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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

1937 MG SA

Thanks to Stephen Hendrickson for the heads-up on AJ Baime's piece in The Wall Street Journal on this MG SA: 
Jean Clyde Mason, 84, an artist and designer from Los Angeles, on her 1937 MG SA, as told to A.J. Baime in the WSJ.
"My late husband Spencer and I always loved cars. Soon after we married in 1955, we were on a game show called “You Bet Your Life,” and Groucho Marx asked the questions. We won some money and bought our first car: a three-wheeled Morgan. Soon after, we bought a used Jaguar and while I loved the look of it, I always joked that it was like being in love with an actor. It never worked.
"Around 1960 we were watching the 1940 film “ Rebecca, ” starring Laurence Olivier, when we saw this British car move across the screen. It was a 1937 MG SA. We both thought: That is a beautiful car. Soon after, my husband saw an ad for one for sale in England. The British pound was weak at the time, so he bought it for very cheap..."

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Orthodox Church at Elm Springs

Alex Emond, from southern Saskatchewan: "I found this church by stopping on a hilltop and 'glassing' the surrounding country . It was way off glinting in the sun . Romanian Orthodox , as opposed to Russian or Greek . There was once a bit of a town there but now only the church and a small cemetery . The place is looked after and it seems like it still gets used , maybe not regularly but on occasion . Very quiet . I have been there a few times and have yet to see a soul , a vehicle , but once had some antelope out run my car . They left me like I was standing still and I was going as fast as this dirt road would allow."

Saturday, February 24, 2018

1950 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery

From Michael Moore, in Northern California: Caught this ‘50 Chev sedan delivery on First in Benicia last week…note the Olds spinners! And Orange!!! Nice sun visor, too…but I actually prefer the late 'forties. Would kill for one of those [almost]…

Friday, February 23, 2018

1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

The Alfa belongs to my old friend Dave Inglis, formerly of Grosvenor Avenue and for the past few decades, of Brandon, Manitoba.
               "Best Alfa moment: we bought the Alfa from friends and had to fly out to Kelowna, BC to pick it up. They had owned the car for 5 or 6 years. When we arrived at the airport in Kelowna, Royden had it parked right outside the airport's front doors. She was gleaming and all set for the drive to Manitoba the next day. I got the wheel first. It was a beautiful sunny, warm day as we started out, the sun and warm wind engulfing us in the open convertible. Somewhere around Banff, Alberta I rounded a curve that opened to a long straightaway. In the distance I saw a pack of two Porsches and a BMW roadster approaching I will never forget the sound as they passed....voom, voom, voom. As they passed all three drivers turned their heads to look at our 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce. We also would have created that 'voom' passing them.  I always imagine they were thinking, 'What was that?
             "Worst Alfa moment: we were driving TransCanada Highway Number 1 from Brandon, Manitoba to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan via Regina, Sask. for a long weekend [4 hours to Regina heading West then 3 hours North, Regina to Saskatoon]. Laurie was driving.  was enjoying the hum of the car and watching the scenery. Suddenly, my head flew back and I experienced a throbbing pain in and was covered in liquid. It was as though someone has taken me out from behind the grassy knoll. Turns out I was taken out by a grasshopper while we were doing about 120 km/h.  I sported a welt on my head and was covered in grasshopper guts. The spray of guts was everywhere. It reminded me of that old joke.
Q: “What was the last thing that goes through a grasshopper's mind when he hits your windshield?
A: "His anus."
And there it ends.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


1975 left Montreal hitchhiked to Berkeley to see a girl, BM, whom I had met on Jericho Beach in Vancouver in '73. Hitchhiked solo from Montreal to Maine to Nashville to New Orleans to El Paso to LA to Bay Area. Spent a week in Berkeley then started north for Banff but got a ride to Mendocino & fell in love with the place (reminded me of Maine) and spent a week in a state park there. Then went on to Missoula, Banff, and Manitoba. In Brandon, Manitoba met up with old friends from Montreal who were in a band, and we drove a '68 Mercury from Brandon to Montreal nonstop in about 30 hours.

1976 I left Montreal with my future brother in law Aidan ONeill in a Chrysler drive-away delivery car to Windsor Ontario. Crossed the bridge to Detroit & picked up a brand new Dodge truck to deliver to Logan Utah, then hitchhiked from Logan UT to Mendocino, on the way got picked up in the desert by 2 crazy brothers who got into a fight and pulled out a pistol in a Denny's parking lot in Reno); then up the coast Mendocino, and to Seattle, where we picked up another driveway truck, a big one, to deliver from Vancouver to Calgary,. It broke down for a while in Salmon Arm BC . We stopped in Banff where Mary B and my cousin Sally Reynolds fed us at the Homestead Restaurant; from Calgary we went to work on the GH Ranch at Sundre Alberta then the grain harvest at Olds, Alberta. I met the BAnff log house crew first time at (Canadian) Thanksgiving dinner, Buffalo Street, 1976.

If my son ever wanted to do that I would do everything possible to stop him, but my father had lived through the wars,(watched a German fighter plane shot down over North London, 1917!  Fled Germany in August 1939!) & I guess he figured anything I did was pretty soft by comparison
Oh Banff. Man there's nowhere like it. There was a cougar, and I mean the cat, one night in the parking lot at the Safeway 2 weeks ago. A big one. Bears, okay, even griz, I can handle that. But a cat like that makes me feel like a mouse. We're nothing but prey.

Texas Jeepster

©2018 Geoff Park photo.

Work in progress at BAM Garage, Alpine, Texas.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

1949 Chevrolet 3100

Geoff Park photograph: at Cottonwood General Store, Study Butte, Texas.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Rob Hann Photograph. Out of Gas

©2018Rob Hann photograph Pump at a former gas station, Desert Center, California

Monday, February 19, 2018

1939 Ford convertible

 The car's for sale. Look it up on Jalopy Journal. "Owner motivated".

Sunday, February 18, 2018

1937 Plymouth

Thanks to Geoff Park who saw the car in Terlingua, Texas. I'm guessing it's a GM car, mid- to late Thirties. I'm more certain of the date than the marque.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

1940s Reo Truck US Navy 1 1/2 ton

From Colin Washburn, in the Sierra foothills: "An old U.S. Navy Reo, at Cover’s Apple Ranch, Tuolumne, Ca."
And from Autoliterate: Tell me there is not something beautiful in the lines of this workhorse. Even in the elliptical-egg shape of the windows. and the rightness of those fenders. Not to mention the battleship prow.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Toy Wagon

From Don Greene Culbertson in Marfa TX--"the Toyota that drove out of a time capsule." From Autoliterate: I think mid-Eighties?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

1948 Chevrolet Thriftmaster 1-ton

from Colin Washburn in the Sierras: "Seen in Cold Springs, Ca.. For sale. Rebuilt 292 c.i. engine, that 'was running when we parked her here 10 years ago!' ”

Here are the specs on these trucks from the GM Heritage Center.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Penny for your Cadillac

From Colin Washburn:
Received this story from a friend .....
Caddy completely covered in US pennies, glued on one by one with silicone. Took 6 weeks, added 200lbs. to car, cost $384.00 !

Ecclesiastic Architecture of South Saskatchewan

from our Rocky Mountain/ High Plains correspondant, Alex Emond: " I'm a little low on trucks right now, in the middle of February. Let me send you a sampling of the churches that dot the landscape of S.W. Saskatchewan . A few are still used but many are slowly losing ground to time and neglect . Some are kind of in the middle of nowhere , but you have to remember that there was a time when there were more people, smaller farms and churches had to be fairly close to home . In a few cases the church is all that's left of a town, in the case of Frenchville or Elm Springs. It takes a long time for buildings to tumble in the dry climate , and you won't see signs of vandalism ... in fact , most church doors are never locked . I am sure that there are more churches out there ... so many roads , so little time. Cheers, Alex"