Flashback: Hey Dad, Remember When Your Car Blew Up?

Staff Blog

Staff Blog | Oct 04, 2012

It’s the 25th anniversary of Car Talk! In celebration of NPR’s longest running exercise in lousy judgment, all fall long, we’ll be digging into the archives to bring you some of our favorite moments from throughout the years--classic calls, stupendous stories, highly embarrassing photos and much more. This week, we wanted to share one of our favorite calls of all time--Christy from Chicago who called us a few years back to confess to a crime that took place more than 15 years earlier.

Getting ready to dole out some bad advice. (Car Talk photo)
Getting ready to dole out some bad advice. (Car Talk photo)

A new driver at the time, Christy borrowed her dad’s Chevy Citation to go to a college party four hours away. When the temperature light came on, Christy decided to cover the pesky warning light with--you guessed it--black tape. (Astute Car Talk listeners will note that Christy was following the Tom and Ray school of auto-repair, even then!)

Christy deluded herself into believing everything was fine until her dad, Richard, headed out for work the next day.

In Christy’s words, the car, “Just blows up!”

When Dad returned from the mechanic that fateful day, Christy disavowed all knowledge of what might have caused this dramatic end of the Citation.

Seems this little omission has been plaguing Christy’s conscience for lo these many years. To set things right, Tom and Ray got Richard on the phone. His reaction? Take a listen and find out!

Will Tom and Ray absolve Christy of her guilt? What was Richard’s reaction when the guys shared this bit of belated automotive news with him?

Tom and Ray’s call with Christy is a staff favorite for all time, and you can listen to it right here.

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