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Dave from Bemidji

I know the “Dave from Bemidji” segment they played today was an old one, but i had never heard it before. I did hear them on previous shows joking about “Dave from Bemidji,” so I recognized this must have been that guy. Anyway, pretty funny…driving an old Cavalier with 300k+ miles on it from MN to AK, and punching holes in the cat with a barbecue grill…

"punching holes in the cat with a barbecue grill… "

I also thought that Dave was pretty funny, but I couldn’t help but wonder whether his reference to “the Cadillac converter” was an intentional attempt at humor, or if it just represented literacy that was…not very good.

In any event, I am pretty sure that this segment was dredged up from deep in the show’s archives, so I doubt that we will hear from Dave again–unless he comes to this site.

Yes, that was a funny call. Regarding punching holes in the cat, as I recall the mid-1970’s book by John Muir “How to Keep your Water Cooled VW Alive” recommended this too, for when the VW Rabbit cat converter got clogged up. Muir, he suggested maybe to take the cat off the car first before doing it rather than pounding away with the cat still attached to the exhaust system. So Dave from Bemidgi has Muir one-up on that point. In any event, I don’t think knocking the guts out of the catylitic converter is legal now-a-days.

I just heard it for the first time tonight. I heard the last part of it before so had to make sure I listened to the whole thing. I had an office in Bemidji so am familiar with the culture. Everybody in Minnesota and at least the five state area knows where Bemidji is. Always kind of amazes me that folks from the eastern part of the country have never heard of some of these places before. Maybe they just don’t get out much in Boston. I even know where Slippery Rock is. I like maps.

I told the story before but while we’re on geography: The wife was at the airport with a dead battery due the trunk being left unlatched which was not her fault. It was 40 miles away so I told her to call the Amoco Motor Club. The dispatcher was having trouble and my wife asked if she couldn’t find the airport? The dispatcher said, no I can’t find Minneapolis. Might have been from India, but I know where New Delhi is.

Making another appearance this weekend: Dave from Bemidji!

Does he still have the Cavalier? And does it still have a hole in the catalytic converter? Car Talk minds want to know.

I enjoyed hearing the venerable Dave from Bemidji, especially finding he and I had the same car: ca. 1984-5 Chevy Cavalier.

And the same problems:

My catalytic convertor plugged up and the car would barely go faster than idle. I was miles from my home in Duluth, MN. My friend and his dad towed it to the GM dealer in Waupaca, WI with a rope attached to his (later my) 1979 Toyota truck, me at the end of the rope ready to hit the brakes when need be. The dealer put on a new cat. IIRC it was either free due to extended warranty, or I was reimbursed by GM after writing them a letter.

My own neglect of the cooling system led to the radiator getting plugged up, which became apparent when the top radiator hose popped off after a highway run.