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, January 17, 2017

1966 Chrysler Newport, Harvard Square

Cars like this are an endangered species in Cambridge, especially during the winter months. Anytime. I was riding my bike up JFK Street between the swimming pool and my office when I saw this baby. Can't beat the Sixties for clean-sweeping design. And this one is especially clean because it's a minimalist Newport, bottom of the Chrysler lineup, not a gilded New Yorker or Imperial. Apologies for the dismal quality of the photos. It's not easy shooting a car parked on the street, especially when the scene is as busy with aggressive traffic as Harvard Square was today.
Fifty years later. Cars are more efficient and easier to drive; certainly a lot less fun to drive. But, man, are they ever dull. Down in Charlotte NC this past week, a very, very conservative bourgeois kinda banker-town: cars as dull as the houses. Everything grey or silver or white and some version of a snubby SUV. Never saw one machine worth shooting, except a Bentley in a....mall.
There' no doubt a more interesting and funkier side of Charlotte that I never saw: I was commuting between South Park, which felt designed by a 1980s  Mussolini ("More domes! More columns! Bigger!") and Myers Park, which is being consumed by its own unquenchable appetite for the "traditonal" trophy home. 
Ah, shut up. 
What about the Chrysler? Man, what a turnpike car! I like the color tuned to the Mass. plates.
My father, HHB, had a '68 Newport Custom. It annoyed me at the time because it came with dog-dish hubcaps. Which usually I'm fine with. But they just did not suit that car.
Found a New Yorker for sale in Washington State.
And a plain-jane 1967 Newport sedan on the block in Illinois. 

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