Eagle Nest, New Mexico, 2012. “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.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and an '86 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of '97 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 25 years--we're recyclers. I've published 2 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), and THE O'BRIENS (2012), and 2 collections of stories NIGHT DRIVING (1987), and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). Novel # 3, KARIN, will be out from Pantheon (US) and House of Anansi (Canada) in March 2016. More of my book stuff at www.peterbehrens.org I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I've been teaching at Colorado College, Wichita State, and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Some Car Companies Have a Sense of Humor: The 1996 Nissan Maxima GLE Sport Sedan goes viral

Thanks to MSM for passing on the link. As they say, a true embodiment of iconic motoring, fully loaded with engine, wheels, tires, and an automatic transmission.


1957 Mercurys, the ugly duckling and Bill Stroppe's M335

It is not a handsome car, and that Continental kit strapped on the back doesn't help a bit. Neither do the fender skirts, nor the canary yellow paint. It's up for sale at Motorland in Arundel, Maine. However, the bare-bones edition of the '57 Merc is not bad-looking--see the car at the bottom of this post. It's actually more of a sleeper than a stripper,. The bones are anything but bare-- 

For 1957, the famous racing shop of Bill Stroppe in Long Beach was hired by Mercury to race and homologate the '57 Mercury. The result was a modified 368 motor known as the M335. This M335 is undocumented. The engine featured twin 4-barrel Holley carburetors, solid lifters and performance cam producing 335hp. Stroppe's shop pulled cars from the Mercury Los Angeles plant to do their conversion. Meant for business, all the cars were post sedan with 3-speed column shift and most options deleted. This car (way down below) had heater and radio installed. It was sold in a Barret-Jackson auction a few years back had heater and radio install

And here's one of Stroppe's Mercurys hard at work:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Basha Burwell International

It's an I-H. I only know that because she said so. I like the mailbox feature.

1963 Chevrolet C10, Texas Hill Country

 BB's on a shoot in the Hill Country this week and sent us this handsome Chevrolet, going feral out on the range.

1962 Dodge Dart and the million-mile Montreal taxi

We saw one of these a while back in Shediac, New Brunswick, heart of the Acadien (that's Cajun, down in Louisiane) North Shore. That car had Florida plates and had spent some time in Hawaii. Darts get around.
I remember my second-grade pal Frank's family, Hungarian refugees in Montreal, bought a '62 Dart for their first new car. Chrysler products of those years are weird-looking and were considerably downsized from the predecessors. People thought them bizarre, and they didn't sell, but I always though they were cool. Later in the series there were very good-looking cars--the Plymouth version especially.
There was a taxi driver in Montreal who drove a '63 Plymouth for years. I last saw it on the road sometime in the 1990's. I'd asked a couple of old-time cabbies in Montreal and they said Joseph Vaillancourt, the driver of the Plymouth kept in exceptional shape but it was finally just too old to get licensed as a hack. Then I found the remarkable story of Vaillancourt's  1,600,000 mile Plymouth taxi online. (and that is miles, not kilometers!)
Montreal's hilly and banged-up streets along with Montreal winter weather = beaucoup road salt, so you rarely see cars much older than eight or nine years in the city. I'm glad the Plymouth cab is in honorable retirement. The Dart is for sale at Motorland in Arundel, Maine. If you take care of it, maybe you're good for a million.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The VW Squareback & Marc Wöltinger, Photographer

BB was talking the other day of her father's long love affair with VW squarebacks, a series of which were the family cars while she was growing up in Maine. I found these posted by one of my favorite photographers, the Swiss Guy, Marc Wöltinger. More up on his Revolver Imaging Co.  site.

Northern Nevada (desert)

from Michael Moore, out in the desert:
    "Yeah, I know, bad 1930's painting...but some evenings it really does look like this.