Non impediti ratione cogitatonis

100505E-MAGLIOZZITom Magliozzi, co-host of NPR’s “Car Talk” along with his brother Ray until 2012, has, alas, left us. There was never a purveyor of cornier jokes, nor an equal to his infectious laugh that never failed to get me chortling along.

There aren’t many people whose mere mention so easily brings a smile to so many, but Tom and Ray have been on that list for decades – read some of the comments on that NPR article for the proof. A lot of listeners didn’t have cars or even care one whit about cars, but tuned in because the show was more about people and relationships than it was about spanners and tappets. A large part of it, too, were cheesy jokes and the brothers’ good-natured rivalry.

I still listen to the show in repeats because I love unrepentant wise-arses. I happen to be one myself.

tom-magliozziThe title? Tom’s motto: Unencumbered by the thought process.

“I came to this country in 1979 and got hooked to the Car Talk ever since. Tom and Ray made America better than what I had imagined it to be. Thank you.”

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3 thoughts on “Non impediti ratione cogitatonis

  1. parislights says:

    ooooo noes!

    Yes Car Talk was one of the best things on the radio!
    Hilarious. I’ve always wondered why they didn’t put them on television as kind of an anti Top Gear.

    -p

  2. parislights says:

    just had a look at some of the fun parts on the car talk site that linked in up there plus listened to a rerun.
    Gosh they were good. Put’s a wide smile on your face !
    And those heavy Boston accents. Brings back memories!

    Thanks lalo for passing on the news.

    Tom you will be missed!

  3. Coolcreek says:

    I was surprised by how hard this news hit me. Tom and Ray have been such constants over the past 30 years. I’m going to take up some bandwidth and share a story…

    I foolishly spent 800 dollars on a beautiful 1972 Fiat 124 in the spring of my junior year of college— I knew I was going to need a car to drive from my dorm room in Boston to my summer internship in the suburbs. It was gorgeous, not too old and my boyfriend insisted it was in good condition. Later I found out he didn’t know a damn thing about cars. In mid-July, I lifted up the mat on the right front passenger side and saw a large crack in the floorboard—so wide you could see the road. I immediately put the mat back down and pretended it wasn’t there. By then, the car had also developed a habit of dying at the most inopportune moments—like the middle of evening rush hour or at 2am. And the wipers had a habit of their own—flying off during big storms if I switched them to high speed. The hood latch turned out to be broken on one side, so if you hit 60 miles an hour and a pothole, it looked like it was going to fly up and crack the windshield. But I loved that car, it had black leather seats and a walnut dash. But even I knew it needed some repairs. On the advice of my friend Joe, I took it to the Good News Garage in Cambridge, where this guy named Tommy spent 3 minutes looking at it and then told me to junk it. I immediately burst into tears. He must have been used to tearful 20 year old girls, because a box of tissues was right there at the ready. I told him the whole woeful tale of needing these wheels to commute to my internship. He told me a couple of jokes about Fiats and then offered a second suggestion: I should drive carefully, slowly, only on sunny days and not overload the car with anything too heavy …just as he told me that, my 6.4, 200-plus pound friend Joe and his equally large buddy showed up to see what was going on. Tommy looked at them and said….OK, let’s move on to the third option….

    Once September rolled around and the car had died once too often in the middle of rush hour, I gave up. We wound up borrowing a couple of sledge hammers and charging people 3 bucks a hit (2 for 5) to smash up the car for a student film. I only saw Tommy one other time — he and Ray were in DC for an NPR anniversary party. They were surprise guests and appeared out of a puff of smoke, wearing bathrobes and slippers, puffing on cigars.

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