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 29, 2020

Watching the Parade

'Watching the Parade'  Cincinnati  (1938?) John Vachon photograph.

Friday, February 28, 2020

1998 Volvo V70R

This car was priced at $1700 on Jalopnik's Nice Price or Crack Pipe? You decide. 258.000 miles.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Hot Stuff at Bonneville

Another of Don Palmer's Kodachromes from the mid-1950s out there on the salt flats. Was the sky really bluer then, or was it the kodachrome? Check out Isky Racing Cams.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020

Alfred Bohns: Fin Days & Kodachrome Montreal

from Urbanphoto: Alfred Bohns arrived in Montreal from a small town in Germany in the lte 1950s. He lived with his wife Hannelore in an apartment on Clark Street just above Prince Arthur, next to two other European couples. The six of them used to spent their free time wandering around the city, taking photos of their new home...
Many of these are scanned from colour 35mm Kodachrome slides. Developing the slides back in the late 50s cost Bohns no small portion of the two dollars he earned every day working at a hatmaking shop on Mayor Street.
We posted more Bohns photos from fin days a few years back.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Friday, February 21, 2020

1952 GMC 250 Advanced Design

The Bison Brothers are in Alberta, Canada. They seem to be digging out a lot of old metal, mostly long-retired farm trucks, from the prairie provinces. From their website:
"1952 GMC 300 New Design Pickup Truck. Very solid truck with the rare 9 foot express bed. We acquired it from a very elderly farmer who's son painted it orange in the 70's, put a radio in it and used it to drive to school. Then when he left for college it was stuffed into the corner of the barn and forgotten until now. Selling with No Reserve to the highest bidder. Contact must be made within 24 hours of the auction ending or it will be assumed that you have no intention of honoring your bid and the truck will be offered to others. Zero Feedback bidders must make contact prior to bidding.
This truck has a good solid body with very minimal rust. The floorboards are very good with only minor rust in the usual area of the passengers side floorboard but far less than is often seen on these. The drivers side cab corner is very good but the passengers side has a little rust. The fenders have no signs of rust. The bed has no rust. The running boards have no rust. The doors have no rust. Overall this truck is a remarkably solid basis for a restoration with far less rust to contend with compared to most examples.
The interior is complete and in good condition for its age. The original seat will need reupholstering like with any unrestored farm truck of this era. And a 70's GM car steering wheel has been installed, likely at the same time the radio was added and the truck was painted orange.
Mechanically this truck is complete but has not ran for several decades so will need fully going through. All tires hold air and it rolls and steers freely."

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

House. Houston, Texas 1943

John Vachon photograph

Biscuit, in Center Harbor

She's wood, not metal, and we've been here before, but the light is coming back in New England so AL is thinking boats and Brooklin. She's an unmistakeable Arno Day design, Brooklin-built. Bever a working boat but could have been. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Ford Vicky? Chevrolet Confederate?

 Not sure. Ford Vicky? Chevrolet Confederate? Pretty cool.
Michael Moore says Ford Model B--there's one for sale at Hemmings

Monday, February 17, 2020

The '57 Pontiac Laurentian, and a request.

Dear Autoliterati,
there is something in the plainjaneness of this Alex Emond photo that we really admire. A clean, straight profile shot is always appreciated, especially when followed-up by fore and aft photos, and details. This time of year, interesting metal in New England is hibernating. If you are in warmer, drier and less road-salty part of the world, please keep you camera close at hand and share any sightings via jpeg to
best regards,

Porsches on the PCH, Malibu

 Jaguar, too. First Deal cars of another era.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Don Palmer at Bonneville

 Don Palmer's kodachrome from Bonneville Salt Flats, mid 1950s.

Car Wash? Twenty bucks. Cash.

from Sandra Garcia's piece in New York Times today on freelance car-washers of Upper Manhattan:
On a record-breaking 68-degree January day, New Yorkers were unnerved, enjoying the weather and wary of what it meant. But for the guerrilla carwash guys of Upper Manhattan, it was only good news. As of 11 a.m. that Saturday, there were at least six carwashes set up on Ninth Avenue from 201st Street to 207th, with numerous Fords, BMWs and a Toyota already soaped up, and more were waiting.

For as long as anyone can remember, there has been a thriving cottage industry, operating out of vans and without conveyor belts, mechanized brushes or complicated hydraulic systems, along an industrial stretch near the Harlem River in Inwood.

“Park right here so I can wash it for you,” a car washer said in her raspy voice to a car that had pulled up. The driver crept to her, then sped off. There would be others.

The car washers are there every day of the year, rain or shine, and a full-service wash, inside and out, will run you $20.This off-the-books economy is, strictly speaking, not legal. But it is crucial to dozens of residents from Inwood and the Bronx, many of them recent immigrants.Each carwash operates with informal teams of two to four people. When a customer stops, a symphony of tasks begins: One person dunks two large giant sponges into a bucket and soaps down the roof of the car, the doors, hood and the trunk by hand. Another person rinses the car with a hose with a power-washer attached to it. Another pulls out the car mats and hoses them down until they glint in the light. The exterior of the car is usually done in 10 minutes or less.
As reliable as they are, the carwashes are threatened by future development. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has opened this area to rezoning. A 27-story apartment building is part of the proposal being considered.Until then, there’s not much for the car washers to do but keep washing cars...

Saturday, February 15, 2020

1969 Mercury Monterey

Living large in the late Sixties. The Merc's for sale at Motorland in Arundel, Maine.

Friday, February 14, 2020

c. 1975 ford F-350

Photos from Don Culbertson. The truck lives in Terlingua, Texas, down in the Big Bend.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

1959 Mercedes Benz 190Db Kombiwagen

Only thing is, it looks kinda like a hearse. The wagon is on the block at B-A-T.

Lincoln in a hurry

1965 Lincoln Continental. On I-10 somewhere between Sierra Blanca, Texas and El Paso. We like this era of Continentals. Like the '63 we caught in Cambridge, Mass.