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I received a slanderous Email from car talk RE: the FIAT 124

First of all, I have never, don’t and don’t perceive owning a 124 BUT have spent decades wrenching on cars from many countries and find the 124 to be the easiest to work on and ESPECIALLY back when the 124 came out the most rationally designed. As I recall, Fiat also owns and therefore shares design practices with Ferrari.

Having listened to the guy at I will NEVER have ANYTHING to do with that company!

From what I saw and read, your Fiat is very sound with the sole possible concern being a poorly patched floor pan.

This car would make a FUN, (remember when cars were FUN not appliances??) driver.

In October, there will be a Concurso D’Elegance in Santa Barbara, Ca. specifically FOR Italian cars, Perhaps a 124 will be competing there but also will surely be in the parking lots.

Your pandering to new cars only is a classic case of simple greed directed toward the dealers and manufacturers which I can understand but why continually slander any car that is more than 5 years old?

Michael Rogers

I must have missed something on a show or this guy is completely lost.

I don’t believe Car Talk sends out e-mails slanderous or not. I suspect you misunderstood something or someone is playing with you

Are you talking about the email that came this morning?

"What kind of person would buy one of Tommy’s old heaps?

We’re about to find out!

A 1979 Fiat Spider, once owned by our humble co-host, is up for auction this week.

Joe Wiesenfelder, of Chicago, an auto writer at, currently owns the wreck. Joe has generously offered to donate every last penny of the proceeds to our pals at WBEZ Chicago, his favorite public radio station, through our Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program.

It’s not often that one of Tom’s old jalopies comes on to the market. Most of them just dissipate, and then the resulting rust gets blown away by a gust of wind.

But this one’s apparently still roadworthy. We?ve even had it inspected by an honest-to-goodness Fiat mechanic.

Interested in owning a piece of history that’s also a piece of junk, or know someone who is? Are you or a friend experiencing a temporary loss of reason and your senses? Excellent! Read up on Tommy’s old Fiat, and place your bid.

Now’s your chance!

Yours in poor judgment for a great cause,

Maury Maille"

This is slander? Just when I thought people couldn’t be more PC, you raise the bar.

It’s for real. They’re auctioning off Tommy’s old '79 Fiat Spider for charity.

My dad had one exactly like this one, except a few years earlier. While it could never win any reliability awards and it rusted if you even SPOKE the word “water”, I spent a good number of happy miles driving that car. I’d love one, because it would remind me of my dad.

I thought of posting a bid, but when I looked at the description of teh condition I decided not to. I mights still post a $100 bid, however, and see what happens.

SLANDER: The issuing of a false statement, verbally, that is intended to, or has the effect of, defeming the reputation of an individual, nation, corporation, etc.

So, for starters, a written Email would be LIBELOUS, not slanderous.

Second: for you to have legal standing, you would have to have been harmed by the defamation. As “Micheal Rogers” is not named in the e-mail, you would have no legal standing.

Third (and most important): the putative libel would have to be represented as being true. Given that (a) CarTalk (in general) and T+R Magliozzi (in particular) are the subject of copious amounts of self-depricating humor, no reasonable person could have interpreted the e-mail as being literally true (at best, it might be seen as a cariacture of the truth, exaggerated for comic effect).

Thus, If no reasonable person could interpret the statements as true, no damage to reputations (deserved or otherwise) could occur.

I understand it’s raining in Cancun. What dress are you wearing tonight?

I fail to see any viciousness in that email as posted by GSN fan. It looks like nothing more than a little tongue in cheek humor to me and that’s the norm for CT.

Having worked for a Fiat dealer and having had my hands on a few 124s I agree they’re not that hard to work on and are actually better cars than many people give them credit for.
The biggest issue we ever faced at the dealer was getting those factory only replacement parts.
(Long story involving a looting of the bank apparently by the U.S. importer for Fiat.)

My sister had a 124 spyder and enjoyed it when it ran. Unfortunately, it was stuck in the driveway a lot. That’s just one car, and she did not buy a new one.