BOSTON (Reuters) - Tom Magliozzi, co-host of the long-running weekly National Public Radio show "Car Talk," died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease, the broadcast network said. He was 77.
Magliozzi and his younger brother Ray became famous as the self-deprecating radio mechanics "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" on their popular weekend call-in program, sharing jokes, banter and automobile advice.
The program, which was taped at Boston public radio affiliate WBUR, has continued to air in re-runs following the pair's retirement two years ago after more than three decades on the air.
The pair joked with each other and listeners who called in for advice on topics from how to eke a few more years out of aging vehicles to marital advice. Most exchanges during the more than 1,200 episodes recorded during the show's 35-year run were punctuated by Magliozzi's echoing laugh.
The Magliozzi brothers grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, and each graduated from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
They opened a do-it-yourself car repair shop nicknamed "Hacker's Heaven" in the 1970s and later opened another facility, called the "Good News Garage." They recorded their programs out of a studio overlooking Harvard Square in Cambridge labeled by a neon sign as "Dewey, Cheatham & Howe," a fictional law firm featured on the program.
The brothers provided the voices for animated cars in the blockbuster 2006 Disney Pixar film "Cars."
(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Eric Beech)