Press Release

Fiat Spider Formerly Owned by Car Talk Co-Host Tom Magliozzi to be Sold for Charity on

Proceeds to Benefit Chicago NPR Affiliate, WBEZ - FM

Are you in the market for a 1979 Fiat Spider with a little history?  More than 10 years ago, senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder was in the market, and decided to purchase Tom Magliozzi's 1979 Fiat Spider and drive it from Cambridge, Mass., back to his hometown of Chicago.


Tom, Ray and the staff of "Car Talk" had a good time betting on the point during Joe's drive back to Chicago that the car would break down.  The event was chronicled during a funny bit on the show that can be heard here.


Joe has decided to donate his beloved Fiat through Car Talk's Vehicle Donation Program to help raise money for his local public radio station, WBEZ.  The car is being auctioned on from Sept. 4 through Sept. 12 at 6 p.m.  


"Joe Wiesenfelder's generosity and that old Fiat are symbols of the eternal hope of the public radio community," said Daniel Ash, WBEZ's vice president of strategic communications. "We sell old jalopies to help pay the bills. Seriously, WBEZ is deeply grateful for the thousands of Car Talk fans who help power public radio. It's gestures such as this one that make our brand of media truly unique."


"If you would like a nicely appointed -- well, I should just say appointed -- Fiat convertible just in time for winter, this might be the car for you.  And you would be helping raise money for National Public Radio affiliate WBEZ," said senior editor, Joe Wiesenfelder.  "I make no claims about the car other than it is, indeed, a car. It started the last time I was in it, and nothing has fallen off of it for at least a week."


Asked about the auction of his old Fiat, Tom Magliozzi was, briefly, speechless. "You mean it's still running?" said an incredulous Magliozzi. "I never should have given him that fire extinguisher."


"Most of his cars simply burn up, or turn to rust and blow away," explained brother Ray. "If I don't crush them first."


To place an offer on the 1979 Fiat Spider, visit here.   Or visit Car Talk.



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