Flashback: Car Talk in Outer Space

Staff Blog

Staff Blog | Oct 18, 2012

It’s the 25th anniversary of Our Lousy Show, and all fall long, we’re sharing our favorite moments from years gone by.

This week, Space Shuttle Endeavor’s big road trip through the streets of L.A. reminded us of one of our most memorable calls, ever-- a call from a guy named John, who was calling from about 200 miles above Hawaii...and driving a government vehicle. His reason for calling Tom and Ray? Seems his vehicle accelerates like a dream, but rides rough--really, really rough--before it stalls out completely.

There’s more, too. Turns out, our astronaut-caller also used to bring his Sunbeam Alpine to Tom and Ray’s DIY garage, Hackers Haven, when he was an undergrad at MIT. Tom and Ray, for their part, remember John--and the fact that he still hasn’t paid up.  Relive this classic moment with us, right here.

Starts up fine, but seems to shoot a lot of flames from the tail pipe. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)
Starts up fine, but seems to shoot a lot of flames from the tail pipe. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

John wasn’t done with Tom and Ray, though. A few years later, he called in again--this time after finishing a repair on the Hubble Telescope. While he was playing outer-space repairman, he accidentally broke off a piece of the antenna--only to find that it worked better! Hear it here.

Tom and Ray have always agreed that cars these days come with a lot of unnecessary parts. Who would have guessed that would be true for the Hubble Space Telescope, too?!  John Grunsfeld, you're a diehard follower of the Magliozzi School of Automotive and Astronomical Repair. And for that, we tip our greasy caps in your direction.

We've got the full scoop on all of Tom and Ray's secret dealings with NASA, including how Tom and Ray's advice helped John fix the Hubble, right here

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