Classic cars in Havana, Cuba

Mar 10, 2017

“There are probably more vintage cars in Cuba than all of the world,” boasted Andreas Jimenes Castillo. “Too many Americans are asking the locals to sell them the cars and for a lot of money too,” said the marine biologist who works on the Jardines Aggressor I. There was every make and model of American-made cars, dating back to the 50s. “How do they keep these cars looking in such good shape and more importantly, how do they get parts to keep them driving?” I asked Wayne. “Cubans are creative and very resilient,” he replied. “They get used parts, make-shift parts and even homemade parts to keep these cars running. Sometimes they use old diesel engines from trucks.”

I love classic cars to the point of obsession and that obsession took hold of me on the tour of Old Havana. I just had to touch them. One in particular, stood out among the dozen that lined the street. It was a flaming red ’57 Dodge Coronet. I crept towards this elegant, highly polished classic, looking around to see if anyone was watching
and slowly ran my shaking palm along the sleek curves of this beauty. “Wanna to go for a ride? It’s available,” offered José Manuel Lopez, as he wiped away the long line of sweat that I left on his magnificent car. “I have three more old cars just like this. My favorite is a 1958 Chevrolet Impala convertible.”

Read more in the Sept–Dec 2016 issue of Blue


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