When the only answer is a goverNESS.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

I am a long time fan of your column and your radio show. Here's my question: My 19 year old son has a 1990 Nissan 240SX with a five speed transmission. He has a lot of trouble holding the speed below 75 (he has accumulated several tickets over the past six months). He tells me "Dad, the speed just creeps up on me and before I realize it, I'm going 75 or 80." He loves the car, but it gets him in a lot of trouble. Can I put a governor on the engine to slow it down, and if not, do you have any suggestions other than trading it for a 1979 Volkswagon Dasher that runs on diesel?

RAY: Gee, Duross, this is a tough problem. Putting a governor on the car is a very difficult thing to do.

TOM: Yeah. What this kid needs is a goverNESS. She can ride with him and give him a good dope slap every time he goes over 55 mph.

RAY: Actually, Duross, this is exactly why we recommend diesel Dashers or big, heavy, old heaps for teenagers. Teenagers brains aren't fully developed yet, and they tend not to understand the relationship between cars, speed, and severe bodily injury (but they do understand dope slaps).

TOM: So in the interests of humanity, we've come up with a plan for you. What this kid clearly needs is something old, heavy, and slow. So I'm going to swap you my 1963 Dodge Dart for your kid's 1990 240SX. I'll drive the 240SX for ten or fifteen years until he's old enough to handle it responsibly. And he'll never get a ticket in the Dart, because it won't GO over 55 mph, even with a tail wind.

RAY: Seriously, Duross, the "several tickets" Junior brought home are probably just the tip of the iceberg. He's clearly out there driving like a knucklehead. For his own safety, as well as for that of other drivers on the road, give him one more warning. And if he doesn't shape up, I'll have the Dart there the next weekend.

Get the Car Talk Newsletter

Got a question about your car?

Ask Someone Who Owns One