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Utah Public Radio to host a `Car Talk’ anniversary

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How often do you get a chance to toss fan belts, stack valve springs or drop push rods into bottles? Utah Public Radio is staging these and other games as part of a "Car Talk" 10th anniversary party, Saturday, June 20.

The event includes a live, two-hour video broadcast from Boston to Logan.For most of its 10 years on National Public Radio, "Car Talk" has been one of the favorites of NPR listeners. To celebrate that decade on the air, Logan-based Utah Public Radio is inviting everyone to the USU campus for an evening of games, food and fun that will include the satellite broadcast from Boston with "Click and Clack," the "Car Talk" guys.

The party begins June 20 at 5:30 p.m. with games and food at the Eccles Conference Center, just north of the Merrill Library. The satellite feed, to be seen in the ECC auditorium, begins at 6:30 p.m. During a 20-minute intermission in the telecast, there will be a drawing for prizes for those at the Eccles Center.

"Car Talk" hosts "Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers" are actually Massachusetts natives Tom and Ray Magliozzi. Regular listeners to the irreverent program know it is about much more than just automotive repair.

Tom and Ray liberally dispense advice to callers in the broad accents of the East Cambridge neighborhood where they grew up.

"They always tell us the calls about peoples' relationships are some of our best calls," said Tom. "We believe them. We know that the calls about car problems aren't our best calls."

More than 2.6 million listeners hear the program each week.

The Magliozzi brothers are both graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1977 Tom was the only one of six invited mechanics to show up for a talk show on car repairs at NPR affiliate WBUR-FM in Boston. He was invited back the following week, and he asked if he could bring his brother.

That led to their own program. On Oct. 31, 1987, they went on the air with their first "Car Talk" national broadcast.

Tom and Ray will be joined on the telecast by some other famous "brothers" - the Flying Karamazov Brothers, the Smothers Brothers and even Joyce Brothers - during the live program from WBUR in Boston.

Nora Zambreno, Utah Public Radio's development and public relations specialist, is coordinating the evening's events. She said that in addition to games, food and an anniversary cake, vintage show cars will be on display on the grounds around the Eccles Center.

Zambreno said commemorative "Car Talk" T-shirts and mugs will be on sale.

"There are plenty of tickets available," said Zambreno. Cost is $7 per adult and includes food. Tickets are available by calling 797-3138 or visiting Utah Public Radio offices on campus.