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.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Ford COE Wrecker. Gerlach, Nevada.

From Michael Moore, out in the desert: "Out back of [the former] Bruno’s Texaco…they favored those short wheelbases, both for water trucks [likely a WW II surplus, converted] and for the classic Ford COE wrecker..."


Thursday, April 29, 2021

1951 Kaiser Traveler

The car arrived in Maine from Washington State. First three photos are courtesy of Maynard Bray.
AL has posted several Kaisers. A 1952 Kaiser in Cambridge. A 1952 and a 1953 both in Maine
1953 Kaiser Henry J in Framingham, Mass.,
and a 1953 Kaiser Deluxe across the Benjamin River in Sedgwick, Maine. Then there's the Kaiser Deluxe in N.J., and a couple of Kaiser Willys units: a 1966 Jeep in West Texas and a military-issue M-715.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Wagon World; 1963 Pontiac Catalina Safari, etc.

You know here at AL we are very much in favor of wagons. Below is an extract from Jonathan Welsh's 2017 piece on the American icon in WSJ

"For years, American auto gurus have been predicting the station wagon’s extinction. The threats from first minivans, then SUVs and most recently crossovers were going to deliver the coup de grĂ¢ce to the frumpy, wood-paneled, roof-racked relic.
"But wagons persisted. They evolved. They got into shape, building muscle with high-tech engines and improving their agility—on and off the road—with new suspensions and computer-controlled all-wheel drive. Sexier, aerodynamic shapes have eclipsed the image of the boxy, overstuffed Family Truckster of “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”
"Today the station wagon is safely off the endangered-species list. While still a tiny part of the market, wagon options are multiplying. For the 2018 model year, at least 10 wagons are coming to dealer showrooms, including four brand-new models.
"Car makers that previously stopped selling wagons in the U.S., like Jaguar and Buick, have brought them back. Others, including Volvo and Volkswagen, recently baptized new models, while longtime wagon maker Subaru is setting sales records, led by its rugged, SUV-ish Outback. The company said it sold 156,277 Outbacks through October, up 8.2% over last year. Porsche, a newcomer to the segment, is further stretching the definition of a wagon with the cheetah-like Sport Turismo, which comes in a 192-mph hybrid version. You know, because the farmers’ market is closing really soon...."

AL: Most of the wagons available these days seem to be European. And they are rare. It seems like the space has been taken over first by minivans, now by the ubiquitous SUV. SUV's--to our eyes looks like frogs.Something about the squashed squareness of them.

Some wagons posted on AL: a '63 Pontiac Catalina Safari. A '59 DeSoto. And a '62 Safari. And a '59 Canadian Safari. A '57 Chevrolet 210 wagon. A '64 Chevy II wagon. You get the idea. We like wagons. Bunch more if you type wagon in our search widget.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

1975 GMC Sierra Grande, liberated.

Extracted from the boat shed over in Sedgwick, Maine. It's a long way from West Texas where I found the truck 11 years ago.

Monday, April 26, 2021

1972 Lancia Fulvia. Montclair, N.J.


From Jonathan Welsh: "I love the slender roof pillars and lovely overhangs on this model.
Not many Lancias made it to the U.S., where sports-car fans seem to consider Alfa Romeos exotic enough. Fulvias had front-wheel drive and narrow-angle V4 engines ranging from 1.1 to 1.6 liters. Tiny! Sufficiently strong to win the world rally championship in '72, though.
The owner of this restored coupe said he found it in Idaho a few years ago. He said the only other one for sale at the time was in the Netherlands. Buy local."

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Outlier at BBY

It's that time of year. Boats are getting wet. Outlier is a 55-foot cold-molded sloop built at Brooklin Boatyard and designed by Botin Partners of Spain. Fixed bulb keel, plumb bow, fast--and she'd probably pick up some lobster traps in Eggemoggin Reach. A Bluewater boat. Home port, Nantucket.


Saturday, April 24, 2021

AMC Eagle and AMC Hornet, Mar Vista


from Craig Manning: Here is some rare old metal from Mar Vista (LA). Two AMCs, same home. A 72 Hornet Sportabout, and an 84? Eagle which is 4x4 and looking pretty beefy though it is clear she is not running any more. Stock hubcaps too, I think. AMC’s were pretty much falling apart as they rolled off the assembly line, so these entries testify to the congeniality of Mar Vista winters.

Friday, April 23, 2021

1967 Ford C-600 COE

From Reid Cunningham:"I have no idea the year, but it caught my eye.  It looks like this will be the final resting place for the truck, but interestingly, the engine for the well rig  (photos below) looked to be good operable condition.  I am reasonably sure it's an International Farmall motor, from the A, B, C series.  You can see the bolsters on the front: the engine is a structural member of the tractor."

AL: How about this handsome hunk of a '55 Ford COE we caught in Kansas a while back? A same era Ford COE, rethought, that Alex Emond caught in Banff. And a '66 C-600 we noticed in Colorado Springs.

(AL: This truck (below) was for sale a while back at Autoland in Arundel Maine.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

1966 International B-180

 from Reid Cunningham: "New Boston, New Hampshire (or best I could tell, on back roads it's not always clear where you are. A lot like life). I like the extra pin striping, a sign someone thought of it as more than just a tool. It had a 2020 inspection sticker, a recent runner."

AL: we posted an International B-110 in Saskatchewan a while back. And how about a 1940 Model D?This R-110 in Colorado Springs is one of our all time favorite trucks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

RH Drive Series Land Rover, Portland Maine


From the photographer Scott Dorrance. Speaking of 4WD, Scott caught this Kaiser Jeep M715 a while back. 
Here's a nifty Cambridge L-R Autoliterate posted a while back. And the legendary, L-R, Grizzly Torque on its odyssey.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Father's Day


Henry Street, Toronto. From the poet Eva H.D. 

Toyota FJ40, etc.

From Michael Moore in the East Bay:

"Obviously it sees some use and love, given those new knobby tires…just California springtime...

"Down around West Fifth is a guy who’s definitely into older Toyotas such as this 4Runner:
"Our 80 year old friend Patsy has one of these, pretty stock, with 400K on it that she uses to go back and forth to her off grid cabin at 11,000’ in the upper Huerfano all summer, living mostly alone with her two aging Gordon Setters…but the guy down the street here has even more interesting iron than this;
"So I dunno why this photo (below) didn’t focus and I don’t know why everybody loves BFGs [I’ve had nothing but bad luck with them] but the semi-gloss OD was getting coffee across the street when I walked the dogs this morning so maybe Cosmos jerked the camera or somethin’…