Join the Car Talk Community!

#1044: The Mysterious Man in White

Original Air Date: 10.30.2010

   Best Moment

This week on Car Talk, we've got a roadside repair story to beat the band. It involves a dead Camry, a remote mountain top, and a mysterious stranger, clad in white from head to hubcap, who did nothing more than say, "Just start the car." Meanwhile, Jenny in California wonders if over-revving an engine can cook a catalytic converter, and if not, should the accusation destroy a relationship? Also, a Grand Cherokee develops a bad case of flatulence; a '58 Lincoln with a brake pedal problem prompts some thoughts on Tommy's wardrobe; and, how much do you owe a friend who spent a few hundred bucks trying to fix your car... but succeeded instead in setting it on fire? All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

Review this Show | 20 Reviews | Need Help Listening? View Call Details

This Week's Puzzler

What apparently confounding feature of the atomic watch turned out to be not so confusing, after all? Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

Two police officers trained their flashlights on a car, looking for evidence that it had been driven the day before. One of the officers said, "This car's clean. It wasn't involved in a robbery." What did the officer see? Find out!

Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share life lessons that were learned a bit too late.

Login or Register to rate and post comments

Show Review - 1336

by Anonymous

its a four wrench show with Tommy on extra happy juice

Show Review - 1337

by genlin

Show Review - 1343

by Anonymous

Show Review - 1345

by memchip

It's not clear what area of Utah the caller was visiting when the incident occurred but Dugway Proving Ground is within 100 mi of Salt Lake city. Testing of an electromagnetic pulse generating device would cause the described problem if it they were within proximity. If the white knight was a researcher involved with the test he would know their car was disabled and why. The caller didn't go into detail about the type of clothing the white knight wore- could it have been a lab coat?

Show Review - 1348

by jkavery

I wonder if electromagnetic radiation (for instance from a radar) caused the car to stop near the top of the mountain in Utah? One time when I was driving past the Naval Air Station going into Key West, the engine of the Dodge Caravan rental car cut out for about a second. I blamed it on the radar - the car never had any other problems during the week-long trip.

Show Review - 1352

by happyone

Show Review - 1367

by Anonymous

White Guys all Over

by CT Scanner

Regarding the issue of the proximity of a Mormon temple to where the car broke down and the stranger dressed in white was seen - there doesn't have to be a temple near the area. Mormons living almost anywhere are assigned regular days periodically to travel to their nearest temple, even if it is hundreds of miles away. Most people wear a suit and change into white in the locker rooms, but some do drive there wearing white. No beard? Then he wasn't from heaven

Favorite Moment: When Ray said he loved his brother but he had his head up his. . . or what that what Tom said - or does it matter because they would both have been right?

Wrong intro blurb

by umrcop

Great show. However, no mysterious man in white - or - overheating catalytic convrter - etc. etc. I wanted to hear about the man in white!!

The man in white is not supernatural!!

by Caramia

Interesting story....but since it took place in Utah, the guy was a Mormon who was either on his way to or returning from a meeting in a Mormon Temple where ALL members are required to wear solid white from head to toe. This is one of the least bizarre. I am not Mormon, but I live in AZ and since I taught in Mesa until I retired, I found it useful to know as much about their practices as possibe. AZ is a heavily Mormon state. Their religion also promises them that all guys will be gods of their own planets when they die. Hmmm...maybe you two should convert:-)

Favorite Moment: I enjoy all of your shows even though I know nothing about's your wit and intelligence!


Life lessons learned the hard way

From getting a tattoo to using a blow gun, important life lessons you should know.

Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic

Promo tile


Rocket Fuel