Heating Up Car-becue on the Road They have surmounted mechanical difficulties and performed one marriage. Now, NPR's Steven Proffitt and mid-century Americana expert Charles Phoenix are going to try out a classic 1950s road activity: the car-becue.
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Heating Up Car-becue on the Road

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Heating Up Car-becue on the Road

Heating Up Car-becue on the Road

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MADELEINE BRAND, host

And finally, to our series "Destination Time Capsule." Later this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere coupe will be unearthed. It was buried 50 years ago with all sorts of other odd artifacts. Our time capsule team, Charles Phoenix and DAY TO DAY producer Steve Proffitt, are headed there now. Their road trip began in L.A.; then they stopped in Las Vegas, where Charles performed a wedding. Today the two head to an iconic Arizona motel and dine on the ultimate road food, car-becue.

(Soundbite of car door closing)

STEVE PROFFITT: Okay, Charles, we had a very successful wedding in Las Vegas; now we're headed to Holbrook, Arizona.

CHARLES PHOENIX: Yes, we are, Steve. We're going to see those wigwam motels, the legendary wigwam motels. All right, let's burn up some highway. Let's go.

(Soundbite of music)

PROFFITT: We crossed the Hoover Dam and made our way to Arizona, where we stopped to pick up some supplies. Charles's plan: to cook an entire meal on the car's engine block.

So Charles has just come out of the Safeway here in Kingman, Arizona, where we are right now. Charles, what did you get?

PHOENIX: Well, we're going to have pork tenderloin. We're going to do a little rub on that. Then we got some potatoes and baked apples.

PROFFITT: Sounds great. Okay, let's get under the hood.

PHOENIX: Won't that be delicious?

(Soundbite of a car door)

PROFFITT: Okay. We're actually in going to prepare this on the side of the road here.

PHOENIX: In the parking lot beside a Dairy Queen.

PROFFITT: Charles begins wrapping the ingredients in several layers of foil, while he figures out just where to place them on the engine.

PHOENIX: That's one layer. Another layer.

PROFFITT: Okay. We've got the apples, potatoes and a nice little pork roast, all kind of strapped onto the engine here, foiled up. Go ahead and shut the oven door.

PHOENIX: Oh well. Here goes.

PROFFITT: We head out to Flagstaff - that's about 130 miles - when we stopped to check on the meal.

What do you think?

PHOENIX: Well okay, so the pork roast wasn't getting done enough on top of the engine block. So we now have shoved it between the radiator hose and the generator, which seems to be pretty hot. So maybe that will cook it up good and delicious.

PROFFITT: So it's back on 40 East for more cooking and to reach the spot where Charles has made reservations at the world-renowned Wigwam Motel. The sign says Have You Slept in a Wigwam Lately? And tomorrow we're going to be able to say yes.

(Soundbite of foil unwrapping)

PROFITT: Charles is parked out front, unwrapping his car-becue. A few fellow Wigwamers gather around, interested and amused. Finally, it's time to test the pork.

PHOENIX: I'm cutting in. That looks done to me.

PROFFITT: That look done. That looks fabulous.

PHOENIX: Looks deliciously done.

PROFFITT: That looks cooked through and through.

PHOENIX: And that rub looks delicious on it.

PROFFITT: Okay. We've got some - if you guys are hungry.

Unidentified People: (Unintelligible)

PROFFITT: Okay.

PHOENIX: Don't let anyone else know in there. Dinner is served.

PROFFITT: And although the potatoes weren't quite done, the pork loin and the apples were fantastic. With Charles Phoenix, I'm Steve Proffitt at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. "Destination Time Capsule."

(Soundbite of music)

COHEN: You can see photos from the Destination Time Capsule team at our Web site, npr.org. $00.00

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