Join the Car Talk Community!

Blessing the Trucks

The Puzzler


RAY: This was sent in by Ed Win from Palmyra, Pennsylvania.

Ed writes, "Flashback to summer 1942. The British are battling the Germans and Italians for control of North Africa. In one of the towns under British control is an Italian civilian named Tony Cardiello. Tony refuses to submit to the British demand that they use his trucking company to transport supplies. Always willing to negotiate, the British confiscate the trucks and throw Tony into a detention camp.

"Move ahead now to the late '70s. Here I was, out of college three years, doing the only thing that a political science grad could do to earn a living: driving a truck. It was a cold winter in 1978 -- we experienced many mornings with the mercury at minus 20. In those conditions, diesel engines just didn't want to start.

"As it turns out, Tony Cardiello was the morning mechanic for this trucking company. He was the one we turned to when our big rigs wouldn't get up and go. Tony taught us that if a truck wouldn't start, we should leave enough juice for him to give it a second try. His first question for us was always the same: 'Did you bless the truck?' We said, 'No, we didn't bless the stinkin' truck.'

"Upon hearing that, Tony would walk over to the stubborn truck, face the bulldog ornament on the hood, and make the sign of the cross. Then he'd say, 'Start the truck!' Nine out of 10 times the truck would kick over and we'd be on our way."

So the question is, how'd Tony do it?  

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