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.

Monday, July 31, 2017

1917 Ford Model T

I think this car has been on our peninsula most of its life.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

1961 annus mirabilis automobilia

And I thought Mad Men was tiresome, a pastiche. Cynicism and cigarettes. Tedious. There was more to the era than that. Still, I will argue that there was never a better year for American cars than '61. 
I was seven, in the backseat on many long drives between Montreal and Maine, and car-obsessed, road-obsessed, and map-obsessed. Already Autoliterate. I could spot a '61 Ford from a '60 at half a mile, in a thunderstorm...which happened every summer afternoon, it seemed, in the White Mountains. So I was primed,. Maybe most car guys circle forever around the auto-fixations of the summer they were seven years old? 
But 1961...hey, they are sleek beauties, are they not? Even the weird last-phase-of-Virgil Exner Chryslers, which were starting to lose it. (His plainer Plymouths and espcially Dodge wagons were best by then; his upper-market Chryslers and Imperials most dysfunctional, style-wise).  The GM cars were, all of them, stars. Lean & clean. Especially the Pontiacs. Any GM bubbletop would do it for me, but I'd argue a special case for a back-to-basic-looking Pontiac Catalina with all the Super-Duty stuff bought from the dealer and wrenched on by the buyer, or his/her local speed shop. 
And maybe the most beeyootifull machine of the year was the Country Squire..

I also like the plainjane 3-door Ranch Wagon.

Bubbletops rule, even if they'r not 409s.

And it often seems that the most basic-seeming (there's a 409 in there somewhere) strippers of the era, like this (below) ledgeroof '61 Chevy Biscayne come through 57 years later with the cleanest and clearest statement of style.

Exner designed spaceships that were earthbound.
Ford goes fast.
Exner's '61 Plymouth Fury. Seems characterful, but maybe not a car you'd want to look at every day.
Chrysler Newport. You can see the roots of the Batmobile. Whereas with the Pontiac, it's all about--go.

Oldsmobile. This car says "doctor."
Mercury Colony Park. What came first, the suburbs or the wagons?

Friday, July 28, 2017

San Luis Colorado and The New York Times

          Check the piece in yesterday's New York Times on small grocery stores struggling to stay in business. It featured a store in San Luis Colorado, one of Autoliterate's favorite destinations.
In Colorado terms, San Luis is probably about as far away, psychically, from, say, Aspen as you can get. We love the San Luis Valley and wish that the store could keep on keepin' on.
            Here on the peninsula, the Brooklin Store, which has been in business for a century or so, was rebuilt, and re-opened this spring. We're lucky to have it.
           BTW, there was '56 Chevy wagon for sale in San Luis back in April. Maybe still there.

1959 Rambler American wagon

 Thanks to the poet Eva H.D. who caught the American composting in Canada.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summah Cars: 1976 Cadillac Eldorado. Brooklin, Maine

It's actually a '76. I think. But I can't seem to make a change in the heading of the post.
And this car's twin is on the block today at Bring A Trailer.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summah Cars: 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible

One owner. He bought it in Jacksonville FL. one minute after he got out of the Marines. Not a 442, but has the package as option.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Corb Lund & The Hurtin' Albertans, "The Truck Got Stuck"

Great song.

PHB   GH Ranch Sundre, Alberta 1973

1967 Ford Econoline pickup

You could use one of these. On the block at BAT.  

1963 Pontiac Bonneville convertible. The real meaning of joyride.

It's a '63, of course. 
What was that Springsteen lyric...? 
Well it ain't no secret, I've been around a time or two
Well I don't know baby maybe you've been around too


Monday, July 24, 2017