Tom and his brother, Ray (above, left), started the Car Talk program in 1977, as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers. Though the show was loosely based on giving advice on car problems, the pair spent more time cracking jokes, making fun of each other, and sidetracking the conversation. Tom's laugh and wisdom were infectious. Below are some of Tom's best one-liners:
"Do it while you're young. You may never have another chance to do anything this stupid again!"
"How do you know if you've got a good mechanic? By the size of his boat."
"Life is too short to own a German car."
"Kids: get away from the cell phones, get away from the computers, and mail someone a fish before it's too late."
"Some guy I met said it's amazing how we use cars on our show as an excuse to discuss everything in the world — energy, psychology, behavior, love, money, economics and finance. The cars themselves are boring as hell."
"If it falls off, it doesn't matter."
"Never let the facts stand in the way of a good answer."
"I like to drive with the windows open. I mean, before you know it, you're going to spend plenty of time sealed up in a box anyway, right?"
Tom in his temperamental 1952 MG TD Roadster, which he both loved and hated.