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.


My photo
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.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Vanlife: 1993 Pontiac Trans Port

From Jonathan Welsh: "This one might not hold a candle to those sharp '59 Pontiacs but is pretty stylish for the early '90s. A rare bird for your consideration.General Motors frittered away several years before responding to rival Chrysler's groundbreaking minivans that arrived in the 1984 model year. When the Pontiac Trans Sport and sibling Chevrolet Lumina APV rolled out for 1990, Chrysler was nearly ready with its second-generation model. The pointy-nose GM vans turned heads but their styling proved polarizing. The "Dustbuster" nickname came quickly and stuck. They really did look like the cordless Black & Decker Dustbuster handheld vacuums of the period. Gold trim and wheels tell me this is a '93."

AL: Seems to me in Robert Altman's 1992 black comedy about Hollywood, The Player, Range Rovers were THE car everyone in the biz had to have until, somewhere near the end of the film, Oldsmobile minivans of the Dustbuster era suddenly became THE car. 

Saturday, May 15, 2021


From Derek Van Bever: "I know that this is not strictly auto-related, but I am obsessed by these driveway markers where the construction companies of old would place their mark on their work."
AL: there has to be a noun for these things and no doubt an entire subculture. I think one of the first construction contracts my grandfather took on was building sidewalks for Medicine Hat, Alberta, c. 1910.
I wonder if there are any Northern Construction Co. markers still extant?

Now AL has caught the bug:


Friday, May 14, 2021

1975 Ford F-250

Those are chipless F-150s stacked up in Detroit. See the piece on new-vehicle shortage in today's WSJ.. One option AL recommends: go ahead and buy this 1975 Ford F-250, on the block at Hemmings.


1947 Pontiac Streamliner wagon


On the block at Hemmings.

1995 Volvo T5 on the block

AL has a thing for Volvo 850s and this one looks kinda quick. A unicorn of a car these days. On the block today at BAT. We also admire this P210 caught on the other coast, a while back.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Autoliterate Subscribers: AL Has Switched To

Dear Autoliterati, we have switched our subscription service from feedburner to so please don't be surprised when the emailed posts now come via We made the switch because Feedburner will be defunct by July, and chose because it has some features you can now use (which didn’t exist on Feedburner), e.g. on you can now define filters and more delivery channels, e.g. to receive your news via Telegram, news page etc. (many others to follow soon).
The road ahead is wide open.
     Yeah, it's that ole Pinto Canyon Road. Presidio County, Texas.

1986 Chevrolet C10 Texas-ouest


West Texas 1986 Chevrolet C10