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#1451: Excellence in Worthlessness


And the winner is . . . (Flickr/Nikki)

Original Air Date: 12.20.2014

Listen to full show  Show Podcast (FREE)   Best Moment 01:29

Description: 
This week on Car Talk, Tom and Ray are honored with the first (and probably last) award for Excellence in Worthlessness. They immediately prove themselves worthy, by dodging Dodie’s question about overdrive on her Nissan, and instead focusing on the two sons who didn’t help buy her the car. And, Rebecca’s BMW’s noise is less intriguing than why she broke up with the boyfriend who gave it to her. Also, how steamer trunks helped derail Steve’s plan to restore a vintage Buick; And, why holiday overeating may not be such a bad idea. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

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Show Audio Segments

Can't spare a full hour? Listen to the segment you want using the list below.

Segment 1
Show Open: Announcing the Excellence in Worthlessness Award.

Segment 2
What do you replace after you've replaced everything?

Segment 3
Excellence in Worthlessness Award Submission 1: Dodie's overdrive dilemma.

Segment 4
Puzzler Answer: the fork in the road.

Segment 5
Static electricity, ground straps, lightning, and life insurance, all in one question.

Segment 6
Mail: Is holiday overeating really such a bad thing?

Segment 7
Excellence in Worthlessness Award Submission II: Rebecca's noise.

Segment 8
New Puzzler: The British World War II invention.

Segment 9
Stump the Chumps: Joan's Madagascar adventure.

Segment 10
Nothing sidetracks a car restoration like steamer trunks.


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Show Open Topic

Car Talk wins an award! Listen Now

Links from

Cars Discussed on This Week's Show

This Week's Puzzler

The Great War Invention: What discovery did the scientists hide on their clothes? Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

A Fork in the Road: One guy always lies, and the other tells the truth. How do you get correct directions? Find out!

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I was on it! What's not to love?

by madagascar joan

I just heard this as a rebroadcast on line. From the very opening laughs, I had such great memories of both listening to Car Talk while in USA and missing it while serving overseas. Being on the show while on home leave was like the 4th of July, Red Socks, and apple pie all in one.

Favorite Moment: tie "...it's the 4th largest island in the world." the news next assignment was Paris.

The Holiday Diet (ca. 1997)

"Let's face it--you don't look that good anyway, so a few extra pounds aren't going to matter," and other reasons not to sweat your holiday diet. 

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