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, November 19, 2014

1962 Dodge Dart and the million-mile Montreal taxi

We saw one of these a while back in Shediac, New Brunswick, heart of the Acadien (that's Cajun, down in Louisiane) North Shore. That car had Florida plates and had spent some time in Hawaii. Darts get around.
I remember my second-grade pal Frank's family, Hungarian refugees in Montreal, bought a '62 Dart for their first new car. Chrysler products of those years are weird-looking and were considerably downsized from the predecessors. People thought them bizarre, and they didn't sell, but I always though they were cool. Later in the series there were very good-looking cars--the Plymouth version especially.
There was a taxi driver in Montreal who drove a '63 Plymouth for years. I last saw it on the road sometime in the 1990's. I'd asked a couple of old-time cabbies in Montreal and they said Joseph Vaillancourt, the driver of the Plymouth kept in exceptional shape but it was finally just too old to get licensed as a hack. Then I found the remarkable story of Vaillancourt's  1,600,000 mile Plymouth taxi online. (and that is miles, not kilometers!)
Montreal's hilly and banged-up streets along with Montreal winter weather = beaucoup road salt, so you rarely see cars much older than eight or nine years in the city. I'm glad the Plymouth cab is in honorable retirement. The Dart is for sale at Motorland in Arundel, Maine. If you take care of it, maybe you're good for a million.

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