Look!: Island Cars

Look!: Island Cars

Maxwell Ryan
May 28, 2008

flickr photo by Jim Sissman

Sometimes, up here in New England, cars signal "home." And our home obsessions occasionally creep into other parts of our lives. We've been in love ever since spotting a 1970's Jeep Grand Wagoneer one summer many years ago on Martha's Vineyard. It was teal with wood paneling and the back window was covered with years worth of beach and dump stickers. It even had a dog...

Island cars. They're not just any vintage car, they're old cars with personality. They're knocked around, rusted out, never locked, bumper-stickered, gorgeous beach cars.

flickr photo by trixieslim

Lots of people on Martha's Vinyard and Nantucket drive them, love them and just leave them there every year until the next summer. They're cars that make you smile, even when you're stuck in that annoying traffic when the ferry comes in. They remind us how fun it can be to drive. They have us at hello.

flickr photo by ms.elemvee

On the islands just about everyone has a colorful old beach bike, and they walk a lot, so these cars don't get used much - and thank goodness for that, because many of them tend to be gas guzzlers - but when they do, its like peeking into yesterday.

flickr photo by Joan Hill

flickr photo by Bryan

Maybe it was crazy, but we spotted a white paneled jeep Briarwood on craigs list last month that we just had to have. Neighbors told us we were crazy when we sold our pretty reliable Subaru Outback wagon and bought it. After all, Subarus are great in the Boston winters. But we were in love—and we don't drive much anyway.

We don't live on the beach or the islands, but this summer we're going to feel like we do.

-Jeanine Brennan

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