Listeners tuned in for his sagely car advice, but they trusted him for his booming laugh. On Monday, Tom Magliozzi—who co-hosted Car Talk on NPR with his younger brother, Ray Magliozzi—passed away of complications stemming from Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 77.
Car Talk was on the air for more than 35 years—first as a weekly program on WBUR in Boston, then transitioning to a national audience on NPR. The brothers continued doing the show live until 2012.
Better known by their radio monikers “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers,” Ray and Tom Magliozzi were a staple of Sunday mornings in a lot of households. They doled out advice on how to buy cars, how to enjoy cars, and how to fix cars. And these guys really knew their stuff.
Though they both graduated from MIT, Tom and Ray eschewed the fields of science and engineering to be mechanics. They launched the first do-it-yourself car garage, called Hacker’s Haven, in the 1970s—decades before the Maker Movement rallied around the same idea as part of a modern DIY ethos. Later, Tom and Ray helmed a more traditional mechanics garage before finding their way onto the radio waves.
Tom Magliozzi was both an amazing teacher and a captivating entertainer. And that’s because he approached cars the same way he approached life: with curiosity, exuberance, and joy. Certainly, our Sunday mornings will seem a little less bright without him.
Check out NPR’s tribute to Tom Magliozzi.