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First Coast Gears: Click & Clack retiring, Saturday mornings will never be the same

11:34 AM, Jun 8, 2012   |    comments
Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the Tappet Brothers of Car Talk. Image courtesy of NPR.
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Area Car Shows

It's going to be a bittersweet summer for generations of car fans.

Tom and Ray Magliozzi, better known as Click and Clack or the Tappet Brothers of NPR's "Car Talk," have decided it's time to retire the show.

RELATED: More car news at First Coast Gears

Older brother Tom, 74, said "it's time to stop and smell the cappucciono," in an NPR news release. 

"My brother has always been 'work-averse,'" says Ray, 63. "Now, apparently, even the one hour a week is killing him!" 

The show hits that radio junkyard in the sky at the end of September, although NPR says repurposed episodes will continue to air every week with material culled from the show's archives.

"We've managed to avoid getting thrown off NPR for 25 years, given tens of thousands of wrong answers and had a hell of a time every week talking to callers," said Ray. "The stuff in our archives still makes us laugh. So we figured, why keep slaving over a hot microphone?"

The brothers have been on the air for 35 years.  The show began in at WBUR Boston and caught on nationwide, including here in Jacksonville on WJCT, 89.9 FM.

Tom and Ray's easy going style has reached way beyond old car guys, with many callers being women and younger listeners who may have picked up the Car Talk habit thanks to the Car Talk iPhone app, podcasts or their dear old dad.

The brothers hold a special place in my heart. I've been listening  for decades after I first heard the Tappet Brothers at my uncle's house as a teenager.   I'm sure many on the First Coast have tuned into Tom and Ray on the way to Saturday morning car shows, or maybe while out working in the garage.

The show has been as much about life as about cars with Ray's weekly puzzlers and the brothers' constant advice to listeners with cars that have become the center of family dilemnas.  

Whether it was Ray chiding Tom about his broken down Fiat or helping a father and daughter through a stick shift driver training crisis, their easy going style always hit just the right note. It's a show that teases without being mean.

A weekend without stump the chumps will be strange but I know one thing, it's been a fun ride.  Thanks Tom and Ray!

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