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.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Any Old Day in Mar Vista

These photos from our man on the west side of Los Angeles, Craig Manning. Taking the canine for a morning constitutional in Mar Vista turned up these 3.
I've had my eye on this 1954-56 Dodge over the years. It lives around the corner from Craig & Becky. The C-series "Job Rated" Dodge trucks were new in 1954. It was standard for boxes and running boards to be painted black, but you could pay extra to have them painted the same color as the cab--see the truck at  There was an okay piece on these trucks in the March 2011 issue of Hemmings Classic Car. The old-car magazines are finally paying a bit of attention to trucks, also to original and unrestored vehicles, which is refreshing. 
Here's a Ford F-1 from Mar Vista. These were unreconstructed drives-like-a-truck trucks: it was the subsequent generation of Ford pickups that were a bit more modern and easier to handle. But these sure are handsome. I had the chance to drive CM's F-2, big brother of this truck, around Marfa this winter. More on that wonderful machine later.  By the way, there's a nice looking F-1 for sale at//

See what walking the dog in L.A. turns up?  This is an English c.1958 Ford Escort Estate. A bunch were exported to the States and Canada. This little car seem to be talking a very different, more modest language than cars--even small  imports--speak now. Something pleasing in the simplicity of the design, isn't there? It is itself: it's a car, not a cartoon, or a superhero fantasy rendered in sheet metal. Women especially seem to love love love English cars of this era. People say they're cute. Well, they are, but it's not noxious cuteness. The specs say this particular Escort Estate will go 0-60mph in a not-quite-breathless 32 seconds, which would make for a scary launch onto, say, the 10 freeway. Okay, not a freeway car.

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