Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

1941-46 Chevrolet pickup, and The Last Picture Show

From Chris Baker, painter, and our man in Southern California.  This one looks awfully close to original, though Chris says all insignia were missing, and the truck's owner didn't know what he had, exactly. Well, that's what Autoliterate is for. This is a 1941-46 Chevrolet pickup. Probably a '41, '42, or  a '46; civilian truck production stopped during the war. I like this truck a lot, in what looks like its original and unrestored condition--that's recycling!-- though I would get rid of those whitewalls as soon as possible. On trucks of that era, standard-procedure at the factory was to paint fenders and running boards black, and I think that is what I'm seeing here.

Some people think of this series as the "Wurlitzer" Chevrolet trucks, and the front grill does call to mind  jukeboxes of the era. There's some art deco going on there.

In a previous post I mentioned Peter Bogdanovich's startling 1971 film, The Last Picture Show (based on a Larry McMurty novel, with the screenplay co-written by Bogdanovich and McMurty). A great early role for Jeff Bridges, and for Cybil Shepherd too. Randy Quaid's first appearance on film. (His next was in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz). And a great late-career role for that old John Ford cowboy,  Ben Johnson. It's set in a small Texas town, and the opening shot, as I remember, is Sonny's (Timothy Bottoms) boot pumping the accelerator while trying to start an old pickup truck on a cold Texas morning. I can relate to this. 
I had to check, but the pickup in the movie, co-owned by the Timothy Bottoms and Jeff Bridges characters--is not a '41-'46 Chevrolet, as above, but the immediately preceding series, possibly a '39.

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