Join the Car Talk Community!

Backwards Engine Enigma

The Puzzler


RAY: This week's puzzler came right out of cyberspace, from a guy named Michael Lydon. Mike says, "I heard an encore show, and I figured you guys are in bad shape for puzzlers. It sounded so pathetic.

"I cut my mechanic's teeth, so to speak, as a pump jockey at a Sunoco station in the 'burbs of Cleveland." He says in parentheses, "That's the one hint you get."

Mike goes on to say, "We had a guy who helped out holding wrenches, catching oil spills, and holding up cars. His name was Harley. Strong as an ox -- and twice as smart.

"One day a friend came in with a Chevy 350 engine that he had picked up at a junkyard. He wanted to rebuild it and was looking for some pointers. Afterwards he asked one question: 'How do I get the engine to rotate in the other direction?'"

"Harley was stumped, as you might expect. He couldn't help but wonder, 'Why would you want to rebuild an engine so that it ran backwards?'"

And that's today's question: why would you want a Chevy 350 to run backwards?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic


Go



Submit