An Item from the Automotive MIA Files

May 09, 2005

RAY: This puzzler was sent in by John Pitts. I had to change it a little bit.

TOM: A little bit?! I see all those scraps of paper that you've scribbled on. You've got like five of them!

RAY: Here it is:

Two old friends bump into each other at the gas station one day. While they're filling their tanks and inhaling their fair share of gas fumes, one of them says to the other, "Boy, I really do miss them. You know, my old car had two of them, and I'm sure yours did, too. But you can't get them now on any new car, even a Cadillac or a Rolls Royce."

The friend shakes his head in agreement. "Yeah, too bad. I'm sure some pickup trucks and SUVs still have them, but you won't find them on a passenger car anymore, anywhere, anyhow."
TOM: I got the answer, because I was sitting staring at it in our very office. I was staring at a photograph of a beautiful car-- my 1963 Dodge Dart.

RAY: And it had them, at least had one of them that we could see.
What it had were chrome bumpers, and cars don't have chrome bumpers anymore. Some trucks have chrome bumpers, as do some SUVs, but cars don't have them anymore.

TOM: You can't get a chrome bumper. Excellent puzzler!

RAY: So who's our winner?

TOM: Our winner this week is Alice Yayman from Pittsboro, North Carolina, and for having her answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Alice gets from us the 26 dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at, with which she can pick up a stainless steel Car Talk thermos, which says on it, "Pure Massachusetts Crude." Now that summer's coming, it's perfect for that 30-weight summer iced coffee.

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