Cuba has it’s own style when it comes to transportation. There are thousands of OLD (’30s thru ’50s) American cars and they still provide much of the transportation in and around Havana and Guanabo. This time-warp is due to the U.S. embargo, put in place in 1962. At that point, American companies couldn’t do any business in Cuba. And that meant no spare parts.
a-07Guanabo Autoa-04a-06
You got to hand it to their ingenuity keeping these American cars on the road. Don’t expect these cars to be ‘classic’, as in faithfully restored to original conditions. In fact, the reality is anything but classic. Parts are repaired, changed around, and just plain made up in their repair shops. There is such a mixture of body, panels, engines, transmissions and dashboards; it is often impossible to say what kind of car it originally was. You can wander Havana and try to guess whether they are Chevrolet, Cadillac, or Dodge.
Dodge, Casa Jesus y Maria, La Habana Vieja, Cuba
Dodge engine, Casa Jesus y Maria, La Habana Vieja, CubaDodge dashboard, Casa Jesus y Maria, La Habana Vieja, Cuba-18
But things are changing. The 50-year old pissing match originating between Fidel and Kennedy and faithfully enforced by EVERY PRESSIDENT EXCEPT OBAMA is about to end. How might this affect the cars? One thing you can be sure of… they will stay COCHES CUBANOS!