#1342: Road Trip of Destruction

Oct 19, 2013
This week's Car Talk features journeys both high and low. First, Tom and Ray salute aviation legend Larry Walters, who took flight in a lawn chair with balloons attached. Back on terra firma, Michaela and her siblings plan to take the family's 20-year-old car on a road trip from Oregon to, well, wherever the car finally dies. She's hoping to make it to Mexico. Tom and Ray think Salt Lake City might be a more reasonable target. Also, Mary Ann's mechanic's solution to her fuel problem could land him in jail; Heather's violating every scientific principle in getting her Subaru to start; and, on Stump the Chumps, we find out if Dale had loose spark plugs, or if Tom and Ray had loose screws when they made the diagnosis. All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

Show Open Topic

A salute to Larry Walters: A man, some balloons, and a lawn chair.

This Week's Puzzler

Buying House Number Letters: How much will it cost to buy the letters that spell the number 12?

Last Week's Puzzler

Eavesdropping Enigma: What kind of store were our eavesdroppers in, and what product were the customers buying?

As Read on Car Talk


Road Trip

Unfortunately for Micaela, it isn't really possible to travel to Tierra del Fuego entirely by car. The Darién gap prevents road travel between Panama and Colombia, and splits the worlds longest road (the Pan-American Highway) in two for aproximately 60 miles.
Favorite Moment: 
All of it!

Addition to Aviation Pioneer

PS I should have added in my previous review comments that Cal Rogers' airplane, which made the first transcontinental crossing of the US in 1911, was probably about as safe as Larry Walters' conveyance, and not too much faster, although he didn't need to carry a weapon to land.
Favorite Moment: 

Aviation Pioneer

Larry Walters carried on a proud tradition of aviation "firsts" which people once thought of as crazy. They made our world what it is today. For example, the first person to cross the US in an airplane (in December 1911), Cal Rogers, flew in a biplane that was structurally closer to a wood-and-canvas sailing vessel than a modern airplane. He needed 84 days, crashed 12 times, and landed in an aircraft that had been almost completely rebuilt by the time it landed in California. Sadly, Cal Rogers died in a crash just 4 months later.
Favorite Moment: 

Why did they handcuff the lawn chair aviator?

Police don't always handcuff suspects. They do it when ... wait for it ... s/he is a flight risk. Walters most certainly was that! :D Rock on, Tom & Ray. David Spalding Durham, NC
Favorite Moment: 
Aviation pioneer Larry Walters.

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