Tom Magliozzi of “Car Talk” Dies

November 4th, 2014 by

Whether you were looking for a Chevrolet Ohio dealer or new cars in New York, one of the best places you could get information about cars, industry news and, mostly importantly, how to repair a car, was “Car Talk” on National Public radio. One half of the team that founded that show and made it a success, Tom Magliozzi, died yesterday. He was 77.

After graduating from MIT in Boston, Magliozzi worked as a mechanic and a part-time college lecturer. He and his brother, Ray, opened a garage in Cambridge that let customers pay to use the tools and do their own work. Four years after graduating college, the NPR affiliate at Boston University invited Magliozzi and three other mechanics to come on the show and talk about cars and repairs. He was the only mechanic to show up, and the affiliate said he gave out many of the wrong answers. Still, he was invited back on his own, starting the relationship that would lead to his own show.

Ten years after that initial appearance, Magliozzi and his brother were invited to appear on NPR’s Sunday Weekend Edition, a national, weekly news show. They started as weekly guests, but they were invited to have their own show only nine months later.

“Car Talk” became NPR’s most popular program, and it had 3 to 4 million listeners per week. The reason for the show’s success is that it was able to find a mainstream audience thanks to the wise cracking between Magliozzi and his brother. They regularly pulled pranks on their producer and other crew, had water gun fights in the studio and played tricks on each other.

In addition to the show, Magliozzi also wrote a column that was syndicated in hundreds of newspapers across the country.

“Car Talk” stopped airing new shows in 2012 after Magliozzi started experiencing health problems, but the show continues to air in reruns. (Magliozzi had Alzheimer’s.) More than 600 stations still air the show.

At McCluskey Chevrolet, we know that there is no one who will be able to replace Magliozzi and the way he could dish out advice with humor and warmth. However, we are here to help local residents find the best used cars in Cincinnati and to find the right local resources for repairing their vehicles.