A TEXACO sign can be seen through branches bearing just a few browned leaves. Taken in fall 2012 in Fryeburg, Maine, the red, green, black and white logo adorns the first page in a new book that looks at classic vehicles and filling stations, too, all in Maine.
“Full Service: Notes from the Rearview Mirror” by David Hill recently was published by Islandport Press.
“I’ve always loved old cars. I mean, I got a model of a ’55 Bel Air for my birthday when I was 7,” said Hill, who also grew up watching reruns of “Happy Days.”
But his interest in photographing vintage cars — in whatever state they were in — didn’t begin until he spotted a vehicle beside the road, snapped a photo and shared it with friends. They encouraged him to shoot more.
“I ended up looking for other old cars to take photographs of,” Hill said. Eventually, he began contemplating writing a book featuring his photos and inspiration. “You need more than just photos for a book, so I drew on my own experiences growing up with cars.”
Two vintage gas pumps in Kennebunkport sit on pages 14 and 15, in all their faded paint and spreading rust glory. A blue 1950-1952 International L110 or L120 in Newry, its paint faded to white in spots and spotted with rust, sits among ferns and browned pine needles on page 46. Other photos explore the details of the vehicles, such as the still silvery but faintly dotted with rust V8 symbol of a 1956 Ford F-100 on page 96.
Hill likes to document those old vehicles in modern times as a way to look back on what he considers “a simpler time with cars,” when neighbors would celebrate new car purchases together.
From Fryeburg to Saco, Lewiston to Wiscasset, Hill’s book is a celebration of automobiles shown through his travels in the more southern parts of the state.
The Gorham native, who now lives in South Portland, has heard from readers who enjoy his work — including one who was particularly special. After a woman gave the book to her husband for Christmas, he read it, enjoyed it and encouraged her to leaf through it, too. That’s when she realized it was written by her former student. She later wrote to him to tell him the story.
“People who’ve gotten back to me have absolutely loved it,” Hill said.
“Full Service” is available where books are sold.