kept their laughter on the air.

A typical show featured Tom Magliozzi and Ray, 12 years his junior, taking questions from listeners about whether it was appropriate to buy a BMW roadster for a teenager, how to get the smell of a dead mouse out of an air-conditioning vent and whether relationships were worth pursuing with a partner who owned an old rattletrap.

Tom Magliozzi had an old rattletrap himself, a 1963 Dodge Dart that was a constant source of fun for both brothers.

In fact, most things were sources of fun for the brothers, whose uproarious laughter frequently punctuated the show.

“His laugh is the working definition of infectious laughter,” Doug Berman, the longtime producer of “Car Talk,” told NPR. “Before I ever met him, I heard him, and it wasn’t on the air.”

“Car Talk” debuted in 1977 on Boston radio station WBUR. NPR picked it up in 1987. The show was drawing about 4 million listeners at the time the brothers stopped making original broadcasts in 2012. The network said in a statement that it continues to be a top-rated show.

Go here to read the rest.   May he now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.  If there are garages up in Heaven, or radio stations, I assume he will not lack for employment.

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  1. May the Perpetual Light shine upon him. Alzheimer’s is a terrible thing to die from. My grandfather had senile dementia for more than two years when he died – a different condition but one that robbed him of his sense of self.

    I prefer not to work on cars at all, having had lemons, rustbuckets and POSs with four wheels, but I loved the shows on Velocity where old classic cars and muscle cars are restored and brought to life. Almost every little boy loves cars at some point in his life. I loved cars as a little boy. My favorite toy was a dump truck, and I wish I still had it. I have a Wyandotte gasoline truck that was my dad’s as a boy.
    Most grow out of this fascination when they discover music, girls, electronic gadgets, etc. but a few still love cars all their lives.

  2. Hopefully Car Talk repeats will continue to run for many more years. Listening to their infectious laughter set the tone for the day. If I had listened to Click and Clack my first year in college, perhaps I wouldn’t have paid a garage for 6 plugs when they tuned up my 4 cylinder TR3.

  3. “Why you should never listen to your father when it comes to cars” brings fond memories of my dearly departed father who when I was still wet behind the ears advised me not to buy that ’31 Model A coupe for $175.00 or that ’30 Reo Flying Cloud sedan for not much more. He said regarding the Reo, “It’s ossified”. Dad was wrong only viewed through that rear-view mirror of life that filters out the plethora of realities that attend our lives. Dad was right but how I wish I had that Reo up on blocks in a dry, heated and mouse-free garage for the past fifty-seven years.

  4. W.P. Walsh,
    I looked up the REO’s history. The Flying Cloud was a cool car. Wish I still had that ’62 Triumph I co-owned with my brother. Before he sold it in the ’80s he took it by the fellow we had bought it from so the former owner and his wife could take one last ride in their courting car. I wish I had the TR3 with it’s hand crank, trunk key, and side curtains though my ER MD brother now claims it was a dangerous car. Also held onto my grandparent’s red & black 2 door ’52 Buick, but where to garage it when we were heading to the Philipines for 3 years?
    My ensign car, a ’72 MGB we left in the North Is. BOQ parking for the junior pilots to drive when on temp duty stateside. When our sons were teens they were bitten by the old car bug. I went with them to junk yards (only when the temp was below freezing) and helped carry out windshields, fenders, bumpers,etc. from vintage cars. The oldest son sold his ’39 Pontiac and other rolling stock; only a ’62 Caddy convertible is left. For our 25th anniversary my husband presented me with a ’72 MGB. This month was our 38th and the MG is now for sale. Living on a farm is not a place for a sports car. Good memories, but there are seasons for everything.

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