A Slippery Move
RAY: Now here's the answer, believe it or not. My neighbor couldn't get up the icy driveway because his Volkswagen bus was transmitting too much torque to the wheels. I know, that's hard to believe!
TOM: It's the equivalent of walking gingerly on the ice so you don't fall on your butt, as opposed to running on the ice, where you would certainly wipe out in an instant.
RAY: Exactly. So what he did is, he opened the back and he pulled the coil wire off so the engine wouldn't start. He got back in, and with the thing in first gear, he turned the key--and all that worked now was the electric motor that would ordinarily start the engine, but he was using the electric motor to take him up the driveway in first gear, albeit slowly. And he crept up the driveway with just enough torque to get him up without slipping at the top.
TOM: A very nice puzzler indeed.
[ Car Talk Puzzler ]