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.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

J.W. Burleson Photograph: Below Los Alamos, New Mexico

                                                                                                                                                             ©JWBurleson 2015

Los Volkswagens de Nayarit

From Aidan O'Neill, Esq. in San Pancho:
"These old dusty VWs are ten pesos a metric dozen in Mexico.  While VW Beetles were produced in Mexico until a few years ago (when modern safety standards finally caught up with them after 70 years), they all seem to be fairly ratty around here. They are the Citroën 2CV -- "Deux Chevaux" -- of these parts.  I think most of the good ones are being used as taxis in Mexico City."-AO'N

Friday, February 27, 2015

LL Bean Bootmobile & Downeast Girl

photo ©Molly Dwyer Blake 2015

Brooklin Boatyard: The Frank Gehry sloop

from Bill Mayher, in Brooklin ME:
"Here is a CAD rendering of the 74' Germain Freres sloop being built for architect Frank Gehry at the Brooklin Boatyard this winter.  With 100 inches of snow down and counting, she has been a continuing source of entertainment for the cabin fever afflicted crowd. And Oh Yeah! Those little black shapes will have individual pieces of glass set in them...all 862 of them.  And those steering pedestals, they will be fabricated in titanium by Boeing's 3D printer. Needless to say, Frank has had a lot of input in "Foggy's" aesthetic.  She'll be launched in May. Operators are standing by to take your order." -BM
(Last June we posted Frank Gehry Flips--AL)

1955 Packard Clipper Custom Constellation

You've heard me whine about winter, and the season's been a tough one here in Maine. On Wednesday 70 vehicles got mashed up in a snowy, chain-reaction wreck on I-95 just south of Bangor. Read about it in the Bangor Daily News...
Just down the road there's a snow shovel with a white rag tied to its handle, stuck into the top of a seven-foot, hardened, crusty heap of snow. A flag of surrender, I assume. 
It's hard to find anything in the way of interesting trucks or cars on the snowy,  salt-slathered streets and back roads of Maine, which is why Autoliterate relies on compañeros in warmer, sunnier territory to send fresh photos of old iron, with field notes. Many thanks to Colin Washburn for coming through in his usual stylish fashion with these picture-perfect Packard photos from Northern California. You've read CRW here before, on the subject of his San Mateo High career & Packards.
"Saw this dust-covered rig the other drew me in. It had no identifiable emblems, so I guessed it was a Merc. Wrong. It's a PACKARD!! (That's what drew me in I assume; some kind of Packard lover's sixth sense.) It's a 1955 Clipper Custom "Constellation". I think the pinstriping is stock. I saw another identical one for sale while researching this one on the web. Same pinstriping. The red is called "Panama Red"! A somewhat weird-looking, yet beautiful Packard."-CRW

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Peter Kayafas photo: Laramie Wyoming 2008

Laramie Wyoming 2008                                                                                                       ©Peter Kayafas 2015 photograph

Horse People

Crow Agency Montana 2009    Peter Kayafas photograph
Stoney Indians Horseracing, Morley Alberta c. 1910,  Elliot Barnes photograph

Dodge 100, Canopy Express, San Pancho

Thanks to Aidan O'Neill for this one. It's definitely in the spirit of those great Canopy Express trucks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

American Houses: Eastern Prom & Munjoy Hill, Portland Maine

An update on the vernacular three-deckah of Munjoy Hill. The second house might be on the Prom. And I'm not sure where the Hill ends and the Eastern Promenade begins. I usually figure, when the wind is sharp and cold enough, I'm on the Prom.

The '32 Cabriolet hotrod

An original build from the Fifties. I want this.  Up on Jalopy Journal

The State Car: Subaru Packing a Sled.

From the Bangor Police Department's Facebook page:

"I am posting this photo tonight for those of you that are not lucky enough to live here in the greatest state in the nation.
Sure, you might have warmer weather, more snakes, tornados, insects and a higher crime rate but we defy you to challenge a Mainer in packing a car.
Ingenuity. True to the course and generally "wicked smaht", we also understand spatial issues like no one else. This photo was taken by a Mainer at a Walmart. Someone needed to get their snowmobile home and a Subaru wagon is truly the perfect conveyor of all things winter.
If the owner of this car can prove that it's their car and tell me a story of this adventure, I will supply them with a new or like new, Bangor Police Department Duck of Justice tee shirt. In Maine; free is considered better than cheap.
That makes this shirt a bargain at double the price.
Get a hold of ol' TC on messenger or give me a call at the office. I want to shake your hand because you my friend are a true Mainer. Share this. Like our page and let's find this adventurer.
. Please, if you are the packer of this car, clear up any wants or warrants prior to stopping by. I want to give you a shirt but I would rather you not wear it in a mug shot. 
We will be here!oto tonight for those of you that are not lucky enough to live here in the greatest state in the nation.

We will be here!"--BPD
And here's a link to a piece in Downeast Magazine about Maine's relationship with its Subaru herd. 

1972 Dodge 100, San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico

 From Aidan O'Neill, Esq. in San Pancho, Nayarit, Mx. We like these trucks, and found one in Colorado Springs last year. There's another that lives in Marfa. And here's a wonderful Dodge 200, also in Marfa. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Looking Up: Bath, Maine

In the depths of winter in Maine, but things are looking up. It was seven below zero (F) this morning on the drive to school; and we're due another snowfall tonight. The drifts are hard-packed and often six feet, or higher. I'm in Portland this morning, where neighborhood streets feel like tunnels. Howevah, Spring comes in, in less than four weeks from our frigid now. And Daylight Savings Time clocks in March 8. We steal back an evening hour, which counts for a lot here at the downeastern end of the time zone.
A couple of day ago walking around the city of Bath with my Dutch amigo, the translator Guido Goluke, the light was there at 5pm. Which it wasn't, a few weeks ago. Maybe the only thing to do in frigid later February is ski or snowshoe when you can, and if you can't (bad knee) ignore the snowdrifts and peer up at some of the wonderful buildings on Main Street.
And those frocks in the shop window? They just fed some color to my snowbored eye.

1963 Ford Galaxie racecar. Street-legal. A contendah for the Chihuahua Express?

The car's for sale. Find out more at B-A-T. Could be a fun ride for the Chihuahua Express

Monday, February 23, 2015

1964 International Scout 80. Marfa, Texas

                                                                                                                                               all photos ©David Branch 2015

1952 Oldsmobile Station Wagon

                                                                             Thanks to Larry Nordell for sending me the gas station photographs

1958 Ranch Wagon at the Surf Motel