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.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The 1962 Pontiac Bonneville and Parnelli Jones' 1964 Mercury Marauder

Never much liked what people think of as classic cars of the Fifties, the chrome beasts of '55-58.  Four years of chrome-laden slag mobiles, with certain beautiful exceptions--I always liked '57 Plymouths and '57 Fords. But 1958 in almost anything was a pretty horrible nadir. Actually the 1958 Chevrolet and Pontiacs were nice-looking, but 1958 Buicks? '58 Oldsmobiles? Depraved monsters of chrome.Then came '59--wow. Especially the GMs. Even Buick and Olds became beautiful, strange cars in 1959. 1959 to '65 are, for me, the great years for American cars. But so many car guys of an older generation got stuck in a 1950s time warp. Nostalgia---the word seems almost specific in our culture to Fifties-yearning. "Fifties" as a concept started in 1972, with Lucas'  American Graffiti--or maybe in 1969, with Sha-na-na,  and hasn't let up. Especially here on the East Coast, where a lot of small town car shows are still dominated by Tri-5 Chevys with their Chinese sheet metal and fuzzy dice, while the fairground sound system blasts tiresome 'classic' rock 'n roll, etc. 
If I were to get into cars--as opposed to old trucks-- it would be machines like the 1962 Pontiac Bonneville above, found on autospeed.
Or Parnelli Jones’ Mercury Marauder, here heading for the clouds at Pike’s Peak, 1964. (Image via Axis of Oversteer. I found it on Four Lean Hounds.)

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