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Car Talk’s Tom Magliozzi is car-free

June 8, 2012

NPR’s “Car Talk,” is going off the air after twenty-five years.  Careful listeners know that the brothers are about as anti-SUV as two guys whose stock in trade is automobiles can be.

“Car Talk,” hosted by Tom and Ray Magliozzi (aka Click and Clack), is the most popular entertainment show on U.S. public radio, heard by 3.7 million people each weekend. It’s one of car culture’s major pop icons. In an unusual spurt of semi-seriousness, the wisecracking brothers and MIT-educated auto mechanics decided recently to launch a political crusade of sorts, against sport-utility vehicles. It turns out that the Magliozzis are not especially fond of other types of automobiles, either: “I do not own a car,” Tom admitted. “I either ride a bicycle or use public transportation.”

The brothers also used their show as a platform for educating listeners about the dangers of distracted driving.

I haven’t owned a car since shortly after I moved to New York in 1998, but I remained a loyal “Car Talk” listener.  It’s a testament to their genius that they took something as seemingly boring as endless discussions about knocks and pings and stuck gear shifts and turned it into entertaining radio.  Thankfully, Click and Clack’s archive is so deep that NPR will “actively produce new shows built from the best of its 25 years of material – more than 1,200 shows – with some updates from the brothers.”

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