The Morris Minor That Could

The Puzzler

RAY:The inspiration for this puzzler was sent in by Jerry Olhaver. I've done a little obfuscation and declarification.

The scene is some miles out on Cape Cod. It's late summer of '54, the day after a hurricane had altered the landscape. The hero of our puzzler is a Morris Minor...remember the Morris Minor? It was the great-grandfather of the modern Mini.

Jerry's problem came with the tidal surge on parts of the Cape Cod peninsula caused by the storm.

Yachts and working boats had been swept miles from the marinas, and actually left in fields! Only National Guards trucks and jeeps, big mainland wreckers, and a few rubbernecking cars were moving on the roads.

Every other set of wheels still on the roads looked drowned. They wouldn't start, wouldn't run, and were waiting for a tow truck. It was an uncertain future, too. You never know what's going to happen when your car gets drowned.

Enter our hero, pedaling his bicycle. He spots his Morris Minor, looking as drowned as all the rest. But, at least the four tires are on the pavement. He tries to start the engine unsuccessfully. It cranks, but won't fire up.

He opens the hood and removes the spark plugs. They're soaked with gasoline. He realizes why they're soaked, because when he takes the distributor cap off, it's full of water. He realizes that he's done for. Yet, in less than 10 minutes, unaided and using only what he had on his bicycle, and in the trunk of the car, he begins a successful drive across the peninsula.

How did he 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

Promo tile

Rocket Fuel