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.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

1964 Mercury M-100

from Alex Emond in south Saskatchewan:  Here's a restored '64 Mercury half ton. I caught this in a little town called Sceptre, gateway to the Great Sand Hills . Theres a fairly big area of sand dunes and dry country just south of there and north of the trans Canada Hwy. Lots of antelope and deer and hawks . Lots of oil industry , like pumps and wells too. Nice clean-looking truck.  Cheers , Alex

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Stone schoolhouse. Lower Shell, Big Horn County, Wyoming

                                                                                                                                                                photo: David Branch

From David Branch, on the road: I'm traveling through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana. I came up here for a job that fell through so I've just made a trip of it before heading back to Texas. Man, one forgets (or knows somewhere but doesn't always refresh) how beautiful this country is. I've stayed largely away from the interstate and from cities if I can help it. Sleeping in the truck or tent way back in the sticks. Haven't had a lot of reception and in fact have been happy to have the phone at second thought. But, of course there are trucks and cars aplenty. Sometimes loathe to be the guy in the yard with a camera, though I often want to be. After a week I'm starting to slow down a bit. Walk around. Still, yesterday I was trying to make time getting within striking distance of Missoula where I'll collect my lady from the airport. She'll drive back with me to Texas. Perhaps more autos will be forthcoming. I've tapped out most everything in the Marfa surrounds. Not that there aren't cars undocumented but I've gone stale. It's good to see new light. I wake up this morning on the banks of the Jefferson River in Montana, headwaters of the Missouri. Geese, Hawks, beer cans. I wonder if Lewis & Clark took their time or felt in a hurry?--DB
"The Lower Shell Schoolhouse was one of the first non-log community buildings built in the Big Horn Basin. Using a classic one room schoolhouse design, it was constructed on this site in 1903 on land which had been donated to the Odessa School District. The school district was named for the nearby Odessa Post Office which had operated from 1891 to 1895. Local homesteaders quarried sandstone from the surrounding hills and assisted in the construction of the 24’ by 46’ building. During the 1905-1906 school year forty students were enrolled here demonstrating the early settlers’ high regard for education...." from Ultimate Wyoming

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

1996 Buick Roadmaster

It's large. That's investment-grade vinyl. And it's for sale. Details at BAT.

Dodge Rampage 2.2.

from Alex Emond, in south Saskatchewan: "Remember these? Me neither. The 2.2 refers to the engine size but it could also describe the number of years that it was in production ... poor sales led to it's demise. It was front-wheel drive. Not exactly an El Camino, still it caught my eye, in Swift Current' mainly because it is pretty rare and almost 40 years old. Cheers .

Monday, August 28, 2017

1961 Chrysler New Yorker

The car is on Deer Isle, Maine. Chrysler was nearing the end of Virgil Exner's era and the designer's Forward Look era was getting...baroque. Here comes the Batmobile. The '61 New Yorker station wagon below was for sale on Hemmings last winter. Did you see our post on 1961 as the annus mirabilis of Detroit style?


Sunday, August 27, 2017

1966 Ford F-100 Custom Cab

1966 Ford F-100 up for auction at BAT. Details. West Coast truck.

1966 Ford F200 Grainer

Photo from Alex Emond in Saskatchewan. A grainer is a truck used to haul grain, either from the combines in the fields to the grainery bins on the farm, or from the farm to the grain elevators on the railway line in town. My first short story published in the US was "Vulcan" which drew on my experience driving a grainer on the wheat harvest in Olds, Alberta. Can't find that one online (it's in my story collection Travelling Light)  but there is this essay, Father's Son, from Brick, about me and my old man and The West.

Friday, August 25, 2017

1952 Chevrolet 3100, Stonington, Maine.

Stonington. We had just come in on the mailboat after a couple of days on Isle au Haut.
Eastern Head, Isle au Haut

Thursday, August 24, 2017

1975 GMC Sierra Grande 1500

 Standard issue far-West Texas antelope grill, c. 1975
With a Chevrolet tailgate. Casner of Marfa was the GM dealership, in the building that is now City Hall.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

1980 Chevrolet Malibu wagon

 Looks clean. It's a three-speed manual! These were so much better-looking than the clamshells. It's for sale, in British Columbia. Craigslist

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Thank You, Mr. Herreshoff

Sprite and Cirrus in light air on Eggemoggin Reach. Below, a couple hours earlier, in Center Harbor. Those are 12 1/2's and Beetle Cats.

Monday, August 21, 2017

1967 International Harvester Scout 800

Auction on Tuesday 8/22. Details at BAT 

1950 GMC, 1953 GMC

from Alex Emond in southern Saskatchewan: I was just out on the prairies for a week - if I sent you all the truck pictures that I took, at once, you'd get a near-fatal sugar rush. Some are trucks that we have seen before but in different light and/or settings but I don't seem to be running out of subject matter. I plan to spend late September and a lot of October in Sask. which I am looking forward to . Driving around in that vast and varied land gives me the feeling that you probably get while you're sailing. Here's a pair of "full frontals" for you. You saw these trucks about 6 years ago . Great to see that they are still in the same place ... although not in 'exactly' the same place because they are still on call for periodic tasks . The red bulldozer is quite the beast. If you could drive/operate that you could drive anything, including a herd of cattle . Cheers , Alex ps; are you going to Owl's Head or is that too dangerous ?




Sunday, August 20, 2017

1916 Delage, and 3D Printing. And Strine iksents.

Check the link for the story on 3D printing a  16-cylinder engine block from a 1914 Delage racecar. Thanks to Larry Nordell who got the story from by an old Caltech buddy, Jim Sorenson. You have to be able to handle Strine iksents to listen to, and understand, the link. 
No problem, myte.