It’s Just A Car. RIP Tom Magliozzi

“It’s just a car.” A quote often repeated by Tom Magliozzi. I find myself repeating this quote many times a week to customers. There is no doubt, we are here because we love Porsches, and we love working on them, we love driving them, some people even love washing them….but in the end it is just a car. Often times Tom would say that if money can fix it, then it isn’t a problem. Just think about that for a minute. Sometimes it takes a life changing event before many will realize that. For me, 2014 that was this year. The house doesn’t matter, the cars don’t matter, the material things in our life aren’t important. That was something Tom Magliozzi inferred a lot on his radio show.

That show was one of my favorite shows on the radio growing up: Car Talk. I spent many nights/evenings listening to Tom and Ray (click and clack) Magliozzi’s call in talk show on NPR about car repair advice. When I was working on the farm, many hours were spent on the tractor in the evenings listening to their show. After a day of hot weather and maybe a baseball game or two on the radio, in the evenings click and clack came on, the evening air cooled down, the tractor started pulling harder with the cooler temps, and it was easy to spend a couple more hours working. I relished in the information Tom and Ray gave in that familiar Boston accent like it were the gospel, up to that point, there just wasn’t another show like it on the radio. Their show was so different from any other talk radio, they brought a uniqueness to the air. As I became more involved in automotive repair, I knew the answers to the questions the callers were asking before Tom and Ray could spit out the answer, but paid attention to more of their many offshoots about life, morals, ethics, money and whatever other oddball advice they were giving. In fact they used cars to talk about all these subjects, very often straying from the original caller’s question. Someone once said the cars were the boring part of the show. Of the tons of advice they dished out, many times callers were told to walk away from a car/repair due the high cost, age of the car, etc. Today I give much of that same advice in certain situations, where many shops would gladly rack up a repair bill. Sometimes you have to know when to move on. With Porsches, often times we get emotionally attached and find that difficult to do. As life moved on, I found myself listening to them less and less as I just didn’t have the time to listen anymore, but always tried to catch them when traveling on the road. Oddly enough, a couple of weeks ago on our trip to Road America I was able to track them down on Sirius and listen for a couple hours, unfortunately I was so out of touch that I did not realize they had not done broadcasts in about 2 years due to Tom’s sickness with Alzheimers which he eventually succumbed to this week. Luckily after 30+ years of broadcasting, there are plenty of shows to rerun. Sometimes I think I have wasted too much education to be working on cars, but both Magliozzi’s were graduates of MIT, both were working on cars and dishing out according to them “poor car advice.” Both were having a great time. Maybe that is how things go sometimes. Another thing Tom use to always say that cracks me up. “Life is too short to own a German car.” RIP Tom Magliozzi, talk radio lost a good one.

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November 4, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Awesome tribute, awesome article.


November 6, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Great post, I feel the same way about Click and Clack.


November 11, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Really nice write-up. I love that show and listen to it every week as a podcast. It’s nice to hear what a fellow mechanic thought. I agree that the show was not really about cars, it was about people. It was always difficult to describe the show to people who had never heard it before and get them to listen, but once they did, they were hooked.

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